A NEW PERSPECTIVE FOR OUR FUTURE
Michael is running to represent Florida's 27th Congressional District, the heart of South Florida. He is FIGHTING TO:
- Create pathways to success from Universal Pre-K to Tuition Free Public Colleges, Universities and Trade Schools.
- Raise the federal minimum wage to $15 Hour, tie it to inflation and implement a Federal Jobs Guarantee.
- Provide Healthcare for All: $0 Co-pays, $0 Deductible, medicine/vision/dental coverage included.
- Strengthen and expand Social Security Benefits.
- Invest in major Infrastructure Development and improvements to our Mass Transit Systems.
- End Mass Incarceration and the For-Profit Prison System.
- Implement life-saving Gun Control & Gun Rights Reform NOW.
We, the American people, have everything we need to reverse our economic decline and achieve prosperity for all our citizens; we have 325 million people, vast natural resources, the best universities in the world, and an economy abundant with capital and innovation.
The only thing standing in our way is the corrupt and complacent political establishment. We know that America can do what is necessary to bring about true liberty and justice for all: reinvest in American industry, repair our crumbling infrastructure, rekindle our struggling schools, build an all-renewable energy system, eliminate burdensome regulations, rebuild our broken healthcare system, reform our unjust criminal justice system and restore the promise of democracy.
REBUILD OUR ECONOMY
America has fallen into a long-term, economic decline. Wages have been stagnant since the 1970s. Over the past 4 decades, America has lost millions of high-wage jobs and failed to replace them, leaving many American workers with a low-paying service job or no job at all.
To reverse this economic decline once and for all, we need to kick-start new high-wage industries, modernize old industries, build a 100% renewable energy economy, repair our crumbling infrastructure and rebuild local communities. We need to:
BUILD THE INEVITABLE, CHEAP, RENEWABLE ENERGY ECONOMY IN 10 YEARS
Our current energy system is costly, inefficient, and unsustainable. Unlike oil, coal and natural gas, the sun and wind can provide us with a virtually infinite supply of energy — millions of times more energy than we could ever possibly use. Building an all-renewable energy system will require a massive investment at first — just like the American highway system did back in the 1950s — but once it’s built, maintaining our new energy system will be far cheaper than the expensive energy system we have today.
INVEST THE $4.6 TRILLION NEEDED TO REPAIR OUR COUNTRY’S CRUMBLING INFRASTRUCTURE
We need to fund the national and state agencies that oversee our major roads, bridges, dams and more for the projects they have been begging to start for decades. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that $4.6 trillion is needed to get America’s infrastructure back up to par. Much of this is straightforward “shovel ready” work that can be started right away. The rest requires planning across the private and public sector. I will fight to increase the Federal Transit Administration fiscal year budgets in order to allocate more Capital Investment Grants and will aggressively advocate for "Small Starts and New Starts" federal grants to fund:
- Light Rail;
- Bus Rapid Transit;
- Commuter Rail;
- Streetcars and Heavy Rail (Metrorail) projects across our nation, state and especially here in South Florida for our South-Dade Corridor SMART Plan implementation.
PRESERVE OUR ENVIRONMENT
We need to protect the Environment Protection Agency and access to their "Endangerment Findings" and adequately fund and implement recommendations. We need to cut U.S. Carbon pollution by 40 percent in the next 15 years and transition towards a nuclear free clean energy system for our electricity, transportation and heating options - South Florida should be leading the charge. We must address the climate change crisis that faces us all and proactively implement mitigation and adaptation initiatives to confront the challenges coming our way due to sea level rising, global warming, climate change gentrification, and potential threats to our national security.
PROVIDE TUITION-FREE EDUCATION AT PUBLIC UNIVERSITIES, COLLEGES, AND TRADE SCHOOLS
If you meet the academic requirements, you go for free. This is not a new concept — before the 1980s, many public American universities provided a tuition-free education to all qualified students. Today, most industrialized countries do the exact same thing. If we want to rebuild our economy and encourage innovation in America, we need a highly-educated and highly-skilled workforce. Saddling students with debt is not only destructive to students’ futures, it also slows and depresses our economy.
RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE TO $15/HOUR AND IMPLEMENT A FEDERAL JOBS GUARANTEE
Adjusted for inflation, today’s $7.25/hour minimum wage is actually $4 lower than the minimum wage of 50 years ago. No one can survive in America today on $7.25/hour, especially if they are trying to raise a family. We need to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour, tie it to inflation, and encourage states and local governments to increase the minimum wage further in places with higher costs of living. It's really simple — anyone who is willing and able to work shouldn’t struggle to find employment.
A Federal Jobs Guarantee would create a baseline quality for employments that guarantees a living wage, full healthcare, and paid child and sick leave for all. This proposal would dramatically upgrade the quality of employment in the United States, by providing training and experience to workers while bringing much-needed public services to our communities in areas such as infrastructure development, childcare and environmental adaptation. This will help millions of workers make it to the middle class, which is good for workers and good for local businesses — because the larger the American middle class, the more customers there are to buy products and services.
FIX THIS HEALTHCARE MESS
Everyone knows health care in America is broken. It was broken before Obamacare, and it is still broken. Millions of people still have to pay for insurance they can’t afford to use because deductibles are so high. Millions are still left without coverage and costs are skyrocketing for everyone.
There has always been a simple solution to our health care mess: cover everyone with improved and expanded Medicare For All.
Private insurance companies have been allowed by generations of corrupt politicians to become monopolies with the power to extort many hundreds of billions of dollars from the American people each year. The health insurance industry spent millions of dollars last year in lobbying expenses alone, to protect their monopolies — money that could have been spent on providing care and saving lives. Here's our plan:
PROVIDE ALL AMERICANS WITH IMPROVED AND EXPANDED MEDICARE FOR ALL
This will include high-quality general, dental, vision, long-term care and mental health coverage. Medicare is more efficient than any private insurance provider and is accepted by 95% of doctors. Under our plan, private insurance companies will be allowed to compete with each other in a truly free market to offer supplemental insurance plans.
INCREASE THE NUMBER OF DOCTORS, CLINICS AND HOSPITALS
We have a shortage of doctors and healthcare facilities in America today. In rural areas, it can be almost impossible to see even a general practitioner let alone a specialist. The American Medical Association currently restricts the number of doctors who are admitted to medical school and the number of foreign-trained doctors who can be certified to practice in America. They do this to ensure higher salaries for doctors. We believe doctors are incredibly valuable members of our communities and economy and should be paid well — and they should not have to create shortages to raise their wages!
STOP THE PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY FROM GOUGING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
The pharmaceutical industry, or “Big Pharma,” gouges the American people because the government forbids Medicare from negotiating drug prices with pharmaceutical companies. Under our plan, this regulation will be eliminated and Medicare will be allowed to negotiate the best possible prices for the American people.
INVEST IN INNOVATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAMS TO DEVELOP NEW LIFE-SAVING DRUGS
Not only does Big Pharma gouge the American people, but it also spends the vast majority of its profits on advertising and lobbying — not on developing new, life-saving drugs as it should. In fact, Big Pharma is scaling back drug development so much that most new drugs and other treatments are developed at small pharma companies, startups and university research programs. We will launch several competitive drug development programs that will invest in innovative research efforts already underway. These investments and programs will operate out of established organizations such as the National Institutes of Health. Not only will this directly produce more life-saving drugs, but it will also incentivize Big Pharma to stop spending so much on advertising, and start investing more in what they should — developing new and better drugs that will save lives.
END MASS INCARCERATION
America imprisons more of its own people than any other nation in the world. Even as the crime rate is on a steady decline, incarceration rates continue to climb. Incarceration rates are skewed in favor of targeting minorities with longer sentences and higher arrest rates.
This trend has left devastation in its wake, as more and more Americans find themselves unemployable and disenfranchised after serving their time. Children and partners lose their parents and loved ones to the system, perpetuating negative social and economic outcomes. I will work to attack this crisis through four important lenses:
END THE SCHOOL TO PRISON PIPELINE
Many children go to schools with aggressive zero-tolerance disciplinary practices, which are directly tied to Congressional funding requirements. These policies often result in suspension or expulsion for students with disciplinary issues — pushing them out of school and into the criminal justice system.
END FOR-PROFIT PRISON AND DETENTION CENTERS
I will aggressively seek to end for-profit prisons and detention centers, and will advocate to repeal the unconstitutional exception listed in the 13th Amendment — which allows slavery to exist for those who have been "duly" convicted for a crime.
IMPROVE OVERSIGHT AND END POLICE MILITARIZATION
We will work to ensure that the government stops stocking local police departments with military-grade weapons and armor. Instead, we need to fund police departments to implement proven community policing practices under civilian governing boards and automatic, independent investigations should happen every time an individual is killed by law enforcement.
RETURN JUDICIAL DISCRETION, END CASH BAIL SYSTEM AND INEFFECTIVE WAR ON DRUGS
Judicial discretion has eroded due to the politicization of law enforcement. Loss of discretion means that judges are compelled to deliver federal sentences that are often harsher than the crime committed. Congress must act to obtain meaningful reform by eliminating mandatory sentencing requirements. We need to move away from mandatory minimum sentences that focus on penalizing non-violent offenders. We need to also decriminalize non-violent federal offenses while promoting greater guidance and review of criminal regulations promulgated by federal agencies, in order to guard against federal overreach.
Keeping someone incarcerated simply because he or she is poor is not right. There are almost half a million people in jail awaiting trial and many of them have remained incarcerated because they can not afford to bail out. Yes - individuals who are truly a risk to public safety should remain detained but our current system is inefficient, ineffective and in my opinion unconstitutional.
It's also time to support the legalization and removal of cannabis from the Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act list, in order to end this discriminatory and ineffective war on drugs.
FIGHT FOR OUR PEOPLE
40% of Americans face the impossible task of raising their families on less than $20,000 per year. Millions of young people’s lives are ruined by broken schools and a broken K-12 education system. Gun Violence in America is a Public Health issue and the promise of liberty and freedom for ALL Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender is still not a reality in America. Here’s our plan to help:
SUPPORT PARENTS, CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
We need to expand the earned income tax credit by $1 trillion for families raising children. In addition, we need to make 6 months of family leave available to all parents — both women and men. We will also build and fund a new network of childcare centers.
GUN CONTROL REFORM NOW - THIS IS A PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE
Quite simply put — America has too many guns and it's time for us to recognize this phenomenon for what it really is... This is not an issue of law and criminal justice, we are facing a Public Health Epidemic. We must focus on saving lives by ending gun violence in our nation and here's how we can start:
- Ban All Assault Weapons and end all imports and exports of any new firearms in America;
- Increase Taxes on all Ammunition by 10,000 Percent (Senator Moynihan Concept);
- Mandate Universal Background Checks;
- Raise the Age to 21 to buy a firearm;
- End all existing loopholes in our nations Background Check System;
- Provide Extreme Risk Protection Order Laws;
- Implement Stronger Penalties for Straw Purchasing;
- Mandate all Lost or Stolen Firearms be Reported;
- Allow the Center for Disease Control & Prevention to Research the Comprehensive Impact of Gun Violence in America;
- Ban All Politicians from taking Corporate PAC Money from Gun Manufacturers, Corporations, and Lobbyist tied to these industries (NRA included) who make or sell firearms.
One more thing — Vote every single Congressman and Congresswoman OUT OF OFFICE who have accepted Blood Money and elect a Brand New Congress.
FIX AMERICA’S BROKEN SCHOOLS
America contains thousands of the best schools in the world — and thousands of the worst schools in the world. Millions of young people’s lives are being ruined in those broken schools. Fixing schools is not rocket science and does not require a cultural revolution — it’s a management task. A range of evidence-based best practices covering teaching methods, teacher training, and school discipline has been demonstrated to work over and over again.
I will advocate for:
- Universal High-Quality Early Childhood Education in America;
- Federal minimum Per Pupil allocation of funds for every child;
- RESPECTing our Teachers by ensuring salaries are not lower than $55,000 a year;
- Revamping our public education curriculum to a Pre-K to Associate Arts-Science/Vocational Degree Diploma.
EXPAND AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Paying more than 50% of your disposable income to cover housing cost is absurd - if you're actually able to find an affordable place to live in the first place. Research studies have shown that more than 7 Million American Households are not able to find a place that they can afford. I will aggressively support all efforts to make major investments in our National Affordable Housing Trust Fund (HTF). Our Congress needs to act and allocate billions of dollars each year to rehabilitate, develop, and preserve millions of rental units, in order to increase our housing stock within the next five years. Federal Housing Production Programs need to be funded in new innovative ways; developers in the business of building affordable housing need to permanently keep those subsidized housing units affordable for decades to come, and we must push forward implementation of Community Land Trust concepts and so much more.
Women have been at the forefront of every movement for social change in this nation’s history, yet inequality persists to this day. We need to protect the rights of women and ensure that all Americans, regardless of gender, truly have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Protecting the rights of women has never been so urgent. Establishment politicians strive to police women’s bodies but refuse to pass legislation guaranteeing equality under the law. From reproductive freedom to Title IX protections to the gender pay gap to STEM opportunities in education, the problems facing American women are manifold, and even worse for women of color, queer and transgender women, disabled women, and other marginalized women. Women are just as much members of our society as men, and it’s time that Congress finally listens to them. That’s why we will work to pass legislation that takes the rights of women off of the political bargaining table and cements them into unassailable law.
SUPPORT OUR SOLDIERS
It's time to fully support the men and women who have stood and currently stand on guard to protect us... We need to fully fund and expand the VA, so every Veteran receives the care that he or she has earned and deserves. I will advocate for expanding mental health services for Veterans, increase support for our military families and a more hands-on-approach towards providing employment, affordable housing and career development opportunities for our service members and their spouses.
While many have noted the assault on the LGBTQIA community by the current administration, the fact is that Congress has refused to act on anti-LGBTQIA discrimination for decades. All Americans deserve dignity, liberty, and equality under the law. While much attention has been given to anti-LGBTQIA legislation in the states, such as North Carolina’s HB2, and the stripping of protections by the current administration, the fact is that all of this is only possible because of the inaction of the establishment in Congress. Even as anti-LGBTQIA violence skyrockets, especially against LGBTQIA people of color, establishment politicians stay silent and enable hatred to run rampant. We must protect LGBTQIA Americans by addressing the specific issues pertaining to the LGBTQIA community. Here's how we can start:
- Pass Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Policies
- Protect the Privacy of transgender Americans
- Provide mandatory training public officials and employees
- Develop and implement LGBTQ-inclusive public education
DEFEND AND STRENGTHEN SOCIAL SECURITY - "THE PEOPLES PENSION"
With almost half of our workers between the ages of 55 to 64 not having access to a viable retirement savings – protecting social security is more important than ever. I will fight to make sure every benefit owed to every eligible American is paid out to them. I will advocate for Social Security expansion and increases to monthly payout amounts and increases for cost of living adjustments. I will also proactively seek to improve the Disability Benefits Eligibility process, in order to decrease wait times, so our fellow Americans can receive the assistance and support that they need.
CLEAN UP WASHINGTON D.C.
CUT TAXES FOR MIDDLE AND LOWER INCOME AMERICANS AND SIMPLIFY THE TAX CODE
Middle and working class people pay a higher tax rate than wealthy people when you add up all the sales, property, local and other taxes and fees that Americans pay. Our plan will lower taxes and provide tax rebates and refunds to working and middle-class people. While we’re at it, we will eliminate the need to file federal taxes, which is an unnecessary nuisance for millions of Americans — especially since, for regular W2 employees, the government already knows how much you owe. We will work with state tax agencies to eliminate filing for state and local taxes. Our plan will bring U.S. corporate taxes into line with global norms, slash tax loopholes and giveaways throughout the tax code since they overwhelmingly benefit big business over small business.
CANCEL STUDENT LOAN DEBT IN AMERICA
Numerous issues have continued to come up as I walk our blocks within the district but student loan debt has been mentioned too many times to count. Our Congress just passed a $1.5 trillion tax cut which benefits the wealthy and corporations but I'm for helping 44 million Americans and it only takes one single action. If our federal government forgave all the student debt it owns and bought out all private holders of such debt — 1.4 trillion dollars of outstanding student loan debt would be removed as a financial burden for millions of Americans who are bogged down by this trap. Consumer demand, employment, and economic growth would resonate throughout our country if we implemented this policy shift in our country.
21st CENTURY VOTING RIGHTS ACT
MONEY = ACCESS and that's why I'm 100% People Funded Only and refuse to take any contributions from Corporate PAC's or from the Lobbyist tied to their industries. We need to reform our electoral system to create a more perfect democracy: This will include removing money from politics, public financing of congressional campaigns, getting rid of the electoral college, investigating alternative voting systems such as ranked choice voting, and making election day a national holiday. In addition, we must improve the actual mechanics of voting to make it easier to vote and defend against electoral fraud — mandating universal paper ballots and public manual hand counts is a start.
REFORM OUR IMMIGRATION SYSTEM
Today, the United States, for almost the only time in our history, has net-negative immigration — because decent paying jobs are drying up. Our plan to reverse America’s economic decline and rebuild our country is going to demand huge numbers of new workers. Our economy will once again be begging for new immigrants. We believe that immigration makes America stronger — it always has. Here is our plan to reform our nation’s broken immigration system:
CREATE A SWIFT AND SECURE ROADMAP TO CITIZENSHIP
For America’s 11 million undocumented immigrants. One of our great strengths as a society and economy is our healthy population growth, thanks to immigration. The idea that America would be better off deporting millions of contributors to our society and economy is ludicrous. Immigrants pay taxes and perform millions of important jobs. We need them.
It’s time to abolish ICE, and push forth the notion that families need to remain together.
Created in 2003 with some other not-so-great policy like the Patriot Act and the decision to start the Iraq War. This agency has not been properly supervised and continues to execute flawed policy mandates. If you can remember - we use to have INS but ICE operates totally outside the purview of the Department of Justice and is unaccountable to our nation’s standards of due process.
So what's the consequences you might ask... Young children being ripped from their parents and kept in detention centers without due process, while even our Elected Officials struggle to receive access to visit these locations (even the ones that represent us in our U.S Congress). ICE operates with no accountability even though your tax dollars supports this agency. I'm running with a team of congressional candidates that believe we must abolish ICE and see to it that our undocumented neighbors are treated with the dignity and respect owed to all people, regardless of citizenship status.
We want immigrants to come to America — but we do not want them coming here in unsafe and illegal ways. Today, too many potential immigrants risk their lives by illicitly crossing desert borders and paying human smugglers. To fix this problem, we need to address the illicit trafficking of people, narcotics, visa overstays, etc. We must establish a safer way for potential immigrants to come to America and Trump’s border wall is not it... Completely ineffective and outrageously expensive are two of the first things that come to mind about that stance. Effective border control is about utilizing high-tech technology, biometric entry & exit systems, efficient CBP staffing, building a better relationship with our southern neighbor, etc. Our focus needs to be on creating safe & legal channels of entry for potential immigrants.
It's time for A New Perspective. It is time for a Brand New Congress."