1) I support civil unions for same-gender couples who choose to accept the same rights, responsibilities, and commitments as do heterosexual married couples. As a member of the state senate, I supported legislation to extend health insurance for public employees to their domestic partners. As a member of Congress, I would fight to establish national standards mandating domestic-partnership health insurance. I believe that same-gender couples deserve the same rights as do heterosexual couples under the auspices of a civil union, and would fight to ensure that no one is discriminated against based on sexual orientation and preference.
2) As your congressman, I will fight to preserve and protect a woman’s right to choose. This decision is personal and should be made by a woman and her doctor, without government intervention. The Supreme Court ruled on the legality of abortion rights, and I will fight to uphold the principles and guidelines established in Roe v. Wade. In the state senate, I voted for legislation establishing buffer zones and providing state employees with full health-care coverage for reproductive services. In Congress, I will stand against the current administration and fight to ensure that this right is protected.
3) I agree with the general concept of sanctions and embargos when appropriate and when the economic clout of the United States can be used to leverage a positive change in policy. The current embargo of Cuba has been in place for almost 40 years and has not been successful in making a positive change. Therefore, I would support lifting the current embargo of Cuba, working toward normalizing relations between the two nations, and integrating democratic values and ideals into the culture.
4) I am a firm believer that the United States is an international leader and needs to be engaged in the world stage. While I agree with engaging, I believe we must be mindful of our responsibility in this world economy and am in favor of reforming the current trade system in order to protect environmental, labor, and social interests.
5) The resolution to the current crisis is for Chairman Yasir Arafat and the Palestinian Authority to call for an end to the violence and return to the negotiating table to resolve differences peacefully. The United States must take an active role in the process by assertively communicating the need for a swift resolution and working to unite the parties at one table in search of a peaceful resolution. As a means to the end, I support the Middle East Commitment Act and the imposition of sanctions if obligations are not met.
6) I believe the key to engaging young people in the political system is to encourage more involvement in service programs that promote an ethic of service, such as AmeriCorps. Along the way, whole generations have steadily lost a commitment to country and service. We need to focus efforts on providing opportunities, through our education system, to have students experience real-world situations and learn the value and importance of involvement in order to solve problems.
7) It is evident that an intentional harm was done several generations ago to those who were enslaved, and I support general reparation programs that would help properly address the residual effect of this injustice. Proponents of reparations are having difficulty coming up with proposals that are workable and truly address this issue. I would, therefore, support the implementation of general programs, such as educational opportunities, additional school funds, and scholarships, in an effort to help remedy any residual effect of slavery and would keep an open mind toward a workable solution that may be presented by proponents.
1) Republicans say they support family values, but then refuse to accept people’s hopes of having their own families. I firmly support marriage rights for all Americans. I do not support discrimination in any form. It is unacceptable that we single out people based on their sexual orientations and deny the legitimacy of their relationships.
2) I have always strongly supported a woman’s right to choose. This is a fundamental right, and I would fight relentlessly to protect it. The government should not interfere in a personal decision such as this. If President Bush succeeds in putting more conservative justices on the Supreme Court, we will need dedicated advocates willing to fight for a woman’s right to choose. This will require the Congress to press legislation immediately should Roe v. Wade be overturned.
3) The embargo on Cuba should be lifted. The continued isolation of Cuba only furthers Castro’s hold on the nation. Engagement — through increased trade and information flow — will only lead to increased democratization in Cuba. The current policy has failed and we should recognize that interaction and collaboration win converts more than isolation or threats.
4) I support free but fair trade. We have numerous examples of the good that comes from free trade. But the US cannot benefit from the exploitation of workers and/or children or the destruction of the environment. If one were to visit a factory and see the working conditions of the people, including children, in developing nations, the issue of free trade would not seem too complicated. We can have fair trade that protects human rights and the environment and helps to improve the economies of developing nations.
5) As the only stable democracy in the Middle East, a strong and secure Israel is the only way to ensure a true and lasting peace. The United States must be engaged. The Bush administration is withdrawing when the people of the Middle East most need US help in resolving a conflict that has left more than 700 people dead in the last year. The parties must choose peace — and the US must take an active role in helping them get there.
6) Young people, like many Americans, do not see a role for themselves in a political process that is dominated by special interests. I have learned through this campaign how hard it is to run a grassroots campaign, the kind in which young people could feel that their efforts can have an impact on the system. But I have also seen that when given an opportunity to participate, young people take an interest in politics. We need campaign reform so that more non-politicians such as myself can run grassroots campaigns.
7) Race in this country is the great discussion that we are not having. Race relations have improved in this country, but we have far to go. Slavery is a travesty that we have not adequately dealt with as a nation. The poverty that continues to plague the black community is not a coincidence. We as a society have a responsibility to all people who have been treated unjustly and continue to suffer disparate impacts as a result of that treatment. I support reparations for slavery.
Issue Date: September 6 - 13, 2001