Civil Rights: Thereasa believes that our work is not yet done. See Civil Rights for more.
Criminal Justice Reform: Thereasa believes that mandatory minimum sentences and the underfunding of our public defender services has led to overcrowded jails and prisons, broken families, and insurmountable injustices. See Criminal Justice Reform for more.
Education: Thereasa believes that all Americans should have access to a quality education. See Education for more.
Global Warming: Thereasa believes that climate change threatens the viability of our planet. See Global Warming for more.
Healthcare: Thereasa knows that affordable health care is essential in any developed nation, no one should be left to fend for themselves because they don't have enough money when they are ill. See Healthcare for more.
Immigration: Thereasa understands that we are a nation of immigrants, it's time that we embrace our differences as a nation. See Immigration for more.
Increase Minimum Wage: Thereasa believes that the minimum wage should be gradually increased until it reaches a living wage. See Increase Minimum Wage for more.
Marijuana: Thereasa does not think that marijuana qualifies as a Schedule I drug and it should not be classified as one. See Marijuana for more.
My Body, My Choice: Thereasa believes that no government should tell anyone what to do with their body. See My Body, My Choice for more.
National Security: Thereasa thinks that we need to be smarter about the manner in which we address our national security threats and pinpoint the real problems. See National Security for more.
Paid Leave: Thereasa believes that full time employees shouldn't have to fear falling behind on bills due to illness, child birth, or adoption. See Paid Leave for more.
Veterans: Thereasa knows that veterans had our backs and we should have theirs. See Veterans for more.
Volunteer Service: Thereasa wants giving back to our communities to be rewarded. See Volunteer Service for more.
All Marylanders should have access to healthcare through Medicare for All, unlike TrumpCare suggests, no state should be able to decide whether or not your coverage should be affected by a pre-existing condition. Income should not be the determining factor as to whether you live or die due to illness, a pre-existing condition shouldn’t bar you from affordable health care, and all individuals should have access to mental health and drug rehabilitation programs through their insurance regardless of how much money they make.
We need to protect our most vulnerable citizens from the changes that TrumpCare wants to enact, especially the elderly. These Marylanders spent their lives building up our communities and making sure that we had a bright future, we need to make sure that their health care costs don’t leave them living in poverty.
23 million Americans and almost 200,000 Marylanders are at risk of losing health insurance coverage under TrumpCare. We cannot allow this to happen.
Immediately correcting some of the problems with the Affordable Care Act would take away a big part of the Republican argument that their plan should pass. Thereasa believes that we should get rid of the marketplace and expand Medicaid giving everyone the option to be covered under it. The individuals covered under the expansion would pay for their healthcare, but their payments would be based on their income, cost of living, and family size so as to prevent financial burden. This would eliminate the vulnerability of the ACA associated with insurers willingness to remain in the marketplace and the availability of subsidies. It is also a amendment that is likely to receive bipartisan support.
Thereasa believes that it is essential that we amend The Expanded & Improved Medicare for All Act, HR 676. We need to ensure that medical providers have an incentive perform well. This can be achieved by amending the current requirements that all medical providers be paid a flat amount dependent upon their area of practice. A medical provider rating system needs to go hand in hand with the program both to protect patients and to financial reward providers for exceptional services. Additionally, region needs to be taken into account when deciding provider salaries.
The right to decide when and whether to reproduce will NOT be infringed. Like men, women have and will continue to have the right to make decisions about their bodies. Gone will be the days when the government makes personal reproductive decisions for their citizens while simultaneously claiming that the government has too much power. No law should allow insurers to decide whether contraception should be covered by health insurance or strip away access to abortions from those who are covered by government healthcare plans. Abortion clinics should not be so heavily regulated that they cannot afford to stay open nor so few and far between that only certain populations have true access to abortion services.
I will fight to ensure that Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides affordable contraception, breast and cervical cancer screenings, STD screenings, medication, vaccinations, pregnancy services, and general healthcare, is not defunded.
Four Year Degrees
College should not be a privilege for only the wealthy or those willing to go hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt.
Maryland students who are able to maintain an A- average or above and are from a low-income or middle class families, throughout high school, should be able to attend a four year university without having to worry about the cost. They should not be deterred from applying to the college of their choice because they fear not being able to afford it. That is why these students should have college completely paid for. The cost of tuition, room and board, and text books would be offset, after school sponsored scholarships are awarded. These students would be required to apply for a certain number of privately funded scholarships prior to their tuition being paid off in order to keep cost as low as possible.
This program would be partially funded by charging foreign visitors to visit the most popular Smithsonian museums and zoo as well as by tax money generated from legalizing the sale of marijuana.
All students with grade point averages below an A- would have the opportunity to have their federal loans converted into grants after they perform a certain number of community service hours with pre-approved non-profit or charitable organizations. At least one of the approved programs would be a mentoring program that would pair college students with high school students in low-income areas. This program would expose at risk students to new and diverse areas of employment and encourage them to work towards a goal that they may not have previously believed was a possibility.
While Maryland has some of the best schools in the country, Anne Arundel and Prince George's County schools were ranked at 10th and 23rd out of 24 in the state in 2016. Our children deserve top notch educations and the quality of that education shouldn't have a direct correlation to their parents income. When states are struggling to provide their students with appropriate class sizes, technology, text books, teacher supplies, infrastructure quality, and after school programs the federal government needs to help out. Our nation suffers when grade schools fail children. Each one of our children has the potential to be an award winning scientist, the doctor that discovers the cure to cancer, or the architect that designs the next great structure so we need to provide students with proper educational opportunities in grade school, so that they can live up to their potential. Part of assisting students to meet their potential includes insuring that they all have access to pre-K schooling starting at the age of 3, allowing them to begin their educational careers in the same position as their wealthy counterparts.
Paid Family Leave
Paid family is essential to ensuring family health as well as societal productivity. No full time working Marylander should have to fear that if they take time off after a new child has entered their life that they won't be able to pay rent for the month or that their lights might be shut off. Paid maternity and paternity leave shouldn't be a privilege reserved for those in certain positions, but a right enjoyed by all. The time immediately following the birth or adoption of a child is critical. In addition to serious medical risk to the mother and child immediately following birth, the bonds that are formed in the early days of the new relationship lay the foundation for it's future success. While time off is already required for employers of a certain size, many can't afford to take advantage of the time off because they are living paycheck to paycheck and any significant decrease in income would be detrimental. This is the reason why mothers and fathers, that work full time, should be provided with at least three weeks of paid leave following new family additions. These full time working parents would be paid half of their normal income while they take time off to care for their families. Ten of the twenty hours would be paid for by the government.
This program could be funded by money generated from legalizing and regulating marijuana sales.
When loved one's age, many family members take on the responsibility of caring for them. As health problems and/or age advance, the struggle to keep up with daily responsibilities and properly caring for a loved one becomes more and more difficult. With few resources to assist those who can't afford a home nurse, many are left to choose between keeping their loved one with the family or placing them in a permanent care facility. A skilled day care facility, that would allow care takers to drop off and pick up loved one's daily, needs to be opened in order to ease the burdens that come along with caring for family members with failing health. The facility would help families defray the high costs of outside care, help a loved one remain social, and give primary care takers time to accomplish other tasks and obligations.
Maryland recently licensed its first medical marijuana grower, but still considers Marijuana to be a schedule I drug.
Schedule I drugs: meth, heroin, LSD, ecstasy, and marijuana. One of these drugs is not like the others.
Congress has continued to classify marijuana as having no accepted medical uses and not safe for use under medical supervision, while most states, including Maryland, and science disagree. At the very minimum, marijuana should be taken off of the federal controlled substance list and states should be permitted to decide whether to legalize it without fear of federal penalty.
Alternatively, marijuana could be legalized by the federal government, taxed and regulated like alcohol and tobacco, and the tax proceeds would go towards repairing the infrastructure, updating technology, text books, and quality of the low income schools across Maryland and our nation. Additionally, the proceeds would go towards funding free four year college degrees, and paid sick and family leave programs. This would dramatically decrease the achievement gap, slow and decrease the number of people being incarcerated, eliminate the need for young people to decide whether to go $50,000-$200,000 in debt in order to make a better life for themselves, and give people the time they need to recover when sick and bond after a new child enters their lives.
Volunteerism and community service are the staples of every community and great nation. It is important that we give our young people and citizen's an incentive to give back to their communities. Money for college, tax write off's, and loan forgiveness are just some of the ways that I intend to reward people for their service.
Income tax reductions for gifts to charity should be expanded to include time donated to qualified charitable organizations. As the saying goes, time is money, it’s time we recognized it as such. Not everyone has the ability to donate cash to charity. Marylander’s who volunteer their time with qualified charitable organizations should be able to transfer volunteer hours into cash donations for tax purposes. Each volunteer hour served at a qualified charitable organization will be calculated as a cash donation using the minimum wage standard.