I fully support the #MeToo movement, and I think Oprah couldn't have said it better when she said to men who harass women in the workplace, “Your time is up.” I've owned a business for 20 years and I've always had a strong Zero-Tolerance policy. This is a matter of right and wrong, and there is never an excuse for sexual harassment.
When it comes to Congress, every single member who has committed sexual harassment should resign immediately. I've called on members of both parties to resign, because it's not about politics. It's just about right and wrong. Members of congress must be banned from using our tax dollars to settle claims, and all of this should be brought out in the open. I am absolutely, fully supportive of the #MeToo movement.
Women, particularly women of color, suffer greatest from the gender wage gap. We must ensure that every woman in this country receives equal pay for equal work by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.
I will always stand up for our LGBTQ community. Although marriage equality has finally been achieved, multiple, significant threats to the community persist. Violence and hate-crimes are on the rise. Employment discrimination is rampant, and no federal protections exist. Relatively higher rates of unemployment have resulted in correspondingly higher rates of homelessness, poor health and food insecurity. LGBTQ people are also more likely to have difficulty obtaining insurance and quality healthcare. This battle is far from won.
The Equality Act is a bill that would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections that ban discrimination on the basis of gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Republicans have not let this bill come to a vote. I will work to get this legislation passed.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) provides federal funding for the investigation and prosecution of violent crimes against women, specifically, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking, with additional focus on LGBTQ, Native American and Immigrants. It emphasizes development of coordinated community care among law enforcement, victim services and prosecutors. This Act is up for reauthorization in 2018, and President Trump has promised to stop it. I will work to re-authorize VAWA.
The Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution states that, “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any state, on account of sex.” The ERA was passed by Congress in 1972. Thirty-six states have ratified the amendment, the most recent being Nevada in 2017. Another two states are needed to pass this landmark amendment. I will work to stimulate the conversation and find these two states.
Women and minorities are grossly underrepresented in the professional and academic fields of STEM; science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Policy-makers must get access to data on the participation and trajectories of these underrepresented groups in these fields, if they are to design policies, procedures and laws to remove the barriers that are preventing these groups from succeeding in these fields. The Stem Opportunities Act would call for this vital research, and I will work for its passage.
As to immigration, I was 12 years old and living in a small farming town in the Arizona desert when I got my first job; picking onions with migrant farm workers. This was the most back breaking work imaginable. The lessons I learned in this small town have lasted a lifetime. As a result, I have a profound respect for the immigrants who’ve come to our country in search of nothing more than a better life for their children.
As to legislation before Congress, I will oppose building Donald Trump’s ego-wall, but I will support giving border patrol agents the resources they need to protect our borders.
I support DACA and the Dream Act. These immigrants have graduated from our schools, made significant contributions to our national economy, and served in our military defending our country. I will support their efforts to attain citizenship.
As to immigration, I will work to pass comprehensive immigration reform, the kind of reform that will bring workers out of the shadows, keep families together, and ultimately provides a pathway to citizenship for the 12 million law-abiding immigrants currently living among us.