1. Will you commit to working on campaign finance reform and what are your ideas to reduce the influence money has right now in politics?

The special-interest spending unleashed by the Citizens United ruling has severely damaged our democracy, our criminal justice system, our healthcare, and our environment. I have signed the “Sobriety” pledge to introduce or vote for legislation promoting an end to Citizens United and to assure that elections are publicly funded. I will vote for legislation such as H.J.Res. 2, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of the United States Relating to Contributions and Expenditures Intended to Affect Elections, which also helps mitigate the impact of Citizens United by allowing governments to distinguish between human and corporate “persons” in their regulation of election spending, and by permitting governments to cap election-related spending.

2. Will you support a stronger response from the IRS to police non-profit entities that are clearly not following 501C3 rules? For example: the NFL and the NRA?

Yes. I will support stronger IRS and other federal-level scrutiny and enforcement measures against organizations abusing their 501c3 status. Too often, well-funded and powerful organizations like the NRA are allowed to act as political entities without being subjected to the same taxes and other restrictions as legitimate non-profits or political action groups. The IRS should no longer be apologizing for enforcing the law, as it has done in the past.

3. Will you support redesigning our military to defend our country from a military attack instead of its current design of projecting power around the world? How could this be accomplished?

Yes. The US interventionist approach to foreign policy has backfired far more often than not, and countless innocent lives are lost and destroyed in the process while we squander trillions of taxpayer dollars on the military-industrial complex. I fully support, and would vote to adopt, the People’s Budget developed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. I would also repeal the AUMF (H.R. 2456), and vote for Ilhan Omar’s recently introduced Pathway to Peace legislative package, and for Ed Markey’s Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act.

4. Will you support the eradication of the US Homeland Security? Please explain. Do you support legislation to ban private correctional facilities?

Yes. Since the beginning, the Department of Homeland Security’s broad mandate has made it a wasteful and inefficient entity charged with a plethora of unrelated tasks, yet lacking the expertise and oversight to execute those tasks effectively. DHS has taken responsibilities away from other federal departments that are more capable of handling them while failing to effectively coordinate activities between these departments. DHS has also failed to provide effective emergency relief after natural disasters. Even worse than this, DHS is currently using its power to attack vulnerable groups in our society, especially through ICE, which must be abolished, due to its human rights abuses.

And yes. I absolutely oppose the use of private correctional facilities and strongly support legislation to ban the use of such facilities in the future.

5. Do you support the closing of all private ICE detention centers in Colorado? Do you support mandatory third party inspections of all private Federally-contracted correctional facilities in Colorado? What are your thoughts regarding Immigration Holds? Do you support an unequivocal ban to family separation of migrant and immigrant families?

Yes. I believe that immigration is one of this country’s greatest assets. I will fight to create a straightforward path to citizenship for currently undocumented immigrants. I support the closure of all private ICE detention centers and the abolition of ICE. I would close all federally-contracted private correctional facilities in Colorado and nationwide, and until they are closed, would require mandatory third-party inspections. Furthermore, I would fund and require well-staffed and funded facilities to provide safe and practical asylum processes and services to those seeking refuge. I am opposed to immigration holds because the practice violates constitutional rights and suppresses the reporting of crime within immigrant communities.

I firmly support a ban on family separation of migrant and immigrant families for the purpose of enforcing immigration laws. Immigrants deserve the same rights as citizens in our judicial system. I support H.R. 1036, the American Families United Act – 115th Congress to keep immigrant families together. To do otherwise further erases our country’s heritage as a beacon for immigrants and deprives us of immigrants’ contributions to our society and economy.

We should be leaders in protecting people who have fled their countries to escape hardship and violence. I fully support the DREAM act and the Climate Displaced Persons’ Act of 2019 (H.R. 4732).

I would expand on our country’s limited criteria for asylum by including protection from gang violence and gender-related violence and other categories of threats to personal safety. I would also make it a high priority for our federal government to assure in every way possible that our policies prevent and do not contribute to humanitarian crises and that we provide adequate support to foreign partners and NGOs to prevent emergency migration to the United States.

6. What is your solution for the Healthcare Crisis in Colorado and in our Country? Do you support health care for individuals who are so disabled they are unable to seek health care on their own? Do you support a non-profit single-payer health care system?

I support Bernie Sanders’ single-payer Medicare for All Act, S. 1129, which eliminates burdensome premiums, co-pays, and deductibles and prevents medical bankruptcy. As a psychologist, I support expanding Medicare for All to include greater access to mental health treatment and coverage for vision, hearing, dental, and disability, including, as you mentioned, healthcare for those whose disabilities that prevent them from seeking healthcare on their own. Allowing corporations to profit from our injuries and illnesses is detrimental to public health. Please see my primer, written to make Sanders bill more understandable to the public, here: https://tinyurl.com/yx52flkm

7. What will you do to restore rights at the federal level for Lesbian, Gay, and especially Transgender individuals? Do you support the opportunity for transgender individuals to serve in the military? Do you support the government offering resources to LGBTQIA+ individuals?

Yes, yes, and yes. I am honored to be recognized as a One Colorado 2020 Pro-Equality Champion, and, as such, I support the Federal Equality Act to add protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

I support allowing transgender individuals to serve in the military.

I support the Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act, which would prohibit Medicaid payments for conversion therapy, and would go further to enact a ban on policies and practices that attempt to change anyone’s sexual orientation or gender identity against their will.

I support requiring insurance providers, including Medicare and Medicaid to cover medically-necessary, transition-related care as patients and their providers find appropriate.

I also support efforts to make PrEP and other HIV prevention medications more affordable and accessible for high-risk populations.

8. Will you support and advocate for the elimination of the filibuster in the Senate? If not, how do you plan to achieve any progressive reforms/initiatives, since we won’t have a filibuster-proof majority in 2020?

Yes. Like the Electoral College, the filibuster has become part of an anachronistic system that provides, as the Center for American Progress argues, “disproportional power to a small segment of society” and prevents the passage of legislation that would benefit the majority of people living in the United States. While I also strongly support granting statehood to Washington, D.C., I do not think this would be enough, by itself, to solve the problem.

9. Will you support the Green New Deal? What other policies do you support to battle the climate crisis? How will you work to get something meaningful passed?

Yes. I am running for US Senate because, after 10 years supporting legal actions against the oil and gas industry and championing ballot initiative Proposition 112 to keep hazardous drilling projects out of Colorado’s neighborhoods, I was frustrated to observe that not one candidate had stepped into the US Senate race who had worked in climate action.

I support the Green New Deal, and, in particular, I would introduce or support comprehensive legislation to adopt the provisions of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Green New Deal, including 1) banning fracking; 2) ending fossil fuel exports, leasing of federal lands and waters, subsidies, and new infrastructure; 3) providing for a just transition for workers and communities that depend on the fossil fuel industry; 4) strengthening the social safety net; and 5) making large-scale investments in renewable energy infrastructure and energy efficiency in our consumer, agricultural, governmental, and commercial sectors in order to end our dependence on fossil fuels and protect the climate we depend on.

To mitigate the outcomes of climate disruption and the transition process, I support provisions of Sander’s Green New Deal that would 1) Create a Climate Justice Resiliency Fund, 2) Repair and reinforce public infrastructure, and 3) increase investment in the Hazard Mitigation Program.

I also support the Climate Equity Act, which includes provisions that protect and empower vulnerable frontline communities that are affected by, and/or dependent on, the fossil fuel industry and facilitates a quick and equitable transition to renewable energy.

I will work to get meaningful legislation passed by continuing to support the growing movement for climate mobilization; by rejecting the pressure applied by the fossil fuel industry and its allies; by building a coalition with minority communities, unions, educators, scientists, and other professionals to make our case to colleagues in the Senate; and by building the strength of the Congressional Progressive Caucus to advance a comprehensive Green New Deal legislation that not only provides for large-scale investment in renewable infrastructure, a just transition for communities dependent on the fossil fuel industry and a social safety net for all, but also bring an end to the production, transport, import, export, and leasing of fossil fuels and holds the industry accountable for its deception and the harm it has caused.

10. The United States is facing many problems today, what would be the first thing you would change if you could wave a magic wand and make it happen?

If I could wave a magic wand to make change happen, I would eliminate the influence of corporate money and wealthy individuals on US domestic and foreign policy. Even before Citizens United, and even when it is eliminated, without publicly funded elections, a transparent and fair electoral process, and improving voters’ access to information, elected officials of both major parties have, and will likely continue, to make decisions that serve corporate interests over the public interest. This state of affairs has had deadly impacts on the climate, the international community, our federal budget, our healthcare, our housing system, our food system, our education system, our criminal justice system, and every other institution and sector of our society. It is unjust, unhealthy, and unsustainable to live in a society where corporate money calls the shots.

I am running for US Senate to create a climate of justice where the public interest prevails, and where social equality, human rights, and a livable climate and environment are the values and goals guiding us into the future.