"As Utahns, we value personal responsibility and social responsibility, empathy towards others, freedoms secured for everyone by a democratic government, and a belief that public resources make a happy and secure private life possible."
"The problems we face in Utah's Third Congressional District don't care if you're a Republican or a Democrat. The solutions shouldn't either."
Protecting Utah's Landscapes
I have a special tie to the land. For hundreds of years and 30 generations, my Navajo ancestors lived, worked, and raised families in what we call Utah. My blood is tied to the land. It's a sacred place; one set apart by the Holy People. I have an obligation to protect the sacred. That's why I will fight to protect our landscapes and ecology so that we can be better stewards of the place we all call home. Utah's environment and biodiversity are tied to our many cultural identities, and decimating the land leaves nothing for us now nor for future generations. That's bad policy and it's unsustainable. I will fight for responsible development that builds on our greatest assets, not sell them away to the highest bidder, and utilize the science we have on global warming to create solutions before it's too late.
Reigniting the American Dream
I'm a sociologist and educator. Every day I'm learning, researching, or teaching about the many social forces and mechanisms in our society that provide opportunities for people or keeps people from grasping them. Economic inequality is one of the most pressing issues facing our country today. We need representatives in Congress to help hard-working families get their fair share, not create the conditions where the rich get richer off the hard work and labor of everyone else. But that's exactly the model of the past 40 years. Instead, we need to create the conditions where hard work actually allows families in the working and middle classes to experience economic success and social mobility. I will fight to restore power to workers, employees, and labor unions to re-embed the market back into the rest of society so that a parent, working a full-time job, can provide for their family, become self-reliant, and live a life of dignity.
Securing Health Care
One of the glaring problems of the Affordable Care Act is that it forced people to participate in a health care market and treated it as if it was a commodity that could be bought and sold. Well, health care isn't a commodity; it's a right. We can learn from what other countries have done, which is create a system that is freely accessible to all and costs less than what we pay now, then make it our own. No one should ever have to be burdened with medical debt or be bankrupted by something as basic as health care. A band-aid approach to fixing our health care system will never get to the root causes of the problems. We need to examine the cultural and systemic variables for why we have a bloated health care system that serves insurance companies better than it serves patients. That's why I will fight to create a universal health care system guaranteeing health care to all people.
Investing In Education
One of the main challenges facing our country is educating our children and ourselves to build a democratic, sustainable, and just future, and understand that we are all connected at the local and global levels. I believe every child deserves a public education that helps them to think critically, and give them the tools to become engaged citizens and a upstanding members of our society. I will work to increase the salaries of teachers and raise the status of what it means to be an educator in our society.
When it comes to higher education, I see many of my students having to take on student loans to pay for tuition, books, fees, and basic living expenses. Our public universities continue to increase costs which puts undue financial burdens on these students. Instead of contributing to the economy, they have to pay down their debts. It makes sense for loan rates to be lowered, and loans forgiven if the student works in industries and occupations for public good: civil servants, teachers, police, nonprofit employees, and so on. If our society requires people to go to college, then we should be investing in that to see and feel the public benefits. That's why I am behind policies that reduce student debt and reduce or eliminate tuition and fees for students for at least the first two years.
Defending Civil Rights
The foundation for our democratic society is built upon the guarantee that every person has equal rights. Respecting those rights is the best defense against the abuse of power and discrimination. We also have to balance our rights as individuals and our responsibilities to each other and the environment. We have to acknowledge that as individuals, we are also members of groups and a larger society. That is why it is so important that we see diversity as a strength.
It is imperative that we empower the groups who are continually oppressed in one or multiple ways and that we provide equal opportunity under the law. That means championing women's rights, and pushing for economic equality. It means ending violence and oppression and eliminating racial discrimination and systemic racism. It means we push for equality regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. It means we fight for the rights of the disabled, for veterans, and for the youth. And there are things we can enact right now to make all of this possible.
Standing Up For What's Right
We need leaders who actually lead in Congress, not get in line behind morally bereft leaders and enable systemic corruption. I am of the belief that when we know something is wrong, we have to take a stand to oppose it because it's the right thing to do. There are many things happening in Washington that just aren't right, and our current Utah Congressional delegation has lost their way. Utahns deserve leaders, not an ideologues. That's why I'm running. We cannot sit idly by while the corrupt and powerful have their way with the American people without consequences. I will fight to restore democracy back into our political institutions.
Envisioning a Better Society
I believe I offer the skills, knowledge, and wisdom to move our state to a place where everyone can share in its prosperity — not just the powerful few. I believe that all people, rich, poor, and everyone in between, when reminded of cooperation and our common humanity, want the best for each other. And although we may differ on some of the ways in which that might be accomplished, I strongly advocate for communication and listening, something many of our politicians fail to do over and over again. Above all, policy decisions must be rooted in empirical evidence and subject to critical analysis, so that all stakeholders are taken into account.
I have lived in Utah nearly my entire life. I know our values: We work hard. We want safe communities and to have enough to provide for our families. We want people to be treated fairly and justly. We want to be able to better our lives. Our hearts ache to see suffering. We have a spirit of service and giving that is unmatched. We want to help those in need and share when we are prospering. There are so many things we share in common!
These are the values I want to represent in the U.S. Congress with a vision of a society by the people and for the people. Together, we can move away from this current era marked by bigotry, vitriol, deceit, indecency, and greed. We can move towards a future of shared prosperity, justice, respect, greater equality, and cooperation.
Join me in the campaign for better leadership now and a better community for all.