What I Believe
Public education is the bedrock of our society. Every student, regardless of socioeconomic status, race, gender, ability, or any other factor deserves only the highest quality education. Our public education system—like any other public institution—is not without its flaws. But it is still our best hope for preparing children to become self-realized, confident, contributing members of society.
- Fund schools and individual students based on need, not just pupil count
- Abolish the referendum system that helps quality schools get even better and makes struggling schools struggle more
- Establish universal public pre-K
- Consolidate some of our school districts as appropriate and effective
- Help young people afford it when they want to pursue a college education or a trade
- End the school-to-prison pipeline
Criminal Justice Reform
Like the American criminal justice system, Delaware’s system is broken and requires immediate and serious reform. With only 5% of the world’s population, America houses 25% of the world’s prisoners. America’s recidivism rate is a staggering 77%. Delaware’s mass incarceration and recidivism rates are among the highest in the nation—and hence, the world—creating an unnecessary social and financial burden upon Delawareans. Importantly, the many flaws in our criminal justice system disproportionately affect people of color and poor people.
- Rely on restorative justice practices that acknowledge and support crime victims—and not expensive, ineffective punishment-based practices
- Fund and focus on proven educational and reformative programs for inmates, to reduce recidivism and help inmates transition successfully post-release
- Abolish the cash bail system, mandatory minimum sentencing, solitary confinement, and incarcerating individuals simply because they cannot afford to pay a fine or fee
- Establish a parole system and a compassionate release program
- Keep the unjust, ineffective, and expensive death penalty out of Delaware
- Treat individuals with substance abuse issues for their addiction, not as criminals
- Adequately staff and pay correctional officers, and ensure safe working conditions for them and safe conditions for inmates
- Enact police reform that will make both community members and law enforcement officers safer, and increase police transparency
Over half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford a $1,000 emergency. The two richest American men own as much wealth as the bottom half of Americans—over 160 million people. The net worth of the average Black family is one-tenth that of the average white family. America’s wealth and income inequality has never been higher.
Such inequality is not just morally repugnant. It is also socially and economically unsustainable. Hardworking Delawareans deserve a fair shot and meaningful opportunities. We deserve to feel real hope for our futures—especially our young people who increasingly see a very bleak future for themselves.
- Institute an annual minimum wage increase tied to the cost of living
- Mandate paid sick time and safety leave for all workers
- Create additional personal income tax (PIT) brackets beyond the current top tax bracket of $60K per year
- Halt corporate handouts and focus on helping small business owners
- Establish programs to help homeless individuals and families transition permanently out of homelessness, and stop the criminalization of poverty
- Reinstate the estate tax for the wealthiest of Delawareans
- Increase transparency and regulations for LLCs registered in Delaware
Employment & Jobs
Delawareans are working longer hours, earning less, and seeing their benefits slashed, while struggling to save for their future and their children’s higher education. Meanwhile, corporations are raking in record profits, and CEOs and other executives are pulling in record compensation—hundreds and even thousands of times what their lowest-paid workers make. Almost one-third of Americans have less than $5,000 saved for retirement, while over one-fifth of Americans have nothing saved.
- Support organized labor and unions
- Fight all “right to work” legislation
- Invest in green energy and rebuilding our infrastructure to create quality, new, long-term jobs
- Help Delawareans who want to pursue higher education or entry into the trades
- To keep talent in Delaware and fill the staggering number of open state positions, pay state workers better wages—including teachers and other education professionals
Electoral & Campaign Finance Reform
Elections and voting are the cornerstone of our democracy. Yet, our political system has become flooded with big money, unchecked power, and muddied transparency, causing Delawareans to lose faith in the entire process. But history has shown us that when people band together and demand better lives and better government, nothing is impossible.
- Institute same-day voter registration and permanent no-excuse mail-in voting
- Require employers to give employees who need it paid time off to vote
- Require that all candidates for public office undergo a background check to confirm that they have not committed or plead guilty to any crimes that bar them from holding said office per the state constitution
- Enact various pieces of campaign finance reform proven to be beneficial for democracy—including the review of elected officials’ and candidates’ submitted campaign finance reports to ensure that no violations of campaign finance law have taken place
- Establish ranked choice voting
- Remove unreasonable barriers for third parties to the ballot, debates, and other forums
Everyday hardworking Delawareans with insurance through their employers see endless increases in premiums, deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses, and co-pays. Many Delawareans with employers not offering health insurance simply cannot afford to purchase insurance through the ACA exchange, or the coverage they can afford is nothing but catastrophic coverage.
Like our criminal justice system, our healthcare system is broken. In America, of all modern nations, we pay by far the most money for healthcare for some of the worst health outcomes. America is the only modern nation now witnessing diminishing life expectancies. Healthcare is a human right—not a privilege. At the federal level, we need Medicare for All. At the state level, there is much we can do.
- Establish a statewide single-payer healthcare system or a public option like Medicaid Buy-In
- Maintain and expand programs serving our most vulnerable Delawareans like seniors, children, and veterans
- Treat mental health and substance abuse issues like the healthcare issues they are
- Continue to set price limits on life-saving prescriptions and medical equipment
- Address healthcare outcome disparities amongst patients of color
- Pass the “End of Life Options” Act to offer Delawareans a choice in their final days
The Opioid Crisis
The opioid crisis forms at the intersection of many other issues—for-profit healthcare run amuck, elected officials in the pockets of pharmaceutical companies, massive corporate greed, a culture of shaming individuals with addiction and mental health issues, health insurance companies’ refusal to cover sufficient treatment facility stays and pain management alternatives, inadequate numbers of treatment facilities, poverty, and lack of education about opioid addiction.
- Hold opioid manufactures responsible for the crisis they have knowingly created
- Expand the number of facilities and beds for opioid and heroin addiction treatment
- Mandate that all insurance companies extend addiction treatment stays to at least 45 days, and cover non-opioid alternatives to pain management including massage, chiropractic care, and acupuncture
- Expand funding, distribution, and training for Narcan and Buprenorphine
- Engage the community in this important fight
Myths abound regarding legal cannabis. States with legal cannabis have seen little to no increase in usage. Studies prove that cannabis is not a “gateway drug.” In fact, states with legal cannabis have decreased their numbers of opioid- and heroin-related overdoses and deaths. A majority of Delawareans (across political parties) support legal cannabis.
Studies show that legal cannabis does not lead to more impaired drivers, or increased crime or violence. Also, people of color and poor people disproportionately suffer serious, long-term cannabis-related legal and social consequences. Finally, fees and taxes from legal cannabis would give Delaware a significant, steady stream of revenue.
- Legalize and regulate the sale of cannabis
- Expunge individuals’ records of all cannabis-related charges, including currently incarcerated individuals
- Until cannabis is legalized, address the issues that medical cannabis patients often encounter in obtaining the product they need
Climate Change and the Environment
Delaware is especially at risk regarding climate change. We are the lowest-lying state in the nation, making us uniquely susceptible to rising sea levels. We have some of the most beautiful beaches on the East Coast, and they are increasingly in danger. We have a cherished diversity of native plants and wildlife we must protect. We have decreasing air and water quality—especially in communities of color and poor communities.
Nations around the world are proving that you can institute bold change while growing the economy and jobs. Let us do the same, and let the First State lead by example. The various costs of failing to act decisively and immediately are incalculable—socially, financially, and health-wise.
- Declare a climate emergency
- Mandate that Delaware rely 100% on renewable energy, and be self-sustaining energy-wise, on a reasonable but aggressive timeline
- Add to the state constitution a Green Amendment establishing a clean and safe environment as the right of all Delawareans
- Invest in electric vehicle infrastructure and improved and expanded public transportation
- Increase significantly the amount of protected open space in Delaware
- Repeal the gutting of the Coastal Zone Act (CZA)
- Stop endless development and ensure that all development is smart development
- Hold polluting entities accountable for the historic and ongoing damage they are causing to our state and communities
- Fully staff our Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Controls so they can help combat the climate crisis and protect our communities
Throughout Delaware and American history, women (and men) have fought tenaciously and tirelessly for the rights women have today. First, we must ensure that those rights are never impeded upon, eroded, or taken away. Second, we must strive towards the still-unrealized goal of true and full equality for all women, especially women of color.
- Oppose all efforts to limit or eliminate a woman’s right to choose
- Since abortion is healthcare, implement a state program funding abortions for women who are eligible for Medicaid
- Work towards legally codifying full pay equity for Delaware women
- Do everything we can to help women suffering in domestic abuse situations
Civil Rights & Other Issues
State government has a duty to protect all Delawareans—especially our most vulnerable individuals like minorities, seniors, children, veterans, the less affluent, individuals with disabilities, and undocumented immigrants. All of us have role to play in making Delaware the best it can be.
- Protect and expand existing programs serving our most vulnerable
- Modernize and strengthen our hate crimes code
- Ensure full equality for all members of the LGBTQ+ community
- Repeal the reduction of Senior School Property Tax Credit and make it means tested (income based)
- Fully fund the McNesby Act
- Establish Delaware as a “sanctuary state”