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Issue Statements

As a human rights attorney and diplomat, I have built a lifelong career in public service by driving consensus to achieve reform. As a prosecutor, I have enforced rules and regulations against individuals, governments and corporations and successfully obtained convictions ranging from bank fraud to genocide. On many issues that we face today I can directly cite to a case I prosecuted or policies I helped to develop. I promise to use my skills and dedication in representing California’s 33rd Congressional District in US Congress.

 

Education

From enrollment in pre-K to college and graduate school loan debt, students are getting lost at every stage of our education system. We need to ensure early equal access to education with such continued support throughout to ensure equal opportunities are available post graduation. This is the only way that we can consciously continue to encourage our sons and daughters to pursue higher education. We need to quite literally invest in their future and abate the student loan debt, which is increasingly a deterrent to academic pursuits.

 

Women’s Issues

We need to promote leadership in women from an early age and encourage it in workplace environments where women are seeking equal pay for equal work. I am a champion of women’s rights. As a woman and a prosecutor, I am always able to see the angle by which I am able to defend and give a voice to women. In every position I have held, I have advocated for women’s rights and worked to provide equal opportunities for women. In Florida and New Mexico, I worked to create a task force and other programs to survey, educate, and legislate the issues of violence against women. In Baghdad, I facilitated gender mainstreaming into the transitional justice process by bringing women forward from our program to ensure representation in national leadership, provisional councils, and civil society organizations. In Rwanda, I developed a process with experts on sexual violence in order to charge the perpetrators of the genocide with the rape as a component of genocide through command responsibility.

 

Environment

Humans and industry unavoidably contribute to climate change, which results in both natural and man-made disasters. We need to listen to research and science to create evidentiary-based laws that charge known polluters with clean up costs. Comparatively taxing and fining corporations that impose on the environment can help to fund federal disaster relief funds, whether that disaster is man-made or natural, an oil spill or a hurricane. Environmental disasters create climate refugees and this type of emergency mass migration has socio-economic and political consequences. Examples include Syria and New Orleans. 

Working Wage

I fully support raising the federal working wage to $15.00 per hour.  While I was the Chief Prosecutor for the United Nations in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, I battled the infamously bureaucratic UN system on behalf of “comp time” and other benefits for my staff.  When I owned and managed my resort in Zanzibar I set the standards of pay and treatment of staff substantially above the local norm. I have worked as a waitress, a maid, and a day laborer. I have also been a working mom – paying more in childcare than I was bringing home in my paycheck.  I know how hard it is to make ends meet. When I am elected I will fight hard for fair and just wages and working conditions.

Where I stand on other issues….

  • Foreign Policy: Our foreign policy has been corrupted by our wars of choice - Afghanistan and Iraq - we have spent three trillion dollars for a failed policy which has created more terrorism, less security and has taken money away from issues here at home. Recent estimates taking into account future medical expenses of our veterans put the figure up to 4-6 trillion dollars.Our foreign policy needs to be reworked by someone like myself, who has vast experience in dealing with foreign policy domestically and abroad.
  • NSA: In response to the War on Terror Our the government has supported a continued erosion of our civil liberties by the NSA through mass surveillance is outrageous and must be stopped.
  • Campaign Finance: We must get the undo influence of money out of Congress. I support public financing of political campaigns, spending limits and free access to public airways. I have called for spending limits in this campaign and would continue to do so if elected. Lobbyists and corporate money effectively own members of congress and that is what is girding any forward process to a halt.
  • Corporations and Tax: I would put an end to corporate personhood and work to close tax loopholes to assure that both corporations and individualsare paying their fair share of taxes. I also support the Robin Hood Tax on all Wall Street transactions.
  • Gun Control: I stand with Richard Martinez and all of the grieving parents who have lost children due to the sadly common mass shootings in communities all over the country. Not one more. We need more gun control, at the very least we need to change a system that produces the same results time and again.