I am proud to stand with women today who are fighting for equality, including my wife and daughters. Pictured on the right is my wife, Dianna and I, at the Women’s March in January 2017. We also attended in 2018 with our daughters, what an amazing experience that was. I passionately support the rights of women now and this will continue vigorously when I serve in Congress.
Women’s rights are human rights. I believe when we account for the needs of marginalized individuals in our society, we are all better off. Everyone deserves a chance to enjoy the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In the case of women’s rights, this includes:
Raising the Minimum Wage and Pay Equity
While the difference in earnings for men and women has lessened over the years, the gap is still appallingly large. The gap between men and women of color is even more striking. This issue is one where we absolutely cannot afford to perpetuate the status quo. This inequality is a drain on our society that prevents everyone from reaching their full potential.
Raising the minimum wage is a great place to begin to remedy these inequalities. Almost two-thirds of minimum wage jobs in the US are occupied by women, and the minimum wage is not high enough to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Read more about my thoughts on raising the minimum wage on my page, Good Jobs.
It is also important to understand the role Social Security plays in the quality of life for women. To read more about my plan to keep Social Security fair, strong and fully funded go to my page on Social Security where I discuss my planned solutions in full.
Paid Family Leave and Vacation Time
The US is the only modern developed nation that does not guarantee paid family leave, and the only developed nation not to do so for both parents. This is not a reflection of how our families, the most essential unit of society, should be treated. Every parent, regardless of their situation, should be given the chance to be with their young children without the fear of losing their job or facing other financial setbacks. Every child deserves to have parents present when needed.
I support Representative DeLauro and Senator Gillibrand’s FAMILY Act, which would guarantee at least 12 weeks of paid leave for parents and medical leave for themselves or a family member. Not guaranteeing sick leave is a huge potential risk to our society, not to mention a horrible injustice to workers. I also support measures that Senator Sanders has proposed to give workers vacation time to rest, be with their families and take a break from the hectic work life. This is vital for improving our friends and neighbors productivity and happiness.
Reproductive Rights & Justice
Women should have access to healthcare that they need at an affordable cost. It is also vital to guarantee that those women have the power and resources to make the choices that are best for them. This means we must view reproductive rights as an intersectional issue, and work to address the root causes of the issues women face.
Along with fighting for Medicare for All, keeping services like Planned Parenthood open and supported is vital to maintaining women’s health. Planned Parenthood’s yearly report from 2015-16 shows just how many life saving services they do provide across our nation, often to some of our most vulnerable people. I believe abortion should be safe and legal. Effective, accessible and widespread family planning will benefit everyone and continue to reduce the number of abortions that occur.
Our nation has fallen behind on improving the treatment and ensuring the equal rights of the LGBTQ+ community. We have won great victories in the past few years, but much more is necessary to ensure true equality for all. I support the inclusion of the LGBTQ+ community in the military; anyone who is courageous and willing to serve has my respect.
I support equal rights on other issues such as healthcare, adoption, anti-bullying efforts in schools, and other appropriate areas. Sexual orientation and gender identity should not be an acceptable and legal basis upon which to discriminate against certain people or groups. Anything less than full equality fails to embody the best form of American diversity, individuality, and respect.
The sight of white supremacists and neo-Nazis marching in an American city, or anywhere for that matter, is not only highly distasteful but it is also a disgrace. Their hateful ideology, which seeks to discriminate against people based on their color, religion or ethnicity, is totally antithetical to American ideals and values. I was born when Jim Crow was still the law in the South, and Blacks and whites could not even drink from the same water fountain. I came of age in the 1960s and saw the Civil Rights struggles in Mississippi and Alabama on T.V and in the print media. I worked for over five years in Algeria, a country that is overwhelmingly Muslim.
One of my proudest moments as an American came on Tuesday, January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama was inaugurated as our first African-American president. Before 2007, if someone had told me that we would have an African-American president in my lifetime I would have told them that they were dreaming.
There is no doubt America has come a long way in my lifetime but neither is there any doubt that we, as patriotic Americans, must continually be on guard against people who would love to roll back our racial justice gains. We must stand united in rejecting bigotry and racism because if we do not, all of the gains we have achieved in my lifetime can be lost.
Latino Community & Immigration Reform
Supporting Oregon’s Latino community is key. For example, Central Oregon has great resources for immigrant communities and Latino families through the Latino Community Association.
I fully support DACA. The only important difference between DACA recipients and my children is that DACA individuals were born outside of the U.S.. Otherwise, they were all educated, raised and are working in the United States.. They also all think of themselves as Americans. As long as a DACA recipient has not committed a felony, I would give them not only a work permit but a two year path to citizenship. DACA recipients were brought to this country, as children, by their parents. The DACA recipients did nothing wrong and should not be penalized either for the actions of their parents or the place of their birth.
My focus with immigration reform is to not put a temporary Band-Aid on it but to permanently fix it. My proposed solution has three parts; all three parts are integral and necessary to the solution. The first part deals with undocumented workers who are presently in the U.S., while the second and third parts deal with the future.
For Jim’s full plan for immigration, click here.
CD2’s Indian Tribes
The 2nd Congressional District has four federally recognized tribes:
1. Burns Paiute Tribe
2. Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
3. Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs; and
4. Klamath Tribes
Indian Nations are governments recognized under treaties and the U.S. Constitution. Self determination is essential if tribal communities are to continue to build economic opportunities for their people. Indian Nations are important economic components of the rural areas of Oregon where they are located. In Congress, I will support tribal members and leaders in moving towards more self-determination.
In my campaign, I have made it a point to be involved with the tribes that reside in Oregon and will continue to do so in office. Because I have lived in Alaska and Oregon for many years, I have seen the positive influence of indigenous tribes on our country and communities. Each tribe in Oregon has a unique history and culture that deserves our respect. It is important for our government officials to have knowledge, understanding and reverence for the heritage and rights of the tribes.
Native Americans face severe poverty and lack of essential services in many areas of the nation, including Oregon. For example, the health services available to Native Americans are chronically underfunded. I will fight for their rights to health care just as I will fight for the access of all Americans to health care. I would work with these populations and be their ally to improve these conditions. A collaboration I support is that of the Indian Health Service with the Veterans Administration that would allow Native American veterans to receive adequate care in a reasonable period of time. It is important to support to all of those who have served our country courageously.
For more information about Veterans Issues, click here. Related issues are also covered in the environment page.