So, we've been trying to hold off posting about issues until we've done all the research... but Bre believes in the value of showing their process. As a result, these pages will be updated frequently as we are able to look at available data and talk at length about what practical solutions might look like. In the interest of transparency, we look forward to talking about what we know, the questions we'd ask to make better decisions, and what you can do to get involved.
The short versions are:
- We deserve a senator who will Combat Corruption in Congress. We can’t ask a fox to vote on locking up the henhouse and expect anything to change. We need to elect people who know about and have lived experience in more things than just running a campaign and fundraising. We need to get out of the trap of tactical framing and back to a Congress focused on finding good legislative solutions. We MUST work our way back from Citizens United if democracy stands a chance. Our legislators spend most of their time fundraising for their next campaign. We deserve better than elected officials who spend time getting their next job while taxpayers are paying for them to do the one we elected them for. We deserve transparency and accessibility from the people representing our interests in DC, and we can't get that so long as campaigns prioritize getting the most money over connecting with the most voters. Bre pledges to initiate campaign finance reform or be a one-term senator and WILL NOT PHONE BANK ON YOUR TIME. Bre also pledges to hold no fewer than 8 town hall meetings in Maine to make sure the people of Maine have a chance to be heard.
- We deserve Criminal Justice Reform. We are already paying a ridiculous amount of money for mass incarceration. We will get better return on investment from decriminalizing low level offenses and diverting funds (and people) to treatment for addiction and mental health issues, housing solutions, and job training.
- The CDC says roughly half of the states saw a statistically significant increase in drug overdose deaths between 2016 and 2017. Opioids were involved in 67.8% of all overdose deaths that year. In Maine, we lose more than one person every single day—which is a lot when you consider our population is only just over 1.3 million. Elizabeth Warren introduced the CARE act last week, which makes the short version of Solving the Opioid Crisis a lot shorter: we should do that, but also decriminalize most drug offenses, ensure patients who benefit from opioid pain management are able to make decisions around their care with a doctor (and not a legislator), and develop strategies to help people dealing with addiction and dual diagnoses divert from the revolving door of the criminal justice system and onto a path that leads to opportunity to recover.
- We deserve Access to Quality Healthcare; it is crucial to our ability to enjoy the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness America's founders designated as our inalienable rights. (After all: "life" is the first among these, and it's pretty hard to sustain life without healthcare.) We are long past-due for a universal healthcare solution. The costs of accessing healthcare--even with a Marketplace insurance plan--are prohibitive for many Americans and are the number one reason Americans file for personal bankruptcy. Being unable to follow up on issues uncovered in routine preventive visits due to cost is unacceptable in a developed nation--and winds up driving up healthcare costs. Medicare for All is a great idea AND progressives and conservatives MUST work together to address concerns about costs and quality of care to make sure American taxpayers are getting the best deal.
We deserve economically viable solutions to the Climate Change Crisis and this need presents an opportunity to develop new skilled living wage jobs to people in economically depressed regions. As such, Bre supports the Green New Deal and would work to develop legislation giving effect to the guiding principles it contains. This should not be a partisan issue, but we need to be mindful about making sure we leverage existing structures appropriately in order to get maximum buy-in for the solution. It's a little more challenging than setting a bar and demanding everyone leap to it, but legislators need to work with experts in the field to find solutions that are practicable--rather than ones corporations will be seeking a loophole out of.
- We deserve a senator who will Protect Our Constitutional Rights. Honestly, this shouldn't have to be explicitly stated, but we live in times where the Bill of Rights has become more of a guideline for legislators who are too busy fundraising to read what they're signing. (Remember Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA?) Bre works with the Constitution every day and will not support legislation that compromises the civil liberties that our country is built upon.
More detailed proposals, research, and questions we're asking to find better solutions will be added to individual pages in the coming weeks. Running a campaign on a shoestring budget means we're working to fund trips around the state to find out what voters care most about. If you want to help (and let us spend more time working on policy research and talking to voters), please contact us with questions or concerns you'd like us to be thinking about or contribute to the campaign to help us get folks out to hear what you have to say in person!