All citizens of all colors, backgrounds, religions, genders, etc. should have equal opportunities. No one should be given advantages based solely on the color of their skin; hard work, perseverance, integrity and character should be respected in all. You cannot cure discrimination by discrimination, per Chief Justice John Roberts. That is what the U.S. Constitution says, and all forms of discrimination should be unlawful and the Equal Opportunity Commission should be given more authority to pursue those who discriminate in any respect. I will seek to amplify the EEOC’s authority to seek equal treatment for all regardless of race, religion, gender, etc.
The First Step Act was a great step forward. It was spearheaded by Republicans and had bi partisan support and was signed into law by President Trump. It provided for the release of prisoners who had received long sentences for what are misdemeanors today in some cases, and for being imprisoned in part due to their race. Unfortunately, in California it was followed up by “no bail” laws and laxed sentencing for hard core violent criminals now allowed out the street after beating people half to death, robbing and other serious crimes. This has made our cities and even our smaller neighborhoods unsafe. We need to review the results of the First Step law, and others, and keep the good parts and pull back on the parts that result in putting violent criminals back on the street. I am prepared to make that review and offer amendments that fix the loopholes and mistakes.
Crime has skyrocketed, particularly in California, New York City, Detroit, Chicago and other areas. It is now hitting the suburbs with murders, robberies at gunpoint, beatings in places like sleepy Marin County. Without a feeling of safety in our communities we might as well live in warring countries. I propose the use of federal funds to install license recognition cameras in vulnerable communities (to be used ONLY for criminal activity) and to increase the flow of federal dollars to crime prevention and to attempt to remove the no bail situations that are allowing criminals to circulate in and out of prison like staying at a hotel.
I believe all parents should have a choice of where to send their children to school, and that choices/options should be encouraged, not refused. During the pandemic it was the private schools and charter schools and religious schools that stayed open. Today there are many regrets about shuttering public schools and the terrible toll that has taken on young students, with suicides and mental illnesses increasing dramatically. I will advocate for action by the U.S. Department of Education to support School Choice and for improvement of public schools and the teaching of STEM classes – and not studies on how to become activists. Also, I will advocate against CRT or critical race theory being taught in schools. It is so wrong to teach students to hate each other by telling white kids they are “oppressors” and minorities they are “the oppressed.” If I had been told I was “oppressed” when I was a young boy I doubt I would have had the ambition, dreams and drive to become a doctor and a neurosurgeon, which took many years of schooling and belief in myself - - as a minority. CRT is the last thing this country needs; it is the opposite of “unity.” I will work against Department of Education programs and trainings that seek to divide our young students by race.
While we have citizens, including lower middle income U.S. citizens who cannot afford healthcare, can we continue to give free healthcare to all who are here illegally – and coming every day? The federal government which controls immigration, should control immigration. I have seen personally where a patient here illegally is given free healthcare and expensive surgery (the third of three brothers who flew to the U.S. with a congenital heart condition for years that just became a problem when he arrived in the U.S.), while a carpenter with a large mortgage and young family was denied it and his entire family had to pony up funds for a surgery before the doctor was allowed to operate – and then he lost his house because of the bills. I support healthcare for all who need it, and religious and non profit clinics, but, unless immigration is controlled, or more money comes from the sky, one country cannot handle the millions coming across the border last year and this year, and be able to take care of our legal citizens. The buck ends somewhere. Additionally, doctors are leaving the practice in droves, they cannot handle seeing 20 patients a day, each for 15 minutes and no more. Right now there are not enough doctors in the U.S. to deal with the needs.
Immigrants should come to the U.S. like I did, the legal way. There is no excuse for letting people jump to the head of the line because they ran across the border illegally. It is not fair to all those law abiding persons who are waiting in line. The federal government is now awash in money from recent Trillion dollar legislation. There should be an immediate appointment of 300 Immigration Judges to hear immigration cases at the border so that valid refugees escaping death threats can be heard, and others who are coming across for other personal or economic reasons are returned. The border should remain under title 42, i.e., limited admission during covid. If covid shots are required of all first responders and while many covid protocols are in effect in the U.S., Title 42 should at the very least apply to non citizens running across the border, or walking in and surrendering to border agents and just being allowed to transfer to the interior with no realistic tracking. While we have thousands of tents on highways and tens of thousands of homeless U.S. citizens we should not allow anyone into the U.S. unless there is great and life threatening need, unless they are in line to get in.
We should follow the Habitat for Humanity approach: those who work to build a house get to live there at a lesser, affordable cost. There is a community of smaller homes in Santa Rosa like this, and Habitat for Humanity is helping prospective residents build 80 units in Novato. This should be our model instead of just giving away stuff. Working for what you get gives citizens pride and respect, not just handouts.
I want to see the mentally ill housed in large group facilities, shelters, where they can be observed and treated. I have seen and treated mentally ill patients during my entire career in medicine and it is tragic to watch the mentally ill suffer and be unable to make the right choices and to take care of basic needs. The law must change to allow for confinement in some reasonable, decent way (not the old insane asylums of 50 years ago), because allowing such ill people to exist on the street under the present conditions is far more cruel than compassionate confinement.
Work needs to be done to preserve the planet, but it can’t be done in a day (it didn’t take a day to get here) and it can’t be done so quickly that it kills off U.S. citizens who cannot afford to heat their homes or drive their cars due to the increase in gas and oil prices. Those most adversely affected are the poor and that includes too many minorities. We must continue to use oil and gas, and natural gas while we are converting to more climate friendly fuels, and to do so in the safest way possible. I support balance - - and agreements to move as fast as possible to climate friendly options and to keep the economy running and people being fed and housed during the in-between process. Very few poor and lower middle class people can afford an electric car. I do not believe that attacking and taxing further the gas and oil companies will help the situation, I think that will make them less willing to provide needed supplies. Another factor: Immigration and climate control. More and more people added to the population equals more and more degradation of the environment, no matter who those people are.