My answers to the 2018 candidate questionnaire offered by the League of Women Voters of Arizona.
What, if any, specific steps will you take to address inequalities facing women in our state?
My mother helped to establish the first chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW) in our New Jersey community, some 50 years ago.
I grew up with two sisters, one older and one younger. I will do everything I can to support and amplify the message and work of the #MeToo movement. Moreover, I will work to educate both men and women in the Legislature and throughout Arizona that sexual harassment is unacceptable and ignoring the sexual harassment of a co-worker is also intolerable. I will support stakeholders working to mark and celebrate the centennial of women's suffrage in 2020.
What should our state do over the long term to ensure health care access for all?
We should build into our State insurance code the most popular provisions of the Affordable Care Act, like affordable coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. The State should consider running a risk adjustment program to incentivize greater participation by health insurers. Moreover, I will advocate for increasing price transparency to consumers, choice of medical providers, and portability of employer healthcare plans. Finally, I will advocate for policies that incentivize insurers to compete on value and efficiency, not by attracting healthier enrollees.
In building a vibrant economy in our state, would you emphasize reforming tax policies, addressing income inequality, or something else?
As online sales, better gas mileage, and other structural changes to our economy reduce revenues to the General Fund, it is time to review our state tax structure. The review should not only put the State's responsibilities to fund education, healthcare, and public safety on a long-term stable financial footing, but it should improve the tax code for everyone: individuals, families, and businesses. I'm advocating for comprehensive tax reform that broadens our tax base, removes special interest distortions, and makes our state tax structure less regressive. It is possible to reduce or eliminate taxes on both goods and services considered a necessity, like water, food, clothing, medicine, electricity, and, in today's world, communications.
What steps, if any, should be taken to curb gun violence in our state?
I support smarter, more effective gun regulations that protect everyone while protecting the rights embodied in the Second Amendment.
I would like to see gun owners held liable if their weapons are used to harm others. Storing weapons securely is part of responsible gun ownership – the Texas Santa Fe High School shooting may have been stopped.
In particular, I would pursue enacting all of the ideas outlined in the Governor's Safe Schools Arizona plan: Severe Threat Order of Protection (STOP), increased funding for mental and behavioral health resources at schools, increase funding for making schools less vulnerable and SROs.
What kinds of policies, if any, will you pursue to promote social and racial justice in our state?
I would like to see legislation that makes it illegal to fire someone from a job, deny them housing or refuse them service because they are LGBT. I commend Representative Hernandez and Senator Brophy McGee for introducing HB 2586.
I will advocate for our county and city public defenders in the budgeting process, ensuring that whatever resources these entities are entitled to are given. Providing justice to the financially least among us protects everyone.