At the core of our American democracy is the idea that we are all equal citizens, that we each have the same power to influence decisions, that we all have a right to vote. We cannot consider our nation a truly democratic one if some among us are categorically denied that right on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion. I believe that the Voting Rights Act should be restored, so that states are no longer allowed to ignore its requirements and that citizens everywhere are allowed to cast their ballots.

The battle over civil rights is not one of the past but of the present. We must be vigilant in ensuring that the gains of the ‘60s and ‘70s are not lost, and that we continue to push for more equality and more justice in our institutions. I believe that the Equal Rights Amendment should be passed, so that gender equality is truly made the law of the land, and that Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act should be expanded to include the LGBTQ community. Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation should be no more permissible than discrimination on the basis of race or gender. I will also support funding for vocational programs for people with disabilities, to ensure that all people are given the opportunity to live full, happy lives.

The rhetoric and the actions of our current President have often made certain racial and ethnic minorities the target of discrimination. Unfortunately, too many in Congress have stayed silent, allowing such hate to go unchecked and unchallenged. If elected, I will stand firmly on the conviction that all people, of all places and backgrounds, of all identities, are equally human and equally deserving of compassion and justice.