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Green New Deal

Protecting the environment to stop or slow climate change has to be talked about like the personal, local emergency it is for every citizen in San Francisco, the state, our country, and the world.

Agatha supports the Green New Deal and the transition to a net zero carbon economy. The Green New Deal puts people at the center of a plan for a transition to a sustainable world. It provides Americans with the training, education and job guarantees needed to ensure a just transition, especially for those communities that are least responsible for climate change but are most affected by it: working class, low-income, people of color, and indigenous peoples.

In October 2018, the alarming "Global Warming of 1.5°C" report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that net human-caused carbon dioxide emissions must decline by 45% by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 in order to prevent disastrous effects to our planet. The scientists called the task herculean, requiring unprecedented action. The message is clear; unless there is radical change in our approach to climate action, our lives will be irreversibly changed by climate chaos. It's not too late, but very soon it will be.

Our representatives are not ready to back a non-binding Green New Deal, at a time when our planet and our country is already facing higher levels of drought, floods, extreme heat, and wildfire disasters we see the effects of right here in San Francisco, as well as around the country. Meanwhile, our lawmakers continue to take special interest money from the fossil fuel industry, including $198,000 collectively pocketed by nine Democrats in 2018 and subsequently chosen by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis.

It's time to focus on changes in the way we do business and how we measure success in the economy. Our natural resources are not the concern of a single district, or state, or government agency, but a global intersectional concern. As one of the country's six biodiversity hotspots and a leader of the environmental justice movement, San Francisco must continue to show bold leadership. We need representatives to take a humans-first approach to the climate emergency.

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Single-payer healthcare

Healthcare is a human right that the American people deserve. Agatha will fight for Medicare-for-all, a single payer healthcare system for everyone.

Perhaps nowhere do we see the devastating effects of widening inequality than in the statistics about the American healthcare system, which has become the most expensive in the world even as the U.S. experiences the longest sustained decline in expected life span in a century. Medical bills are the single largest cause of consumer bankruptcy.

In 1994, San Francisco voted in favor of Prop 186, an initiative that would have created a California single-payer, universal health insurance. Today, 70% of Americans support Medicare-for-All, and yet, Representative Pelosi has still never signed on to such a plan.

The greatest beneficiaries of the Affordable Care Act have been insurance companies. The U.S. is one of the few developed nations without universal healthcare. A University of Washington study shows the U.S. ranking for healthcare has dropped from 6th in the world in 1990, to 27th today. The study concluded that investments in education and healthcare are tied to a country's economic performance, and improvements in these areas could lead to faster economic growth. Americans agree, but our representatives aren’t getting the message.

Voters have made their preferences clear. Now, it is time for our Congress to stop representing big money and corporate interests, and start representing the people. In California’s 12th District this starts with Medicare-for-all and lower pharmaceutical drug prices, ensuring all Americans of all backgrounds have the healthcare they deserve.

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Criminal justice

We have gone too far with the prison-industrial-complex which perpetuates racial and economic injustice. We need to make the system smaller, less punitive, and more oriented around metrics of successful rehabilitation.

The United States has the world’s highest incarceration rate and California has one of the country’s highest youth incarceration rates.

As your elected representative, Agatha will seek critical reforms to our criminal justice system so that efforts and resources are focused on reducing new criminal behavior, rather than expanding the current system of social control. Priorities include reforming our supervision system of probation and parole and bringing an end to the war on drugs, mandatory minimums, cash bail, and the death penalty.

One of the most dangerous and prevailing myths in our society is that of racial difference. It’s a narrative that has been adapted to justify first the colonization of Native land, then slavery and Jim Crow, and now, the school-to-prison pipeline, over-policing of black and brown communities, and mass incarceration. Statistics show us that while black Americans are only 13% of the American population and commit crimes at similar rates to other demographics, they comprise 40% of the incarcerated population. If we believe that equal justice under the law is the ultimate expression of democracy, then surely the weakest point of our democracy is our two-tiered justice system that treats people better if they are rich and guilty than poor and innocent.

Imprisonment distracts us from underlying social problems such as racism, poverty, unemployment, and lack of education. Let’s tackle the root causes behind our soaring rates of incarceration head on. Instead of spending $80 billion to incarcerate more than two million of our neighbors, let’s spend money on increasing graduation rates and restorative justice practices. Let’s invest in equal justice for all Americans.

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Education

As a product of the public school system, Agatha is a strong believer that education is the great equalizer and that educating all people no matter their race, zip code, or ability to pay, is a pillar of a strong democracy.

The fact that high schools have hardly changed in the past 100 years tells us our education system is long overdue for disruption. Agatha supports increasing the wages of school teachers, and investing in our public schools as well as canceling student debt, making tuition free for all public colleges and trade schools.

According to the OECD, the U.S. ranks 36th in math, 23rd in science, and 18th in reading compared to other countries worldwide. Most high schools don’t offer physics or calculus and have more sworn law enforcement officers than counselors or social workers. Our goal as a society must be to ensure American students are entering schools competitive on a global scale. This means providing free, universal Pre-K, continuing through high school with free school meals and better nutrition.

The U.S. may be the only country in the world where the topics of education and gun safety are linked, especially in the minds of students. Agatha believes the quickest route to keeping our schools safe is by passing common sense gun safety legislation that keeps guns out of the hands of unstable individuals, requires universal background checks, and bans assault weapons.

According to Redfin, 83% of California’s homes and 100% of San Francisco’s homes are unaffordable on a teacher’s salary. It is unacceptable that our public school teachers, one of the most important roles in our society, work full time jobs and are not able to afford housing. We must do more to recruit, prepare, and support world-class teachers by dramatically increasing teacher salaries and building top-tier teaching academies.

People must be able to attend public colleges and trade schools regardless of their economic background. It is absurd that in a country with one of the highest GDPs per capita, the soaring cost of higher education has resulted in $1.5 trillion in outstanding student debt held by 44 million Americans. The average millennial in California will take so long to pay off their student debt, they won’t be able to do so until their own children graduate from college.

In our increasingly borderless and digitally connected world, the global competition for talent will determine who leads what experts are calling the Fourth Industrial Revolution. America’s investment in education now will determine whether the coming decade marks the end of the American century, or a new era of global leadership.

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Immigrant justice

Agatha believes there is an urgent need for immigration reform that provides a clear path towards citizenship for all undocumented immigrants, reduces the green card backlog, and stops the inhumane practices of family separation and for-profit immigrant detention.

Immigration forms the backbone of the United States. About 283,000 immigrants live in San Francisco, accounting for 35% of the population. We must welcome refugees and immigrants of all kinds, while also addressing the root causes of migration from Central America through regional investments that tackle violence and economic instability. We must also reform our immigration courts to create a right to counsel and ensure we have enough immigration lawyers and judges to meet demand.

Immigrant detention is by far the most profitable sector of the private prison business. Each year more than 300,000 people are put into immigration detention centers, with three-fourths incarcerated by privately run for-profit companies such as CoreCivic and the GEO Group that earn millions in long-term ICE contracts.

As an immigrant herself, Agatha will fight for immediate immigration reform because it is time we treat immigrants with the dignity and praise they deserve.

Strengthening democracy

This campaign is about strengthening our democracy by getting big money out of politics, starting with grassroots fundraising and no donations from corporate PACs, and upgrading our political system to be more responsive to and representative of everyday Americans.

Getting money out of politics–particularly corporate money—is the first step to redesigning our democracy. In 2010, the Supreme Court, in Citizens United v. FEC, ruled that it was unconstitutional to ban corporations from making independent expenditures in federal elections. This enabled the wealthiest people and corporations in the United States to legally influence our political process to the exclusion of the desires of everyday voters. Today, public trust in government is at historic lows with only 17% that say "they can trust the government in Washington to do what is right".

Fully 70% of Americans support a policy of Medicare-for-all, yet our representative in San Francisco votes not with the voters, but instead with for-profit insurance companies and health professionals who donate to her campaign. What does that say about our representative democracy? Agatha will be the first candidate in Congress whose legislative agenda will reflect the people’s interest. We have the tools for the strongest democracy in the world, but the current system - gerrymandered, influenced by corporate money, not representative of the voice of the people, - keeps us from reaching that goal.

Our country was founded on the premise of upgrading from a monarchy rule by one person, to representative rule by congress who reflect the 1%—and money. We now have the tools and technology to upgrade our democracy to represent the 100%.

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Foreign policy

Agatha will work to stop U.S. involvement in the endless, expensive wars the executive branch has put us in, and take back the right of Congress to declare war. We must work with our allies to create global peace through diplomacy and development programs, rather than expand our ever growing defense budget.

Since 9/11, U.S. engagement in never-ending wars has directly and indirectly killed millions of people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. The United States dropped a record number of bombs in Afghanistan in 2018, yet the Taliban is retaking around half of the country. Meanwhile, the Islamic State is establishing a growing presence, creating instability and worsening prospects for economic development.

Our executive branch, across administrations, has acted unilaterally in sending our troops into battle without congressional approval, putting tremendous pressure on our American military families. Our current President has alienated our allies which we need in order to tackle global issues such as climate change, mass migration and emerging threats such as cyberwarfare.

The World Bank estimates that for each $1 invested in prevention, $16 are saved in crisis mitigation. Yet, we continue to increase our defense budget to over $700 billion while reducing funding for our diplomatic and development programs. While most Americans are in favor of defense spending cuts and increasing environmental protection funding, the opposite is happening.

Our President has pulled out of the Paris climate accords at a time when we need to curb carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. The Pentagon classifies the climate crisis as an urgent national security threat that will fuel more conflicts as resources become scarce and natural disasters become more extreme. Yet, the U.S. military is one of the biggest polluters and emits more CO2 than most countries.

We need foreign policy leadership that reflects our American values. Nancy Pelosi was on the House Intelligence committee in 2002 when she was briefed about the U.S. torture program and did not oppose it. She supports increasing the ever growing U.S. defense budget rather than support initiatives popular with voters like Medicare-for-All and the Green New Deal.

It’s time for new leadership to ensure a better future for all Americans. We must reconsider selling weapons and allying with countries who do not share our values on human rights and further destabilize the world to benefit the profit of the military industrial complex. Agatha supports building strong alliances with European and Asian allies to force China to abide by fair rules on intellectual property rights rather than imposing tariffs that increase prices for U.S. products. The trade war that our President has engaged in with China, for example, is hitting California’s economy the hardest out of any state.

More policies coming! Join the list to hear as soon as they’re available.