Everywhere I go in our district, I hear from constituents who feel the system in Washington is broken and their government isn’t working for them. They don’t feel like their elected representatives are listening to their concerns or watching out for their best interests. It’s no wonder people feel apathetic toward our political system and discouraged from seeking change through participation in our democracy.
We need to return to our roots, to be a government of the people, by the people, for the people and not defined by the desires of big corporations or special interests. Constituents must feel like their voice matters and that their vote matters. They should be encouraged to speak out and engage through public events and town halls. At the same time, our elected officials should be grounded in a shared understanding that they are here to serve the people. Voters must know that their elected officials are focused on leading with integrity and engaging in honest, civil discourse about real issues. Representatives must commit to fighting for greater transparency and accountability in Washington. Most importantly, our representatives should only be beholden to their constituents, not big corporations or special interest groups.
Our elected officials are meant to be a check on power and should be willing to stand up to cronyism and corruption in Washington. We give our representatives immense power and responsibility when we send them to Washington and it is not something that should be taken lightly. I believe that it is the responsibility of both candidates and Members of Congress to hold themselves to the highest standards of ethical behavior and accountability, commit to strengthening our system with reforms that will restore trust, and give voters a stronger voice.
If I am elected, the voters can expect me to earn and maintain their trust by:
Holding regular, public town halls
I am committed to holding at least four public town halls each year that I am in Congress. Town halls are an important opportunity to hear directly from constituents so that as your representative, I will be accountable to you and can take your ideas and concerns with me to Washington. I want to be sure I have the opportunity to regularly listen and engage with people right here at home.
Continuing to post my public events
Just as I have done throughout our campaign, I will continue to release my public events to provide accountability and transparency. I will stay committed to showing up all over our district.
Creating issue-specific advisory boards
I will form advisory boards made up of residents from the 19th district and subject matter experts on important issues, such as healthcare, farming, and veterans issues. These groups will report on top priorities, collect input, and make recommendations before major votes.
Not accepting any corporate PAC Money
I have pledged to not accept any corporate PAC money. It is very important that we work to get corporate PAC money out of all levels of government to ensure that our elected officials are only beholden to the interests of the people they are elected to represent — not corporate special interests.
Supporting the overturn of Citizens United
Our democracy should not be for sale to the biggest donors. I strongly support a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and end unlimited, undisclosed spending in our elections. This only serves to rig the system against hard working Americans to benefit the wealthiest amongst us.
Increasing transparency in political spending
For too long, a small minority of the super-rich and powerful have sought to control our elections and buy influence — without disclosing their identities. I pledge to support bipartisan legislation like the Honest Ads Act–which will hold social media advertising to the same level of accountability and transparency as traditional ads. We must also pass the DISCLOSE Act, which would close loopholes and require that all organizations that spend in U.S. elections disclose their donors. When voters know who is paying for ads they will be empowered to make informed decisions and we will expose influence from shady actors.
Preventing foreign influence in government
We need to do more to dismantle foreign entities that are working to sway elections and public opinion. I support a full, undeterred investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to undermine our elections, as well as legislation that calls for the public disclosure of domestic and foreign spending in our campaigns.
Ending the cozy relationships between lobbyists and Congress
I will support comprehensive reforms to put my constituents’ interests before special interest groups. These include implementing a five-year ban on representatives and government officials becoming lobbyists and a six-year ban on lobbyists joining Congressional or committee staffs that they have previously lobbied. By making significant changes to the public lobbying disclosure website and imposing limits on the revolving door between lobbyists and government employees, we will have a government that works on behalf of the people instead of corporate dollars.