HEALTHCARE FOR ALL
With over 45,000 Californians lost to COVID-19 in under a year, defeating the devastating pandemic clearly must be Congress’s number one priority. First and foremost, the federal government must speed up the delivery of the vaccine in a fair manner, first to those most vulnerable.
Once we defeat the virus, we need to address our broken healthcare system. The COVID-19 pandemic has made clear the inequities in our system and exposed what has been clear to many of us: healthcare should be a human right. But due to the endless profiteering in our system, healthcare is more expensive in America than anywhere else in the world.
That’s why Eric is a passionate supporter of Healthcare for All and will fight for its implementation in Congress to ensure that everyone can affordably access the care they need. Just like almost every democracies throughout the world, America must ensure cost is never a barrier for someone getting the treatment they need.
Additionally, Eric is committed to lowering skyrocketing prescription drug prices and boosting funding for mental health services as well as incentivizing medical healthcare providers to work in underserved and rural communities by an increased student loan forgiveness program.
The economic ramifications of the pandemic have also put a spotlight on the devastating inequities in our economy.
At a time when millions of working and middle-class families throughout the country are struggling to put food on the table and falling further behind on paying their bills, millionaires and billionaires have been getting richer and richer, aided by tax cuts and gigantic loans from the federal government.
This cannot continue. That’s why Eric is committed to building an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.
That starts with providing aid to the working families and small businesses that have been devastated over the course of the past year and are in dire need of help. In Congress, Eric will be committed to rebuilding and promoting small and new businesses, including tax credits for small businesses so they can pay fair wages and build for the future.
Additionally, we must pass a comprehensive infrastructure package that provides desperately-needed funding to transportation, water, and energy projects in underserved communities like the 22nd District. To fund these programs, and restore equity in our tax system, we must also repeal the Trump tax hike on working and middle-class families, and raise taxes on the highest earners.
As someone who spent most of his childhood on a farm where he lived off of well water, Eric has a deep understanding of the unique water challenges facing communities in the Central Valley. The lack of access to clean, drinkable water has been a problem for families in the 22nd District for far too long.
For over 11 years, 22nd District residents have had toxic tap water that if consumed can cause cancer and other deadly health issues. These families that are forced to live with a toxic water supply usually live in marginalized communities where they have been utterly abandoned.
Despite amendments to the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, millions of Californians still do not currently have clean drinking water. It is far past time that the federal government takes responsibility and ensures clean, drinkable water for every American by providing much-needed funding to communities like those in the 22nd District that cannot afford the equipment necessary to clean the toxic groundwater.
ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE
According to data from NASA, the years 2016 and 2020 are tied for the hottest year on record. 2020's hurricanes and tropical storms caused $37 billion in damages and in 2020, over 58,250 wildfires burned 10.3 million acres, the most acreage impacted in a year.
The evidence is clear. There is no denying that climate change is real, and the consequences of our climate crisis are deadly and costly. We see it up close in the Central Valley, where the dry landscape is causing tremendous problems for farmers.
We need to take immediate action to slow down climate change by switching to renewable energy and leaving dirty, costly fossil fuels in the past. Solar panels, wind turbines, tidal power, and more green energy can help meet our electric needs without the harmful effects of pollution. This switch to green energy would have a tremendous impact on the air quality in the 22nd District and the rest of California’s Central Valley, which has some of the worst air quality in the country.
That’s why I support the Green New Deal, because we need a green energy revolution that both restores our environment and provides quality middle-class jobs.
For many people, having a quality education is the key to breaking a generational cycle of poverty. That’s why Eric is committed to ensuring our education system from K-12 to colleges and universities is affordable, accessible, and high quality for all students.
This includes making community college tuition-free nation-wide, canceling student loan debt, and working toward tuition-free public colleges and universities across America. The cost must no longer be a barrier to entry for so many low-income students throughout America.
Additionally, inequities in our K-12 schools remain rampant, particularly in rural communities like the 22nd District. As the product of public K-12 schooling, Eric will fight tirelessly to defend and uplift our public schools, which are still recovering from the last recession and decades of cuts, even before the pandemic.
Eric is committed to better connecting a quality education to real jobs for those who don’t get a college degree, which is why he’ll work to provide more funding for trades and apprenticeship training programs.
Finally, Eric is a believer in early childhood education programs and believes that we should fully fund Pre-school and early start programs to help give everyone an equal start in the education system.
As the great-grandson of Mexican immigrants, Eric understands intimately that everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed, regardless of their citizenship status.
California is a state that’s run by immigrants, where our unparalleled diversity has always enriched us and made our state the 5th largest economy in the world.
Under the Trump Administration, immigrants all over the country were under constant threat of deportation and other abuse. And while the Biden Administration is a breath of fresh air for immigrants all throughout the country, America’s immigration system has long been deeply flawed and in need of reform.
That’s why in Congress, Eric will fight for a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants living in the United States without legal status, protect DREAMers, keep families together, and streamline the visa and green card process to eliminate unfair discrepancies.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
As the nationwide protests last summer put in full view, our nation is in dire need of comprehensive criminal justice and policing reform.
In Congress, Eric will fight to end mass incarceration and policing abuses by continuing to make our criminal justice system fairer and more just. This includes banning private prisons and detention centers nationwide, working to roll back mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, and ensuring accountability for police violence.
GETTING BIG MONEY OUT OF POLITICS
It’s critical that we defend our democracy against the corruption and big-money special interests that have flooded our nation’s Capitol.
If Americans want a federal government that represents the will of the people and not the priorities of special interests, we have to change the way we finance our campaigns. That’s why Eric refuses to ever accept a dime from federal corporate PACs or lobbyists and will fight to end Citizens United.