Civil and Human Rights
All Americans – regardless of race, religion, disability, gender, or sexual orientation – are guaranteed equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I am deeply committed to protecting equal rights and ensuring that all Americans can pursue their dream. Racism, discrimination, bigotry, hate speech, and hate crimes have no place in our country. We must continue to strengthen anti-discrimination laws and level the playing field for everyone.
Structural racism is built into our society in countless ways. It will take an organized, sustained effort to address systemic and structural racism, but we must. Until we do, our country cannot fully succeed.
Some policies I am focused on in the 116th Congress include:
- Supporting meaningful criminal justice reform, including: an overhaul of mandatory minimums, commuting sentences related to failed drug policies, and changing the cash bail and punitive court fees that punish poverty more than actual crimes,
- Supporting efforts to close gaps in health care, especially as a member of the Black Maternal Health Caucus,
- Targeting federal dollars at the highest-need communities and supporting minority-owned business.
Voting is the cornerstone of any democracy, but efforts in the U.S. to disenfranchise minority voters have a long history and continue to this day. We should be encouraging every citizen to vote and making it easier for them to do so.
- I’m an original cosponsor of the Voting Rights Advancement Act which would strengthen and restore the protections of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that were weakened through the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Shelby County v. Holder.
- I’m a cosponsor of the For The People Act, which would require automatic voter registration, online voter registration, and same-day voter registration; expand early voting; simplify absentee voting; prohibit voter purges that kick eligible voters off the rolls; restore voting rights to people with prior felony convictions; end partisan gerrymandering, and prohibit anyone from providing false information about the elections process that thwarts or discourages voting.
Even after marriage equality was recognized in 2015, LGBTQ+ Americans continue to experience pervasive discrimination and violence.
In the 116th Congress, some of the ways I am supporting LGBTQ+ Americans include:
- Supporting legislation, including the Equality Act, to prohibit discrimination in employment, education, credit, federal funding, housing, and public accommodations,
- Opposing the Trump Administration’s decision to ban transgender Americans from serving in our nation’s military,
- Banning the use of Medicaid funding for discredited, harmful conversion therapy tactics.
Women are marching forward to show that their rights cannot be ignored, pushed aside, or debated without their input. I am proud to support legislation that – more than just protecting their equal rights – empowers them to break glass ceilings.
In the 116th Congress, I am supporting women across the country by:
- Demanding equal pay for equal work and supporting legislation that would require employers to prove that any pay disparities in their workplaces exist for job-related reasons alone,
- Advocating for Title X and protecting women’s reproductive health rights, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment,
- Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and enhancing support for victims of domestic violence, tools for law enforcement, and resources for campus health centers to better identify partner violence and sexual assault,
- Supporting legislation to reopen the ratification process for the Equal Rights Amendment.