For too long, the American dream has been out of reach for too many in our district. This has meant limited access to good-paying jobs, affordable housing, education and health care. I was only able to overcome the challenges I faced as refugee from Cambodia because of the generosity of this country and especially this community. Now, I want to give back. I will fight for the people of this district, just as I have advocated in my career and as a community activist. I intend to fight so that all families of the 3rd district to ensure that we all share in the same American Dream. Below are the key issues facing our country as I see them and what I will champion in Congress:
Access to a high-quality public education gave me the opportunity to go to college, embark on a successful career and become a leader in my community. Every child, no matter who they are, how much their families earn, or where they live, should have access to a high-quality education, from preschool through high school and beyond. That is the promise of America.
Too many Americans are being crushed by student debt today, and that’s why I’m committed to making debt-free college a reality for all Americans. As a trustee of Middlesex Community College, I saw firsthand what a profound impact an affordable college education made in the lives of low income students, who otherwise simply would not have been able to afford to attend.
Healthcare is a right, not a privilege, for all human beings. We need to ensure universal healthcare for all Americans, beginning by protecting, fixing, and strengthening Obamacare. Over the last year, destroying Obamacare has been a political game for the Trump administration. But people’s health is not a game — people’s lives are at stake. Families that face major illnesses being forced to choose between paying the mortgage or paying for life-saving treatment is immoral and unacceptable.
I’ve been privileged to serve on the board of Lowell General Hospital and am proud of the work we do to bring high quality care to this community. In Congress, I’ll fight the Trump administration and Republican members of Congress who want to take away the healthcare of low-income Americans, and are making healthcare harder to keep for all Americans.
I’m incredibly blessed to be an immigrant to this country, and to have been given the support to succeed and live the American dream. America gave my family opportunity when we needed help. America no longer being that place of hope and leadership around the world makes me sad and it makes me angry. Refugees coming to America are fleeing violence, disasters and economic hardship — I know, because my family and I lived it in fleeing Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge regime. The United States can be safe and strong while still helping those who need the most help.
Congress needs to pass a legislative solution to protect our Dreamers now — and not as a bargaining chip to build a wall or pass a budget that will hurt American families. I know how hard it is to grow up in this country as an immigrant — I can’t imagine how hard it would be to do it while living in the shadows in fear.
This is one of the reasons why I’m running — to give American immigrants a voice in Congress.
Beyond our borders, the world is experiencing a major refugee crisis with millions displaced due to war in the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe. We need to address this crisis so that every country assumes its responsibility to meet this humanitarian challenge.
We must confront the epidemic of drug and alcohol addiction, particularly the opioid crisis, by vastly expanding access to prevention and treatment, supporting recovery, helping community organizations, and promoting better practices by prescribers.
I am committed to assisting the estimated 20 million people struggling with addiction in this country to find and sustain healthy lives by encouraging full recovery and integration into society and working to remove common barriers to gainful employment, housing, and education. I will fight to expand access to care for addiction services, and ensure that insurance coverage is equal to that for any other health conditions.
Drug and alcohol addiction are mental health issues, and need to be treated that way. Right now too many people with addiction are languishing in our criminal system rather than getting the help they need. In Congress, I’ll oppose the Trump administration’s push to increase penalties for drug-related crimes, and push instead to get people the treatment they desperately need.
I was disgusted by how Senate Republicans forced through a terrible tax that gives billions back to corporations and the rich while hurting working families. It adds more than a trillion dollars in debt, hurts Obamacare and families that rely on it, and makes higher education even more unaffordable.
The recent tax cuts benefit corporations and the wealthy more than middle class families. Lowering the corporate tax rate will create more profit, but we haven’t seen corporations share those profits with their employees. It’s middle class families who are insecure about their future and their health care. I want a tax code that puts them first.
Now more than ever, we need people in Congress who can truly represent middle class and low income families — not special interests.
Sexual harassment and assault are unacceptable. For too long women and men have suffered in silence, and it’s important for all of us that they feel safer coming forward. We need to believe women who tell us these terrible stories. Anyone using their position of power to abuse someone shouldn’t be allowed to continue in their jobs.
Women with unintended pregnancies need to have legal access to abortions. Government doesn’t have a role in that health care decision.
“Women’s issues” often boil down to women’s economic security. Women need to be able to safely do their jobs without harassment; they need to be able to plan their families around their careers and education, their health and what’s best for their families; and they need equal pay to support their families. Women’s economic security not only makes their lives better but makes all of our communities stronger. I’ve been proud to work on these issues through my roles at Girls Inc and Women Working Wonders, and will continue to be an advocate for women in Congress.
The United States should be a leader in finding a global solution to the climate crisis. Our generation must lead the fight against climate change and we must rejoin the historic Paris climate change agreement. Not only will we meet the goals we set in Paris, we will seek to exceed them and push other countries to do the same by slashing carbon pollution and rapidly driving down emissions of potent greenhouse gases.
There are simply too many guns in this country. With 33,000 Americans dying every year, we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence.
This includes expanding and strengthening background checks and closing dangerous loopholes in our current laws; and banning assault weapons and other weapons of war. We need to do all we can to ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, abusers, violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues. There is insufficient research on effective gun prevention policies, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must have the resources it needs to study gun violence as a public health issue — something the Trump administration, at the urging of the NRA, opposes.
The United States must regain the standing we have lost as a global leader, to promote the values of freedom and tolerance around the world. I will work to promote peace, protect democracy, and champion human rights defenders in all countries.
One situation that is near and dear to my heart is the political crisis in Cambodia. I am troubled by the undermining of democracy in Cambodia and will fight for free and fair elections.