Addressing Our Community’s Needs
Our district is Latino, Asian-American, Black, white, socioeconomically diverse and differently abled. We are a patchwork, a model of what America should look like at its best–people from all walks of life living in harmony. Or at least, that’s what we should be. For too long, our community’s needs have been ignored by the representatives who are supposed to serve us.
- Address the pressing needs of each underrepresented community that makes up our larger one: Latino, AAPI, Black, Disabled, Indigenous and others.
- Work with experts and activists from each segment of the community, so we may evolve our platform in a way that is respectful and caring.
- Tackle problems that affect our religious communities, from Christian to Sikh to Muslim, Hindi to Jewish to Indigenous, and everywhere in between.
- Support our veterans with the same dedication they gave to support us.
CA-34 is an incredibly diverse district. According to the U.S. Census, 66% of our district identifies as Hispanic/Latinx, 20% as AAPI, 6% Black, and 33% as some other race. Approximately 10% of our residents are disabled. Each community has its own traditions, stresses, needs and priorities.
The Latino community has been hit especially hard by the spread of high end housing development1 2. Achieving financial security is a challenge for everyone, but the burden is higher among portions of the Latino community, especially for undocumented people and our community members in Westlake, Pico-Union, Lincoln Heights, Boyle Heights and East LA, and other neighborhoods of our district. They’re particularly at risk3 of seeing their hard-earned wages stolen from them by their employers, and often forced to work in horrible conditions and subjected to verbal, mental, and emotional abuse because they’re considered replaceable.
While Los Angeles has one of the largest Asian-American communities in America (including Chinatown, Little Tokyo, Historic Filipinotown, Little Bangladesh), and the single largest Korean-American community in Koreatown, we have yet to see an Asian-American represent our district. Currently, there is only one Korean-American in Congress at all.
We must ensure safety and justice for our Black and Brown brothers and sisters. Inequalities in policing, criminal justice, and the prison system have disproportionately targeted people of color for far too long4. They demand justice; even more, they deserve safety, security, and a fair and equal chance at life.
While religion is no excuse for bigotry, we can’t allow our government to encourage abuses against those who practice it. Islamophobia, Antisemitism, and intolerance of beliefs have no place in what is supposed to be the home to religious freedom. We cannot support a government that turns visitors away because they come from a religious country. We are better than that.
People with disabilities are one of the largest minority groups in the country, and the only group that anyone can join at any time. 1 in 4 adults in the United States have a disability5, and Black and Latinx children with developmental disabilities have the lowest rates of diagnosis and early intervention6. We must reform disability benefits and advance ADA protections so people with disabilities are not merely accommodated, but are visible and valued participants throughout society.
Finally, when it comes to those who devote their lives to safeguarding ours, we owe more than the bare minimum. While the armed services provide necessary paths to education and employment, there is so much more we can do when a veteran finishes their duty. 20 U.S. veterans take their own lives each day7, and over 37,000 were homeless as of January 20198. We owe them dedication and care equal to their own.
By better serving our diverse communities, together, we can create a district that better serves everyone.
How We Plan to Do It
- Provide economic, healthcare, and housing stability via our Floor to Stand On platform.
- End the asset limit on SSI benefits, which hasn’t been updated since 1980 and discourages saving, keeping SSI recipients trapped in poverty.
- End the dehumanizing marriage disincentive for SSI benefits.
- Guarantee access to updated technology for people with disabilities via Medicaid or Medicare, allowing them to equitably participate in our society.
- Protect our communities from the adverse impacts of climate change.
End Bigotry and Ensure Proper Representation:
- Advocate for reparations for Black Americans.
- Increase funding for the Community Reinvestment Grant Program, which provides job training, funds, and services to communities affected by the War on Drugs.
- End the gerrymandering of Congressional districts, which often dilutes the votes of racial minority groups.
- Expand Affirmative Action initiatives in education and hiring.
- Increase funding for census and voting translators, as well as public information to alleviate concerns about the consequences of both.
- Prioritize language justice. Language should never be a barrier to connection, communication, or representation.
- Pass House Resolution 152, which would finally call for a formal end to the Korean War.
- Pass S. 1919 (YIMBY Act), which removes exclusionary zoning policies.
- Establish occupancy percentage minimums for low income residents in new development projects.
- Pass a national bill of tenant rights to protect renters from eviction without due process.
- Provide Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) that combines affordable housing assistance with free onsite wraparound services for unhoused people.
- Cosponsor the Homes for All Act to guarantee housing for all people.
Promote Fair Labor:
- Create protections against workplace exploitation, which disproportionately impacts underrepresented populations, especially Latinx, AAPI, BlPOC, and Disabled communities.
- End the subminimum wage, which allows employers to pay people with disabilities far below the federal minimum wage9.
- Pass federal legislation establishing prosecutorial discretion in immigation proceedings to prevent disruptive and wasteful immigration-related prosecution.
- Create a U.S. Fast Track to Citizenship program that extends protection to qualifiying Notice to Appear respondents, asylum seekers and undocumented people.
- See our full plan for Setting a Moral Example in Immigration.
Protect Small Businesses:
- Provide access to a Universal Basic Income that will stimulate the economy and encourage spending. (See “A Floor to Stand on”)
- Reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses and provide federal support for navigating regulatory processes.
- Dramatically increase funding for community development financial institutions (CDFIs), which are in the best position to quickly get funds to local small businesses, especially in underserved areas.
- Reboot support for state small business credit initiatives, community banks, and credit unions.
- Encourage and incentivize schools to integrate diverse, inclusive materials into curricula.
- Provide screenings for developmental delays in young children with an opt-out approach, so poverty or lack of prior knowledge do not lead to a lack of diagnosis.
- Ensure that special education does not fall prey to budget cuts.
- Increase school quality across the country via our Twenty-First Century Education platform.
Support our Veterans:
- Provide social housing units with wraparound support services, as part of “A Floor to Stand On.”
- Furnish the VA with an improved data collection program, to put them on par with modern healthcare practices.
- Establish a U.S. Department of Peace, helping to reduce the incidence of conflict-based service, and affirm and protect our service peoples’ health and wellbeing.