Jack Love For Congress

Equality and Civil Rights: Seeking Equal Justice for All

We must affirm and defend the equality, rights, and value of all citizens.

In order for all to enjoy their full civil rights, we must stand together to defend our most vulnerable populations. One of my highest priorities is to halt the continued unfair and unequal treatment of our fellow citizens. Unquestionably, every single American should have the same opportunities to succeed in society and live a healthy, happy life. Sadly, we are still very far from that goal, especially with Donald Trump supporting the GOP’s war against the underserved and underrepresented.

Women, minorities, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities experience consistent systemic discrimination that makes their lives harder. Unequal pay, unfair hiring practices, housing discrimination, and unjust treatment within the judicial system are some of the many issues that need to be confronted and reformed. Americans must do better and be more vocal to address the daily injustices that we and our friends, family, and neighbors go through on a daily basis. We need to make clear in every area, from housing to education to environmental and civil rights legislation, that all people are to be equally treated and represented.

I am committed to fighting discrimination based on income-level, race, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity in all areas. I will support legislation to identify and remove blockades to equality and justice.


Protecting Women’s Rights

It is unimaginable that in the 21st century, women are still fighting for equality in the workplace. Paid less than men for equal work, women are still being treated like second-class citizens. The gender pay gap, job discrimination, pregnancy discrimination, and unlivable wages are issues that need to be examined and eliminated. We need to strengthen and support households with children by instituting a paid family leave program for all working parents, including those who adopt.

Through the passage of dangerous laws and the defunding of health clinics all over the country, the GOP is stripping away a woman’s right to make the most personal of health decisions with her doctor. This is hitting our poor communities the hardest and it’s wrong. We must strengthen women’s reproductive rights, not weaken them. I will fight tooth and nail to make sure every woman has access to affordable birth control, safe and legal abortion, and reproductive health services. I roundly oppose any attempts to restrict reproductive rights.

Our laws must help put an end to a culture that tolerates violence against women. I am committed to strengthening legislation to support victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and sexual harassment.

We need to toughen our laws that protect and support women in the workplace, protect wages, choice, and healthcare, and allocate tax dollars for programs that support mothers and children.

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • achieve the goal of pay equity AND strive to close the gender pay gap;

  • pass the Paycheck Fairness Act;

  • uphold women’s reproductive rights and access to health services;

  • expand WIC for pregnant mothers and infants;

  • increase paid family leave and subsidized childcare;

  • support victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and sexual harassment;

  • waste no time in passing an Equal Rights Amendment.

 

Combating Institutional Racism and Reforming the Criminal Justice System

“Tough on crime” laws and for-profit-prisons are resulting in the incarceration of an unprecedented number of non-violent offenders. The United States has the sad distinction of housing the world’s largest prison population. More than 2 million Americans are incarcerated for non-violent offenses. Women being incarcerated are the fastest growing population in the US and a staggering 60% of them haven't been convicted of a crime. Half a million people are in jail that haven't been convicted of a crime because they cannot afford bail. Essentially, this amounts to selling off freedom and justice to the prison industrial complex. The incentives are all wrong. Consequently, people are suffering human rights violations without proper government oversight to the benefit of for-profit corporations. Justice should not be for sale. It is time to put an end to the for-profit prison system.

Despite being only a quarter of the total US population, African Americans and Latinos make up a disproportionate half of the prison population. The “War on Drugs” was an abysmal failure at stopping crime and is merely the latest example of the use of unjust laws to put people of color behind bars. We must keep our neighborhoods safe by using more intelligent, effective, and fairer criminal justice policies that also ensure people of color are treated equally under the law. Additionally, we should prepare prisoners for their release giving them the tools to succeed and abide by the law within our communities.

We need major changes in the criminal justice system to ensure that everyone enjoys equal protection under the law.

In Congress, I will work to:

  • ban for-profit prisons, period;

  • abandon the failed “War on Drugs” and decriminalize marijuana;

  • invest in drug courts and medical and mental health treatment for people with substance abuse problems and in meaningful education and skills training for the incarcerated;

  • reform mandatory minimums and give judges more sentencing discretion and prioritize treatment and rehabilitation for low-level, non-violent offenders;

  • make body cameras mandatory and require data collection and reporting of police shootings and deaths while in custody;

  • encourage community policing and provide training to police officers in de-escalation and use of force alternatives, to end racial profiling, and to recognize and approach mental illness in a more humane way;

  • restore voting rights for those who have served their time.

 

Addressing Racial Inequality at Its Systemic Roots

The black unemployment rate has remained roughly twice as high as the white rate over the last 40 years. Our school system is failing our children of color. Black students are three times more likely to be suspended or expelled than white students; they also attend schools where fewer than 60 percent of teachers meet all state certification and licensure requirements.

While graduation rates are improving for these students, test results show there’s a big gap between graduation rates and college readiness. We need to provide our black and Latino high school graduates with better preparedness for college. Once these students get to college, they must have the tools and support to achieve success in their fields of study.

Black and indigenous children are more likely to live in areas with dangerous environmental problems, and they are given fewer resources to recover from disasters, as we saw tragically with Hurricane Katrina. At the same time, people of color lack access to parks, gardens, and other recreational green space. Latinos and African-Americans are more likely to work in hazardous jobs and to be injured on the job, but fear of deportation or being fired prevents them from speaking out. Low-income Latino immigrants are more likely to live in areas with high levels of hazardous air pollution than anyone else. These injustices and many others are largely due to lack of money, political power, and racism.  

We need sweeping environmental, educational, and social reform to address these injustices and broaden opportunity so that all of our children have a fair shot in life.

In Congress, I will strive to:

  • deepen awareness of systemic racism;

  • enhance funding for schools with the neediest kids;

  • incentivize and recruit skilled teachers to work in our underserved communities;

  • prepare students to be college ready and have a path to success after graduation;

  • offer tuition-free free college to level the playing field and lift communities out of poverty;

  • find solutions to the environmental hazards found disproportionately in communities of color;

  • allocate resources to green, recreational spaces in disadvantaged communities;

  • bolster investments in job programs for communities of color with high unemployment.

 

Defending LGBTQ Rights

LGBTQ Americans still experience regular discrimination and violence and are less likely to have recourse because of a lack of federal laws to protect them. We need a federal law protecting access to employment, housing, and public accommodation for LGBTQ people. Transgender people face particularly harsh treatment, with higher murder, poverty, and unemployment rates due to hate and ignorance. The LGBTQ community faces an uphill battle for fair and appropriate medical treatment from their providers, and many LGBTQ folk cannot get treatment at all.

We must work to better promote full rights for the LGBTQ community--to ensure (in the words of the ACLU) that "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association."

We need to protect the rights, healthcare, and safety of LGBTQ folks, and to prevent discrimination of all forms.

In Congress, I will advocate to:

  • work with HHS to ensure LGBTQ Americans have access to comprehensive health insurance which provides appropriate coverage;

  • advance policies to ensure students can be safe and supported in school, to reduce depression and suicide among our LGBTQ youth;

  • ban so-called conversion therapies and instead require training for school administrators, teachers, and law enforcement;
  • train police to treat LGBTQ Americans and especially the trans community more humanely;

  • fight against discrimination against LGBTQ people by creditors and banks so LGBTQ people have the same access to loans, mortgages, and credit;

  • strongly oppose any legislation that allows discrimination under the guise of religious liberty.