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The State of the Union we deserve

Rather than dignify Trump's parade of boasts, lies, and puffery with my presence, I instead am focusing on what the next State of the Union will be like if we all do our part.

The next State of the Union should focus not just on the existential threat to our way of life and to the planet, but on what will be done to protect the planet and our families:

A bold call as we rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement to put teeth in our policies.

We will stop unjustified, wasteful, and destructive subsidization of the fossil fuel industry from our public lands.

Instead, the federal government will lead by example by protecting those special places, embarking on an aggressive program of regenerative agriculture which can actually take carbon out of the atmosphere.

We will reinstate important policies ensuring our communities have access to healthy food and providing it to all our children at little to no cost, so they are healthy and ready to learn.

The principles of the Green New Deal will be employed concurrently along with the implementation of the Democratic plan to rebuild and renew America in a way that's sustainable, low carbon, and promotes resilience in our communities.

In doing so, we will not only make our families safer and stronger, we will also create hundreds of thousands of family-wage jobs.

The new president will not only protect Social Security but will also expand it and eliminate the cap on contributions.

We will no longer lock kids in cages and, instead, will eliminate the cruelty of ICE and pass comprehensive immigration reform that respects the humanity and dignity of all.

Our country will at last stand up to the NRA and pass public safety measures to protect our communities from gun violence.

The time of enabling and sending dog whistles to white nationalists will be over. Our next president will lead by moral example and return and expand our human decency.

Instead of cutting funds to help solve our housing crisis, the next POTUS will announce the federal government is getting back in the game and will partner with local communities with housing-first policies.

They will announce an aggressive program to eliminate unnecessary loopholes that contribute to income inequality and exploding deficits while ensuring the richest Americans and special interests pay their fair share.

The new president will unequivocally defend reproductive rights and everyone's right to control their own body.

We will roll back the largest tax giveaway in history to wealthy individuals and corporations to restore tax fairness and equity.

The next administration will announce an end to the war against the Affordable Care Act and instead build and strengthen it, moving rapidly to expand health care to all! Americans will no longer be forced to pay twice as much for mediocre health care. It starts by making sure prescription drug price reform employs simple principles of competition, lowering skyrocketing costs.

The next president will reaffirm the commitment to civil rights for all and fight for everyone to be able to vote and have that vote protected from interference, either domestic or foreign.

We will decriminalize cannabis, increase research that will save lives, and support communities that have been ravaged by this failed war on drugs.

Finally, the new president will declare that America is going to resume its rightful role as a global leader, not attacking our allies in trade or foreign policy, but instead working with them against countries that are challenging us, like China.

We will reaffirm that diplomacy is the first line of defense to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and to promote peace in the Middle East, not creating impossible situations, which make us all less safe and true progress toward peace more tenuous.

Next year, we will not have a tiresome litany of divisive issues that create new problems and make existing challenges worse, but instead focus on areas of agreement, progress that will bring us together instead of dividing us.

There is a long, important list of programs that will unite our citizens, save money, and improve the economy and the environment.

It will be a time of celebration not just of a new administration but of a new beginning that reaffirms and builds on American values, what worked in the past, and what Americans want.

This next SOTU will only happen if we all do our part this year to make it possible.

...That is my pledge and I hope it is yours.



Posted on February 4, 2020.