Heidi’s Platform

Heidi is running in the Democratic primary for US Representative of Texas District 25. Her support comes from the grassroots, not big donors, so when she is elected she will answer to people and stand up to big business.
In America we work hard, and we can provide the good life for everyone. But billionaires control our system and put their friends like Roger Williams in charge. The laws their politicians pass make them richer and leave us paying more for the things we need to survive. It’s time for the working class to work together and create a system that is fair to everyone and not just good for the rich. When we control the results of our labor, there will be plenty for everyone to live a decent life.

Medicare for All

Healthcare is a human right and right now too many people go without it. Texans feel deeply the failure of our current healthcare system: we lead the country in people without health insurance, and have seen the most rural hospital closings of any state in the last 10 years. District 25 saw the 2014 closure of a rural hospital in Whitney, thirty-five miles north of Waco. Working-class Texans are putting off necessary surgeries and doctor visits because we simply can’t afford them. Others are forced to use sites like GoFundMe to raise money for expensive hospital visits or life-saving medications like insulin. Meanwhile, health insurance companies and private hospitals are making record profits.

Heidi Sloan has fought for health justice: with the Austin Democratic Socialists of America, she fought for the right of workers in Austin to have paid sick days, and urged Congressman Doggett of TX-10 to become a cosigner of the Medicare for All Act of 2019.

Pass the Medicare for All Act of 2019
The Medicare for All Act of 2019 is the only healthcare policy that puts patients at the center, not company profits. It expands our current Medicare system – a hugely popular program – to everyone, and broadens its benefits, recognizing that healthcare is more than just a yearly physical or an emergency visit to the doctor: it’s vision care, mental health services, long-term care, and dental services.

By stabilizing the way that hospitals would receive payment for services, it would ensure that rural Americans aren’t threatened by more closures, and it would make doctors and nurses happier too: allowing them to spend more time caring for their patients, and less time in front of a computer screen as they fill out complicated claims for different insurance companies. Medicare for All would give people the freedom to see the doctor that they want without worrying about in-network or out-of-network, and the freedom to search for a new job without the fear of losing their family’s access to healthcare.

We know that our current health system doesn’t work, and yet we’re paying more per person than any other developed nation. A universal system – like almost every other developed country has – will bring down costs and ensure that everyone has the mental and physical healthcare that they need.

Affirm the rights of the disabled
Our healthcare system has frequently forgotten or marginalized people with disabilities, placing them in institutions or nursing homes, and forcing them to contend with impossible restrictions that stop them from getting the healthcare they deserve.

I support the Medicare for All of 2019 bill and the Disability Integration Act of 2019 for their commitment to funding community-based care solutions and ensuring affordable, accessible, and integrated housing for people with disabilities who might otherwise be placed in institutions.

I believe in a society that does not judge the value of a person based on how much profit they can produce for the rich, but values their existence as human beings and ensures that everyone’s needs are met.

The right to abortion
Abortion care is essential to a person’s health and ensuring equal rights for people of all genders, and barriers to reproductive services disproportionately harm low-income folks, jeopardizing their health and well-being. I support repealing the Hyde Amendment and ensuring all people receive the care they need.
Health is more than healthcare
I believe that healthcare goes beyond regular visits to the doctor. Our health is affected by the communities we live in, our access to safe housing, the availability of healthy food, and the transportation to reach these services. I believe that we must ensure that everyone is cared for and able to live their lives with dignity, and we accomplish this by putting people’s needs above corporate profits.

Housing for All

Decent housing is a basic human need, but we have let greed and profit deprive thousands of Texans of safe, stable, affordable homes. Long-time residents are pushed out of their neighborhoods by explosive rents and gentrification. We see working class families, communities of color, artists, musicians, students, and retirees displaced for luxury condos and corporate chains.

The market builds houses for investors, not homes for people. Wall Street sees our homes not as places for humans to live but as assets they can use to make profits. Every year, housing in central Texas gets more expensive, more people have to move further away from where they work, and more people end up homeless.

Housing is a human right. We will fight against predatory foreclosures and evictions to keep people in their homes. We will use public money to build beautiful, eco-friendly housing available to everyone.

Build millions of affordable homes
As part of the Green New Deal we will fund and build millions of beautiful, eco-friendly homes. These will be available to everyone, and will lower rents and property taxes for everyone by providing a public option.

Central Texas has a rich history of public housing. From the Rosewood Courts, Santa Rita Courts and Chalmers Courts built in the 30s in Austin, to LBJ’s Housing and Urban Development Act of 1965, Central Texas has been at the forefront of the fight for housing as a human right. The right wing has fought to eliminate public housing, but we are fighting back. In 2018, I helped rally for Austin to pass the largest affordable housing bond is Texas history.

We will continue this fight until housing is a human right for all Texans.

An end to homelessness
It is a moral failure that people have to sleep outdoors in the richest nation in human history. We must abolish homelessness by increasing federal funding for homeless shelters and services with a path to permanent housing. A broad consensus of the folks who work the hardest on solving homelessness supports a Housing First approach, which places folks experiencing homelessness in supportive housing first, and then connects them with services to help with employment, mental and physical health, addiction, and other issues. I support Housing First as a model, but we know that homelessness is a direct consequence of wages staying low while housing, healthcare, and other costs are skyrocketing. 
Strengthen tenants' rights
I will establish a national Tenants’ Bill of Rights. It will ensure that we cannot be evicted without just cause. It will guarantee that we cannot be discriminated against based on our sexuality, source of income, or marital status. We will be guaranteed the right to counsel to argue our case against eviction, and we will be guaranteed the right to withhold our rent if our living conditions are not up to the standard of our lease.
Keeping Wall Street out of your home

The 2008 financial crisis was caused by criminals who used predatory lending to make money off of hard-working people who lost their homes as a result. These criminals especially targeted Black communities. I will use my power to go after predatory lenders, and give people facing foreclosure more options to work out their loan situation. Wall Street makes money by foreclosing our homes, and we will fight to stop them.

A Green New Deal

Climate change is real and it is destroying our planet. Scientists say we have 10 to 12 years to transform our society before we face disaster. We see this as an opportunity. In the 1940s Americans transformed our economy to produce the materials we needed to win World War II. If we approach climate change in the same way we can transform our society, prevent the worst of climate change and create a society that works for people and not for profit.

Telling the truth
I endorsee the AOC-Markey Green New Deal Resolution and the Sanders-AOC Climate Emergency Resolution. These mark a new movement to respond to climate emergency with transformative action.

Roger Williams, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, has blocked every attempt to address climate change while he’s been in office. The oil and gas industry is so sure that their profits are safe with him in office that they have given him nearly one million dollars in campaign contributions since he first ran in 2012. We must stand up to those making a fortune by betting on our future and take action on climate change now to ensure that our planet is healthy and habitable for our children and grandchildren.

Jobs for all
The Green New Deal will generate millions of good union jobs by updating our buildings to be much more energy efficient and transforming our energy system to be clean and sustainable. We will be able to guarantee a job for everyone willing and able to do the work. There’s going to be plenty of work to do and no one who needs a job will have to go unemployed.
Invest in public transit and public homes
We will improve and develop mass transit and high-speed passenger rail across the state to reduce carbon emissions from vehicles and free people from traffic. We can then use public money to build millions of new, energy-efficient homes on those transit lines. Sitting in I-35 traffic for hours is bad for the environment and bad for our lives. A better way is possible.
An end to fossil fuels
I will fight to phase out the fossil fuel industry in the U.S. and replace it with a publicly-owned renewable energy system. This means banning fracking and oil and gas production on federal lands, banning U.S. export of coal, gas and crude oil, ending U.S. fossil fuel subsidies and transferring them to renewable energy infrastructure. I will enact a moratorium on fossil fuel infrastructure and production, halting projects such as the Permian Highway Pipeline through the Texas Hill Country.
A just transition for workers
Many Texans make their living in the fossil fuel industry and we cannot and will not leave them behind. First, we must make sure that unions from these industries are involved in any legislation around the Green New Deal. It will be impossible to win a better future without their support. We will invest in training and eco-friendly construction projects with union jobs for those affected by the end of fossil fuels.

Childcare and abortion

Raising children should not be a for-profit industry. That’s why our platform focuses on healthcare, abortion, childcare, and education – so that families can have the resources we need to raise happy, healthy families, when and how and if they choose, regardless of how much money we make. We believe the decision of whether and when to start a family is deeply personal. If the answer is no, we support people in that choice, and if the answer is yes, we support them too.

Public childcare
Today childcare is too expensive for families. Parents often can’t find childcare that is convenient, high-quality and flexible. There are weak regulations and standards, and the workers who care for our children are underpaid and exploited. It’s time we provide public childcare just like we provide public school. It will be free for all Americans and we will hire skilled, union workers. Because our children deserve to be nurtured in a safe environment.
No compromise on abortion
There is a war in America against our right to control our own bodies and we will do what it takes to win our freedom. I will only support judges who are pro-choice, support pro-choice jurisprudence, and have a history of supporting abortion access & gender equality.
Medicare for All and the Hyde Amendment
No program can be called universal health care if it does not cover all crucial medical procedures, including abortion. When we repeal the Hyde Amendment, which bans using federal money to pay for abortion, and pass Medicare for All, which will use federal money to pay for health care, all reproductive healthcare will be available without cost, including birth control, abortion, and prenatal care.
Paid family leave
Parents deserve paid time off to care for children. Time off must be provided to all parents, both those recovering from childbirth and those who are not, because welcoming new adopted children and supporting partners recovering from childbirth are both crucially important jobs. I fought for Paid Sick Days here in Austin and we won. Now it’s time to fight for paid parental leave for all Americans.
Reproductive justice
We will make sure people in the military & their partners, people incarcerated in prisons and immigrant detention centers, and people living on reservations have access to birth control, abortion, and quality prenatal care. I support national healthcare funding for unbiased studies on reproductive healthcare; especially to close the care gap between white & Black maternal care. We will remove the sales tax from period products, and distribute period products and contraceptives in schools. I support stronger employment protections for pregnant & breastfeeding people, and the removal of state-level abortion restrictions such as the waiting period, the requirement that medically inaccurate information be shared with patients, and fetal remains laws that strip agency from people seeking healthcare. I support grants to fund a nationwide comprehensive sex education program.
Support for new families
Raising children is difficult enough without the financial burden. I support People’s Policy Project’s Family Fun Pack, which includes free childcare and paid parental leave, and also includes free school lunch and a box sent to families with newborn children that includes essential items.

Helping workers fight back

While billionaires get richer, the hardest working people in Texas see their pay not keep up with the costs of living. The system will be rigged for the rich until workers and unions fight back and take control. We know one congressperson can’t fix the system, but we will empower working people across Texas and across America to fight back and take what we deserve.

Raise the wage
$7.25 an hour is not enough to get by, and every year workers fall further behind. I support a $20 minimum wage by 2025 so all workers can have a decent standard of living. The next minimum wage law must guarantee minimum-wage workers a raise every year, tied to inflation, the rate of productivity growth, or the raise Congress votes for itself — whichever is higher.
A right to a good job
Everyone who is willing and able to work has the right to a decent job. I support a federal jobs guarantee as part of the Green New Deal with a wage of at least $20 per hour, a pension, health insurance, and the right to form a union. We should cut out profiteering, poverty-wage contractors and hire workers directly at a living wage. We must also increase our monetary support for those unable to work due to disability.
A right to paid time off
We were not given this one life on Earth to make profits for the rich. Everyone deserves paid time off when they are ill, to care for family, and for leisure. We must pass legislation guaranteeing at least one year of paid parental leave for both parents, three weeks of paid sick time, and five weeks of paid vacation per year for all workers, funded by a tax on corporate profits.
A right to organize
The war on workers is a war on unions. I support Sen. Bernie Sanders’s Workplace Democracy Act, which will make it much easier to form a union and require companies to negotiate a fair first contract. Beyond the WDA, we must fully repeal the Taft-Hartley Act, an oppressive law that greatly diminishes workers’ civil rights and First Amendment rights on the job. We must guarantee all workers the same right to form a union, including domestic, “gig,” and agricultural workers.  
National Solidarity Fund

Bosses have too much power, and workers have almost none. Workers’ biggest source of power is to withdraw their labor together — to go on strike. But on top of all the laws stacked against them, for workers going on strike also means the risk of going broke.

That’s why we must create a National Solidarity Fund to pay weekly stipends to workers who are on strike or locked out. Together, we will tip the scale back in favor of workers, instead of the rich and powerful. A National Solidarity Fund would mean workers will no longer risk losing their homes or becoming unable to feed their children when they fight against bosses who create intolerable conditions at work. The fund will come from a one-cent-per-worker-hour payroll tax on employers and be administered by a board of elected union leaders.

Remove the Social Security wage cap and lower the retirement age
Currently, the rich pay Social Security tax on only a fraction of their income, while working-class people pay it on their entire income. We must remove the artificial cap on the Social Security tax and apply it to all forms of income. Make the rich pay their fair share and ensure Social Security benefits remain strong for generations of seniors. Lower the age for full benefits to 62 so that workers can enjoy a longer retirement.
Support federal workers through greater job protections
I will work to establish a no-questions-asked hardship leave policy that would allow for federal employees to take paid leave in the event of future shutdowns. Federal employees are workers, not slaves—no more forcing them to work for free or under untenable conditions because of reckless politicians! 

I will vote to reform the Federal Service Labor-Management Relations Statute (FSLMRS) to mandate the executive branch fully staff all regulatory agencies, especially the FLRA (Federal Labor Relations Authority) and the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board). We must also amend the FSLMRS to allow for national grievances to be contested in federal district courts rather than through the arbitration process.

A system of justice

Too many of us feel scared and not safe when a police car passes. Over the past 30 years America has arrested more people and put more people in jail, even as crime rates have dropped. These arrests target people of color, specifically our black neighbors. Justice isn’t about punishment, it’s about safety and healing. It’s time we had a justice system that understands that.

It’s not a crime to be poor

No one should be jailed for being poor. No one should be forced to “pay” their fines by spending time in jail. For many of us, waiting in jail for our trial to start can mean we lose our jobs, our homes and our children all while we haven’t even been convicted of a crime. Cash bail should be abolished.

End the War on Drugs

We will legalize marijuana and make sure the people who went to jail for it are freed, have their records scrubbed, and are provided good jobs. Communities suffering from opioid addiction need support, not police to come in and arrest people. Non-violent drug offenders need rehab, not jail.

Drug addiction is a public health issue. The people who can solve the opioid crisis are social workers, clinicians, doctors and recovery specialists. We will invest in programs that truly address the problem, beginning with access to naloxone, clean needle exchange programs, and not-for-profit recovery programs.

Abolish the death penalty

Capital punishment propels a system of violence. We will abolish the federal death penalty and support organizers across the country in their state-wide abolition work. We will end solitary confinement, which is inhumane and something no human should ever have to suffer.

Demilitarize the police

The police should not be at war with the people. We will end the Department of Defense 1033 program, which allows police departments free access to military grade weapons and technology. Weapons previously received from the department of defense will be returned there.

We will end Department of Homeland Security grants to local police to purchase military weaponry, which acts as billions of dollars of direct subsidy to police and defense contractors. We can spend that money on mental health care, rehabilitation, safe housing and other projects that make our communities safer.

 

Remove the profit motive

Corporations should not profit from our pain. For-profit prisons give prisoners the worst care possible in order to maximize their profits and cut corners, and are not accountable to voters. No one should make money from imprisoning people and that includes pay phone operators, food suppliers, halfway houses and other companies that profit from the prison system. Just outside of our district, the T Don Hutto RC is a for-profit detention center where guards have sexually abused female asylum seekers. For-profit prisons focus on making money, not healing, and we will get rid of them.

Fund public defenders

Justice means we are all equal under the law. But some of us can afford expensive lawyers, while most of us have to settle for public defenders, who usually are underpaid and forced to work too many cases. We all deserve a lawyer who can stand up for us, and even though public defenders work hard, most have too many cases. In office, I will use every tool in my toolbox to fund more public defenders, make sure public defenders are fairly paid and have their student debt wiped out, and force cities and states to hire enough public defenders.

Restore voting rights

Police target people of color and charge them with felonies, which causes them to lose their voting rights. This has the effect of taking away the voting rights Black people fought for in the Civil Rights Movement. This is especially true in Texas and the south where Republicans do all they can to discount the votes of people of color. All felons and prisoners must have their voting rights restored. Democracy means that all people have a vote.

End 3 Strikes

No one should spend their life in jail for committing small-time crimes. We will end the practice nationwide of automatically giving people life in prison for their third offense. This is a cruel law that targets people of color and it must be abolished.

Support sex workers

Laws that are meant to target sex trafficking have been abused to punish voluntary sex workers. Criminalizing sex work reduces the freedom of workers and increases their vulnerability to violence, extortion, and health risks. Sex workers are workers. We must decriminalize sex work so that workers in this industry can have fair labor practices and a life without stigma or social exclusion.

 

One fight. All in.

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