Now more than ever, we must fight to ensure that Congress improves the Affordable Care Act, rather than repealing and replacing it with a plan that strips away health care for families and crushes the economy.
Deedra believes in listening to the will of the people, and working towards a solution that will strengthen the Affordable Care Act by:
- lowering premium costs
- improving accessibility
- safeguarding care for those with preexisting conditions
- ensuring reproductive health services for women
- expanding Medicaid and protecting Medicare.
Healthcare for all Americans is a goal that will improve the entire medical system. Eventually the insurance, pharmaceutical, and medical industries will have to be managed in order to bring costs under control.
Just reducing duplicate administration costs, unnecessary advertising, and corporate welfare would allow us to move toward Medicare for All that makes sense for America and keeps America healthy – both physically and economically.
Net Neutrality should be protected. Allowing internet providers to block websites, or ‘prioritize’ companies that pay for ‘fast lanes,’ would not only censor the public’s access to information, but would also be detrimental to small businesses, non-profits, and non-income producing websites. Websites should have equal access from the public and no businesses should determine the lens through which we experience the web.
The destruction of ecosystems, fires, explosions, air pollution, lung problems, toxic groundwater, and contaminated faucet water affects us all. Americans should not have to wonder if the food they are going to eat or the water they are going to drink, is going to poison them.
Private enterprise is not designed to self-regulate for the betterment of society; it is designed to make money for its owners. Protecting the environment is more important now more than ever.
Deedra supports the Second Amendment with an emphasis on education and personal responsibility. All Constitutional Rights have limits. It is certainly proper to expect gun owners to know how to responsibly operate weapons. It is equally proper to enact restrictions which keep dangerous weapons out of the hands of people who cannot responsibly operate them.
Our state has been on the frontlines of the fight to protect American immigrant families. With years of working in civil rights defense, Deedra is committed to continue her work to defend attacks from the federal government to lock up, break up and ban immigrant families. She strongly believes that Arizona’s values of compassion and justice can lead the country to commonsense immigration reform.
Arizona’s history is rich with contributions from generations of immigrants who have long made Arizona their home. A legal means must be provided to recognize people brought to this country as children are not criminals and see themselves as Americans. We should develop a pathway to legal status, at a minimum for those without criminal convictions, so people living in our state are no longer hiding in the shadows.
My father joined the Navy. My step-dad was a Vietnam Army veteran. My niece and nephew are current Army veterans, both having served in Iraq.
We can do better by them in making sure they are all covered by healthcare and given the resources they need to go back to work in the civilian world. Those resources must include support for the emotional and physical tolls they have experienced without stigmatization.
Across the country, we are seeing attacks on women’s sexual freedom, from the defunding of programs allowing women to receive vital health care services and information, even when they cannot afford them, to employers being given the right to determine the reproductive choices available to their employees.
Highly personal decisions should be made by individuals with a minimum of interference from the government and should never be based on government religious interpretation.
The LGBTQ community and their allies have fought long and hard for equality in Arizona and the United States. Marriage equality is the law of the land but many discrimination laws stop short of actual protection. We are also seeing, once again, more religiously based rhetoric and laws targeting the LGBTQ community across the country.
Highly personal decisions should be made by individuals with a minimum of interference from the government and our elected leaders should never base their representation on religious interpretation.
Right to Protest
The right to peacefully assemble, petition, and redress grievances with the government is within the very first Amendment to the Constitution.
The Supreme Court has upheld these 1st Amendment rights while giving the government permissible time, place, and manner restrictions that “are justified without reference to the content of the regulated speech,… are narrowly tailored to serve a significant government interest, and… leave open ample alternative channels for communication of information.”
The inclusion of rights in the very first Amendment are the most crucial to a democratic free society and must be defended and safeguarded at all levels of the government.
All parents want their children to receive the best education Arizona can offer, preparing them for the challenges ahead whether they seek to pursue higher education or career opportunities. Unfortunately, many Arizona parents do not have early childhood education options to give their children the start they deserve. Not only does child care become more expensive, but often times it becomes inaccessible.
Deedra believes we must work diligently to provide Arizona parents and their children championed schools that provide teachers the tools and resources they need to equip children for their future.
Public education is necessary for a democracy and a vibrant economy. You can be free only if you live in a free society, and no society can be free without free thinking people and freedom of access to knowledge. The more critical knowledge is monopolized by privatized higher education, the more expensive it becomes. In a democracy, knowledge needs to be democratized, and the democratization of knowledge can only come through free public education.
Public investments must be used to support public schools. Public schools are an institution of democracy and no country has prospered when the majority of its population is uneducated.
The vast majority of our public schools are succeeding. School administrators and teachers must not all be painted with a brush indicating failure. From early childhood education through K to 12, public and charter schools are in need of stronger support and accountability.
The voucher program is a deliberate attempt to dismantle public education. Those who already send their children to private schools will get a discount while the vouchers will not cover the tuition and costs for those who cannot afford private schools. Public schools will lose what little funding has not already been robbed by state legislatures and private schools, which are primarily religious schools, will receive public money. Public money used to support religious institutions is a clear violation of Separation of Church and State.
Privatization of our public education system is a threat to our very democracy. Neither our children nor their education is a commodity that can be traded on the open market or a boon for corporations more interested in profits than our children’s future.
Deedra believes we must work diligently to provide Arizona parents and their children championed schools to provide teachers the tools and resources they need to equip children for their future.
The backbone of any democracy is an independent, professional, and responsible media. Their role is to inform, criticize, and stimulate debate.
History has shown that the dangers of an overly timid or biased press cannot be averted through bureaucratic regulations but only through the freedom and competition that he First Amendment sought to guarantee.
Arizona, like many states, has passed voter referendums allowing for legal medical cannabis distribution. Some states have gone further to allow access to cannabis by the adult population at large.
Citizens and states have clearly mandated the desire for cannabis to be an issue better left to the discretion of each state.
During the last banking crisis, Arizona experienced the worst housing crisis in our history. Private enterprise is not designed to self-regulate for the betterment of society; it is designed to make money for its owners. The Banking industry is no different. It is time to re-enact the Glass Steagall Act or something very similar that keeps bankers out of the stock market and other forms of speculation/gambling that causes the taxpayer to have to pay when their bets fail.
Social Security was a promise made by the US government to every citizen of this country many years ago. People have not only depended on that promise for several generations, but paid their hard-earned money to the government for safekeeping so that promise could be kept. Not keeping the promise is bad enough, but breaking the promise because Congress has continuously borrowed from the fund is a slap in the face to every working person.
Law enforcement history in the United States has had its ups and downs but the one method that has consistently worked is community policing. Knowing the community municipalities serve helps decrease crime and de-escalate tensions. Adequate resources need to be provided for our police departments so that community policing can be reintroduced across the nation in order to avoid the situations we are hearing about all too often.
Human Rights & Discrimination
Matters that involve human rights and discrimination should never be left to private companies whose main focus, generally, is gaining profit for themselves and their shareholders. Governments on all levels have a responsibility to uphold laws and protections of all people they serve. That responsibility has been mandated by public investments in the form of taxes that pay the salaries and expenses for all levels of government bodies and officials.
Private enterprise is a beneficiary of public investments. Through our investments, the government pays for the infrastructure on which private industry and everything else is built. Roads, bridges, public education, national banks, the patent office, the judicial system, interstate commerce, basic science for drug development are financed by taxpayers. Yet the majority of corporations do not pay any taxes at all, much less ‘their fair share,’ and are often still beneficiaries of corporate tax breaks and bailouts.
Free enterprise works best when it competes in the market with new ideas creating new industries to serve the needs of people that individuals are willing to pay for.
When private enterprise feeds at the public trough, competition is erased along with creativity and innovation. Small businesses, the backbone of our economy and job growth, are hurt the most because they are rarely the beneficiaries of ‘tax relief’ or bailouts.
Separation of Church and State
Almost 250 years ago a group of dreamers came together and sketched out a revolutionary vision. No longer would they be shackled to the whims of a distant government, nor bound to the religion of an idiosyncratic king. They set out to forge their own futures, determine their own destinies, and follow their own faith. In their infinite wisdom, the Founding Fathers decreed that this nation would separate church and state, and in doing so protect both institutions. Government would be free from religious overreach, and religion would be free from government interference.
Over the past generation, however, this separation has been quietly eroded. Legislators openly use their personal religious beliefs as a pretext to limit access to reproductive services, to target the LGBT community for discrimination, and even as justification for their inhumane positions on healthcare and other social safety nets. The very essence of the American dream, that all men are created equal, is being sacrificed on the altar of politics; as each legislator bends that dream to fit his or her own religious narrative.
As our ancestors fled from persecution, they dreamt of a nation free from a state religion, recognizing that would be the only nation in which all religions would flourish. We must wonder then, as politicians invoke their God while making decisions in the halls of government if the Founding Fathers would recognize our nation today?
We must be free to forge our own futures, to determine our own destinies, and to follow our own faith, including no faith at all. The Constitution enshrines these freedoms as the highest law of the land, and we cannot stand idly by as those claiming to love the Constitution dismantle them.
We must stand together, no matter our background, to affirm that all men and women are created equal and experience the same freedoms.
We must stand together to ensure that our elected leaders, who are free to practice their faith in their own lives, never use their positions to trample on ours.
Few issues are more polarizing than the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and fewer people than ever are willing to step away from their respective “sides” long enough to work toward a peaceful solution.
My experiences show that it doesn’t have to be that way.
I have witnessed firsthand the tremendous love and cooperation between the Jewish and Muslim communities here in Arizona. While we may disagree on certain issues, we have many more things in common than we have differences.
Jews have surrounded Muslims, so they may pray without fear. Muslims have lead fundraising drives to repair desecrated Jewish cemeteries. By focusing on our shared goals instead of what divides us, we are able to build trust and understanding, laying the foundation to work together on solutions to larger, more weighty world issues.
In this model, I firmly believe Israeli and Palestinian leaders can negotiate in good faith to achieve a two-state solution. Conversely, if Israel and Palestinian leaders don’t start dealing with this question seriously – respectful of the nuances and sensitivities involved for both sides – an agreement is likely to never be reached.
The two-state solution has been American policy across four administrations and has been endorsed by each of the most recent Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
An Economy that Works for All Families
Arizona families pride themselves in being hard workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators. But when the scales are tipped for the most wealthiest, our economy suffers. The federal government is failing to move forward with policies that can improve conditions for working families and bring a diversity of jobs to Arizona.
Deedra Abboud wants to ensure that Arizona families are provided with the chance to succeed. She strongly supports measures to increase the federal minimum wage, ensure equal pay and paid sick days, expand paid family and medical leave, support small businesses, and create jobs.
Making sure that our government prioritizes our country’s infrastructure is also crucial – and Deedra is willing to fight to put Arizona at the forefront, securing the resources and investments needed to deliver progress for the Grand Canyon state.