Candidate Responses - Darren Soto
In addition to answering the 20 survey questions, this candidate provided the following elaboration on several progressive issues.
Seeking a fair, honest, and open government that works for all:
I believe corporations are not people and only people should be able to contribute to campaigns. I am a cosponsor on legislation to overrule the Citizens United case. See HR 343 - Restore Democracy Resolution.
Seeking broader rights and better wages for workers:
I support a GNP progressive minimum wage. I am a cosponsor on $15 per hour minimum wage legislation in Congress. See HR 15 - Raise the Wage Act. I oppose any efforts to erode workers’ earned benefits, including but not limited to unemployment insurance, Social Security, retirement programs, and pension plans. Americans earn these benefits. The federal government has a duty to protect them. I am a cosponsor legislation to protect these programs. See HR 1902 - SS 2100 Act; See also HR 4444 - Multiemployer pensions. Universal public day care is essential to protect workers, families and our future. I am a cosponsor of HR 3773 - Child Care for Working Families Act.
Seeking to maintain a strong economy:
It is critical that we enact policies which boost and bring back high paying American jobs like manufacturing to our country. I am a cosponsor of HR 685 - Bring Jobs Home Act. It is critical that our tax code encourage domestic production, eliminate offshore tax haven loopholes and penalize companies that ship jobs overseas. I voted against the GOP Tax Scam for these and other fatal flaws. I support the Democratic House and Senate Caucuses' $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan. I would also support a larger scale plan of up to $2 Trillion.
Seeking to provide a quality public education for all children, as guaranteed by our State Constitution:
I support access to free two (2) year apprenticeship, technical/vocational training and community college education, and rolling cost of living stipend and all fees into calculation. I am a cosponsor of HR 1880 - College for All.
Seeking justice and equality for all:
I believe that having private jails and prisons creates an incentive for governments to fill them. They are inhumane, profit-driven and become an obstacle to criminal justice reform. I support equal pay for equal work/worth for all Americans. I am a cosponsor of HR 2095 - Fair Pay Act of 2017. I support women's rights including reproductive justice as a national issue. I am also a member of the Congressional Choice Caucus and have been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action Fund for my 2018 Re-election. Women's reproductive rights are guaranteed by US Supreme Court under our Constitution. States can't impose unnecessary restrictions and regulations. I am a cosponsor on HR 1322-Women's Health Protection Act.
Seeking recognition of the fundamental right to affordable housing, health care and retirement security:
All Americans have a right to healthcare. I am a cosponsor on HR 676 - Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act. It is critical for Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs to lower overall costs just like as already permitted by Medicaid. I support importation of prescription drugs. However, I think the long-term solution is to fight to lower domestic prescription drug prices.
Seeking a clean and safe environment:
It is critical to lower energy costs, protect our environment and combat climate change, that we encourage a shift to renewable energy, carbon reduction, increase energy efficiency and employ smarter use of resources. I support the US re-entering the Paris Climate Accord and reducing growth of greenhouse gas emission. I also support energy efficiency and renewable energy incentives such as PTC (wind), ITC (solar), REEPC (efficiency), etc.
Seeking a peaceful and secure world:
Diplomacy and non-military foreign aid should always be the primary tools used to stabilize distressed societies and diffuse conflicts. I have voted to protect our non-military foreign aid budget from cuts. Torture should never be used by the United States. Enhanced interrogation is torture. Any officials who participate in torture should be prosecuted for violating our laws. State and local police forces are for protecting the community. Militarization can intimidate and foster distrust between law enforcement and the communities they are sworn to protect.