Valerie believes that women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, immigrants’ rights, are all human rights. In the North Carolina State Senate, she sponsored legislation to prohibit wage discrimination on the basis of sex or gender1 and to remove barriers for women seeking to obtain an abortion2. Valerie is also in favor of creating a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, ending privatized prisons, and reducing funding for ICE detention facilities and enforcement. Valerie has witnessed discrimination against Black and Brown communities, first hand and she’s always stood up to it. In Congress, she will continue to fight against systemic racism and to prioritize legislation that brings equity to all communities.
Valerie supports a comprehensive reform of our criminal justice system, which would include decriminalizing the possession and use of marijuana3 for people over 21, ending cash bail4, and strengthening anti-discrimination laws in our court systems in an effort to root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system.
She has sponsored legislation5 in the State Senate that aims to emphasize the importance of law enforcement to keep our communities safe while also holding bad actors accountable. She will continue this work in Congress by pushing for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
Valerie has sponsored legislation to automatically register eligible individuals to vote6 and to make Election Day in North Carolina a public holiday7. In Congress, Valerie will join the fight to expand and protect voting rights by pushing for the passage of the For the People Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, which aim to limit gerrymandering, expand access to the ballot box, and strengthen our Constitutional right to vote.
Valerie believes that we must do more to protect our planet for our children and the generations to come. She supports increased environmental regulations and funding for the EPA and increased investments into green transit. She knows that we must reduce our dependence on coal and oil and prioritize more sustainable alternatives like solar and wind energy. Passing the Green New Deal into law will be one of Valerie’s top priorities in Congress. Valerie will also continue her fight against environmental racism, something she has championed on the Orange County Board of Commissioners.
Access to affordable, quality health care is a right which should be guaranteed to all Americans. Valerie is a supporter of a Medicare for All system because she believes that everyone should be able to see a doctor when they are sick. In the State Senate, Valerie sponsored legislation8 to close the Medicaid coverage gap, and she will continue this work in Congress. She will fight to continue to strengthen the Affordable Care Act and advocate for policies that would require pharmaceutical companies to negotiate with the Federal Government to lower prescription drug prices for everyone.
Higher education is a pathway to greater opportunity, opening countless doors for our young people. But today, rising costs are a barrier to too many young people’s pursuit of higher education. Valerie is in favor of cancelling existing student debt and expanding programs that keep loan payments affordable and income based. She will advocate in Congress for financial assistance to states and students to ensure that all students can get a debt-free education at all public universities and colleges.
In the North Carolina State Senate, Valerie supported legislation to raise the minimum wage in North Carolina to $15 per hour with yearly adjustments for inflation. In Congress, Valerie will support similar legislation to ensure that everyone earns a fair wage that pays the bills. Valerie is a supporter of unions, will work to expand worker protections, and strengthen organizing, collective bargaining, and the right to strike. She will also advocate to make the Child Tax Credit permanent and push for the passage of the Building Our Opportunities to Survive and Thrive (BOOST) Act to address poverty and provide relief for low- and moderate-income households by introducing a new tax credit.
Valerie believes in increased investments in early education to ensure that all children are given the support they need to grow and thrive. She will join the fight in Congress to guarantee free, quality universal pre-K to prepare every child for day one of kindergarten and beyond.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating across the globe and here at home, in the U.S. We are nearing one million deaths in the U.S. and trillions in economic losses. One thing that’s been made clear is that we were not prepared for the pandemic. Sadly, this will not be the last pandemic we experience, perhaps even in our lifetimes. We must work to ensure that when the next one hits, we’re ready. In Congress, I’ll fight to ensure that our federal agencies have the tools they need to prepare for or prevent another pandemic. That means increasing our investments in research and ensuring we proactively strengthen regulations and protocols to ensure research is done safely.