On the Issues
On the Issues
Sam believes we must pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act. Americans can only have confidence in elections if we end partisan gerrymandering, expand voter registration, and make sure that every American can exercise their right to vote without undue burden or barrier. Voter caging, voter suppression, the closure of voting sites that lead to hours spent in line, reductions in Early Voting access, and making it downright difficult to obtain and return an absentee ballot undermine voter confidence and serve the interest of politicians, not voters. Further, the Freedom to Vote Act would require all states to conduct post-election audits for federal elections and expands the prohibition on campaign spending by foreign nationals. Elections must be the expression of the will of the voters, free of foreign influence.
Healthcare remains a major concern to so many, particularly here in North Carolina where the Republicans in the General Assembly have blocked the expansion of Medicaid, which means that our people have not received the full benefits of the Affordable Care Act. Sam will fight to get us those benefits. He supports allowing Medicare to negotiate prescription drug prices and supports lowering the eligibility age for Medicare to drive down insurance costs for individuals and businesses. This will dramatically reduce health care costs for many Americans, allowing them to then use that money to do things like save for their retirement. Sam supports adding dental, vision, and hearing coverage to Medicare, and capping the price of insulin at $35.
Sam supports a woman's right to choose and is very concerned by the assault in many states on every woman's right to make their own healthcare decisions. No matter what certain states or the Supreme Court does, it is now clear that the protections provided by Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose must be enshrined into law by Congress so that this right cannot be undermined.
Rising Prices & Making Ends Meet
Prices are rising faster than people can keep up with and are squeezing working families. Sam supports a temporary suspension of the gas tax and supports President Biden’s plan to release one million barrels of oil from the Strategic Reserve every day, so that we can lower gas prices. Sam will work to restore and strengthen our supply chains, advocate for American manufacturing and production of goods, and push for stronger federal enforcement of anti-collusion regulations to stop companies from artificially keeping prices high. He will also work with state and local governments to address the housing shortage in our region, which is leading to a massive rise in the price of housing. Sam will fight for our fair share of federal dollars for affordable housing.
Sam knows we must also address this issue from the other side, raising the incomes and benefits of working people. He supports raising the minimum wage to $15 and giving tipped employees parity. He supports universal Pre-K and expanded support for childcare, so that working parents do not have to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars each month on childcare. He supports investing in our Community College system so that people can get new skills and enter programs that lead to good-paying jobs with strong benefits. He will fight for paid family and medical leave, paid sick leave, and better support for professional and family caregivers. Sam was raised in a union household, and he supports the union movement. He believes that everyone, including public employees, should have the right to collectively bargain, unionize, and negotiate for wages and benefits and other contract terms.
Addressing Gun Violence & Police Reform
Sam believes that Congress must address gun violence and pass meaningful police reform. He supports universal background checks, prohibiting untraceable firearms and ghost guns, and support for effective violence intervention programs. Further, it is unacceptable that Congress has failed to pass a single police reform bill. Urgent action is needed to protect lives and to improve police accountability. Meaningful police reform must include a ban on chokeholds and no-knock warrants, and require proper usage of body cameras, with additional investment in police training such as de-escalation training. Improving policing will require additional funding in the right areas, to recruit and retain the best officers, to properly train and retrain police forces, and to employ enough officers to implement community policing best practices that build relationships in our communities and deter and prevent crime.
In the State Senate, Sam sponsored bills to ban offshore drilling off the North Carolina coast, to set ambitious state clean energy goals, and to address PFAS (toxic foam) in our water. Sam will fight for clean air, clean water, and greater investment in clean energy and twenty-first-century infrastructure so that America can lead the world in clean and renewable energy technology and create good-paying jobs. Sam will stand up to polluters, especially those who disproportionately harm communities of color and low-income communities. It is unacceptable that in the richest nation in the history of the world, we have citizens who lack access to clean, safe drinking water.
Public & Higher Education
Sam attended public school and public universities and his children attend public school in this district. Sam knows that access to a quality free public education is a civil right. The federal government must ensure, protect, and invest in equal access to that right for all students. The federal government must do more to close the gap in funding and resources between affluent schools and school districts and low-income schools and school districts. Sam has always been a champion for universal prekindergarten because the data shows that children who begin learning earlier in effective programs carry that advantage forward throughout their educational careers. Sam will work to ensure that all children have access to healthy school meals, that schools have the resources to address students' mental health needs, and that our schools are safe.
In the area of higher education, Sam supports tuition-free community college and making all higher education options more affordable. He supports improving and expanding the Public Service Loan Forgiveness and Teacher Loan Forgiveness programs, expanding the maximum award of Pell Grants to keep pace with the annual cost of living increases, and increasing institutional aid programs for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and other minority-serving institutions.