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VETERANS AFFAIRS

We cannot abandon our soldiers when they come home. The fiscal mismanagement of the VA is a travesty and disrespectful to the brave men and woman who have sacrificed their lives for our country. There is no reason why veterans can’t get the care they need and deserve. This is not an issue of budget, but a lack of accountability and lack of will.

The VA wastes billions of dollars annually by not seeking competitive bids for medical supplies and materials. This is money being taken away from the actual care needed to support both service and non-service related injuries for veterans. There is more money being wasted by not billing out non-service related claims to private insurance companies. Only one third of all female veterans receive access to a VA supported Ob-Gyn. Homelessness plagues hundreds of thousands of veterans leaving them to survive on the street without the necessary medications.

The Inspector General has done the work to uncover these inefficiencies, but our leaders have failed to follow through. We need to work together to repair this blatant waste and irresponsibility while holding the VA accountable. I will ensure that more dollars are spent directly supporting the health and welfare of our veterans. 


‚ÄčIMMIGRATION

Our land of opportunity should be open to all. There are several aspects of our immigration policy that need legislative repair. Our forefathers recognized the important contributions that immigrants would have on the economy and the strength of America. I would like to find a way in which currently undocumented citizens may submit themselves to a verification process and an eventual path to citizenship. We must respect the law but also tackle the reality we are facing. I believe in earning trust with undocumented citizens and establishing a fair and efficient process.

Let’s be clear, this would require hard work from everyone, but I know that anyone living here today recognizes the value of being an American. We are a melting pot of people, and as a Senator representing California, I will continue to lead the way on immigration reform.

My mother came here from Denmark at the age of eighteen. She found employment and worked to legally obtain her citizenship. Everyone has his or her own American dream, and I believe, that like my mother, anyone seeking a path to citizenship should be allowed a path to citizenship.


DIVERSITY, HUMANITY & CIVIL RIGHTS

Decency is on the defense and our civil rights are being put in jeopardy. I would like to leave my grandchildren a world in which people are judged by their actions and not by appearance. We must support tolerance and not undermine it by perpetuating divisive politics. I will ensure equal rights for all citizens, regardless of religion, race, gender, or sexual orientation. 

I know the pain of being victimized and bullied for being different. As a stutterer, I overcame my own adversity. Many of my family and friends are among the disenfranchised so in turn, I have no tolerance for anyone who bullies another person. Nothing saddens me more than to hear about someone being ridiculed for being themselves.



EDUCATION

Education is an issue that directly correlates to the job market. We are living in a global economy, and the only way to remain competitive is to better educate our children. We need to encourage the generation of coders, inventors and entrepreneurs.

Future generations must be given equal opportunities for higher education, regardless of the size of one's bank account. I will fight for lower college tuition so everyone has access to higher education. Our children will help shape this planet into a brighter, better place. 


THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE

We must restore democracy to the Presidency. Two of the last five elections saw the loser of the popular vote take the Presidency. The Electoral College is an archaic system that is totally dysfunctional in the modern world. It simply must be abolished. I intend to get this done regardless of partisan politics. 


INDUSTRIAL HEMP

There is only one thing preventing hemp from providing our country a supplemental solution to manufacturing needs. With hemp we can produce building materials, bio-plastics, cosmetics, clothing, candles, fuel and all paper goods. Hemp also has a high nutritional value and is a 100% digestible protein with a perfect balance of Omega 3,6 and 9 fatty acids. So why is hemp cultivation and legislation still spinning its wheels in state sanctioned trial programs?

Recently, congress introduced Bill HR 3530 – Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017 to exclude industrial hemp from the controlled substance act. Congress hasn’t voted on the bill, and they will say it is because it needs more sponsorship. The truth is, there is no reason why this bill cannot be voted on today. I will not allow special interest money to influence congress from continuing the fight for the legalization of industrial hemp. 



Committee to Elect John Melendez
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