All California communities should be safe, and all Californians should feel safe in their communities. We need to invest in proven programs to prevent crime, such as gang intervention, youth development, and mental health services, and in policies that’ll provide economic opportunity for all, lower costs of living, and end the school-to-prison pipeline. I staunchly support our first responders, and I’ve publicly urged the House Budget Committee to provide law enforcement agencies and critical organizations with the tools they need to keep people safe.
At the same time, I’m pushing to boost accountability and transparency within police departments and their budgets, recognizing the undeniable truth that unchecked, excessive policing has cost too many innocent Americans – particularly Americans of color – their lives and decimated entire communities.
I’m also fighting for my legislation to invest in appropriate alternatives to policing, which passed the House last year but was blocked in the Senate. My bipartisan bill, the Mental Health Justice Act, would make it easier for state and local governments to send trained mental health professionals instead of police when 911 is called for a mental health emergency. This legislation would save thousands of lives, as one in four fatal police encounters end the life of someone with a severe mental illness, and boost community safety as more police officers can focus on the job they’re trained to do.
End Gun Violence
I’m a single mom of three kids in public schools. I worry that my kids or their friends won’t come home, especially when I’m in D.C. and 3,000 miles away. I had similar concerns working at UC Irvine about the students I taught and myself. No parent, child, or worker should have to feel this way – about schools, places of worship, grocery stores, or any other public space. What’s especially striking about this crisis is that we know how to keep people safe – by banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, mandating universal background checks, regulating guns like any other consumer product, instituting a nationwide “red-flag” law, raising the minimum age of purchase to 21, ending the gun industry’s broad legal immunity, and investing in mental health and community violence intervention programs. And yet, Washington continues to bow to the gun lobby.
We need to shake up the status quo in DC and get the government working for real people, not greedy corporations like those in the gun industry. We have to pressure elected officials to stand with real people, not faceless corporations that profit from gun violence. In 2022, I pressed House leadership to hold separate votes on common sense gun safety measures so Americans would know where their elected representatives stand: with them or with the gun lobby. We need to maintain this sort of pressure on elected officials – and vote them out when they choose the gun lobby over our friends, neighbors, kids, and colleagues’ lives.
America’s gun violence epidemic is a symptom of a more extensive disease: corporate special interests’ outsized influence on our democracy. Like many other industries, the gun lobby uses its power in Washington to block popular policies that would keep people safe. I first ran for office six years ago to shake up the status quo in Washington and stand up to the powerful special interests that dominate DC, including the gun lobby – which is precisely what I’ve done.
- Clean Up Corruption
- Empower Workers
- Housing & Homelessness
- Unrig the Economy
- Combat the Climate Crisis
- Health Care
- Child Care
- Older Americans
- Racial Justice & Freedom for All
- Public Safety & Gun Violence
- Disability Rights
- Abortion Access
- LGBTQIA+ Rights
- Global Leadership