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Issues

Russ Cirincione refuses to accept the "status quo." He's running to fight for all Americans. After 30 years of the same representation, it's time for a change in Middlesex and Monmouth Counties. It's time for new leadership that can demand a Green New Deal, Universal Health Coverage, and ending the corruption in politics. Since Russ takes none of the "big money" from lobbyists or corporations, he can demand the bold vision we need in this country, for a New Deal for Americans. Together we can have an impact - let's build the people-powered movement for economic, social, racial, and environmental justice.
For all of us.

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Coronavirus Response - Pandemic Response

We are facing a national pandemic, and our government should automatically respond to such circumstances efficiently and effectively to provide peace of mind to every American.

I fully support: 

The Right to Health Security, always for every American.
- Guarantee the right to Health Security with Medicare for All: Everything Americans need to stay healthy in a time of national emergency shall be guaranteed.
- Free testing.
- Guaranteed refills on required medications. 
- All tests, vaccines, or drugs to be imported from international partners, before FDA approval as long as a foreign government’s FDA or similar organization has approved it. 
- Medicare shall have the exclusive negotiating authority over the price of testing, the price of treatment, and all related expenses.
- Federal Government shall invest in, directly manufacture, and provide at cost, necessary Personal Protective Equipment to medical staff and general population.

Employee Options and Corporate Policy: 
- Mandatory Overtime Pay for employees working more than 40 hours a week. 
- A Federal Jobs Guarantee: To deal with massive layoffs, put people to work in our communities. 
- Paid on-the-job training for industries and professions that are in high demand, like medical staff, cleanup services, community outreach / community building, home care services, social services. Caretaking and health services will be prioritized. 
- Train pandemic response teams for: Field tasks, like sanitization and construction. 
- Emergency Medical Responses in high frequency areas. 
- Research to discover links between different cases.
- Training communities on how to prevent spread. 
- “Social Distancing” Pay of $1,000 per adult per month, and $500 per child per month. Also known as a “Universal Basic Income.”
- Expanded unemployment benefits fully funded by the federal government. 
- Paid Family Leave / Sick Leave. 
- Full telecommuting options for all federal employees. Required businesses to accommodate telecommuting options.

- A halt on all foreclosures, evictions, student loan payments and mortgage payments. 
- No corporation shall receive a bailout unless the corporations is contractually and legally obligated to institute and make permanent pro-worker protections: A worker cooperative.
50% of the board must be employees
Unionization of work force if so desired by the employees 
- A living wage guarantee 
- Maximum CEO to Lowest paid employee pay ratio of 50:1 
- No public funds shall be used for corporate buybacks, executive bonuses, or private profiteering.  Funds shall primarily be used for employee salary. 

Infrastructure Plan 
- A declaration of national emergency: Within 5 days of landing of a new and contagious disease or virus, that does not have an effective medication or vaccination ready for mass production. 
- Immediate emergency funding of up to $1 Trillion for medical centers, personal protection equipment (PPE), training and salaries of new support staff to diagnose and treat the new illness. (Only $500 Billion less than the injection by the Federal Reserve into the stock market that occurred last week.)
- Temporary international travel precautions: All people returning on international trips to the US will be screened in secure medical locations and receive necessary medical attention. All those returning on international trips will be given priority medical treatment.
- Domestic travel protections: Transportation will be limited to necessary travel, like reunification of families. 
- Emergency funding for constructing new hospitals or emergency medical structures in highly populated areas, with assistance from the national guard and Army Corps. Of Engineers: Prioritize unoccupied space like parking lots and fields for temporary structures. Erect both temporary and permanent structures. 
- Testing kits deployed en mass at every major transportation hub.
- Production of kits to begin immediately. 
- Mass distribution of supplies to medical staff, such as facemasks, hazmat suits, and sanitization supplies.
- Mobilizing a pandemic response team consisting of: medical experts and national guard to deploy disinfection teams equipped with hazmat suits, disinfection sprays, and rapid response kits; and construction crews to erect temporary medical service structures  
- Funding for community health centers set up in every major township. 

Medical Industry 
- Increase production for required personal protective equipment, provided to hospitals and medical workers, through public-private partnerships, which shall include providing PPE at cost to those who need it. 
- Research and Development: Funding increase for vaccines and medical development. 
- Immediate disclosure to national research facilities of any and all research applicable to the new disease from private industry. 
- Temporary nationalization of patent rights for production of any medicine or vaccine known to have beneficial effects on the virus. 
- Vaccinations provided for free, when developed. 
- Free visitation to emergency rooms and doctors for all. 
- Funding for nurse and physician house calls. 
Deploy national computing technology on discovering protein chains. 

A coordinated effort between private companies and the government to develop testing kits and vaccines.

Government and Administration: 
- Administration officials have the duty to disclose within 24 hours of knowledge of the national emergency. 
- A complete ban on stock ownership by any Congressional Representative.

Expand and Improve Medicare for All

The plan to expand and improve Medicare for All will guarantee health coverage to all Americans for the cheapest price possible. Everything you need to be healthy will be guaranteed to you.

1. Medicare for All Single Payer will be the largest tax cut in decades.
New Jerseyans will save an average of $3,000 per year on health insurance.
2. A net savings of 10% of income for 95% of Americans.
3. Full Guaranteed Coverage for everyone.
4. Comprehensive Program that includes: Vision, Dental, Hearing, Mental Health, and Long Term Care.
5. America will save about $10 TRILLION in health care costs over a decade.
6. Medicine costs a MAXIMUM of $200 per year out of pocket.
7. End medical bankruptcy and erase medical debt.
8. Repeal the HYDE Amendment which denies women the right to determine their own health.
9. Unions get to keep their negotiated benefits and either get a wage increase or other benefits.
10. How do we pay for it? Well, Medicare for All pays for itself. It's projected to save America $700,000,000,000 every year. New Jersey's budget is projected to save $2.5 billion in our state budget, and local counties will save hundreds of millions of dollars. Most of the savings comes from cutting the red tape of our current system. And Medicare is efficient - 20% more efficient than the for-profit industries.

Medicare for All puts our health decisions in our own hands. Companies and boardrooms will not make health decisions for us. Think - your boss chooses your insurance plan for you today. And insurance companies block us from life saving services in the fine print of policies. They decide what's in the plan: which "network" doctors, how much we pay for medicine, and what services we can get. We don't get a say in that. They make decisions that affect our lives for their profit, only. So Medicare for All will put the power back in our hands. If we need coverage for our health, we will get it. We're fighting to put decisions about our health in our own hands.

Russ's Signature Policy Proposal: A just transition for all people who work in the health care industry.  Because Russ cares about the PEOPLE, Russ's Signature Policy will benefit New Jersey employees in the health care industry: All displaced employees are guaranteed salary, and a stipend for relocation and job training. All earned private pensions and benefits guaranteed. 300,000+ employees are 60 or older are paid 100% of current salary until age 65.
- Combined with the Federal Jobs Guarantee in the Green New Deal.
- New Jersey will save $2.5 BILLION in our annual budget by switching to Medicare for All. This will lower our property taxes, which go to paying for health insurance of public employees.
- 700,000 New Jerseyans have ABSOLUTELY NO health insurance now, will now be covered.

Why Russ is the best choice for New Jersey: Russ has pledged to support and co-sponsor Medicare for All legislation on day one. The incumbent Democrat takes big money from the health insurance companies and Pharma lobbies. He's taken a lot of their money. $1 Million last year alone. The incumbent opposes Medicare for All. If we want Medicare for All, it's clear that the incumbent will not fight for it. We deserve a better Democrat to represent us.

Every other industrialized nation has switched to a single-payer program. Canada did it in 1966. None have gone back to the one we have. With Medicare for All, life saving insurance will be guaranteed to all people, and we will get better results.  The current system leaves us with no choices - all of the choices are made by the HMOs and Pharma industry. There are millions of people un-insured or under-insured in this country, and we are all paying the most for health care and drugs - on the planet - and we don't even have the best results. We will save money, have better results, and we will cover everyone, with Medicare for All.

Believe it or not, health insurance costs vary from state to state. We rank the 5th most expensive. Insurance companies have decided to squeeze the most out of New Jersey, and it's time to change that. The average total cost for health insurance is about $17,500. For many of us, our share is part of our salary "paid by the employer." Our employers pay around $12,000 per year for our coverage (and we never see a raise, instead, the raise goes to pay the health insurance companies when they raise rates). Because this year alone, the price of health insurance increased by nearly 16%. There are three health insurance providers in New Jersey. Talk about a lack of choice in the current system. This broken system leaves 40 million people uninsured. Every year, 500,000 people in the United States go BANKRUPT because of medical debt . That means they have to sell their homes and all their assets to get healthy.

Did you know that 32 other industrialized nations have switched to single payer, Universal Guaranteed Health Coverage. They all spend 50% less than what we do in America, and they have better results than we do. Medicare for All will prioritize our health and well being. It's the greatest good, for the cheapest cost.

A Green New Deal

The Green New Deal is an immense economic stimulus package that will create 20,000,000 new jobs and transition our economy to 100% renewable energy. The Green New Deal addresses multiple issues at the same time: the climate crisis, income inequality, racial inequality and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure. As well as defending national security, create public housing, more schools, more parks, more bridges, more mass transportation (like high speed rails).
- Ban fracking.
- 100% renewable energy by 2030.
- Cut electric bills in half, near-free energy by 2030.
- A just transition for all the workers in the fossil fuel industry, including pay, training, and new energy sector jobs that are safe. (no more black lung).
- Federal jobs guarantee to rebuild our nation. Union jobs that pay well. Create hundreds of thousands of local New Jersey jobs in the clean energy sector.
- Build new, modern schools, and build new transportation systems like high speed rail.
- Funding for public community ownership of utilities.
- Hold fossil fuel executives accountable for their gross negligence and intentional deception of Americans for 30 years.
- A constitutional amendment for the right to a clean, healthy environment to all Americans.
- End all fossil fuel subsidies from American taxpayers ($400 Billion).
- Investments in the Portal Bridge and infrastructure throughout New Jersey.

Russ's Signature Policy Additions for New Jersey:
- Build up to 50 offshore wind farms to power our state and nation, each of which create around 5,000 jobs in New Jersey communities.
- Guarantee pensions for all affected workers in the fossil fuel industry.
- Clean up all superfund sites.
- Build High Speed Rails and Electric Buses for faster commutes.
- Rebuild our water infrastructure in our townships and fully address the Newark water crisis.
- Locally owned renewable energy. Each company must vow to benefit the public.
- FREE Public Transportation.

The New Jersey Climate Crisis is here:  New Jersey is particularly threatened by the climate crisis. NJ-6 is a shoreline district. We will feel the effects of the climate crisis the worst, and faster than anywhere else. Therefore, it is super important that we get to work, for New Jersey. Our tourism industry worth $44 Billion and thousands of jobs are threatened. We are the fastest warming state and have already hit the 2 degree threshold. In April 2019, a wildfire of 11,000 square miles tore through the Pine Barrens. Lake Hopatcong had to close because the warm summer let toxic blue-green algae grow, closing the lake for swimmers. By 2035, more than 60,000 New Jersey homes will experience bi-weekly flooding. (The Union of Concerned Scientists and Zillow report). Billions in property value and hundreds of millions in tax revenue are threatened and will be lost if we do not beat the climate crisis.

The Green New Deal is the largest Economic Stimulus package for working America. We will invest in all of our communities, our homes, our children, each other, our neighbors, our forests, shores, and future. It is the only plan that will give us a fighting chance against the climate crisis, create the freshest air we've ever breathed and the purest water we've ever drank, and is what all climate scientists support. We should listen to the scientists that are responsible for all of our modern lives - computers, internet, cell phones, airplanes, every technology that helps American progress is owed to scientists. They've said we have to go 100% renewable by 2030. The time is now. When is a good time to have fresh mountain air? This is an investment in America, in our own health, and the health of our friends and family. It has to happen now, because if we wait, it will be too late.

We must evolve to 100% renewable energy by 2030. This is about ending pollution and the outdated technology of oil. We will switch to better, clean, limitless, energy sources of the sun and wind. Instead of fighting wars for oil overseas, and instead of relying on other economies for oil, we will let the energy come to us and absorb it. We estimate that by 2030, our electric bills will be cut in half if we go 100% renewable energy. This is about saving money for the People of New Jersey and America.

How we pay for it:
- End the $400 Billion corporate welfare to the fossil fuel industries.
- Prioritize our Congressional Budget to invest in the things we need as a nation.
- Create community jobs that will exist for generations, create income tax revenue, and stimulate the economy.

Why Russ Cirincione is the best choice for New Jersey:
My opponent takes big money from the fossil fuel industry. He's taken money from the biggest polluters, including: TransCanada (the builders of the keystone pipeline), and other fossil fuel companies, like Duke Energy, Dominion Energy, and PSE&G.

Our district cannot trust someone whose taken fossil fuel money to protect us from their poisonous product. And it's obvious that he wont. He does not support the Green New Deal, and has called for "clean energy" by 2050, which allows for nuclear and "un-natural" gas, which almost all scientists have said will not protect our planet and will doom our species.

It's not enough to only oppose offshore drilling for oil. Drilling for Oil anywhere threatens our shore and the health of our families. That's why Russ is the better choice.

Cancel Student Loan Debt & Free College

Russ supports investing in our American People and sponsoring their education: 
- Free Public College, and free college textbooks on loan.
- Free vocational schools, federally funded.

Cancel Student Loan Debt.
College debt is a scam. We need to unconditionally cancel it for everyone.
Tax Credit for Anyone who has paid off their loans already: Russ's Signature Plan:
a Federal tax credit for those who have paid off their student loans, for the interest paid, over five years.

Why Russ is the better choice for New Jersey: Russ is the only candidate for NJ-6 demanding a full cancellation of student loan debt.

All Americans deserve the opportunity to get an education, regardless of their income.
We're going to make public college tuition-free to provide opportunity for all, because many jobs require a good education. Free public college allows students to dedicate themselves to their studies, without having to worry about being able to afford the next semester. It also benefits our society as a whole, with a more competitive work force, and with more knowledgeable people surrounding us, we can rely on others to do their jobs well.

If we want to keep a democracy, we need our People to be freethinkers, and college is the ideal environment to do so. We can only truly be free if we learn what opportunities are available to us, how the world affects us, and what we don't know.

The United States has fallen to 11th worldwide in terms if college educated students. If we're going to remain competitive in an international economy, we need to keep up with other nations who are educating their people at a much higher rates.

Student Loan Debt
· Currently estimated to be $1.5 trillion and affects 45 million Americans.
· 2nd largest debt behind mortgages.
· 90% is held by the federal government, at high interest rates.
· It has already been paid for.
· This is a huge drain on the economy and it shackles students to debt.

End Corruption

We need to restore the power to the People, by ending the big money corruption in politics. We need clean and fair elections. We need to restore public confidence in government.
- Russ has pledged to never take corporate PAC money or lobbyist money for his entire career.
- End Citizens United.
- Ban private donations and Super PACs.
- Kick lobbyists out of Washington.
- Publicly financed elections, with Democracy Dollars.
- Free and equal airtime on news channels for political candidates.
- Russ supports the American Anti-Corruption Act : https://represent.us/anticorruption-act/
- End the "revolving door" of politicians becoming lobbyists.
- Require disclosure of tax returns for all federal candidates.
- Ban nepotism to prevent politicians from hiring unqualified people.
- Ban members of Congress and high level government employees from owning stocks or trading stocks while in office.
- Require all government officials to sell any assets that pose a conflict of interest or the appearance thereof.
- Lifetime ban on any politician from becoming a lobbyist.

Signature Policy for New Jersey:
- Create an independent "Corruption Oversight" board that investigates claims of corruption within states.

If we want a government of, by, and for the people, we need to end the influence of big money. Politics is dirty because our elections are dominated by big money. We've got legalized bribery at the highest levels of government. Politicians take money from the very special interests and corporations they are supposed to govern. This is a disqualifying conflict of interest. If we want nice things, we have to cut off the big money that's spent in elections. If we want sane environmental policy, we must cut off the flow of dirty fossil fuel money. If we want Medicare for All, we have to end the money from HMOs and Pharmas from influencing our elections. If we want internet freedom, we have to end the telecoms wires of money to candidates.

Americans deserve free and fair elections — free from the corrupting influence of big money donors. So we're going to ban PAC donations to politicians and switch to the public financing of our elections. We're going to kick lobbyists out of Washington. We're

If we end corruption, we will save money and prioritize the needs of the 99%. Because government will not hand out lucrative, no-bid, pork filled contracts to the industries that fund their campaigns.

In New Jersey, we are dealing with corruption scandals of our own. 70% of tax subsidies are given by our New Jersey government to a corporation, then the corporation sells those tax subsidies to another company, for a profit, completely tax free. That's bad business for New Jersey. Did you hear that under the Christie administration, 12 companies faked a move to New York to receive $100 million from taxpayers in tax credits? That's our money that was dished out to them, that should have been invested in creating jobs.  

Democracy dollars has been proven effective in Seattle, where every citizen receives $100 in "Democracy Dollars" vouchers that they can donate to a political candidate. Use it, or lose it.

Why Russ is the Better Democrat for New Jersey: No one can serve two masters. It's either the money, or the People. Russ stays loyal to the People and rejects all the corrupting big money: No corporate pac and no lobbyist money. Russ has publicly pledged to do so for his entire career. This stands directly opposite to the incumbent's campaign, which is financed by the biggest corporations in this country that have business before Congress.

Lower Property Taxes in New Jersey

Russ's Plan for Lowering Property Taxes for New Jersey:
- Increase the federal investment in public education from the federal level, to fully fund schools, and take the burden off property tax owners.
- Establish a floor baseline of price per pupil.
- Medicare for All will reduce the cost of health coverage for our local government. It will save our local government money, and will save nearly $2.6 Billion per year in the State budget.

We need to decouple education from property taxes and fully fund our schools through the federal government.

The average New Jersey homeowner has seen their annual property tax bill double in 20 years, to average of about $8,767. More than half of our property tax bills go to fund our public schools. A significant part of our property taxes pay for healthcare expenses of our local government employees as well. My wife and I are lucky enough to own a home in Old Bridge, New Jersey. Our property taxes are below average. I promise to fight for lower property taxes for New Jersey, because it affects me too.

We're going to lower property taxes in New Jersey by ensuring that the federal government invests in our schools. New Jersey schools receive a paltry $1.2 billion in federal funding for our schools, which represents less than 4% of New Jersey's total education budget. 55% of our education budget comes from property taxes, or $16 Billion dollars. Property tax payers chip in nearly sixteen times that of the federal government. Our State budget counts for 40% of the education spending, or $12 billion.

New Jersey has high property taxes because we do not receive enough from the federal government to fund our schools. Therefore, Russ will fight for the federal funding of our schools, which will lower property taxes in New Jersey.

We will also lower our property taxes by saving billions of dollars when we switch to Medicare for All, Single-Payer, because local governments will be saving hundreds of millions on health coverage for employees.

A Living Wage.

I like to call the "living wage." No one should be too poor to live. One job should be enough for all of us. Everyone who works hard should be fairly compensated.

I support a $20 minimum wage, indexed to inflation. If we had properly adjusted it since its creation, it would be $33 an hour.

Today the United States has the worst inequality since 1928, says an AP Report based on most recent Census Bureau Data. But, apparently, we’ve been in an economic growth period for the last decade. Many hardworking Americans have not felt the return. Almost all of the new income, the product of all of our hard labor, goes to the top 1%. Many people feel like we’re in a recession, because we’re squeezed out of every dollar we earn, at every turn.  Inequality results from our government’s policy failures. And income inequality is a threat to our democracy, because if people are not making enough money to live, this increases financial stress which increases crime. If we want to address crime and make our State safer, we should provide more economic opportunity and relieve financial stress.

In Middlesex and Monmouth County, 90,000 people, or more than 10% of the population, make minimum wage. That’s why I’ve committed to fighting for a living wage of $20 an hour indexed to inflation. One job should be enough to support a family. MIT has a Living Wage Calculator For Middlesex, New Jersey, which indicates that for a family of 2 adults, with 1 child, the living wage is $27. For Monmouth County, it's a little above $20.

"The living wage shown is the hourly rate that an individual in a household must earn to support his or herself and their family. The assumption is the sole provider is working full-time (2080 hours per year). The tool provides information for individuals, and households with one or two working adults and zero to three children.

Further, for small businesses, we can make provide special incentives to help with paying the living wage to new employees, and have special carve outs to ensure they can adjust.

Increasing the minimum wage leads to an increase in both revenue and employment, according to a new study in New York City.

Why Russ is the Better Democrat for New Jersey: The minimum wage has not increased in ten years. Yet the cost of nearly everything has gone up. Russ understands the struggle of working people in this country. His family was lucky - his mom was able to stay home and raise the kids. Russ believes that one job should be enough - one working parent should earn enough to provide for a family. We all should earn enough to live. Russ will fight for better wages in New Jersey and nationwide. Increasing the minimum wage will increase the economic spending power of millions of people across this country.

Beat the Opioid Crisis.

How did we get here? In 2018 nearly 3,000 people died from an overdose. The opioid crisis is a byproduct of the insatiable greed of the Pharmaceutical Industry, and the politicians who take their campaign contributions and a major contributor to the crisis are the expensive and uncovered mental health services.

Addiction is a disease that requires medical treatment and can be cured with the right health care.

Did you know that one of the biggest providers of addiction treatment are prisons? That's unacceptable.

We need to hold the drug manufacturers accountable for their role in over-producing and over-selling opioids. We must impose a duty on drug manufacturers to investigate cases of addiction and fraudulent purchases.  

Russ will address the Opioid Crisis head on by treating the opioid crisis as a national emergency and supports: 

1. Medicare for All,
which will cover mental health services and ensure that anyone who struggles with addiction can get the help that they need.
2. Decriminalize ALL drugs.
3. Invest in research and funding to find safer alternatives to opioids

How can we get this done?
Portugal has found safer alternatives and lifted their country out of the crisis. We can do it too. This will take a grassroots movement, and will need the people to get involved and help me to pressuring their representatives and senators to do what must be done.

LegalizeMarijuana.

- Regulate it to protect the public from illegal vapes.
- Expunge all criminal records for marijuana possession.
- Reparations for those who have been incarcerated for marijuana possession.
- Prioritize and invest in small businesses owned by those who have been affected by marijuana prohibition.

End the War on Drug Users.

- Provide rehabilitation services through Medicare for All.
- Treat addiction like an illness, not a crime.

Why Russ is the better choice for New Jersey: We don’t take massive contributions from Big Pharma. We must vote out all politicians who take millions from the drug companies, like Frank Pallone, who maintain the status quo.

Democracy in the Workplace, Strong Unions & Employee's Rights.

We need more democracy in our economy. Workers should get a say in how companies operate. Right now, the economy is set up as small "monarchies," governed by secretive, closed door boardrooms, dominated by shareholders and insiders that do not let the public know about any decisions being made, until the very final moment. This is wrong in a democracy, and we never voted on this secretive arrangement, especially when multinational corporations control more and more aspects of our lives.

I will be one of the most pro-union Congressional Representatives in the country, because I'm a member of DC-37, AFL-CIO, AFSCME. In fact, I've been rated by Data for Progress as one of the most pro-union candidates in the country, far surpassing the incumbent representative's record. That's because I represent people, and unions represent people.

Unions won us the weekends, child labor protections, and the 40 hour work week. When unions were strong, one job could support a family. Unions helped build the highest standard of living the world has ever seen. It's no secret that the decline of wages over the past thirty years has been linked to the decline of unions. Union workers earn 25% more than non-union workers.

Strong unions means better wages, better working conditions, and a bigger share of the profits that employees create. Union employees earn more per hour, and receive better benefits, on average, than non-union workers. Divided we beg, united we bargain.

I support these policies to strengthen unions and increase democracy in the workplace, for all of us:
1- Promoting the right to bargain for better wages, better hours, better benefits, and working conditions is key to growing the wealth of the working class.
2- Promote the right to overtime pay and to join a union.
3- Right to strike for federal employees, and banning "strike busting" workers from becoming full time employees.
4- End the "independent contractor" and "supervisor" loopholes. Companies will no longer be able to label employees as "independent contractors" to avoid paying benefits. End the "franchise" loophole, so that employees are protected in the workplace, from bad actors of any type.
5- Require "just-cause" employment, where any firing must be based on a sufficient "business" reason and may require an explanation.
6- Employee Governance: Encourage 50% of board of directors to be elected by the employees of the company.
7- Abolish all "Right to work for less and get fired" (AKA Right to work) laws across the country.
8- Expand Union recognition with Union Card Signage - 51% of employees sign a union recognition card, the union is immediately recognized and negotiation must begin within 10 days, and within 90 days there must be a contract, or then binding arbitration must begin. During this time, employers may not interfere with union activities outside of the negotiations.
9- Standardized union contract clauses.
10- Union contracts must be upheld by the new owner when one company buys another.
11- Protect pensions and the Keep Our Pension Promises Act.
12- Ban the mandatory arbitration of negotiations with the NLRB.
13- Enshrine labor protections in National Labor Relations Board, and remove the requirement of appointments by the executive branch. Instead, recognized unions shall meet and elect board members of the National Labor Relations Board.
14- Strikes provide a unique scenario: the business' strategy, each side is trying to "wait out" the other side. Business lose profits and workers lose income. So, to encourage negotiations, we should eliminate the waiting game to provide special "strike funds," which can be funded by unions, to guarantee pay for union workers that are on strike.
15- Repeal most provisions of Taft-Hartley Act that handcuffs union activities in unreasonable ways, and will ban employers from anti-union propaganda.
16- Allow industrial sector unions to negotiate nationally.
17- Ban discrimination in the workplace with the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ+ people from workplace discrimination.

Create the Right to a fair schedule. When I worked in the restaurant industry, it was frustrating to not know my schedule more than a few days in advance. I wouldn't be able to plan ahead or know how much income I'd have the next week. We need to end "on-call" scheduling for industries where it is not required. For example, companies with greater than 20 employees must give at least 1 week notice of schedules. If an employee is given less than 1 weeks notice, they must be paid a bonus unless the shift was voluntarily picked up. This law was passed just two years ago in New York.

Create a Right of First Refusal for Employees: If a company is for sale, closing a shop, or shipping overseas, create a right of first refusal for the employees of the company to purchase these assets, and provide federal funding for loans to purchase them, if owned as a worker cooperative for the public good. This will protect local jobs and create opportunities for worker owned cooperatives.

Win the trade war: Require all corporations operating internationally and nationally to comply with all United States Labor regulations, including protecting domestic and agricultural workers in the United States.

A just transition under Medicare for all, which protects the medical benefits that  employees have bargained for. The National Labor Relations Board will oversee new union contracts, to require benefits that have gone to the employer by virtue of the savings of Medicare for All, go to the workers in form of benefits or increased wages. AND, like the GM CEO did to the UAW Labor union, no CEO can deny your health benefits because they disagree with your free speech.

Federal Contractors must be "union shops:"  (1) a union shop (2) must pay living wage (3) may not export jobs overseas (4) must not have exorbitant CEO compensation, no more than three times the average workers' full time salary (5) must not engage in union busting nor anti-union propaganda activities. Lifetime ban for contracts with government if they ever do, which applies to the individuals and decision makers, not just the "company" which can be closed down and re-branded to avoid detection.

Russ's Signature Plan for Democracy in the workplace:
Increase employee ownership:
Establishing a national worker-cooperative incubator for public assistance for startups and employee owned companies.

I will endorse and sign within the first 100 days the Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2019 (H.R.2474).

Federal Jobs Guarantee

A Federal Jobs Guarantee will end unemployment in this country and ignite our economy. It will set a high standard of living for all People, and allow us to rebuild our communities, pave potholes, rebuild our infrastructure.
- Guaranteed on-the-job training, which will be available to all who want to find a new line of work.
- Guaranteed good pay, good union jobs, that are in our communities.

The federal government will fund the work that needs to be done in our communities. We've got potholes, we've got traffic, we've got needs. The people in the communities will lead the developments on these issues. The planning, development, hiring, and getting the work done will be the responsibility, of the people in the community. If we have any needs in our communities, the funding should be readily available from the federal government. Putting people to work in our country is the best kind of return on investment possible.

The common good needs many things to be done, like building renewable energy farms, windmill farms, solar panel farms, battery storage farms, rebuilding our country's crumbling infrastructure, expanding affordable high quality public housing, building more and updating public schools, or paving potholes, roads, raising bridges, building high speed rail for New Jersey and other public transportation options. In short, there is lots of work that has to be done in our country that has been neglected for far too long. A federal jobs guarantee will make sure that the work we need, gets done, and everyone will have the opportunity to get valuable training in doing the best work possible - rebuilding America.

Women's Rights

Women today find themselves in a society that is willing to pay them less than men for the same work, eliminate hard fought for federal protections, and are charged unfair prices for necessary products.

People of all genders and backgrounds must stand together to fight for justice and equality for all.While policy is important, public pressure from the people, the women’s march as an example, is necessary to get such policies pushed. We will be on the side of women’s rights and equality and will fight for the issues that impact women at large.

What Russ Will Fight For:
1. Eliminate the Pink Tax.
Women should not have to pay higher prices for the things they need.
2. Pay Equity.Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. We must achieve pay equity for women.
3. Repeal the Hyde Amendment.
4. Women's Health.
Include women's health in Medicare for All, including contraceptives and abortions.
5. Expand the WIC program and increase benefits for pregnant women/AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals, and their infants, so that every low-income family receives the nutrition they need to live healthy lives.​
6. Federally Decriminalize Sex Work
.Repeal SESTA/FOSTA. Anti-SW legislation unfairly targets low-income women (and LGBTQ+ persons) while failing to address exploitative/predatory actors in the sex work industry.​
7. Re-authorize, improve, and expand the Violence Against Women Act.
8. Pass Universal Public Childcare and increase wages for childcare workers.
9. Guarantee at least 6 months of paid family leave.

Expand Social Security

Today, way too many seniors live in poverty, and benefits only pay about $14,000 a year.

We will double social security benefits, so everyone may retire in dignity. We can lower the retirement age, so that we all get to enjoy our golden years, and aren't forced to work well into our 60's.

In Congress I will support: 

- Double Social Security Benefits and Supplemental Security Income.
- Lower the retirement age to 60.
- Provide in home care for seniors as part of Medicare for all.
- An expansion of Medicare benefits under Medicare for All.

Housing for All

Housing must be a human right for all Americans. Not only must we expand the right to housing, by making federal investments in new housing, we also need to make housing affordable for homeowners. We all need a roof over our heads, and the safety, comfort, and above all, a chance to prosper, that it provides.

New Jersey also faces a housing crisis. People are priced out of their homes by incredibly high property taxes, but New Jerseyans must make $27 an hour to reasonably afford rent for a two bedroom apartment. No one should be spending more than 30% of their income on housing. But 51% of Americans pay more than 30% of their income on rent and utilities. This affects minority groups the most, which is largely a result of discriminatory housing practices. We must also look out for homeowners and lower New Jersey property taxes and make home ownership affordable.

We have 500,000 homeless people, 50,000 are veterans. We need to build affordable housing. I've dedicated my career to fighting for affordable housing, and it's time to take my knowledge and experience to the federal level.

Russ fully supports creating a right to housing and:
- Low interest mortgages and refinancing options, as low as 0%.
- A tenant's bill of rights to guarantee the right to safe housing.
- Build millions of new housing units throughout the country.
- National rent stabilization to promote affordable housing.
- Tenant protection laws that protect tenants from unjust rent increases.
- A right to counsel for all tenants.
- Nonpayment evictions may only be commenced if two consecutive months of rent are missed.
- Prohibiting discrimination on source of income.
- Require large landlords to report data for the common good, on eviction rates, average rent increases, and average maintenance costs.

Russ's Signature Plan for New Jersey:
- Reduce property tax burdens in New Jersey by increasing the federal education budget and Medicare for All, which will reduce the cost that New Jersey local governments pay for health insurance of its employees.
- Allow a full State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction for homeowners. (Repealing the republican tax scam).
- Allow a tax deduction for rental payments.
- Allow refinancing of mortgages to low interest rates.

A Fair Work/Life Balance for All

We work hard, and we deserve a modern work/life balance. Americans are more productive ever before, but we work longer hours than ever as well. We must guarantee all people a paid vacation, family leave, and sick leave. These are all guaranteed in every other industrialized country. The United States has lagged behind.

Paid Family Leave: 
The United States lags behind in paid family leave. Almost every other country allows families to bond in the earliest stages of life. Without paid family leave, families are overly stressed at the hardest time of their lives. This affects their work, their families, and the new born. As a father, Russ knows how hard the first few months are with a newborn. Sleepless nights are common.

Americans need six months paid family leave for new families to spend together, bonding and getting the chance to get acquainted with new family members. 
Beginning in 2020, New Jersey will provide 12 weeks paid family leave to all, for a newborn or to take care of a sick family member, a maximum of $840/week. That's a great start, but we should expand it through the federal government, and we won't increase your taxes to do it.

Paid Vacation Leave: 
We are the only industrialized nation that doesn’t REQUIRE paid vacation time. This is about all of us having more time to spend doing the things that matter most - spending time with our family, and creating strong familial bonds, and strengthening our communities as well. We should guarantee all 4 weeks of paid vacation leave. Paid sick leave: Everyone gets sick, and everyone needs time to recover.

Time for Freedom: 
Russ also supports a congressional subcommittee to explore a concept proposed by the Labor Movement in the 1940's, called "Time for Freedom." Every seventh year, all Americans should be guaranteed an entire year of vacation to enjoy life, explore the world and their passions, and live it to the fullest.

Foreign Policy

Russ believes that America should end all wars, we should prioritize diplomacy first, and wars should be an option of last resort.

America has been dragged into illegal occupations in the Middle East and elsewhere, with zero Congressional approval. We must pursue an international policy based on promoting peace, anti-intervention, and diplomacy first. Congress must reclaim its constitutional authority of declaring war and we must use it sparingly. We can fight terrorism by using the tools used to fight international organized crime.

End Presidential Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). Constitutionally only Congress has the power to declare war, and the President is not constitutionally authorized to use military force without Congress.

Russ supports diplomacy first:
- Reclaiming Congressional Authority to declare war.
- An anti-interventionist policy.
- De-nuclearization of the planet and America. We should not be harnessing the tools of humanity's self-destruction.
- Significantly reducing the military budget to invest at home and in our veterans instead.
- Reduce our number of military bases world wide from 800 to less than 50. (Other countries have a maximum of 9 internationally).
- End the war in Yemen and end our exports of military arms to human rights violators.

We need world peace across the globe. We must strengthen our alliances world wide and work with the United Nations. America must be a leader in the UN again and focus on international diplomacy.

De-Nuclearization treaties across the planet. Humanity should not be building the weapons that can destroy all life on this earth. We can do it by setting an example and using our diplomatic strength.

Why Russ is the best choice for New Jersey:
The incumbent has consistently voted for bloated war budgets, including the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act). Russ will never vote for a bloated military budget, and would have voted against the NDAA. Russ believes in a diplomacy first approach to foreign policy.

End Hunger

We need to make sure that no American goes hungry, and we will do it by prioritizing human needs to feed people.

The current "Farm Bill" is actually a massive taxpayer handout to corporate conglomerate farms. A Farm Bill should promote healthy food, but ours does not. Instead, it subsidizes low nutrition food like corn and sugar. Even cotton receives more of an investment under the current farm bill than organic farms. When was the last time anyone ate cotton?

We need a "Healthy Food Bill" that prioritizes growing healthy food and feeding the hungry. Healthy food is"sun" food; organic, free from pesticides, nutritious, and uses sustainable farming. The "Healthy Food Bill" will also fully fund programs that feed children and people who need food security.

- Prioritize investments in healthy sun food, grown without pesticides and high in nutrition.
- Invest in family farms, and ensure that farmers make a living wage.
- Local vocational training in farming practices, and a federal job guarantee.
- Require food "ingredient" labels to include which pesticides are used.
- Require all grocery stores to donate food that is still edible to local food banks, instead of throwing them in the trash, and provide tax incentives for doing so.
- End corporate monopolies over our food supplies.
- Promote sustainable farming that replenishes soil quality, and provide training to farmers for sustainable farming practices.

Russ's Signature Proposal for America:
- Construct thousands of indoor, vertical, modern, automated, hydroponic / aquaponic farms throughout the country. These farms will be community owned, provide thousands of community jobs, and grow low cost, organic, sun food. These farms will be self sustaining and utilize renewable energy and fish. They will provide food for the hungry, and low cost, high nutrition food for everyone.
- Ban "School Lunch Debt" and make sure every student gets free food at school.
- Incentives for schools to procure healthy school lunches for free to all their students.
- Fully fund all school food programs from the federal government. Students need full bellies to learn.
- Invest in "lab grown" meat production to reduce animal cruelty.
- Conduct regular inspections of factory farms, create new health standards for all factory farms, and work to phase out the practice because it increases risks of widespread food borne illnesses and is cruel to animals.

Racial Justice for All

We need justice for all people, especially racial justice in this country. Americans can no longer tolerate the racial injustice that exists in the criminal justice system. We have only 4.5% of the world's population, yet nearly 25% of the world's prison population. Black and Latino People are targeted by the criminal justice system, which leads to higher arrest rates, longer sentences, and higher incarceration rates. We need to end this injustice in this country by reforming our criminal justice system. We can be strong on crime, but we must balance the desire for retribution with compassion and justice. Those whom have committed crimes often have done so for economic reasons. The old question, "Would you steal a loaf of bread if your family was starving," is the reality that too many people ask themselves way too often. So, we must address the economic reasons that cause more crime. That's why a federal jobs guarantee and raising the minimum wage to a living wage is so important. It will make us all safer if we provide more economic opportunity for all and a high standard of living for all people.

Prison Reform:
- Abolish for profit prisons. There should be no incentives for locking people up.
- Legalize Marijuana and expunge all non-violent possession convictions. Reparations for those who have been incarcerated due to possession of marijuana.
- End the failed war on drug users, whom are victims of addition, and instead provide rehabilitation centers and addiction treatments as part of healthcare with Medicare for All.
- End cash bail.
- End the three strike rule.
- Reform mandatory minimum sentencing laws.
- Abolish the 1994 Crime Bill.

Racial Justice:

- Support a committee in the House for Reparations for American Descendants of Slavery.
- Focus on community development, including frontline communities with a federal jobs guarantee.

Police Reform:
- End racial profiling, "broken windows," "stop and frisk."
- Ban resale of "military" equipment to police departments, like tanks or armored vehicles.
- Train police to de-escalate situations without force, to prioritize community leadership and to strengthen our communities.
- Require body cameras on police officers (and lobbyists).
- Create an Independent Dept. of Justice oversight committee to investigate claims of policy brutality where someone dies in police custody.
- Expand social services so that police officers are not overburdened as social workers.
- Ensure all people who have served time are properly rehabilitated into society, which is a fundamental reason we need the federal jobs guarantee.
- Ban the use of facial recognition technology.
- Ban civil asset forfeiture.
- Abolish ICE.

Legalize Marijuana.

- Regulate it to protect the public from illegal vapes.
- Expunge all criminal records for marijuana possession.
- Reparations for those who have been incarcerated for marijuana possession.
- Prioritize and invest in small businesses owned by those who have been affected by marijuana prohibition.

End the War on Drug Users.

- Provide rehabilitation services through Medicare for All.
- Treat addiction like an illness, not a crime.
- Decriminalize drugs.

Why Russ is the better choice for New Jersey: Frank Pallone voted for the draconian 1994 crime bill. Russ will reform and work to abolish that bill. New Jersey has one of the highest arrest levels for marijuana possession in the nation, and we must end the prohibition on marijuana.

Universal Childcare.

Russ's plan for universal childcare will guarantee high quality, affordable child-care, and early learning opportunities, for New Jersey families and Americans. The early years of life are the most important in a child's development.

Americans pay the most in the industrialized world for childcare. Instead, we will make sure that every child in America has the right to affordable child-care, instead of a privilege. The average person in America pays almost 50% of their income for a single parent, or 25% of their income for two parents, for childcare.
Universal Childcare can be financed by an "ultra millionaire" wealth tax of just 1% on wealth worth more than $50,000,000.

Russ and his wife Erika have faced the difficulty finding high quality and affordable child care. Both Russ and Erika have to work full time, so Cole, their son, has to be in a safe and learning environment. Cole is two years old, so he goes to a daycare which costs about $1,500 a month. It's time that we make sure every child has the early start they need - high quality childcare that doesn't break the bank. This will pay off in the long run because everyone knows that a child's formative years are the most important for their development later in life.

Did you know that in France, parents only pay about $1 an hour for childcare? If France can do it, America can do it too.

Russ fully supports:

- Universal childcare for all .
- Paying childcare workers a living wage.

Women's Rights.

Women today find themselves in a society that is willing to pay them less than men for the same work, eliminate hard fought for federal protections, and are charged unfair prices for necessary products.

People of all genders and backgrounds must stand together to fight for justice and equality for all.While policy is important, public pressure from the people, the women’s march as an example, is necessary to get such policies pushed. We will be on the side of women’s rights and equality and will fight for the issues that impact women at large.

What Russ Will Fight For:
1. Eliminate the Pink Tax.
Women should not have to pay higher prices for the things they need.
2. Pay Equity.Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. We must achieve pay equity for women.
3. Repeal the Hyde Amendment.
4. Women's Health.
Include women's health in Medicare for All, including contraceptives and abortions.
5. Expand the WIC program and increase benefits for pregnant women/AFAB (assigned female at birth) individuals, and their infants, so that every low-income family receives the nutrition they need to live healthy lives.​
6. Federally Decriminalize Sex Work
.Repeal SESTA/FOSTA. Anti-SW legislation unfairly targets low-income women (and LGBTQ+ persons) while failing to address exploitative/predatory actors in the sex work industry.​
7. Re-authorize, improve, and expand the Violence Against Women Act.
8. Pass Universal Public Childcare and increase wages for childcare workers.
9. Guarantee at least 6 months of paid family leave.

Immigration Justice

We need immigration justice in this country. Russ's great grandparents came to America from Italy through Ellis Island in New York City. Russ believes we should have an immigration policy centered on justice for all who'd like to enter America. We direly need comprehensive immigration reform in our country.

Russ supports:

- Reform the immigration system to provide all documents and papers upon entry, to encourage everyone crossing the border to do so legally.
- Closing the Concentration Camps on the border.
- Abolishing ICE and granting jurisdiction to DHS.
- Expanding the immigration courts to simplify the process.

Modernize Democracy

We need to modernize our Democracy to ensure that our government is of, by, and for the People. Elections should be protected from the federal level and have adequate funding for this core tenet of our Democracy.

Create a Federal Election Protection committee to Protect the Right to Vote:
Our voting machines should be updated and secure with a paper ballot trail. The voting machines should not be outsourced to any corporation, to ensure integrity.
Federal Elections should be a national holiday, or on a weekend.
Restore the Voter Rights Act.
Automatic Voter Registration:
All eligible voters should automatically be registered to vote.
Secure our elections.
We need updated voting machines
Make it easier to vote. If millions of people can vote for American Idol instantly, there has to be an easier way to increase voter participation. One proposal includes using technology for instant polling on issues.
Direct Democracy on Issues. For every federal election, there should be one or two ballot initiatives for direct democracy of the People. The People will decide on a specific issue. For instance, in the 2020 election, there should be a national ballot issue on whether to legalize marijuana or not, for all people to vote in the election. The Direct Democracy on Issues will increase voter turnout immensely.

Russ pledges to:
Increase transparency:
Monthly town halls within the district, with live polling so the district can vote on key issues and make their voices heard. Questions may be submitted in advance and at the town hall. This will increase democratic participation in our government and encourage everyone to stay involved in politics.

End Gun Violence

We need to end gun violence in this country. No other country deals with as many mass shootings as America does. It's related to one fact: we have the highest rates of gun ownership on the planet and some of the loosest gun restrictions throughout the nation.

Russ supports:
- Universal Background Checks (instantly).
- Mental Health screenings.
- An Assault Weapons Buyback Program (Voluntary) and a ban on Assault Weapons. (Semi-automatic rifles).
- Immediate registration of all weapons of war.
- Requiring "gun owners insurance" and require safety training for licensing, similar to what is done for car insurance.
- The right to own a pistol or shotgun for home defense, and a rifle (bolt action) for hunting.

Invest in Public Education

In America, we must educate our People. We all benefit from a well educated population. But Congress has not taken it seriously - less than 10% of our discretionary budget is invested in public education. But Congress has wasted more than 60% on funding endless illegal occupations world wide. We will use the Power of the Purse to invest in our schools, our children, and our future, as a competitive nation should. I support prioritizing our education budget in the federal budget. We can reduce the military budget, so we can have more funds in our States to fund schools, higher education, and be competitive. For opportunity for all, we need investments in our State schools from a federal level.

My wife is a teacher, of special needs students. So I know firsthand the hard work that teachers put in on a daily basis to change the world. I promise to always fight for teachers in New Jersey.

In Congress I will support:
- Raising starting salary of teachers' higher than $60,000 nationally and adjusted to cost of living for New Jersey.

- Prioritizing our budget to invest in public education from a federal level, to lower property taxes and raise teachers' salaries.
- Support before and after school programs, like arts, music, foreign languages, tutoring, and teen centers.
- Support universal Pre-K for all of New Jersey.
- Expand vocational training and categories of such.
- Expand Computer science training in local voational school.
- Ban the use of toxic chemicals in schools.
- Expand summer programs for students to learn and have fun.
- Provide healthy school meals for all children and ban lunch debt.
- Pass a non-discrimination act that protects equality and rights of LGBTQ+ people.

LGBTQ+ Justice

The LGBTQ community has had a long history of being discriminated, targeted, harassed, and abused in this country. As the Trump administration continues to eliminate protections for LGBTQ+ Americans, it becomes clearer and clearer everyday that Congress needs bold progressive leadership to combat this.

As a result of discrimination and harassment, we have seen an alarming number of people in the community die by suicide. LGBTQ+ students are three times more likely to be targets of physical harassment and are 90 % more likely to be bullied. More than Half of transgender male teens have reported attempting suicide in their lifetimes, including 29.9 % of transgender female teens. 41.8 % of non-binary youths have attempted suicide.

What can be done:
1. 
Combat LGBTQ+ harassment at schools by implementing LGBTQ+-inclusive education in public schools.
2. Ensure that all public schools have and maintain LGBTQ+ clubs and other community spaces.
3. Counseling must always be available to students who struggle
4. Training for students and administrators on how to make their schools an environment that welcomes all people.
5. Make Trans murder and Suicide a national emergency.
6. Restore all protections lost under the Trump administration and reverse all anti-LGBTQ+ laws on the books. Example: Eliminate the transgender military ban.
7. Ban Conversion Therapy federally.
8. End LGBTQ+ youth homelessness.
9. End the “Gay Panic Defense”. Murder as a result of homophobia is unacceptable.
10. End “Trans Panic” Defense
11. We must add nonbinary options to all public documents where it is available (if not, then said documents should be de-gendered).
12. De-gender dress codes in our public schools.
13. Ensure that Trans employees will not be fired for enforcing their preferred pronouns in the workplace.
14. Classify gender affirmation surgery as Necessary Care under Medicare for All.
15. Remove transmedicalist language from education materials.
16. End Misgendered Imprisonment where people are sent to prison based on the gender assigned to them from birth.
17. Ban intersex mutilation
18. Remove restrictions, legal and financial, on name change and ID changes
19. Support the Equality Act to protect all people from discrimination. Our LGBTQ+ community must be protected from discrimination, in the workplace, and everywhere. Russ will immediately co-sponsor the Equality Act and fight to ensure the social justice that the LGBTQ+community deserves.

Why is Russ Cirincione the best choice for Congress in NJ-6?            
Russ understands that it will take a strong grassroots movement to pass bold societal changes, and is ready to be involved to lead such a movement in the district. Also, unlike the current representative, Russ will vote against all anti-LGBTQ+ legislation regardless of political expediency.

Reform Charter Schools

New Jersey has over 91 charter schools, with 50,000 students enrolled, and 35,000 on waiting lists. New Jersey's first charter school came about in 1996. Ever since, charter schools have been spending wastefully, are overpriced, and produce lackluster results. The public funds of New Jersey have been lining the pockets of rich property owners, who have rigged the system to charge exorbitant prices for New Jerseyans. The truth is we do not need to have a separate system of charter schools - we need to invest in our public education more instead, because the common good requires us to focus on educating children.

For example, New Jersey charter schools cannot legally own property. So they set up fake shell companies to buy the buildings and the shell companies charge the charter schools very expensive rent that is far above market rates. This is wasteful and profiteering. In the end, Charter schools drain millions of dollars from our public schools in waste.
Their main goal is to make a profit, not educate students. They make secret decisions and don't have to disclose them to our State. That's why we have to ban for-profit charter schools, and require them to switch to a non-profit model and open and transparent.

In Congress I will support:
- Banning the "for-profit" model of charter schools so that all our resources go to educating our children and providing teachers' and staffs' salaries.
- A federal investigation into the success of charter schools and their efficiency.

For more information on this issue click here.

Protect Veterans with the Hero's Promise

Veterans deserve to be welcomed home and immediately brought back into civilian life. America has forgotten many veterans when they return home, though. We have at least 50,000 homeless veterans, and veterans often have difficulty finding a job to re-enter the workforce. Way too many veterans struggle with PTSD and nightmarish memories of war. As many as 20 veterans are lost to suicide every day in America. Sargent Glenn Casey, a New Jersey hero, was one of the victims of war. He struggled with PTSD, and about one year after he completed his service, took his own life. His sister, Lee Casey, started Quesadillas for a Cause, a non-profit dedicated to keeping Sargent Glenn Casey's memory alive, and dedicated to feeding the hungry.

We must treat our veterans, who risked their lives, with the respect that they deserve.

The Heroes' Promise: A promised to our veterans. A Service Member Bill of Rights:
- Citizenship for all Veterans
- Mental Health treatment, unconditionally provided, for free, for life, for all veterans.
- Healthcare via the VA or Medicare for All upon leaving service, that includes dental, vision, mental health, and long term care.
- Require therapy for Veterans, once a month, when returning home.
- Education for veterans, tuition free public education for their entire lives.
- A right to housing for all veterans.
- A right to an "End of Service Pension" - up to 6 years equal time served of exiting base pay. (for example, a non-combat veteran that serves 4 years will receive a 4 year pension).
- Meal and sleep time protections (6-8 hours sleep unless in a war zone or combat).
- Right to file effective grievances outside their chain of command.

Digital Privacy Act

Americans are being tracked online, and most of us don't even know it. Every action of our online lives has been recorded. Often in secret. Often used against us. It was used in 2016 to influence an election and target people based on things they may not have even known about themselves. It's also used to sell us more products. Have you ever talked about something and a few minutes later were you targeted with an ad for it while browsing the internet? 

Our personal information is for sale. We need to protect the right to privacy online, and modernize the law to reflect current reality. We will create personal property rights in online data, with the following rights:
- Require that big data companies have a fiduciary duty of loyalty to the user to act in the best interests of the user. If there is no fiduciary duty there must be disclaimers.
- Right to opt out of data collection.
- Right to be notified of data breaches as soon as possible within 7 days
- Right to be forgotten, and deletion of all of our data, with confirmation of such.
- Right to a copy of the data.
- Right to fair compensation for the sale of our data.
- Right to know when data has been sold to a third party.

Disability Rights

We need to protect disability rights and provide the services that disabled persons need. Many people living with a disability are forced into institutions for long term care and their civil rights are infringed. For liberty of those living with a disability, we must federally provide services to help them achieve independent lifestyles, be productive members of society, and live a high quality life.

- End the sub-minimum wage paid to those with a disability and pass a living wage.
- Protect those with a disability from all forms of discrimination.
- Signing and co-sponsoring the Disability Integration Act of 2019. ("DIA").
- Medicare for All to provide home and community based services.
- Medicare for All to include long term services, long term care, and in home personal assistance.
- Federally invest in manufacturing and 3-d printing facilities to manufacture low cost wheelchairs, vehicles, and prosthetics, and provide these for free to disabled persons.
- Amend the 21st Century Cures Act to mandate the use of web-based time sheets. Prohibit Electronic Visit Verification ("EVV") systems from violating civil rights and protect the right to privacy by banning cameras and recording systems controlled by a secondary entity, bio-metrics, bio-marking, geo-tagging, or any forms of surveillance in the home.
- Expand Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income.
- A federal jobs guarantee that will employ people with a disability.
- Ensure that the Americans with Disabilities Act (the "ADA") has a new federal enforcement mechanism.
- Fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA")

Cryptocurrency Regulation

Cryptocurrencies are the new frontier of digital currency and a technological revolution. The Blockchain creates a public ledger of all transactions and promotes transparency. Cryptocurrencies are the future for online payments and development is exceeding expectations. The United States must become a forerunner in this industry, provide technical training to persons as part of the federal jobs guarantee, and provide clarity on cryptocurrency regulations. The securities laws must be modernized to protect consumers from fraud and also provide clarity on taxation and regulation issues.

I intend on being one of the most crypto-friendly member of Congress. I support these policies for Cryptocurrencies which are based on Swiss regulation:
- Define three types of currencies: Asset token, Utility token, and Payment token.
- Tax free transactions on all cryptocurrencies, except for purchases of goods that are subject to local and state taxes.
- An "ICO" must comply with certain disclosure requirements.
- Registration with the SEC for "securities," if a token represents an ownership stake in a company.

Modern Money Economy

Much of what we assume to be true about the economy is related to our own personal experience. We each earn incomes, which is our only source of getting dollars. This creates a mentality of "scarcity" - there is only so much of our own money in our budgets. We, as people, are currency users. Now, a currency user is much different than a currency issuer. The federal government was given the sole power to create our national currency, the dollar. When we think about where all dollars come from, they are all originally printed by the federal government, when the government decides to invest in something. The source of all money in the economy today actually comes from our federal spending. Therefore, it is actually government spending that drives the economy that powers our lives. We should focus on prioritizing doing the things that we need to get done. The dollar was created so we can do great things from the federal government.

If you're worried about inflation, don't be. There is already $22 Trillion in federal debt, and we have not been able to hit  2% inflation for decades. Further, we will use the many economic tools and economic planning that can counter inflation. This will be part of federal monetary policy, legislated into the bills, to prevent inflation. For one, we can issue bonds, like we did in World War II, that takes money out of circulation to deter inflation.

However, in four key sectors in our economy, there has been extreme inflation over the past few decades: Education, Housing, Healthcare, and Energy are quickly rising in costs because there is not enough production to meet demand. Inflation is caused by an increased demand, but a lack of supply. Therefore, we have to invest in our productive capacity to counter inflation. That's why it's important for policies that invest in education, housing, healthcare and energy.

Universal Basic Income

Russ supports a Universal Basic Income (a "UBI") for all Americans who want it. It's a form of social security that guarantees everyone an income.

- A Congressional Committee to investigate the need, amount, and how to pay for a UBI, specifically investigating the viability of $1,000 a month for every person in America above 18. However, the starting proposal should include $1,000 a month per person over the age of 18.
- Enact protection measures to ensure that inflation does not occur, which is mainly curbed by investing in our production capacities to increase supply. That means, we will have to make public investments in our manufacturing capabilities here at home, which means more good jobs for our nation.

There are 40 million people living in poverty in the United States today. Estimates are that number is even higher. Robots, artificial intelligence, and automation are already replacing jobs. A UBI will provide economic stability to all, and provide economic incentive for doing socially beneficial work that is currently unpaid.

How will we pay for it? A Congressional committee can fully understand this better, but here are the main points: 
First, a UBI pays for itself. It will save hundreds of billions of dollars by reducing crime rates and ending homelessness. A UBI would also unlock human potential and allow more entrepreneurs to start businesses, thus increasing the tax base. A UBI will make our country a better place to live, for all of us. Second, we can close corporate tax loopholes to ensure that the wealthiest multinational corporations pay their fair share in taxes, that can fund the program.

I've often wondered why we have not ended poverty in this nation yet. If you want to learn more about why a UBI makes sense, you should hear the story of an IQ test given to farmers two times a year, where they scored differently based on how much money they had on hand. Check out this interesting Ted Talk entitled, "Poverty isn't a lack of character, it's a lack of cash."