Money out of Politics: Leading by Example
Corporate money has no place in a government by and for the people. I pledge to work on behalf of the people who elect me, not the corporate interests that threaten to undermine our democracy and erode public trust in our institutions. Therefore, our movement refuses donations from corporate PACs.
America is a wealthy nation but that wealth is disproportionately owned by a small percentage of the population, while most of us struggle to afford housing, transportation, nutrition, education, healthcare, childcare, and other basic needs. Homelessness is on the rise around the country, workers are managing multiple jobs to stay afloat, the middle-class is carrying far too much debt, and the super wealthy just received a giant tax cut!
As a small business owner, working mother, and long-time activist for economic justice, Robin is committed to building a community where people, not profits, are the first concern. Robin will fight for:
Repealing the Trump Tax Cuts on the Rich- the affluent must invest their fair share to support shared services
A dignified and sufficient Living Wage, tied to consumer inflation
Pay equity for women and people of color
Workers' Rights to organize and negotiate collectively with employers
There is no Planet B. Robin is aware that none of the other plans or goals to which we aspire are possible without ensuring a livable world for ourselves, our children, and future generations. Robin is committed to prioritizing investment in scientifically-vetted solutions to reverse the damage human activity has caused. She will fight for environmental justice in communities here at home and around the country.
Robin fully supports the aspirational Green New Deal, which addresses sustainability and climate change from an environmental justice standpoint, as well as concrete steps advocated in Drawdown and the Green New Deal for Housing Act. We need bold political leadership that will not settle for ineffective solutions, such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act, a deeply flawed and partisan bill that is revenue neutral; meaning no funding to provide for infrastructure and systems improvements.
Healthcare for All
Robin has been active in the fight for universal, single-payer healthcare since observing how the military benefits her brother had made it possible for him to recover and thrive after being severely injured while serving in Iraq. Too many Americans are paying exorbitant premiums and deductibles before seeing any actual coverage, effectively leaving them with far more costs than benefits. Others have no coverage at all and are dependent on emergency rooms or self-treatment- which end up costing us all more in the long run.
Robin supports Medicare For All, which would ensure affordable, accessible health care to every American and expand coverage to include vision and dental benefits, mental health and substance abuse treatment programs, and long-term care.
Housing as a Human Right
As an activist for social justice, Robin has stood with Rochester's most vulnerable citizens as they've faced displacement, supporting the residents of both the South Avenue encampment and the Cadillac Hotel. Robin is committed to ensuring that everyone can affordably obtain secure, permanent housing. She supports investment in safe, temporary housing for anyone in need and supports subsidies for renters.
Robin opposes profit-driven development that displaces existing community residents and small businesses.
Sustainable development requires the intentional inclusion of all community members, with investment in accessible transportation and green spaces, and ease of access to food, employment, and healthcare in all of our neighborhoods.
Robin wants to end the major tax abatement of real estate investors, who receive a giveaway of 20% capital gains which they can indefinitely defer, a discreet and unconscionable practice that many district residents are unfamiliar with.
Policing and Criminal Justice Reform
As a Black woman, raising Black sons, Robin is keenly aware of how our current systems unfairly target certain communities, with tragic results. She has been extremely active on issues related to the profiling of people of color, mass incarceration and the routine criminalization of poverty. She will continue to work to reform the criminal justice system by fighting for policies that ensure police are being held to the same legal standards as all citizens- with transparency, civilian oversight, and accountability.
Robin will fight for:
Demilitarizing of our police forces
Legalization of marijuana, due to discriminatory enforcement
An end to the Cash Bail system
Prohibiting "broken windows” policing and race-based profiling
Eliminating for-profit prisons and detention centers
Ending the discriminatory use of past criminal history in determining eligibility to vote, work, and/or receive public services
Equitable Education for All
Robin believes that public education should not be privatized, that all children and youth should be given access to equitable, positive, supportive educational environments that nurture their academic AND social-emotional development. No student should suffer under the excessive burden of standardized assessments or punitive behavioral constraints. Robin will fight for:
- Free, public pre-K through college opportunities for all
- Student-loan debt relief
- Elimination of the for-profit student loan system
- Investment in evidence-based social-emotional learning (SEL) programs
- Equitable funding for all schools, regardless of ZIP Code
- Tripling of Title I funding and increased emphasis on Parent Engagement and culturally-responsive curriculum and hiring of teachers of color
Corporate lobbyists and the ultra-wealthy have been unfairly influencing American democracy and democratic processes for too long. Robin's campaign is powered by the people. She is not accepting any corporate campaign contributions, nor will she in the future. Robin will fight for:
An end to gerrymandering of election districts
Prohibition of voter suppression efforts
Re-enfranchisement of citizens who have satisfied the terms of prior felony convictions
Equal ability and right of citizens to participate in democratic processes at all levels
Address Rampant Racial Inequality
Our 25th Congressional District is now ranked the second-worst place for Black people to live in the United States. The data may be shocking for some, but the disparities are tangible realities for many in our district, which has the largest disparity in the country - Truly a Tale of Two Cities.
The data shows 34.8% of black people live in poverty compared to 8.2% white people. Unemployment numbers show 15.1% of black people are unemployed compared to 4.7% of white people. Homeownership data shows 31.6% of black people own homes compared to 72.2% white people. (Report can be found here)
Robin can easily identify these rampant disparities in our district’s health, economic and educational outcomes for African-American residents. Where once we used to have some of the highest-ranking schools, we now have the lowest ranking in the country. This current reality is unsustainable, and we need someone committed to improvement. Robin understands that these are historical inequities, and we need policies that redress generational theft of wealth and resources from certain communities and resulted in the current landscape. The solutions will not be found in simply tweaking existing systems.
Support for the LGBTQ+ Community
LGBTQ+ individuals and families are valuable members of our community and should be afforded equal rights and opportunities guaranteed by our Constitution. Robin supports diversity of gender expression and will provide leadership in Congress to ensure equal protection and access to all people, regardless of their sexual identity.
Welcoming Immigrants and Refugees
No human being is illegal. As the daughter of immigrants, Robin is committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of immigrants and refugees, documented or otherwise. She will promote policies and initiatives that ensure that those seeking safety and opportunity in America are welcomed. Robin will fight for:
Humane Immigration Reform
Discontinuation of policies that criminalize refugees and separate children from their parents
Protection of Dreamers through the extension of DACA
A clear path to citizenship for immigrants
Ending the ban on immigration from specific countries
Caring for our Most Vulnerable Citizens
Robin is committed to putting people first and investing in the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens. These include children and youth, people with disabilities, and older adults who require long-term care. She will support policies that ensure uncompromised access to good nutrition, healthcare, safe & accessible environments, opportunities for positive development and recreation, and to have their voices heard and respected. Robin will fight for investment in programs that ensure affordable, high-quality childcare; opportunities for people with disabilities to have and maintain independence; and security and dignity for our elders.
Combating Gun Violence
Adding to the debate around gun reform in the United States, Robin centers the issue of urban gun violence. Rochester is one of the murder capitals of the country, and we need policies that combat not only mass shootings, but gun violence as a whole. We need to talk about why we as a community have become inured to gun violence when it happens in only some places, to some people. Robin believes we need to also talk about access, not just background checks, as well as the tagging of ammunition—something the gun lobby has fought for decades against. We need to target the illicit transfer of guns, limit accessibility, and hold gun manufacturers accountable for the proliferation of guns.
Equity for All
Robin will work for policies that respect the rights of all people to be who they are, and to live their lives with dignity and acceptance. Her commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice is evident in her activism and policy-making and will continue to guide her decisions and her leadership.
In all policy matters, foreign and domestic, Robin will consider human rights, first and foremost. Robin is committed to enacting legislation that supports a society that works for all of us.