REAL Solutions for Affordable Healthcare
We Have to Fix The Broken Healthcare System
Our Health Care System is failing many Americans. Many of our friends and neighbors do not have enough money for necessary medical care or prescription drugs. This is wrong and should not be the reality in the United States–a nation with many resources.
Healthcare reform is a priority. For too long, pharmaceutical companies and other healthcare players have fought to enable one of the most costly healthcare systems in the world. We need to negotiate with these companies and bring down the costs all across our system before we take the next steps. Otherwise, no kind of coverage will be fair for Americans.
Badrun supports a public-option health plan. Those who are happy with their current private plans will be able to keep it. A strong, well-run public option will compete with private insurers, and we can move towards a better multi-payer health care system, or a single-payer system–if voters decide they want it.
An issue close to Badrun’s heart is the mental health crisis in this country. While cities such as New York have funded initiatives to address mental health care, high costs, insufficient coverage, and limited options still remain barriers to face-to-face care.
REAL Solutions via Universal Basic Income
Badrun Khan supports a PERMANENT universal basic income for every adult citizen.
All Americans, especially low-income individuals and households, will feel the economic repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic. To get through the remainder of the crisis, Badrun calls for a $2,000 monthly income for all adult citizens. After the crisis, this amount will be reduced to an estimated $1,000 a month, depending on per capita income growth.
A Universal Basic Income (UBI) is an unconditional sum of money from the government given to citizens, who are shareholders of the richest and most powerful nation in the world. Martin Luther King, Jr. called it a guaranteed annual income, and various renowned economists have promoted the idea. Andrew Yang called it the Freedom Dividend.
Studies show that people’s lives are enriched when they receive a basic income. The money is injected into the communities, and small business is revived and energized. The best part is that this money will not be printed out of thin air, or cause inflation. It’s wealth that already exists in the American economy that has floated to the top 1% as they continue to hoard market share and wreak havoc on local economies.
A universal basic income will be financed partly through a Value-Added Tax (VAT) on luxury goods, and goods and services that rely heavily on automation. Staple items like food, medicine, clothing and diapers would not have extra tax added at all. The VAT has proved vastly superior to the wealth tax, which has now been repealed in multiple countries, as the top 1% hid their money in offshore accounts and took advantage of tax loopholes. Instead, the VAT splits up the tax amongst the various parts of the production process.
Almost every other industrialized country in the world has a VAT. It is the smart way to tax wealth, and likely the only realistic way. You tax luxury spending, not wealth itself.
A universal basic come is not a left- or right-wing idea. It is an honest solution to fix many of the woes associated with late-stage capitalism, or corporatism. In the 1970s and 1980s, corporations began to prioritize profit above all else. The problem is that technology is advancing at such a rate that millions of jobs have disappeared. It is no longer enough to pay workers less; the jobs are now simply disappearing because workers are no longer considered assets. Now with the COVID-19 crisis, we need a universal basic income (UBI) more than ever.
More jobs will be lost, and more people will suffer as a result. A universal basic income is an attempt to remedy this issue. It’s capitalism, but humane. It’s human-centered capitalism.
So what are the basic benefits of UBI?
The most obvious and important benefit and analogy is that it provides a safety net for Americans to fall back on. One 2017 study found that 57% of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to afford a $500 unexpected expense. UBI can also serve as a safety net for battered women (or men) who are financially dependent on their abusers. UBI could release them from these chains, and allow them to pay for a plane ticket to fly far, a deposit on their own apartment, or a good lawyer.
Other safety net benefits include:
- Allowing millions of mothers and fathers to stay at home and raise their child, rather than work and go on to pay half or more of their wages to a babysitter or daycare.
- Allowing caretakers of elderly and disabled to care for their loved ones more often.
- By providing this $1,200 cushion to each adult citizen, and $400 to each child, we can ensure that anyone who works even a few hours a week will be above the poverty line. UBI via the Freedom Dividend will give another meaning to life to hundreds of millions of Americans.
REAL Job and Business Opportunities
We Must Support Job Creation
In order for District 14 to prosper, we need to ready the groundwork for gainful employment.
We start with providing services to first-time job seekers and those who face barriers to employment. A strong, local networking system; access to professionals who can provide mentorship; and investment in apprenticeships and training programs, help job seekers from all backgrounds join the workforce.
Many people in District 14 have small businesses that are vital for local employment. Small businesses help out neighborhoods flourish by bringing innovation and investment to local communities. If elected, Badrun will work to alleviate undue tax burdens and multiple levels of government regulation that are burdensome to small businesses owners, and incentivize growth to provide stability and jobs. As a daughter of a dining hall worker who worked his way up to become a restaurant owner, Badrun loves the spirit and dynamism of entrepreneurs. She is a supporter of a minimum wage of $15 for New York, but believes the amount can vary between states.
Most District-14 residents did not want Amazon to pull out of its planned headquarters in Long Island City. The move was projected to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs–for small and big players alike, and if negotiated properly, could have funded public infrastructure. Beyond established tech businesses like Amazon, Badrun wants to encourage start-ups that drive innovation and education to locate in Queens and the Bronx.
As a financial controller of a nonprofit organization that oversees community development, she understands the necessity of attracting revenue for the steps that lie ahead.
REAL Solutions For Public Safety
Keeping Our Neighborhoods Safe Is A Vital Priority
Badrun Khan isn’t a politician from elsewhere who is running to represent the 14th district. She’s lived and raised her children in the district for twenty-two years, and public safety is about the safety of her neighbors. Her first priority is to work with law enforcement to make sure the public safety needs of residents are being properly implemented.
An issue many constituents have raised is the growing need of the homeless shelters around the district. While they are welcomed to combat the growing number of homeless, the city has done a terrible job of discussing these services with the community. To keep neighbors and residents safe, Badrun believes it is crucial for the community to liaison with city officials to solve safety issues related to the shelters.
The 14th District has experienced firsthand the devastation of the drug epidemic that is sweeping across the nation. Bronx and Queens community residents have dealt with family members and loved ones ravaged by overdose, and seen lives destroyed because of addiction. We must move resources to intervene earlier in the lives of young people from 15-24 and continue with comprehensive treatment for those who are addicted.
The second amendment is part of our constitution, but gun violence has become a public health crisis. Badrun believes in a common-sense approach to gun safety. She backs universal background checks; strict laws preventing anyone with a history of violence from obtaining a weapon; and a ban on assault weapons and accessories that are used in many mass shootings.
REAL Solutions for Education
We Have to Fix Our Schools And Provide Education Alternatives
Education is the most crucial factor in ensuring a better future for all of us. The public school system in the 14th district is not meeting the needs of many of our students. While standardized tests gauge how students are performing, an overemphasis on these tests in elementary and middle schools does not address students’ low math and reading scores. Rather than teaching our children to solve problems analytically and creatively, they dull a child’s love of learning.
Badrun advocates for the expansion of special education programs, and hopes to see specialized, special-education public schools in the future. Many children that have autism, dyslexia, and other issues either fall behind in the public school system or have parents that are forced to pay for expensive private schools. The process of diagnosing a child properly is a frustrating experience that often requires money and time. Children with special needs deserve to have their education prioritized so they don’t fall between the cracks.
We cannot stop at fixing our outdated public schools. Badrun supports trade schools and vocational programs that help students of all ages become competitive in fields that require computer and tech skills. Not everyone wants to go to a four-year college in order to be successful, and trade schools have always been a way for people to quickly gain the tools they need to get ahead.
Student debt levels have reached an all-time high, harming families and burdening our economy. Badrun supports tuition-free, two-year public college. She wants an income-driven repayment plan with a reduced cap on loan repayment, and low interest rates on loans, with no accrued interest until the student graduates. Individuals would have up to one year of loan deferment, with no change in interest rate.
To reduce the debt burden on undergraduate students, Badrun calls for tax-free forgiveness on the maximum amount a student borrows.
Since only a third of Americans graduate from a four-year college, tuition-free college only helps the top third of that population. Badrun does not support making four-year college tuition-free, and believes resources should be used to benefit vocational and trade schools.
REAL Solutions for Immigration Reform
Immigration Reform is Taking Too Long
As a daughter of immigrant parents, Badrun understands that immigration is one of New York’s greatest strengths. Hard-working and entrepreneurial immigrants contribute the country’s economy, and make New York City one of the cultural capitals of the world. In the 14th congressional district, the diversity of immigrant groups is among the city’s most vibrant.
The current administration has made immigration, both legal and illegal, more challenging.
Badrun believes our nation’s ports of entry need to be secured. However, we have over 12 million undocumented immigrants that need to be treated humanely. Many of them pay taxes and have American children, and we need to create a pathway to citizenship, especially for DACA recipients, people who were brought here as undocumented children and have grown up American.
The government has slowed downed applications for green cards that provide permanent residency for legal immigrants. The backlog of pending green card applications has increased by more than 35%, and a mandate for in-person interviews for those applying for employment-based immigration has drawn out the process.
One issue that is foremost on Badrun’s mind is human trafficking. The coercion and transport of women, men, and children is not a problem relegated to faraway lands; it is happening right now, in our own community. Badrun plans to fight for reforms to help combat human trafficking and make major dents to the trade by working with advocacy groups and law enforcement organizations. The drug cartels that plague both Latin America and our neighborhoods are not easy to fight. As more states turn to the legalization of marijuana, they will cut the cash stream to drug cartels that will move into human trafficking to replenish their coffers.
(Badrun supports the legalization of marijuana.)
REAL Solutions for Veterans & Seniors
The Services Provided for Our Vets and Elderly Must Be Fixed
Our veterans served in our armed forces to defend our country from threats to our liberty. They made sacrifices; many came home with injuries–both physical and mental. We owe it to them to give them the care and treatment they need. When our Veterans Affairs administration falls short of their duties to our vets, there is a want for accountability.
In order to effectively serve our Veterans, Badrun will create and empower Veterans by forming a 14th Congressional District Veterans Advisory Council to help create legislation and assist on post-service economic opportunity.
The number of New York residents aged 65 and older grew eight times faster than the state’s total population, and as such, New York City’s senior population is booming. Although many senior citizens report they have strong social lives, they also lack access to healthcare and other services due to poverty. Many live in terrible conditions and can barely afford their medicines or food. Immigrant seniors especially, may not have worked long enough to qualify for Social Security benefits. Programs designed specifically for our seniors must be prioritized to lift them out of poverty.
Badrun is a supporter of NYCHA, the New York City Housing Authority that provides low-cost housing to many of our citizens and is a lifeline to many seniors and veterans whose means are limited.
REAL Solutions To Climate Change
Climate change is a grave threat, but what’s the best solution?
Climate change is a very real crisis that we must face head-on. As a coastal city New York, is under threat of being effected drastically by rising sea levels in the next decade. This poses a risk to our people, resources, and economy. Flooding damages homes, businesses, and affects our public transportation.
Badrun does not support the climate change plan rolled out by our congresswoman. This policy will cost the American taxpayer trillions of dollars and ignores certain realities we have. Even so, she is open to other versions of a climate plan (regardless of name or title), and will work with industries, communities, and environmental groups to switch to renewable resources in the most cost effective way possible.
To fight global warming, all technologies and options should be on the table. Although the main goal is to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, the reality is there is not one magic bullet to our energy crisis. We are going to need new-generation wind, solar, geothermal, water and nuclear energy to address the world’s consumption. And we need to rejoin the Paris Agreement, to do it with other nations.
On May 18, 2019 New York City enacted the most ambitious carbon reductions initiative for buildings by any city in the world. The NYC Building Emissions Law affects 50,000 large residential and commercial buildings, and is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent compared to 2005 levels by 30 percent, a 26 percent reduction below current levels. Buildings account for two-thirds of the city’s emissions.
Currently, recycling isn’t working in New York City. Businesses and homes are not recycling enough. The infrastructure set up for these programs is lacking in efficiency, and there are few financial incentives to encourage recycling. Badrun believes there should be a city mandate to recycle organic waste, and effective campaigns to educate the public on recycling.
REAL Partnership With Unions
Badrun Believes That Unions Are The Backbone Of Our Workforce
Democrats have traditionally been linked intimately with unions and the labor movement from the 19th century onwards. It seems as though many modern democrats have forgotten this fact.
Unions have fought for worker’s rights for generations, but in the last couple of decades we have seen erosion in the power of these vital organizations. A strong labor movement is crucial to keeping workers from being exploited and getting proper compensation for their work.
Badrun is a strong supporter of unions and will work to bring more good-paying union jobs to Queens and the Bronx. She will work with union leaders to push for the rights of workers in a way that is beneficial to both them and management. It’s more than just good policy–unions go to the heart of our values as Democrats.
REAL Solutions For Affordable Housing
New York’s Housing Crisis has been a long time in the making.
In New York City, wages have stagnated but rents have soared. Many consumers are willing to pay extraordinarily high prices for their choice of home, but others, like the homeless and low-and middle-income people, are either left out or end up paying much more than 30% of their income on rent.
As your congresswoman, Badrun will seek to update the tax code, allowing renters to deduct their rent from taxes just like homeowners and landlords can deduct mortgage. For the lowest-income Americans, she wants to provide housing vouchers to help families stay in their homes, and call for federal eviction prevention programs and tenant counseling.
Ultimately, the housing crisis cannot be solved without building more housing of all kinds. How and where to do this, of course, is the source of conflicts between communities and developers, locals and strangers, and landlords and tenants. Badrun believes in relaxing zoning laws to allow for more affordable housing options, and will liaise with all parties to benefit the people in her district.
Homelessness has risen to an all-time in New York City. As of January 2020, a record 62, 679 people slept in a NYC shelter each night, a figure that does include those on the streets. The primary cause of homelessness is affordable housing that is triggered by unemployment, domestic violence, overcrowding, eviction, and mental health problems. Badrun will call for increased federal funding for the homeless crisis, and work with communities and advocates to establish permanent housing for the homeless.