The Bequette List
Voter Registration and Voter Turnout
A key component to a thriving and participatory democracy is an interested, informed, and active voter base. A main priority of my campaign will be to inspire voters to register and participate in the process – no matter who they plan to vote for or where their political ideologies lie. The 12th district – specifically the Metro East counties – have historically had lower voter turnout numbers. This must change to ensure a truly representative political system in the Illinois 12th.
Economy and Jobs
The 12th district, much like most of Illinois, has seen nearly 20 years of dwindling jobs, increasing unemployment, and a crumbling of manufacturing and mining businesses. At the cusp of the 21st Century, we have a real opportunity to embrace high tech, renewable energy, and bio-tech as the means to bringing back high-quality, well-paying jobs to our district. Large corporations can make Southern Illinois their home base of operations. Miners and their families can receive new educational and professional tools to become the engine of this transformation. With our positioning in the Metro East, we have an opportunity not only to attract large corporations, but also to become a hub for start-ups in high tech enterprises.
On climate change, I will take my advice from scientists, not lobbyists. When 97% of scientists, the U.S. Military, and all U.S. Intelligence Services confirm that climate change exists and is a real threat to our national security and the well-being of generations to come, we must listen. Illinois 12th District must take the lead on environmentally friendly business policies and we must work together to formulate innovative solutions to protect the environment around us. I will fight the impending policy, supported by our current GOP congressman, of imminent domain for the purpose of privatized fracking.
Women’s Health and Planned Parenthood
I will defend access to contraception, education, STD screening, and a woman’s right to choose. I will fight any legislation or executive action that would allow an insurance company to discriminate against women because of erroneously dubbed “pre-existing conditions.” A woman’s reproductive rights must be protected without exclusion!
Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
Our Constitution must be protected. I will fight any legislation or executive order that discriminates against anyone of any sexual orientation, race, gender, or place of birth. I will continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement, and push to reform the way law enforcement interacts with people of color in our communities. Fundamentally, this is about protecting the American identity and the sanctity of the American dream. We are a nation built on immigrants and should continue to be a beacon of hope to those hard-working immigrants looking for a better life and opportunities for their children. Our strength and the future of our nation lies in our ability to overcome difference to find common ground and acceptance.
Over the last two decades the United States has been embroiled in a number of military campaigns, which have resulted in the death of thousands of U.S. troops. As a proud U.S. Marine Corps veteran and supporter of our military, I believe the best way we can support our troops is by keeping them safe, equipping them well to defend the United States, and only utilizing their superior strength through military intervention when it is absolutely necessary and approved by Congress. I will fight to make sure that Congressional approval is an absolute prerequisite for future U.S. military deployments overseas, and I will always fight to make sure it’s the very last alternative.
I will join other congressional members in ensuring that the U.S. maintains its commitment to protecting human rights. This starts with the U.S. officially recognizing the first genocide of the 20th century, the Armenian Genocide.
Farming and Agriculture
Coming from a farming family and having started several businesses rooted in promoting sustainable, lucrative agricultural development, I understand the importance of farming in Southern Illinois. I will fight for farmers, to ensure that their interest is a priority over big agriculture chemical firms and their lobbyists.
My family and I know first-hand what it’s like to face financial ruin as a result of inadequate medical coverage. Although the Affordable Care Act wasn’t perfect, it was a common-sense, effective first step. I will continue the fight to improve this landmark legislation, not repeal it. We simply cannot leave 24 million people uninsured, 7 million of whom are veterans.
Government Accountability and Money in Politics
November 2018 will be one of the most important elections in the history of the United States Congress. This is not only a referendum on our current administration, but it’s also a time to restore the role of Congress as the guarantor of your rights and interests in Washington. We have a chance to form the youngest, most diverse, and most progressive Congress in US history.
I pledge to the voters in Illinois’ District 12 to be a consistent and effective voice in Congress. I will hold our government accountable on your behalf. Be a part of the journey to retake Washington and restore professionalism and effective leadership in U.S. politics.
I will join other congresspersons to end Citizens United, and reform campaign finances. Foreign entities, businesses, and special interests should not be determining our legislative agenda nor be an influence on our congressional decision making. We must place the power in the hands of the people and get money out of politics. Our campaign is committed to this and will never take a single cent from PACs or special interests.
We need a federally enforced program that requires the following:
Enhanced background checks that include mental health history or criminal history with a concentration on past domestic abuse. An end to unregulated third-party purchasing or gifting of firearms. A nationwide license and registration program. Comprehensive and mandatory training programs prior to being afforded the right to purchase or own a firearm. Safe storage requirements for all gun owners and stricter laws criminalizing unsafe storage and allowing access to firearms by minors. Lastly, an end to the sale of assault style weapons and illegalization of expanded magazines for all firearms.