WHERE EDWARD STANDS
Climate change is real. Full stop. Failure to act now, means that our children and grandchildren will live in an unstable world. This not only means large scale disasters, rising sea levels, and an end to the hunting and fishing culture in Western PA; it means wars over resources and global economic crashes to the likes of which have never been seen. We will rise to this challenge in the only way we know how. The American Way. Bold and innovative actions must be taken to eliminate greenhouse gasses, transition to clean energy, and ensure that every American has clean water to drink and clean air to breathe. This will also create new, high-paying jobs, right here in Western Pennsylvania.
A college degree is the first step for the middle class. However, current policies that only benefit banks lenders have crippled an entire generation. First, we must cancel all student loan debt immediately. Simultaneously, we must make it illegal for banks to take advantage of Working and Middle Class students again, while providing tuition free education for students entering public service careers, and ensure that all higher education institutions are both transparent and accountable to their prospective students.
EQUAL PUBLIC EDUCATION
We live in a country where your zip code can determine the quality of your children's education, and this is unacceptable. This isn't the American way. Edward supports the creation of an educational system that trains and empowers the next generation, as well as adequately compensating teachers in every school district in Western Pennsylvania. We spend $36,299 per year on every single Federal Inmate, but states only average about $13,800 per student every year. It's about time we started putting money where it belongs, and teach to the highest common denominators. We need to increase federal investments to incentivize state and local investments in STEAM, history, personal finance, and vocational training.
The Affordable Care Act was a good start, and we need to build on that foundation. Greedy insurance companies can no longer deny access or increase premiums due to pre-existing conditions, set annual or lifetime limits, and young adults are able to stay covered by their parent's plan until age 26. However, this has proven to be not enough. No caregiver should EVER have to worry about how they'll pay for any of their kids' medical expenses. Every American child should be covered for all their medical needs. Additionally, if you feel as though your insurance company isn't living up to your standards, you deserve a better choice. All citizens should have the choice of a Public Option, similar to Medicare. You will be able to keep your doctor, should you choose to do so, lower your deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. This process will also rightfully cover more lower-income and elderly Pennsylvanians.
Insurance companies have been taking advantage of Americans for far too long. All executives who are proven culpable in the Opioid Epidemic deserve federal prison time, not fines. They've also raided your bank accounts for the life-saving medications you take to survive. This practice is neither Capitalistic nor ethical. Edward supports a plan that cuts the costs of prescriptions by 50% or more, and allows patients and pharmacists to purchase lower-cost medications from Canada (or other countries).
GUN VIOLENCE REFORM
Edward supports common sense reform and the strict enforcement of laws currently on the books. He does not, however, support bans on any currently legal firearms. Gun laws should closely mirror current vehicle laws; including annual registration and renewal of every gun in the household, proof of valid licensing for the type of firearms registered and at the time purchase or transfer, and proof of transfer through a licensed dealer (who will perform the background check for a nominal fee of their choosing to complete the purchase). Edward also understands that there is a dangerous gap in federal laws, which he would fight to close. Those with a history of domestic abuse, violent criminal records, and have a history of mental health issues would finally be stopped from obtaining a firearm with the closing of this loophole.
Like most Americans, Edward also supports universal background checks at the point of purchase for all firearms. About 80% of all firearms purchased for criminal intent are done through unlicensed sellers. While it would be extremely difficult to eliminate entirely, by following Edward's leadership on this issue, we can, at the very least, drastically decrease all the meaningless violence that claims thousands of innocent lives every year.