We are living in a time when the destructive forces of racism, oppression, and injustice are regularly ignored, glossed over or flatly denied.

We are living in a time where, when black men kneel, they are accused of being ungrateful. When women who stand up to lead are told it’s not their time. We are living in a time when using the bathroom that corresponds with one's gender identity is controversial, or when who one loves is called into question. And when children who struggle based on systemic injustice are funneled directly from school to prison.

Poverty, racism, and gender inequity continue to do violence to human dignity and hope. Racial disparities in housing, employment, education and criminal justice persist.  The systemic undervaluing of women is revealed in persistent workplace pay inequities and attacks on reproductive rights.

All this can and must change. We must reform our criminal justice system to end mass incarceration. We need to work every day to build trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Instead of building more prisons, we need to invest in jobs and education and help remove barriers for re-entry. We need to prioritize prevention and treatment over jail time when it comes to tackling our meth and opioid crises.

We must work to transform our policies so they are free from discrimination on the basis of race, gender, sex, ability, color or creed. We must strive for gender equity in the workplace and ensure the reproductive rights of women. We must defend the rights and protections of our LGBTQIA+ community members. And, we must provide for our vulnerable children who are being denied disability and mental health services.

The shouts of the poor and the oppressed, the pushed aside and the marginalized, must not go unheard.

I am committed to building a more inclusive community where the human dignity of each and every person requires listening to, amplifying, and responding to those calls for a better, more just society.