Andy Levin- Michigan – US House (District 11)
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
I’m the only one member of Congress who’s raised workers’ wages and improved benefits as a union organizer, fought climate change as the founder of a green energy company and created the largest job-retraining program in the country as the head of a state workforce agency.
Inspired by my family’s values of public service and activism, I have dedicated my career to championing the working class, human rights and clean energy. And with the colliding crises of the pandemic and ensuing public health emergency, racial injustice and climate change, my life’s work has never been urgent.
I have helped lead the Congressional Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives as an original cosponsor of Medicare for All and the Green New Deal and holding the line for Build Back Better. I am a decisive, effective, creative leader in Washington — and I’ve proven that I know how to get things done.
Why are you running for office?
I’m a two-time cancer survivor and dad of kids with chronic diseases, so when Donald Trump tried to rip away people’s health care, I was inspired to run for Congress to stop him and fight for Medicare for All.
When I got to Washington, I didn’t settle for incremental change. I was raised to fight for justice, and I’ve always championed bold policies. The pandemic and the disparities it highlighted have made me all the more eager to go back to Congress and keep fighting for the fundamental change we need. I will never waver in doing what is right, whether it’s standing up to insurance companies and Big Pharma as a Medicare for All cosponsor, corporate interests as a union organizer, the fossil fuel industry as a Green New Deal champion, or oppressive forces at home and abroad as a human rights activist.
We need decisive, creative, effective leaders fighting for our families in this moment, and I have the background and record to show that I am that leader.
What are the three biggest issues facing your community?
● Corporate greed driving rising costs
● The fossil fuel industry destroying our planet
● The insurance lobby and Big Pharma putting profits over care
How do you propose to solve those problems?
Corporations — including oil and gas companies — are making record profits while using inflation and international crises as excuses to raise prices even higher and continue to pollute our planet. All of these effects are felt the hardest in low-income communities and communities of color. We must simultaneously end our reliance on fossil fuels and make CEOs and corporations pay their fair share in taxes. Then, we can afford to provide universal health care and lower costs that are crushing families — from prescription drugs to childcare and housing.
What is your stance on environmental and climate concerns that are facing your community?
Saving Earth is a moral imperative, but it’s also an economic opportunity. The Green New Deal, which I cosponsored, will create millions of good jobs while solving the climate crisis by unleashing creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship of the American people.
I brought home Green New Deal federal resources to protect and preserve our land, air and water. I wrote the PFAS Safe Disposal Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law and creates new regulations to keep these toxic, forever chemicals out of the air we breathe when they’re destroyed by incineration.
What commonsense gun safety measures would have the most impact on your community?
As the father of four kids educated in public schools, my heart breaks every time we hear about another school shooting. From Sandy Hook to Parkland to Oxford. And as a person faith, I’m sick of hearing the “thoughts and prayers” coming from the very people who are supposed to take action.
We have to move to public financing of campaigns and much stronger ethics rules to prevent revolving doors between government and lobbying. It has become clear that the NRA will prevent all progress until we do so.
In the meantime, House Democrats have passed common sense gun reform and we must eliminate the Senate filibuster to get those bills across the finish line. We need universal background checks, gun violence restraining orders, a new assault weapons ban, a bump stock ban and more.
How would criminal justice reforms impact your community?
Racism and xenophobia have been a problem in this country since long before we even became a country. We have moved from colonization to slavery to Jim Crow to the prison industrial complex. We need to fight the forms of oppression people of color face today. Among the things we need to do are protect the right to vote; decriminalize marijuana; put more emphasis on treatment than incarceration for substance abuse problems; protect the rights of returning citizens in terms of voting, employment, housing and more; abolish the discriminatory death penalty; end qualified immunity; and stop the scourge of police brutality in America.
How would you work to protect a woman’s reproductive health?
As a member of the Pro-Choice Caucus, I will continue to fight for the rights of all to make their own choices concerning their bodies and reproductive health. I cosponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act and introduced a resolution to honor abortion providers and clinic staff. That is why I’m endorsed by Planned Parenthood and NARAL
What measures would you advocate to ensure that your constituents have the right to vote?
John Lewis was a hero to our family. My dad worked with him on voting rights, and I was proud to work with John Lewis in Congress. John said labor leaders of this country inspired me to get in trouble — good trouble, and I’m proud to be carrying on his legacy of good trouble.
I was proud to vote for the John Lewis Voting Rights Act to protect our democracy. I joined my colleague Senator Jon Ossoff to introduce the Election Worker and Polling Place Protection Act to address the rise of threats, intimidation and interference spawned by Trump’s Big Lie.
We need to abolish the Senate filibuster, a relic of the Jim Crow era, to get these bills to President Biden’s desk.
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