Affordable Health Care

Access to affordable health care is critical for people across Western Pennsylvania -- and it’s an issue Kristy knows well. In college, Kristy was diagnosed with ovarian cancer while pregnant with her first daughter and had to navigate a complicated and bureaucratic health care system with little outside help. Her experience gave her a real understanding of how difficult it can be for people who aren’t millionaires to afford the care they need. Kristy believes that getting sick shouldn’t bankrupt a family, that you shouldn’t need two or three jobs to afford prescription drugs, and that a pre-existing condition shouldn’t be a death sentence. In Congress, Kristy will work to make quality, affordable healthcare a reality for Western Pennsylvania.

A Great Education for Every Student

Kristy knows she owes a large part of her personal success to a public school education and the great teachers she met along the way. At an early age, her teachers inspired Kristy to pursue education as her calling-- a calling she followed by becoming a teacher at McDowell Intermediate School in Erie. She’s proud to still be teaching there today. Kristy is committed to ensuring that every student, no matter where they live or how much their parents make, is able to learn in a safe environment, achieve their full potential, and be on a path to a good-paying job in this changing economy. That means supporting teachers by paying a competitive salary and benefits, fully funding early childhood education and universal pre-kindergarten, and providing access to mental health programs so students have the support they need to thrive. As the first person in her family to graduate college, Kristy knows just how hard it can be for families to afford education after high school. She supports efforts to make college affordable so families and young people don’t need to take on crushing debt just to get ahead. And her support for affordable post-secondary education goes beyond four-year degrees-- in Congress, Kristy will support investments in local community colleges and vocational programs for those who aren’t on a four-year college track.

Creating Good-Paying Jobs in Western Pennsylvania

Like too many teachers, Kristy knows what it’s like to struggle to pay the bills. She sometimes works a second job as a bartender or a third job driving for Uber just to make ends meet. This economy is not working for her, for her fellow teachers, and for so many other hardworking families in Western Pennsylvania. In Congress, Kristy will help build an economy that works for everyone -- instead of wealthy executives and big corporations. She’ll fight to make sure people can earn a wage they can live on, regardless of if they make a salary, punch a clock, or earn tips. Kristy understands the economy in Western Pennsylvania isn’t the same as it was a hundred years ago. That’s why she’ll work to create the good-paying jobs of the future right here, by aligning our education system with the needs of new and growing businesses. She’ll also support local small businesses and workers by expanding local economic empowerment zones, expanding job retraining, and supporting career and technical education programs so workers can compete in this new economy.

Getting Rid of Big Money in Politics

Kristy knows there’s too much money in politics and that the special interests in Washington have rigged the system for far too long. That’s why Kristy strongly opposes the Supreme Court’s decision on Citizens United. In Congress Kristy will fight to rid our political system of dark money and won’t accept a dime from corporate political action committees. Mike Kelly seems to disagree-- in his near-decade in Congress, he’s only done the bidding of corporations, greedy CEOs, and the wealthy. Kristy believes this campaign should be about people here in Western Pennsylvania– not big corporations and their bottom lines. Kristy is running so that the 16th District will finally be represented by someone who’s on their side.

Federal $15 Minimum Wage

Kristy knows first-hand that the current minimum wage is not enough to support any family. In fact, Kristy has worked three jobs at the same time just to make ends meet for herself and her two young girls. That’s why she supports raising the minimum wage to a livable wage so Western Pennsylvanians can support their family and not have to work dangerously long hours or multiple jobs to do it. In Congress, Kristy will fight to make sure people get paid what they deserve so their families can succeed and there’s a real path to the middle class for working Pennsylvanians.

Supporting Unions and Working Families

Strengthening the middle and working class is a top priority for Kristy and that means supporting good union jobs in Pennsylvania. As a union member herself, Kristy knows the importance of organized labor and their work to protect working families, better wages, and a better working environment. In Congress, Kristy will support a livable minimum wage, project labor agreements, and strong unions working for Western Pennsylvanians.

Prescription Drugs

As someone who has navigated the healthcare industry both as a parent and a patient, Kristy knows how expensive the cost of prescription drugs can be. No one should have to decide between getting the medicine they need to survive or having the money they need to feed their family. That is why Kristy is backing H.R. 3, The Lower Drug Costs Now Act to immediately help the people of Western PA and beyond. This would give Medicare the ability to negotiate directly with drug companies to lower costs and ensure that those lower drug prices are available to Americans with private insurance too. Not surprisingly, Congressman Mike Kelly has been a vocal opponent of this legislation. This may have to do with the fact that the pharmaceutical and insurance industries are Rep. Kelly’s two biggest donors this election cycle, bringing in over $138,000.

Combating Climate Change

Kristy understands that climate change is real and in Congress she’ll take decisive action – because this is not an issue that can wait any longer. Transitioning to a clean-energy economy will help create jobs here in Pennsylvania and secure a healthy future for Western Pennsylvania families. Kristy will also support steps to create more sustainable jobs for our region, such as retrofitting our coastal infrastructure and electric vehicle manufacturing. Unlike Congressman Mike Kelly, Kristy will not accept a single dime from corporate PACs and that includes contributions from big oil and coal companies.

Criminal Justice Reform

With America holding only 5% of the world’s population yet over 25% of the world’s prison population, the nation has the highest incarceration rate in the world. There is a clear disproportion and issue with mass lock-ups, many of which are our society’s unjust solution to dealing with social problems. Our country disproportionately criminalizes marginalized folks based on differences of income, race, and other identifiers. As a result, we have overcrowded prisons. For every 31 adults, one will wind up in jail. The American Justice system was not designed to incarcerate this many people, let alone the immense cost to taxpayers needed to support funding the prison system. The fight for nationwide reforms is needed in police practices, pretrial detention, public defenses, disproportionate sentencing, and failed drug policies. Reform needs to work on reversing the increase in incarceration, protecting constitutional rights, eradicating and eliminating racism, and making sure the government is transparent and accountable. Views: Abolish Capital Punishment/Death Penalty End Cash Bail Eliminate Qualified Immunity Eliminate Mandatory Minimum Sentences Eliminate Private Prisons and For-Profit Prisons Legalize Marijuana Ending Mass Incarceration