I am running for Congress because we can do better. NWI has been held back by a political machine, and career politicians, for too long. The coronavirus reminded us that:
1. Too many hardworking people in the region struggle to survive on inadequate pay;
2. Science won’t be ignored- changing climate means changing microbial life, increasing pandemics, floods, drought, and erosion; and
3. Leaving a third of the US with inadequate health insurance puts us all at risk.
Covid19 will force an economic rebirth into a sustainable economy, much like the Great Depression led to the New Deal. We need a widespread WPA-like national works program to upgrade and green our national infrastructure and get Americans back to work. Call it Green New Deal, NWI: Off the Grid, or something else, just call it into action and let’s get to it.
NWI has long held all the essential ingredients to become an economic powerhouse: land, port, air, rail, steel, Lake Michigan, and proximity to a huge consumer base. My jobs plan, informed by an extensive private industry career in manufacturing and law, is consistent with Indiana’s largest employers, including Unilever, Cummins, Lilly, Skjodt-Barret, and GM, who agree that we could greatly expand industry in Indiana- and get back to making things!- with increased access to renewable energy.
My NWI jobs plan focuses on expanding the trades through renewable energy infrastructure upgrades, manufacturing renewable energy components, development of lucrative urban and solar farms, entering the $1trillion global wind turbine market (recyclable towers), expansion and protection of domestic steel, converting abandoned warehouses to hydroponic farms, greening toxic brown fields, legalization and development of marijuana, developing upscale tiny house communities, and securing NWI’s place in a growing $600 billion ecotourism industry.
The latest engineer’s report estimates that the number of 40 year construction jobs needed to convert Indiana to renewable energy will be 119,791; the number of 40 year engineering jobs in Indiana will be 47,951; the number of increased manufacturing jobs, if we make renewable energy available, is approximately 28,000; and the number of wind and solar component production jobs, when we enter into that global market set to surpass $1 trillion, is limitless. My specific NWI recovery plans include:
National public works program of local hires in the trades for national conversion to renewable energy, similar to the WPA;
Converting thousands of unused acres in NWI to revenue-generating energy farms;
Greening and mitigating toxic brown fields in Gary, East Chicago, and Michigan City, and expanding urban farming;
Converting abandoned warehouses throughout the district to lucrative hydroponic farms;
Retrofitting, sealing existing commercial, industrial, and residential buildings to become low-emission;
Developing upscale tiny house communities in NWI as residential and vacation rental destinations;
Legalizing marijuana and allocating farm locations based on lottery in communities that have been traditional dumping grounds for toxins and pollutants;
Expanding broadband capacities in rural and urban areas; and
Strengthening NWI’s ecotourism industry through “NWI: Off the Grid” marketing, coordinated programming with the National Parks system, and paired advertisings to promote tourism through the South Shore line.
Coronavirus and our changing temperatures are related. Scientists have been warning about pandemics for several years, because as our climate changes, microbial life changes, quickly mutating and adapting. Displaced animal species fleeing uninhabitable forests will bring them into greater contact with humans and other species, spreading pandemics. The only way to stop pandemics from becoming our new way of life is to address climate change on a global scale. The world is watching as the United States abdicates its responsibility and leadership on this issue, and my goal is to put us back on course. Immediately. My specific climate change initiatives are to:
· Return protections in the Bureau of Land Management, US Fish and Wildlife, and the EPA to protect the air we breathe, the soil we till, and the water we drink in NWI, where we have some of the highest pollution levels in the country.
· Declare a national emergency on climate change.
· Transform our energy to carbon-free renewable energy.
· Rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement.
· Ban new fossil fuel permitting on federal lands.
· Make grants and investment tax credits, such as a technology neutral tax credit, available to states to upgrade energy grids and storage capacity.
· Bring back fuel-economy standards for cars and light trucks.
· Encourage greater use of electric vehicles, hydroponics, and solar panels.
· Reduce the carbon footprint of the federal government including federal buildings, data centers, and vehicles, and non-combat military installations.
· Expand rail.
· Assist businesses transitioning to green manufacturing processes with technical support and regional development strategies.
· Expand markets for climate-friendly products such as a “Buy Clean/ Buy Green” product labeling system.
· Help farmers increase land conservation and expand new ways to store more carbon in topsoil.
Our next stimulus recovery bill needs to target Main Street, not Wall Street, with a stimulus bill to supplement payroll of small and medium size businesses. I would make those loans forgivable for companies that keep 85% of their employees at 75% of their pay.
I would include funding provisions to upgrade factories, offices, meatpacking plants, and other manufacturers so that employees could work with proper social distancing and PPE, for example, through mass installation of plexi-glass work corrals, plastic face shields, protective gear, and devices to take the temperatures of incoming employees.
I’d also predicate re-opening the economy on sustained declines in new cases, for at least a two week period, and I’d reverse course and impose renewed closures if trends reverse. I would expand broadband connections for all areas so that farmers and rural folks could stay connected without having to drive, and so that urban and rural children could e-learn equally. I’d provide funding to divide public transportation (bus, commuter trains, commuter vans) seats so social distancing could be observed while protecting and encouraging the use of public transportation.
I believe we have to get profit out of healthcare so that every American is insured, and I support Medicare for All as the quickest and most economically beneficial means of doing that. Scientists warn that climate change is causing changes in microbial life, which means more pandemics, so we need to get prepared. In addition to Medicare for All, I would:
Ramp up our Strategic National Stockpile to lay in some very basic equipment like gloves, masks, syringes, and swabs.
Adopt the National Security Council playbook on fighting pandemics, and incorporate it into our national defense system.
Strengthen testing and contact tracing to levels that are commensurate with the rest of the world.
Cooperate with the WHO, and strengthen our international leadership on climate science and pandemics.
Establish a CDC online portal for all Americans to access through state or regional divisions.
Open a national health-net channel so that hospital administrators can easily exchange vital trend, capacity, and equipment-sharing information. and
Establish online tracking capacity and PPE production in private industry, so that when future pandemics are discovered, we can quickly determine what we need, where we need it, and have the production channels already in place.
I support HR 1, to get money out of politics, because we’ll never fix our worst problems until we do. I’d repeal the tax giveaway to the top 1% so that we can afford to fund education, social security, Medicaid and Medicare. I’d remove the prohibition against federally negotiated drug prices. I’d advance House bill H.R.1384, commonly known as Medicare for All. I’d reverse the $750 billion in fossil fuel subsidies, and convert that money to renewable energy subsidies. I’d impose a carbon-based import ban to block imported steel from any foreign supplier whose carbon output greatly exceeds our own (blocking steel from China, S. Korea, Turkey, and Poland). I’d initiate and fund heavy industrial conversion to hydrogen, wind, solar and carbon capture/ mitigation. I’d reinstate EPA regulations to protect our land, air, and water. I’d rejoin the Paris Treaty. I’d legalize marijuana to bolster interstate commerce. I’d employ trauma-informed education policies to help close our education gap. I’d amend Title VII to include LGBTQ Americans. I’d put an end to Citizens United, codify Roe v Wade, and restructure criminal sentencing so that non-violent criminal defendants can give back to society.
Sabrina is a former aide to Indiana Governors of both parties, serving as a legislative liaison to Governor Orr (R-Ind.). She is an Indiana Governor’s Fellow alumnus, where she made policy recommendations among state agencies including the Indiana Department of Mental Health, Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources, and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute; she’s also a former Indiana House of Representatives legislative intern. After IU Law, Sabrina studied commercial codes in Shanghai, China and London, England. Her scholarship on Constitutional law, civil rights, and antitrust has been published in highly respected law journals. Sabrina is a Sagamore of the Wabash (Indiana’s highest government/ civic honor); a former Sr. Advisor to Gary Mayor Prince; long-term General Counsel to an international beverage manufacturer (Marbo, Inc.); and Independent Counsel to the Chicago Board of Education. Her most recent political advocacy work includes passage of an anti-cruelty law in Gary Indiana; advocating for amendment of Gary’s human rights ordinance to include LGBTQ; campaigning for Gary’s new mayor; and coordination of a citizen’s volunteer engagement program (Reimagine Gary). Sabrina is a long standing member of the federal trial bar, and is admitted to practice before the US Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit (over Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin), and US Courts for the Northern District of Illinois.
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Indiana's Democratic Primary is June 2nd, 2020
Vote for Sabrina Haake for United States Congress
Indiana's First Congressional District
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