The pandemic has only further illuminated all of the cracks deeply embedded in the American safety net. Antonio believes that the only way to truly recover from the COVID-19 crisis is to provide immediate COVID relief and enact a vigorous COVID response program.
Antonio supports Medicare for All because he believes that every American should have access to the quality healthcare that they need. The plan will expand insurance coverage to include dental, mental health and substance abuse treatment, prescription drugs, maternity care, and other forms of healthcare, guaranteeing all Americans protection regardless of pre-existing conditions or income levels. Americans have the highest healthcare spending in the world, and are the only industrialized nation without universal health insurance. Antonio firmly believes that healthcare should be a right for all Americans, not a privilege for those who can afford it, and he will fight for universal healthcare in Congress. Medicare for All will save both lives and money for the American people, and Antonio knows that it is common sense legislation.
As an immediate response to COVID, Antonio supports the Healthcare Emergency Guarantee Act, which would empower Medicare to cover all healthcare costs for the uninsured and all out-of-pocket expenses for those with insurance for the duration of the coronavirus crisis. This bill is a temporary step in the direction towards the permanent solution, Medicare for All.
Climate change is an issue of environmental justice. For too long, we have seen the worst effects of climate change impact already underserved communities. It is time to guarantee all Americans, regardless of income, race, or neighborhood, access to clean air, water, and food.
Antonio supports the Green New Deal.
He knows that a bold plan is the only way we can avoid catastrophic climate disaster, while providing generous support for workers and communities tied to the fossil-fuel industry and creating millions of jobs. A robust public works program will be the fuel we need for our green economy as we transition towards renewable energy and away from greenhouse gas emissions, while reinvigorating communities most impacted by climate change.
In Georgia, Antonio is extremely concerned about the millions of tons of toxic coal ash stored in unlined pits around the state. These pits are contaminating the local water supply with toxic chemicals such as arsenic, mercury, lead, and chromium. He demands that the pits are cleaned and lined immediately to ensure safe drinking water for Georgia’s communities, and will work to ensure accountability is demanded at the Federal level once elected to Congress.
Antonio stands in solidarity with working class Americans, and will support legislation that advocates for raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy to fund social service programs. Antonio supports Bernie Sanders wealth tax plan, establishing an annual tax on the extreme wealth of the top 0.1 percent of U.S. households, and raising the marginal tax rate on those making more than $10 million per year. It is time to demand that the rich start paying their fair share. Addressing income inequality also means protecting the working class. While inflation and the cost of living have increased significantly over the past several decades, workers’ wages have remained stagnant. We must secure a minimum wage of at least $15 tied to inflation. Antonio will advocate for protecting workers’ at all levels, especially our front-line heroes who are most often low-wage workers. Antonio will be an ally in Congress to labor unions and will advocate for workers rights.
Antonio was deeply affected witnessing the unlawful evictions around the country, displacing renters impacted by COVID. Antonio stands with tenants and believes it is time for the federal government to pass legislation codifying protections for tenants rights.
This includes measures like protecting renters and mortgage holders from unjust evictions and displacements, reducing experiences of homelessness through public initiatives like public housing investments, ensuring low income rental access, and holding landlords accountable.
As an immigrant himself, Antonio firmly believes that no human is illegal. In Congress, he will work to carve out a clear path to citizenship for immigrants, move towards welcoming refugees and those seeking asylum, and advocate for dismantling the corrupt immigration structure in place by:
Antonio knows that immigration justice doesn’t stop at the border, and will be a champion for immigrant rights and humane living and labor conditions through public services accessible to all.
Black lives matter.
Antonio knows that it is far past time for our government and institutions to respect black lives, on paper and in practice. Antonio supports sweeping police reform and accountability. He understands that policemen have one job: to protect and serve. He will advocate for moving funds from private prisons and police departments to social programs and departments like healthcare and drug treatment, housing, education, and other supportive services that are better trained to intervene in many situations. Antonio knows that when individuals' basic needs are met, there will be real safety in our communities.
After reallocating, the remaining police presence should be redefined, minimized, and demilitarized. This includes measures like decreasing access to and use of violent force for officers, new and regular trainings, regular independent mental health checks and care, national tracking systems for officers, and ending qualified immunity. Antonio supports the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
African Americans are arrested for violating marijuana possession laws at nearly four times the rates of white people, while both ethnicities consume marijuana at roughly the same rates.
Legalizing marijuana is a justice issue, and the first step to ending the disastrous war on drugs, which has targeted people of color and destroyed millions of Americans lives.
It is time to legalize marijuana at the federal level and start the work to expunge past marijuana-related convictions. Antonio believes that revenue from marijuana sales should be directly reinvested in communities hit the hardest by the failed war on drugs.
Antonio also knows that legalizing marijuana will have a positive effect on public revenue, and would allow for a host of new opportunities for business and the economy.
Antonio believes that capital punishment is a violation of the constitutional ban against cruel and unusual punishment and the guarantees of due process under the law. Beyond moral objections, Antonio also knows that the data does not support state-sanctioned killing and innocent people are too often sentenced to death. Since 1973, over 156 people have been released from death rows after being found innocent, and nationally, at least one person is exonerated for every 10 that are executed.
In Congress, Antonio will advocate for abolishing the death penalty, and will always stand for humane treatment of all people - including those currently incarcerated. That includes ending life sentences without possibility of parole, ending mandatory minimum sentences, decriminalizing activities that are byproducts of poverty and homelessness (such as sex work and drug use), and ending solitary confinement. Antonio supports Representative Ayanna Pressley’s H.Res. 702, “The People’s Justice Guarantee" which works to accomplish these goals.
Antonio knows that the American people are waiting on Congress to take the serious steps needed to prevent horrific and senseless tragedies like the one our community experienced here in CD11 just in March.
Antonio supports reinstating an assault weapons ban at the Congressional level, to get war-like machinery out of the home, and decrease the likelihood of mass shootings.
He will advocate for federally mandated waiting periods, universal background checks, federal licensing and registration systems, and ERPO (extreme risk protection order) laws to work towards keeping firearms out of the wrong hands.
Antonio stands with long-term residents of their communities because he understands the valuable sentiment and history behind neighborhoods. As a resident of District 11 for 15 years, Antonio has had a front-row seat to the gentrification and displacement of "low-income" communities. He understands what it means to be forced out of your home because of money and big corporations, and will work in Congress to defend communities rights to protect their homes.
He will advocate for increased federal funding and protections to underserved communities. Antonio would like to see efficient and environmentally friendly transportation initiatives that better serve all residents through public works programs under the Green New Deal, cutting down carbon emissions and giving underserved communities economic opportunities that they don't currently have access to.
As the step-father to a public school teacher and two proud graduates of Cherokee County schools, Antonio knows how valuable public education is to the people of GA-11 and beyond. We need to ensure that all students and schools across America have access to the technology that they need to effectively learn and teach during the pandemic and that we are prioritizing the health and safety of our front-line staff in schools when implementing a safe return to school.
In Congress, Antonio will fight to protect our public schools and their staff members from budget cuts and corporate greed. As a college student himself, Antonio knows that high tuition costs have made post-high school education inaccessible for millions, and has crippled millions of others with student loan debt. That's why he is advocating for free public college, and cancellation of all student debt to ensure that all Americans have access to a quality education.
As a gay man living in the South, Antonio knows first hand that the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in a post-marriage-equality world is far from over. Antonio supports the federal “Equality Act,” which would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in jobs, housing, and public accommodations. Additionally, Antonio knows that there are so many loving homes waiting for a child to join their family, and so many children dreaming of a loving home. In Congress, Antonio will be an advocate for expanding, guaranteeing, and protecting access to reproductive rights, fertility and family planning for the LGBTQ+ community as well as paid parental leave that protects and affirms diverse families and gender identities. Additionally, Antonio wants to see Medicare for All ensure transgender and genderqueer individuals full rights and protections, with access to the healthcare that they need.
Antonio stands in solidarity with people with disabilities and knows that it is time to stop the criminalization of disability. According to the Department of Justice, 1 in 5 inmates in prisons has a cognitive disability, while another 1 in 5 inmates has a serious mental illness. Antonio supports moving away from incarceration and towards providing people with disabilities the services and support they need to thrive in American society. This support can be given through Medicare for All and justice reform initiatives, including mental health care and home-and community-based services. He will advocate for protecting people with disabilities from discrimination in healthcare, jobs, and public accommodations.
Antonio supports Rep. Jayapal’s Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Act to ensure our care workers are afforded a living wage and a safe working environment.
Antonio is pursuing his degree in Women’s and Gender Studies, and has a deep understanding of gender dynamics in America. He is a strong ally to women everywhere.
In Congress, he will fight for women’s rights and representation and advocate for workplace safety, equal pay, full access to healthcare for women everywhere, including reproductive health and abortions, paid parental leave, and protecting women from violence. Antonio is a pro-women, pro-choice candidate and supports the mission of Planned Parenthood.
As an immigrant, Antonio has a deep appreciation for the American institutions and believes in their power to serve the people. He also knows that Americans are exhausted and disaffected by the failures of the system, and that we need to gain back our trust in the institutions that represent us. Antonio believes that being an elected official is a great responsibility. He will advocate for accountability for any elected officials who incite violence - including those responsible for the storming of the United States Capitol in early 2021. He believes in the power of democracy, and wants to see voting rights expanded and protected to ensure that every eligible voter has the opportunity to use their voice. Antonio supports HR1 - the "For the People Act," which will protect the integrity of our democracy by expanding voting rights, and reducing the influence of money and partisanship in politics. Antonio also supports abolishing the electoral college, and a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.
Antonio believes that it is time to stop America’s never ending wars, and will advocate for peace internationally without U.S. military intervention. He will stand for a national foreign policy which focuses on democracy, human rights, diplomacy, and economic equity. Congress must assert its constitutional authority over the use of military force and show the bipartisan concern over unconstitutional wars. It’s time to put an end to the military-industrial complex and invest in creating a better life for all people. In Congress, Antonio will advocate for strong Congressional oversight into foreign affairs to stop the Presidential abuse of war powers and advocate for bringing our soldiers home and giving them a good quality of life when they get here. That means, veterans should come home to a government that guarantees basic necessities like a living wage, universal health coverage including mental health treatments, and access to higher education. It’s time to stop sending our young people to continue fighting an endless war and invest in the more than 18 millions veterans who are here in America.