Our Priorities

Manuel sees public service as the ultimate opportunity to focus on others and contribute to our common good. He believes in the rule of law, an independent judiciary, a strong legislature and free press. Manuel also believes we cannot “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity” if law enforcement is not just — and just for everyone.

Manuel sees our government as a force for good. When we became a nation, people from different parts of the world came together, creating a cultural melting pot under one constitution. The understood the importance of compromise to form a more perfect union. And today, more than ever, we must reaffirm that bond and protect our democracy by making sure our democratic institutions truly serve our people and our goals.

Manuel will work tirelessly to represent everyone within our district, help those most in need, and provide opportunities to everyone to reach their own potential and their own American dream.

Our Goals

Our first goal must be to unite and deliver real and long-lasting positive changes for our people while bringing trust back to our political discourse. To do this, we Democrats must not only expand our majorities in Congress but unite and strengthen our own coalition.

Today, Democrats must demonstrate that we can govern and lead responsibly and not just talk, complain, and bicker with each other on Twitter. This must stop. We must pass legislation that demonstrates that Democrats can unite as one team, and then aim to work with Republicans in a bipartisan way when possible.  This won’t be easy and will require skill to get it done.

Bipartisanship is not a myth — but we must have the will to work together and understand the challenges and constrains while working with Republican leaders.

This path forward will not be easy. But it’s the path that can protect our democracy against the impulses to bring it down. Change will not happen overnight. It will take years of hard work, patience and discipline. But that’s what we need today, and that’s how we can begin to deliver to people in our district and throughout our country.

Our Environment

Climate change is a real and growing threat to the health, safety and well-being of our families, our communities, our economy and our world.

Those with fewer resources often bear the largest burden resulting from the devastating effects of climate change, but none of us are immune. Too often, we experience the destruction our rapidly changing climate can bring right here at home, no matter where we live or how much money we have.

To tackle the climate challenge and lower the earth’s temperature by 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, we must work together here in the United States and with other countries around the world. We must recognize the damage climate change is bringing into our homes, our infrastructure, our ecosystem and our communities, but also see the opportunity it affords us in realizing the urgency of our need to clean up our environment.

We must invest the right capital in industry that works to produce renewable energy, green construction and sustainable production.  We must incentivize companies and transform our energy markets from a carbon-centric model to a sustainable one, while strictly penalizing companies who needlessly and irresponsibly pollute our environment.

The energy industry has done much to get us where we need to be, but we still have far to go.  A stable and effective regulatory framework with incentives aimed to further stimulate a growth in green technology is essential, not just here in America, but throughout the world as well.  We need to re-prioritize international regulations and protocols which ensure all nations share in an effort paramount to the well-being of all of us.

I see the renewable energy industry not only as a tool to solve our climate crisis, but also as an opportunity to power our long-term economic growth.  This means jobs, and an infrastructure plan which puts green energy, as well as sustainable manufacturing methods and products at the forefront of our national and international priorities.

Bottom line, we can grow our economy out of a climate change that can kill us if we are intelligent in how we move forward as a nation.

We have a choice to make.  We can remain stuck in a way of thinking very detrimental to the future of our world, or we can provide effective regulation and incentives for environmentally ambitious and imaginative companies, workers, entrepreneurs, scientists, and people who care.

The future of our planet depends on it.

Our Jobs, the Economy and Taxes

I believe we can build a great new American century.

The pandemic has damaged our economy, our overall physical and mental health and the very dialogue between many of us.  In several ways, it has forced us to transform into a new economy and an uncharted way of life.

It is essential that we leverage the opportunities this changing economy brings us in a way that lifts people up, fulfills their hopes and dreams, and re-invigorates our collective psyche.

This pandemic also unveiled many of our scientific, policy and managerial shortcomings, exposing the urgent systematic and structural needs we must quickly address.  Our healthcare system needs repair, our jobs market needs re-invigoration, and our institutions need the support and resources they require.

Now more than ever, we need real leadership to stabilize and grow our economy, enable technological advancement, and ensure all Americans can live safely, securely and comfortably. This begins with getting people back to work by creating good-paying jobs, and by supporting the middle class as the backbone of our economy.

We must grow our presence in global markets and ensure our products and services are available and competitive at home and abroad.  This will require innovation, imagination and creating the highest quality goods and services in the world.

Our advances in technology are still second to none, but it is essential we produce our own products as well.  We have seen American companies excel at the production of quality, green, electric vehicles that are the envy of the world, but we must not stop there.

Just as the United States is rapidly becoming synonymous with electric car production, we can be pioneers in sustainable energy solutions, green technology, transportation and infrastructure.  Our ideas, products and goods can once again become international top sellers if we work together throughout our nation as one.

Stimulating businesses for international competition must be paired with a fair wage for our workers and true worker safety and economic security.  From the top to the bottom of any industry, we can all reap the benefits of worldwide growth.

Only together can we move our country forward and build a better tomorrow.

State and Local Tax (SALT) Deduction Cap

We need fair taxation.

President Trump’s decision to cap state and local tax deductions for homeowners at $10,000 has transferred millions upon millions of dollars from New York to other states. This is unfair. Further, capping the SALT deductions disincentivizes states from embracing real progressive taxation.

Homeownership is the primary vehicle for poor, working-class, middle-class and upper middle-class people from acquiring, growing and passing on generational wealth.  This unfair cap cripples the opportunity for those rising up the economic ladder to build long-lasting wealth, particularly when it comes to poor, working, and minority families.  It also inhibits seniors in providing security for themselves, their children and grandchildren.

The SALT deduction cap is regressive policy.  It has cost New Yorkers millions of dollars since implemented in 2017 by transferring our revenues to other states, causing unemployment in our service, construction and trade sectors.

The burden of Trump’s harmful tax cut has been on the shoulders of New Yorkers for the past four years and it needs to end. We must eliminate this “double tax” by lifting the cap on SALT deductions. We already contributed more tax dollars than we received before this cap — and it’s time to put our own money back into the pockets of all New Yorkers.

Fair is fair.

Infrastructure & Transportation

The American economy was born and built through product distribution channels.  Our nation pioneered rail, automotive, aviation and port technology.  But we are falling behind.

The exchange of goods and services in our economy depends on a solid infrastructure that sustains and powers our commerce.  Our union sisters and brothers have been the backbone of our economic growth, and I know we can count on them to be there again.

COVID-19 has drastically damaged our transportation industries and product supply chains, leaving people without jobs because we cannot obtain or produce the materials that we need.  Travel and commerce have also been significantly inhibited throughout the pandemic.

But today we have the opportunity to jump start our economic growth by investing in our roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs that will produce jobs for our union members, rebuild our middle class, and open the door for new economic opportunities for all.

This will allow us to grow our economy and stimulate the economic growth of our poor, working and middle classes, just as we have done in the past. It is our secret sauce.  And this time, we will ensure all people who want to work have a seat at the table.

We must bring scientists, entrepreneurs, advocates and workers together to ensure our infrastructure is green, sustainable and built smartly and toughly enough to address the imminent dangers of climate change.  At the same time, it is essential we mitigate the causes of carbon emmissions through environmental reform.

Finally, an infrastructure package signed off by both parties is the best response to those who believe bipartisanship is a myth. It will bring people together economically, regionally and socially, and clearly express that Americans are once again willing to lead the world in imagination, innovation and smart ideas.

Our Healthcare / Covid-19

Over the past year and a half, Americans have struggled mightily due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This pandemic has further exposed our flawed health care system.  Health care is a human right, and all Americans should have access to good, quality, accessible care no matter their circumstances.

However, access to health care isn’t enough. It must also be affordable, and people shouldn’t have to decide between paying their rent and paying for medicine.  I am committed to fighting for universal health care that is affordable and easily accessible.  Whether through our unions, government, companies or individuals, we must continue working to build a more vibrant and competitive private health insurance market that meet the needs of our people when they choose to use it.  We must also have a public health care option for those who need it.

It is vital we continue to provide all adults access to the COVID-19 vaccine and ensure everyone is getting tested regularly.

Finally, having access to health care regardless of your employment status gives workers the opportunity to fight for better wages and expand the set of benefits companies will offer to attract talent.

Women's Issues

Our women’s rights are under attack.

As a husband and father of two daughters, I will fight tooth and nail so every woman in this country can make her own healthcare choices, control her own body, and receive every aspect of healthcare they need.

I will also fight for equal pay and employment opportunities.  Equal pay for women is more pay for their families.

I will work to implement sexual harassment protections in the workplace so women of all ages can prosper in their careers without undue and unfair hostility and ill-treatment.

Lastly, paid leave for both mothers and fathers helps the whole family to live a more secure life.  We need to make sure this remains a national priority.

Our Children's Education

As a parent, and someone who has worked in schools as a substitute teacher, I understand the importance of a high-quality education, and how far it can go as an integral part of a holistic approach to solving many of our nation’s problems.

I am very proud of my family’s contributions to the education of our children and young adults.  My father was a college professor and my mother taught in high school.  My grandfather was also a college professor.  It is from this rich tradition of excellence that I derive my deep passion for the importance of learning and personal development in the society we all share.

Education is an essential component in building a bold and bright future for generations to come.

To ensure this future, we must continue to expand STEM curriculums in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for all students no matter their background, race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. This will allow our children to be prepared to build competitive global markets and be a part of a winning strategy for our nation down the road. They are the key to revitalizing our American Dream.

To ensure this, we must give them a blueprint for success. That is why I am committed to providing our children the resources and opportunities they need to succeed so they can shape the future of our country and our world.

Along with improving our community and state colleges, we also need to prioritize vocational options for those who wish to pursue careers in trade.

I am also committed to help those who want to become teachers to be the best they can be. Coming from a family of teachers, I know what it means to educate future generations and the resources and respect our educators deserve in our schools.

Lastly, I fully understand that parental involvement in our school systems is crucial to its success, and I’m committed to opening honest and open dialogues between them and educators in finding the best ways to help our young people succeed.

It does indeed take a village.  If we are to once again compete internationally in great ideas, products and solutions it will start with bettering our schools.

Immigration Reform

The time is long overdue for us to bring a long-term solution to our immigration crisis. As an immigrant myself, I understand the complexities in our current system and why there is an urgent need for reform.

We must transform our immigration system and re-engineer our institutions, so we have a workable framework that is efficient and fair to citizens and immigrants alike.

First, we must do away with our current backlog of immigration cases estimated at 2 million and growing. This requires ensuring the whole immigration process is fully resourced, providing legal assistance and counsel to those who need it.  It also requires restoring the asylum law and prioritizing protections for refugees and victims of abusive human rights violations. We must also take a new look at both funding and streamlining our immigration courts to make sure they are efficient.

Finally, but not lastly, we must bring back the humane treatment of migrants at border.  No whips, no cages, no abuse.  Period.

For centuries, our immigration system has opened the doors for aspiring Americans to come to our shores and invigorate our nation.  This system must once again shine as a beacon of light for immigrants as they join our land of opportunity.  It must further ensure the safety of citizens and immigrants alike.

Today, millions of people and families are residing and working within our borders that are not recognized as human beings.  We must shape a clearer path to citizenship so they can continue to contribute to our country legally, while safely living the American dream we all share.

Our National Security & Foreign Affairs

Outside of our domestic challenges, we face a more challenging world today than in the past. As Americans have faced Covid so has the rest of the world. The upheaval the pandemic has brought to the world will be affecting every country for years to come.

China:

China poses a major challenge to us because they are not a democracy and do not operate under the same values we do. And at the same time, we must work with China to solve some of the problems around the world. But what happened to Hong Kong is a clear indication of where the current Chinese government is heading. The tensions in Taiwan’s straits are real, and so is the current cyber war.

We must be extremely careful how we navigate the next year with China and our Asia Pacific partners.

I commit to be a bridge to always have a peaceful resolution to crises, but also protect our interests in the region.

Israel:

I am a strong supporter of Israel.

It is essential that Iron Dome funding and necessary aid packages to Israel are replenished until full peace is achieved in the region.

To bring peace, we must find a path forward that will make Israel feel secure in its borders, while providing stability and cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians.

As an immigrant from Chile, I experienced firsthand how both communities have been able to work closely together in the country where I grew up.  Having seen this happen there, I know I can be a trustworthy agent in ensuring Israelis and Palestinians eventually arrive at a place where accepting each other will be the norm.

Boycotts or any other similar efforts against Israel are not acceptable to me. Only through open conversation and cooperation will we find peace. 

Latin America:

Latin America is a natural partner for America. Not only we share common cultural backgrounds but also values and commercial goals. As we face a more competitive global market and China, our Latin American allies and partners provide a great opportunity to develop an alternative to relying too much too much on China.

We must help the region to find stability and and provide a new set of  economic opportunities throughout the Americas our small, medium and large size businesses.

And by doing so, we will help minimize the need of many of their citizens to go across a continent to find a safe and secure place to live their lives.

Europe:

I am a strong NATO supporter and will continue supporting the strengthening of our relationship with our allies in Europe. Together, we must address the range of global geopolitical challenges Europe and the United States face around the world.

Africa:

The African continent presents a serious set of challenges, but many opportunities as well. We must renew our efforts to increase the help we provide to the region and support it as it tries to break away from Covid,old colonial structures and economic growth challenges. Just as Latin America, Africa presents a unique opportunity for us to expand our global reach, but also truly help the region reach its own potential.

Help Manuel Deliver Results.