Climate change has reached global crisis levels. This isn't breaking news: the scientific community has had a strong consensus on this topic for well over a decade. Time is running out; we need to act immediately to save our planet from catastrophe. Fortunately, there are policies we can enact right now that can make meaningful strides in the right direction, while stimulating the economy and creating thousands of new jobs.
Renewables are becoming cheaper, and over the next couple of decades they'll begin to wholesale replace the use of fossil fuels. It's better to phase out fossil fuels on a timeline that works for our economy rather than to wait until the market eliminates jobs on its own.
To this end, our platform includes the following:
Create job retraining programs to keep our economy strong as we anticipate a global transition away from fossil fuels
Bolster government incentives for renewable energy use to expand access to low-income communities and shift an inevitable energy revolution to a timeline more hospitable to our survival as a species
Increase investments in research to discover new forms of low-carbon energy and diversify our energy portfolio, and to develop carbon-scrubbing technologies
Emphasize protection of environmental assets around the globe
Push for progressive, multilateral treaties with developing economies to steer development towards renewable energy sources
Fight for environmental justice for low-income communities around the planet disproportionately affected by a crisis they did not create
Gun violence is the third-leading cause of deaths among U.S. children and teenagers. Though mass shootings account for a small portion of these total deaths, in 2019 alone they amounted to 1,907 people killed or wounded across 409 mass shootings. That's more than one mass shooting per day. It doesn't have to be this way.
There are constitutional actions we can take to lower rates of gun deaths and make our country safer. Research shows that the most effective laws already in place are those that restrict who can gain access to a firearm rather than focusing on which particular firearms are permitted. In accordance with evidence-based approaches to curbing gun violence and a focus on ending mass shootings, YouPAC stands with the following policies:
Mandate universal background checks for all sale and trade of firearms
Create federal gun license requirements for all gun owners
Expand "may-issue" laws so that permits are required for all concealed carriers and so that states have discretion in the issuance of licenses
Create an independent body to better study and make recommendations on gun reform, with sufficient funding to see through research and policy creation
Reinstate the Federal Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 permanently.
Federal student loans are a textbook example of corruption and policy failure on a massive scale. There are currently 45 million student borrowers sharing a collective burden of $1.5 trillion, with an average balance of $28,650. For many first-time borrowers, these numbers are too large to even have meaning. Existing policies exploit a vulnerable population to line the pocketbooks of private loan providers with little oversight or compassion for student borrowers.
If we set the expectation that four-year college is the new standard of education and encourage young students, many of whom aren't even adults, to agree to take on insurmountable debt, we should make it as easy and flexible as possible for them to pay those loans back.
Pursuant to this goal, YouPAC will advocate the following policies:
Revitalize the Department of Education or create a new body to add oversight to the student loan process. This body should be responsible for the production of frequent transparency reports and act as a watchdog both for public and private actors involved in the student lending business. It should also develop standard, mandatory practices and guidelines loan providers must follow which will make the lending process easier and less predatory for borrowers
Allow borrowers to choose their loan provider, instilling competition into what has devolved into a corrosive marketplace
Allow borrowers to refinance their student loans so they can reduce monthly payments or take advantage of lower interest rates
Create new loan forgiveness programs and other safety nets built into the system to protect student borrowers from future financial harm