Brian’s Plan for the American Worker
Brian understands that economic justice is key to achieving social justice. That’s why his campaign is about the American worker – and investing in an America that works for all of us – through policies that eliminate the barriers to economic equality and social justice. He has a bold, comprehensive plan that not only creates jobs it also removes these barriers while helping to grow our economy. He calls it his Plan For the American Worker. It includes –
Medicare for All, which he has been publicly advocating for since 2004.
Investments that put us at the epicenter of a clean energy revolution.
Criminal justice reforms – including legalization of marijuana- that reduce racial & economic disparities.
Reinvigorating unions because no working/middle class society in history has thrived without a strong labor movement.
Policies that enable and empower working women, and support reproductive justice.
Upgrading our crumbling infrastructure – including repairing roads and creating access to high speed internet – so our rural communities can thrive.
Prioritizing high-quality public education and training for the jobs of the future.
An America that works for ALL OF US.
Brian believes healthcare isn’t a privilege, it’s a right. As someone who has been advocating for Medicare For All since 2004, he strongly feels nobody should ever have to choose between making sure their families are healthy and paying their bills.
Medicare for All provides affordable, quality healthcare with better outcomes for all Americans, and is not employer dependent. These are portable benefits that cover citizens and their families no matter where they work.
Brian also understands that it is not just a matter of ensuring families receive quality, affordable healthcare, it’s also an economic issue. Medicare for All will make American businesses more competitive in the global market and by separating health insurance from employment, it frees up entrepreneurs to create new businesses. In addition, the Affordable Care Act created 500,000 new jobs across the country and right here in NY 19, healthcare is the largest jobs sector in every County.
That’s why, in the short term, Brian supports fortifying and expanding the Affordable Care Act which has helped millions of Americans access health insurance, often for the first time. Unlike John Faso, who voted to take healthcare away from millions of people including his own constituents, Brian will fight any attempts by the Republicans to gut the ACA while we transition to Medicare For All.
Brian also supports legislation to force pharmaceutical companies to negotiate rates with Medicare and to stop charging American consumers more than they do anyone else in the developed world. He calls it the Global Pharma Price Equity Act and it would ensure that Americans no longer pay unfair premiums on needed medications.
Finally, as a pro-labor candidate, Brian is committed to protecting the rights of health care workers to unionize. Nurses, aids, home care workers, and technicians are the backbone of the health sector and deserve to earn a living wage with good benefits and a safe, stable work environment. Unions ensure they are supported and empowered to provide the best possible care.
It’s not enough to talk about healthcare as a right, we must elect a healthcare champion. Brian is committed to Medicare for All and quality health care for all Americans. In Congress, Brian will not only fight against any attempts to cut Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and other critical programs, he will also work tirelessly to expand these vital social safety nets.
“The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.” — The United States Supreme Court, 1992
Brian has always been a staunch advocate for reproductive justice, including choice.
He understands that a woman’s right to choose when and if to start a family is a matter of both personal and economic freedom. It effects if she will be able finish her education, get a good-paying job or even whether she’ll be able to care for the children she may already have. Personal decisions about whether or not a woman has a baby should be made between her and her doctor, not by politicians in Washington.
And when a woman does choose to start a family, Brian’s advocacy won’t stop there. In Congress, Brian has pledged to fight for true reproductive justice that includes and goes beyond choice. It is about empowering women, socially, politically and economically to make their own, autonomous decisions about their bodies, how and when they choose to start their families, and the future that is right for them. That means:
Access to Birth Control and Family Planning
Paid Paternity and Maternity Leave
Strong Anti-Discrimination Laws for Pregnant Women and Working Mothers
Comprehensive Sex Education
Affordable, Quality Childcare
I believe we all have a right to breathe clean air and drink clean water, and a responsibility to leave the world a better place than we found it for our children. As a former small business owner, I also happen to believe that the business community has a special responsibility to be stewards of our environment – so I founded the New York chapter of Environmental Entrepreneurs and spent years bringing business owners together to take on big polluters. In the 19th Congressional district, it’s not just the environment, it is literally our way of life.
- We must invest in renewable energy systems and promote a carbon tax to curb excessive greenhouse emissions. In turn, we create new jobs and cleaner air and water.
- We have a tremendous opportunity in the 19th congressional district to be a job creation leader in developing wind and solar infrastructure.
- We must stay vigilant and continue to take on corporate polluters who have no regard for our rivers, streams, and public lands; because profits should never take precedent over our health, wellness and natural beauty that surrounds us.
- We must apply consistent and unwavering pressure on the Trump Administration to re-enter the Paris Accords and continue to find ways at the state and municipal level to adhere.
Continued education should never be a burden for a young person. The growing personal debt that current and future college students and their families incur should never detract from one’s desire to learn. I support tuition-free public universities, trade schools and community colleges that allow our future generations to learn, spur economic growth and expand our worldview.
At the same time, I recognize that college is not for everyone.
Associate degrees and trade programs provide high school graduates with the necessary tools they need to succeed whether that be on the family farm or in the workplace. Our labor unions have been doing this for decades through apprenticeship programs that have produced some of the highest skilled electricians, plumbers, and iron workers our nation has ever seen.
Endorsed by Transport Workers Union
There has been a staggering decline in labor unions in the last 40 years, a decrease that has been widely regarded as one of the main causes of wage stagnation.
Not only does Brian understand that unions are a key partner in our fight to achieve a thriving middle class by offering superior training, higher wages, better benefits and more stability, as the only union member in the race, he also recognizes their key role in tackling racial and gender inequality by raising the wages of ALL workers, regardless of race, sex, religion, ethnicity or sexual orientation.
The truth is, the fewer the unions, the lower the pay for ALL WORKERS. This includes non-union men without a high school diploma, who under a strong labor movement would have seen their weekly wages increase by as much as 9%.
Brian’s deep belief and support of unions runs in the family. His mother was a member of the teachers union and his great uncle, the legendary labor leader Michael J. Quill, co-founded the Transport Workers Union. It’s a family tradition Brian has been proud to carry on to this day. In addition to his recent endorsement by TWU (making him only the second candidate in the country and first non-incumbent to be endorsed by the union this election cycle), Brian has also been a member of the Allied Workers
Union for over a decade and fully supported his campaign workers’ recent decision to unionize through the Campaign Workers Guild. The Brian Flynn for Congress campaign staff is proud to be the first in NY history and the 5th in the country to do so. Perhaps most notably, Brian has helped create many union jobs through his own businesses in factories across the country.
Brian’s key pro-labor policies include:
Requiring government infrastructure projects to use unionized labor.
Advocate for collective bargaining, particularly in sectors in which labor is growing such as healthcare and the service industry, two industries that create many jobs in the district.
Increase penalties on employers that attempt to stop organizing.
Enable unions to circumvent election process if a majority have signed unions cards “Card checks.”
Require employers to enter arbitration if no contract is reached within 120 days of formation.
Repeal the part of Taft Hartley Act that allows states to pass “right to work” laws.
Support Sherrod Brown’s Butch Lewis Act, which protects pensions for union members with multiple employers, including Teamsters. It also provides US Treasury loans to pension funds in critical or declining status in order to pay out promised benefits.
For Brian, this is an issue of economic justice. Unions are a powerful weapon in the fight against inequality, wage stagnation and a system that simply does not protect the large majority of American workers.
When in Congress Brian will work tirelessly to reinvigorate unions and help drive the pro-labor movement across the country.
Roots in Protecting Workers
Brian’s deep belief and support of unions runs in the family. His mother was a member of the teachers union and his great uncle, the legendary labor leader Michael J. Quill, co-founded the Transport Workers Union. It’s a family tradition Brian has been proud to carry on to this day.
“I organize poor and exploited workers, I fight for the civil rights
of minorities, and I believe in peace.”
— Michael J. Quill, Founder of Transport Workers Union and Brian’s Great Uncle
Additional Union Topics
As the grandson of four Irish immigrants, I believe in the power of immigration to grow and diversify a country and an economy. My people came here to escape religious and economic persecution, but they came with no special skills other than their character and work ethic. My grandfather was an undocumented immigrant for years. We need comprehensive immigration reform to bring law-abiding immigrants out of the shadows and protect families from being torn apart by aggressive tactics. We need to develop policies that will enable us to continue to welcome people from all over the world that want to be part of the American dream.
Brian believes a society is judged by how we treat our most vulnerable. Today, one in three older Americans are economically insecure and more than a quarter of nursing home abuse goes unreported to authorities. Seniors deserve to live with dignity, free from worry, neglect, poverty and the injustice that stems from financial limitations, a lack of available resources and adequate protections against abuse and neglect.
Brian believes in strengthening the social safety net, and removing the barriers seniors face in attempting to access critical services and resources such as: health care, reskilling for employment, financial stability, protection from financial abuses, high quality long term care, and funding for critical programs such as home-delivered meals, caregiver support and falls prevention.
His specific policy proposals include:
- Strengthening Medicare and Medicaid to ensure low income seniors can afford and address their health care issues. This also includes simplifying prescription plan choices which are often confusing, and lowering premiums and deductibles which can be costly for those on a limited income. Seniors should never have to choose between food, rent and medicine.
- Supporting programs that provide training and part-time employment as a means to help seniors obtain financial stability.
- Advocating for policies that prevent fraud and financial abuse that specifically target seniors.
- Reinstituting the nursing home protections the Trump administration rolled back in 2017 that left people with disabilities and Seniors more vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
- Strengthening laws and policies that protect social security. A substantial number of seniors, particularly women and African Americans, rely on Social Security for most or all of their retirement income. Social Security is a benefit earned after a lifetime of work and should be strengthened, not gutted in order to reduce the deficit and pay for tax cuts for billionaires.
- Home Health Corp Program. Many seniors who would like to stay in their homes are forced to move into nursing facilities or group homes because of the lack of home care infrastructure. Brian’s Home Health Corps program retrains/upskills unemployed workers in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s to become caregivers. The program then pairs them with seniors who want to remain at home at an affordable cost. Not only does this program provide jobs in local communities and small towns across the country, it also saves tax dollars and allows seniors to live at home with dignity and security.
Brian lives in Greene County, a place where hunting and guns are a way of life. But he and his neighbors – Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike – all agree that we can support the 2nd amendment while improving gun safety and reducing gun violence at the same time.
Brian believes we can’t let special interests like the NRA gun lobby – and their bought and paid for politicians – stand in the way of common sense reforms.
In fact, nearly all Americans, including 97% of Republicans, believe in Universal background checks, proven to be the single most effective gun violence prevention measure. States that have implemented this have seen gun violence reduced by more than half. And 94% of Americans want to close loopholes like those for internet, gun show and private sales.
Yet Congress does nothing. Brian understands that we must remove money from politics. Until we do, elected officials like John Faso – one of Congress’ top recipients of NRA donations and expenditures – will continue to put the needs of their wealthy donors and special interests like the gun lobby over the lives of constituents.
At the end of the day, children shouldn’t have to worry about whether or not they will be gunned down at school or on the streets of their neighborhood.
But even beyond school children, more people in the United States are killed by guns than they are in car accidents. This includes women, who are 16 times more likely to be killed by guns in the US than in any other developed country, and more often than not, as the result of domestic violence.
Our communities are being decimated by gun violence.
That’s why Brian is calling for real solutions now. These include:
- Getting weapons of war and accessories like bump stocks out of the hands of civilians
- Universal background checks to make sure that people who shouldn’t access guns can’t.
- Closing gun show, internet and private sale loopholes
- Ending the special liability loophole for gun manufacturers
- Treating gun violence as a public health issue. That means repealing the Dickey Amendment so that public health agencies can access the funding they need to research gun violence and prevention.
- Ensuring people have access to quality, affordable mental health care and violence diversion programs
- Getting special interest money out of politics. Brian has pledged never to take campaign contributions from any corporate PAC, including the NRA and the gun lobby
Brian believes that we should treat gun safety like we treat traffic safety. Saving lives should always be the priority, not politics.
Brian is a long-time opponent of money in politics and has pledged not to take any donations from corporate PAC’s for his campaign – unlike John Faso who has accepted millions of dollars from special interests and ultra wealthy families, like the Mercers. Brian supports:
- Overturning Citizens United and ending dark-money’s influence on our electoral system
- Fighting for full transparency by legally requiring that all financial contributions and expenses are disclosed
- Public financing for federal campaigns so candidates and elected officials aren’t beholden to special interests and wealthy donors
Brian knows that we aren’t going to jail our way out of this crisis. It is an urgent medical epidemic – not a criminal one – and should be treated as such. Our focus must be on prevention, treatment, and recovery.
In Ulster County alone, there’s been a 300% increase in opioid related deaths from 2014-2016. That accounts for 30% of ALL deaths investigated by the medical examiner’s office. And we know that nationally, 80% of those seeking treatment don’t receive it. In Congress Brian will:
Support programs that help those struggling with addiction find resources they need immediately. No addict wanting help should be faced with not getting it.
Fight for Medicare for All, including full access to a wide range of rehabilitation services and programs for every American.
End the criminalization of addiction and mandatory minimum sentencing for addiction related transgressions.