New Jersey

Donald Norcross, Running for New Jersey’s 1st Congressional District in the 2018 Midterm Elections

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Carol Hinojosa

Donald Norcross

Office Sought: New Jersey 1st Congressional District

Political Party: Democrat

Age: 59

Campaign Website: www.donaldnorcrossforcongress.com

No. of Tweets: 788

No. of Facebook followers: 10,259

Biography: Norcross says his life has been devoted to fighting for working families, seniors, veterans, and students; having attended community college, raised his first son as a single dad while working as an electrician, and relied on unemployment and disability insurance to provide for his family, his range of experience makes him more capable of understanding New Jersey's families and communities.

On the Issues:

Raising Wages
"I support raising wages, growing jobs in high-skilled industries, and ensuring fair pay and safe workplaces for all. I know that the best social program in the world is a good job with fair wages and the dignity that comes with it. Now serving in Congress, I can plainly say that raising wages is the moral issue of our time. But Congress hasn’t acted to raise the federal minimum wage in over a decade. Today it remains $7.25 an hour, leaving Americans who work full-time living in poverty. And economic security isn’t just a problem for minimum wage workers. We feel it throughout our communities: families struggling to make ends meet, with stagnant wages and rising costs, unable to save enough for their kids’ education, and worried by the threat of a health care overhaul that we know will mean higher costs and less care. The social contract that guided us for generations – that if you work hard and play by the rules you can make it in America – appears broken. No American with a full-time job should struggle to put food on their table or put their child to bed hungry. First and foremost for me is raising your wages; we know that this will not just increase quality of life for workers, but boost the economy, as well."

Education 
"Students deserve an education that prepares them for a rewarding career and doesn’t leave them mired in debt. Our focus as a society must be to provide a world-class education for all, and to ensure affordable, accessible higher educational opportunities so that our best, brightest, and most industrious students can start building their adult lives without being mired in debt. First and foremost that means fully supporting our public school system and all those that devote their lives to educating our children. I've worked to make our local universities and county colleges hubs for business innovation and high-tech job creation. Now, I’m focused on expanding opportunities for students interested in attending our vocational, technical, and apprenticeship training schools so they can become valued members of our region’s workforce."

Community Protection and Security
"For Americans to succeed, we must first and foremost provide a secure nation and safe neighborhoods. Our police officers, firefighters, and first responders risk their lives every day to keep our communities safe, and I have stood up for them by instituting programs that help them gain and retain employment, and assist their families in times of need. I was an early supporter of equipping law enforcement officials with body cameras, and authored New Jersey’s first law to do so. I led the successful push to reform our state’s bail laws and keep violence out of our communities by focusing on an offender’s risks, not their resources, and was recognized by the New Jersey NAACP for those efforts. I also worked to increases penalties for illegal gun trafficking and allow police officers to impound vehicles in cases that involve illegal weapons, drugs, or prostitution, effectively removing vehicles of crime from our streets.
My first and highest duty is to protect and defend the American people. I’ve called for common-sense steps to protect Americans, like ending the outrageous terrorist background check loophole that currently allows people on our nation’s Terror Watchlist to legally purchase deadly firearms and explosives. I have traveled to the Middle East on multiple occasions and saw firsthand how the evils of terrorism are shaping our national security policies. I fully support Israel, our strongest ally in a region that is both strategically significant and increasingly unstable. Israel proudly shares our American values of freedom and equality and is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. I oppose the nuclear deal with Iran because, as the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism, Iran must never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon when it continues to threaten and vilify the people of Israel and America."

Jobs
"Our economy can’t grow if we don’t invest in the critical infrastructure that allows employers to do business. America needs a comprehensive infrastructure plan that improves our roads and bridges, our water and electric energy systems, and our telecommunications network. Meanwhile our small businesses stability and predictability from government and a qualified workforce so they can feel confident investing in America’s future. I am focused on strengthening our region’s core industries including our colleges and universities, hospitals, and ports. I championed a groundbreaking effort to improve our economy and bring new jobs to our region through the Economic Opportunity Act of 2013. I have also been a leader in modernizing our state’s brewing and distilling laws, supporting multiple small businesses throughout the state and creating jobs along with unique, Jersey-made craft brews and spirits. As your representative in Congress, I will bring these innovative ideas to the national level and work to create family-sustaining jobs for all Americans."

Healthcare 
"Americans deserve quality, affordable health care, and we must confront the disease of addiction that’s plaguing our communities. We must improve our nation’s health care system, making smart reforms that lower costs and improve outcomes, protecting the hard-fought reforms that ended discrimination against pre-existing conditions, and ensuring funding for women’s health providers like Planned Parenthood. Our society must also address the vicious cycles of poverty, drug abuse, and incarceration that affects the lives of so many Americans. We must begin to treat the disease of addiction that is plaguing our country as a serious public health issue that requires prevention efforts, treatment options, and public safety tools like the Naloxone antidote. I am proud to co-chair the Bipartisan Heroin Task Force in Congress where I am focused on battling the stigma of addiction and finding solutions for this national emergency."

Honoring Veterans and Service Members
"Men and women who have selflessly answered the call to serve our nation should not be left behind when they return home. We have a duty to connect veterans and their families with every opportunity to work, get an education, and live a healthy life. The bravery our service men and women have shown is not limited to state borders and neither should their education or health care. Local governments are now able to set aside a portion of their business opportunities specifically for veteran-owned businesses and those that employ our nation’s finest, providing much-needed job opportunities for these skilled workers, and New Jersey’s colleges and universities now offer in-state tuition rates to all service members. Our veterans deserve unrestricted access to the best health care America has to offer, and I am committed to giving every veteran the freedom to choose their preferred provider using their existing VA insurance. South Jersey is blessed with multiple world-class health care institutions, so our veterans should never have to suffer long waits or put up with sub-standard care. They gave their best, they deserve our best."

Caring For Seniors 
"In Congress, I will always honor our commitments to seniors and protect the Social Security and Medicare programs that they have worked hard to fund. I oppose voucher schemes and support reforms that will ensure appropriate cost of living adjustments that account for the rising costs our seniors face. I’ve fought hard to improve service and cut costs by supporting efforts backed by the AARP and other organizations that represent older Americans. In 2015, I was named a Medicare Advantage Champion by the Coalition for Medicare Choices, and I will continue these efforts to provide our most valued citizens with the health care and peace of mind they deserve. I’ve also advocated for a Caregiver’s Tax Credit to help families give their elderly loved ones the attention they need in the comfort of home."

Women's and LGBTQ+ Rights
"Whether at home or at work, every individual is entitled to the same rights. We must stand together against discrimination of all kinds. Women deserve to be paid the same as their male counterparts and should never face opposition to their personal health care decisions. I have consistently supported progressive efforts that benefit women and families, from equal pay and family leave to protecting funding for women’s health providers like Planned Parenthood. 2016 was a monumental year for civil rights: love won and now any couple is free to be in a loving and committed relationship, regardless of gender. As a member of the Congressional Equality Caucus, I will continue the fight to ensure equal rights, repeal discriminatory laws and stop hate violence."

Environment
"We need to ensure that the Earth is healthy and strong for future generations. Environmentally sustainable policies and investments in renewable energy will reduce dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, but it can also help us address climate change. 35 years have passed since the Superfund was created to enforce clean up of toxic sites across the country. New Jersey alone has 118 contaminated and abandoned sites, and all of them can be transformed into productive regions through the Superfund’s cleanup initiative, so I’ve worked hard to bring those resources back to our state. We also need to protect the Jersey Shore from harmful offshore drilling in the Atlantic, which would harm both our environment and economy. Finally, I’m proud to be a strong supporter of animal rights and organizations like the Humane Society of the US that work to ensure dignity and respect for all animal life."

Democracy and Government
"Our leaders should be determined by the voice of the people, not the finances of a select few. The Citizens United Supreme Court decision placed a huge amount of power in the hands of a few wealthy individuals and corporations. I support a repeal of that decision and efforts to renew transparency and accountability in our elections. We must also preserve the true meaning of democracy. That means safeguarding voting rights for every American and restoring the protections of the Voting Rights Act. I traveled to Selma, Alabama along with President Barack Obama and Congressman John Lewis on the 50th Anniversary of the march that helped lead to passage of the Voting Rights Act, and it’s clear that the time to restore voting rights established 50 years ago is now."

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