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HEALTH CARE

According to U.S. News (August 2021), although America spends more on health care than eleven other developed countries, The U.S. ranked last in the study for access, administrative efficiency, equity, and health outcomes.  Alabama landed 45th in state ranking. We have witnessed the devastation caused by COVID-19. We cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand while Alabamians die. We can do better. No one should go into debt to pay hospital bills. No one should die because we do not have enough hospital beds.

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America is arguably the greatest country on Earth. By the mercies of God, this nation has managed to keep our republic intact and become a lighthouse to all seeking freedom and opportunity. However, our great country has had its shares of problems and moments of shame. It is noted that we are striving to live up to the aspirational words of the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

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Veteran Affairs

Our veterans are heroes with many of them actively putting themselves in harm’s way to protect our country. Veterans, however, face a variety of challenges when they come home. Many cannot get essential healthcare services because of a lack of infrastructure in the VA system. Protecting the veterans who protected us must be our priority.

There must be support for eliminating the VA benefits backlog and fully funding the VA. In addition to that, Phyllis supports modernizing the VA’s infrastructure, expanding the VA’s Caregivers Program, and providing increased mental health.

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Expand Medicaid

We must expand the scope of what is available for families and individuals facing long-term care and disabilities and stop bankrupting those who need help and genuine compassion. A provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) called for the expansion of Medicaid eligibility to cover more low-income Americans. Under the expansion, Medicaid eligibility would be extended to adults up to age 64 with incomes up to 138% of the federal poverty level. The federal government finances most of the cost of expanding Medicaid, and a small portion (10%) is being paid by participating states. Governor Ivey could sign the bill and stimulate more economic development while providing healthcare to more citizens of our great state.

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Rural Hospitals

Rural communities depend on rural hospitals for access to care. But when a rural hospital closes, there are negative consequences on local economies. According to the National Center for Rural Health Works, the health care sector accounts for between 10-15% of the jobs in rural counties. According to research, rural areas that lack a local hospital often struggle to draw outside investment, which mitigates economic growth in the area. From the outside, a community without a hospital is on the decline, and very few people wish to live or invest in such a community. I understand the value of rural hospitals because I am from rural Alabama, and I did not have to travel nearly 100 miles when I got sick. I will support all efforts and funding to reinvest in rural restoration. There needs to be more funding like the new cooperative agreement of funding called the Community Health Access and Rural Transformation (CHART) Model spearheaded by UAB. I will support innovative practices such as telehealth medicine to provide for the health of those choosing to live in rural communities.

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Prison Reform

The United States has the largest prison population in the world. Alabama’s prisons are overcrowded and dangerous; and the horrific conditions have drawn national attention. It is time to end mandatory sentencing minimums. Provide substance abuse treatments to persons in jails and prisons. The time is overdue to pass legislation that will allow for the early release for certain nonviolent offenders. Finally, partner with nonprofits and private businesses to help paroled individuals find jobs.

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Legalize Marijuana

The Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act proposes “removal of marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under the Controlled Substances Act and eliminates criminal penalties for an individual who manufactures, distributes, or possesses marijuana.” According to recent research, marijuana is far less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, two highly addictive substances.  We have the history from the Prohibitions against alcohol as guide for how to navigate this new and popular substance. I propose that we legalize marijuana, tax it, and regulate it as we do alcohol.

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Police Reform

Most Americans, like me, support our men and women in the blue for the tough job they do. We understand the risks associated with the job. We wish to see our policemen and policewomen receive salaries commensurate with the skills and risks of their job. All officers and cadets should be required to participate in sensitivity training. Also, there should be a national registry for police misconduct. There should be limitations placed on qualified immunity as a defense in a civil suit. We are all in this reform together.

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ADVANCING EQUALITY

" I believe that all the people of Alabama have the right to equal protection of the law. All Alabamians, regardless of where they live or who they love, have the right to liberty and the opportunity to pursue their dreams in a safe environment."

                                        - Phyllis Harvey-Hall

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Education

Our children deserve the best in education, and they aren’t getting it. As a product of the public school system, I firmly believe there must be educational equity and investment, not just in charter schools or pet projects.
Teachers need to be paid at a level reflecting the importance of their work for our families and our communities. I know that there must be an investment in our teachers because I am an educator. I know the long hours of planning and preparation needed to reach today’s youth. We need to invest in science, math, and the arts as critical gateways to careers that will help America succeed. We must restore trade programs to our schools because not every child’s path to success is by means of a four-year college.

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Voting Rights

We should be enacting and enforcing laws that make it easier, not harder, for citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote. We must fight for a system where each vote counts, eliminate partisan bias, and work for a fair voting process. In Congress, I will work to ensure that we are enacting legislation and enforcing laws that make it easier, not harder, for citizens to vote.

I will support the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which restores the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by developing a process to determine which states must pre-clear election changes with the Department of Justice and requires a nationwide, practice-based pre-clearance of known discriminatory practices.

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Women's Right

Women have the right to determine their own destiny. It is totally unacceptable that a small portion of society is attempting to overturn Roe v. Wade and cause a setback to women’s rights.  A woman’s decision to end a pregnancy should be a private decision. The choice must always be the woman’s, not ever the government’s mandate.

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LBGTQ Equality

Members of the LBGTQ community deserve to have full and equal protection under the law. LBGTQ Alabamians must have equality in the workspace and access to quality healthcare. There should be nondiscriminatory laws to protect their human rights.

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In America we dare to dream of equal opportunity for everyone. We are a nation of people that believe in the opportunity to have a good life.  In today’s economy we have some challenges in making certain that everyone has access to mobility and a positive quality of life.  To deliver the promise of economic opportunity, we must create a level laying field. We must invest in people and technologies.

ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

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Broadband to Rural Areas

There is no need for a survey. We experienced COVID- 19 and witnessed the failure of lack of preparedness for our rural students; this must never happen again, particularly in rural areas of District 2.  Broadband infrastructure must be expanded throughout the district to both stimulate our economy and help to educate our children. In Congress, I will fight tooth and nail for the expansion of rural America's ability to compete in the free market. Our existing infrastructure is in desperate need of attention. I will work with state and federal agencies to ensure that the district has the necessary resources to prosper. A strong infrastructure will help move our economy forward and strengthen our residents and small businesses.

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Small Businesses & Jobs

COVID-19 is threatening the future of small businesses in the 2nd District. And in the meantime, corporate America is doing just fine while tech giants like Amazon continue to pay $0.00 in federal taxes. The American spirit embodies our ability to build and grow small businesses because we know small businesses fuel job growth. 

I believe innovation is a must to rebuild our economy after COVID-19, and I want to move us forward into new industries like digital businesses, technical careers, cleaner energy, and specialty farming. People have shown resiliency throughout the pandemic. I will support small business accelerators as economic engines to generate creativity and ingenuity, and eventually more jobs.

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Livable Wage

Alabama’s minimum wage has not changed since 2009. Alabama has no active minimum wage law, so the minimum wage is by default set to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. The Alabama state legislature passed a law barring a municipality (etc., Birmingham) from setting its own minimum wage.   Working-class Alabamians are tired of working longer hours for lower wages. Therefore, I support raising the federal minimum wage. Just to provide the dignity of a 40-hour work week’s gross pay to $500.00, the minimum wage would immediately need to increase to $12.50 per hour. No one who works a full-time job should be unable to take care of basic needs such as food or not be able pay utility bills.  There must be dignity in work if we expect a good day’s work. I support a livable wage for all Americans.

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Defense & Military Installations

The 2nd District has been graced to be home to two great military installations – Fort Rucker down in the Wiregrass and Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery. I have had the opportunity to meet some of the great men and women who are employed at these great posts. These military installations provide greatly to the economies of the Wiregrass area and Montgomery. Also, the leaders of these installations provide vital resources to each respective area. Their volunteer hours to community projects are remarkable. I will tirelessly work to support each base and all efforts to maintain and update base facilities. Those who serve and protect us deserve our advocacy.

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Agriculture

Farming is the economic engine in District 2. According to ALFA, agriculture accounts for 96, 295 jobs and $3.7 billion in annual wages. Although there has been a move for industrialization and corporate domination to take over farming, signs are showing that private farms will continue. Sustainable farming will provide a desirable quality of life for farmers and for the district. Some examples of sustainable farming are organic production of vegetables, grains, and meats; low-input production for local, direct markets; community supported agriculture (CSAs); farmers’ markets and other niche market for ecologically grown products; management intensive grazing of livestock and seasonal dairies; free range and pastured poultry; and organic cotton. As someone growing up in Evergreen, AL, my family depended on local farms and pastured poultry as well as informal direct markets for vegetables. I understand how interconnected agriculture is to a community. I will support our farmers and be vigilant for all legislation affecting agriculture.

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The Campaign to Elect Phyllis Harvey-Hall is fighting for everyday working people and to be your voice in Congress. Phyllis will speak truth to all and be persistent in getting solutions to problems. By joining the campaign list, you are assuring that you want representation in Congress that plans to increase the economic infrastructure in our communities.

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