Shahid's Values

Click on any issue below to learn how Shahid and our campaign approach it, and how Shahid would represent San Francisco in Congress.

Corporations unfortunately dominate our public policy, and We the People pay the price. From depleting environmental resources to accelerating climate chaos and habitat destruction, corporate resource extraction increasingly threatens the future of human life on Earth.

Shahid favors aggressive action to address the climate crisis, and supports the Green New Deal. Given the warnings of U.N. climate scientists, we must transition our economy to 100% clean and renewable energy within the next 10 years. Doing so will require aggressive action to reform our energy policy, agriculture policy, military policy, and also housing and transportation infrastructure.

While the precise legislative vehicle to effectuate these changes remains unformulated due to the sustained and continuing failures of our established political leaders, Shahid is eager to participate in the formulation of the Green New Deal’s precise contours. He also aims to strengthen existing proposals as recommended by environmental groups including Food & Water Watch, Oil change International, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace.

In addition to promoting solutions to the global climate crisis in policy, our campaign has also shown solidarity with the Sunrise Movement, Extinction Rebellion, and Youth Climate Strike by participating in direct actions organized by those networks.

Healthcare is a human right, not a commodity. In sharp contrast to our incumbent’s defense of a for-profit health system that preys on sick people and their families, Shahid will support the historic “Medicare for All” proposal by Rep. Pramila Jayapal, H.R.1384.

Single-payer healthcare will be vastly more efficient and less expensive than our inadequate corporate healthcare system by leveraging economies of scale.

Medicare for all will dramatically drive down costs across the system by reducing administrative waste, expanding access to preventive care, and allowing the government’s purchasing power to drive down the cost of corporate pharmaceuticals.

While the plan entails an increase in government expenditures, we reject the Republican Pay-Go rules imposed by Speaker Pelosi. To the extent they remain in place during our tenure in the House, we propose to fund Medicare for All with offsetting reductions in military spending and a tax on Wall Street transactions.

Three different parts of our platform intersect homelessness and the housing crisis: Medicare for All, VA benefits, and affordable housing block grants through HUD.

In San Francisco, over 67% of homeless people have a disabling medical condition. Medicare for All will help them directly by expanding their access to healthcare beyond expensive emergency services to include less expensive preventive care. Medicare for All will also reduce future homelessness, because health care costs are among the leading causes of bankruptcy and losing one’s home.

As physician Seiji Hay­ashi writes, “The connection between housing and health is coldly logical. The sick and vulnerable become homeless, and the homeless become sicker and more vulnerable.” The causation flows both ways. The American Public Health Association explains another reason why “Ending homelessness is a public health issue….individuals experiencing homelessness have a risk of mortality that is 1.5 to 11.5 times greater than the risk in the general population.”

Meanwhile, 40,000 veterans are homeless today, but “[a]bout 1.4 million other veterans…are considered at risk of homelessness due to poverty, lack of support networks, and dismal living conditions in overcrowded or substandard housing.” Ultimately nearly 10% of the homeless population once served in uniform before our government abandoned them.

Widespread homelessness among veterans is not only a sad stain on our country’s conscience, but also a revealing reflection of Pentagon priorities. We need to assist veterans who are already homeless, and reduce the chance that other vets lose their housing while also focusing attention and resources on mental health services to address the epidemic of suicides among veterans.

Finally, the budget for HUD community development block grants that can help provide incentives for property developers to build affordable housing has fallen nearly 80% since its high point in the late 70s. Our local housing crisis has a federal root, which we aim to address in the appropriations process.

Privacy is a fundamental right. Beyond the right merely to be invisible, it enables freedom of expression, on which democracy relies.

Despite our legal commitment to the First Amendment, U.S. history is unfortunately replete with government surveillance suppressing dissent.

Shahid will sponsor legislation to require law enforcement and intelligence agencies (such as NSA, FBI, and DEA) to secure a judicial warrant before searching or collecting information from or about Americans.

Liberty includes the right to autonomy, as long as one’s actions don’t harm others.

Having long embraced intersectional feminism, Shahid will be a stalwart defender of both reproductive freedom and justice. All Americans should enjoy the chance to decide if, when, how, and with whom they grow their families.

Corporate fraud, waste, and abuse pervade military procurement and scream out for stronger congressional oversight, as well as reducing military spending.

Having received the results of a long overdue audit of the Department of Defense indicating that the Pentagon has lost track of a staggering $21 trillion, Congress must take action to restrict its blank check that enriches weapons contractors while impoverishing our nation.

In particular, Shahid will work to rationalize our millitary spending by seeking the closure of some U.S. military bases in foreign countries, and an end to any further funding for the failed & fraudulent $1.5 trillion F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

Closing overseas bases and ending fraudulent corporate contracts would drive immense reductions in carbon emissions. The Pentagon has already recognized that climate change is among our greatest threats to national security.

In the wake of the GOP tax scam passed by Congress, cuts to military spending will be increasingly necessary to secure—and expand—vital social services including student debt relief, early childhood education, medical and psychological services for veterans, and funding for affordable housing to address the urban housing crisis.

In Congress, Shahid will vigilantly work to promote checks and balances challenging corporate corruption in Washington.

In Congress, Shahid will:

  • investigate, expose, and oppose any U.S. military intervention abroad, as well as covert operations that inherently undermine U.S. diplomatic strength and inflame international hostility, whatever the perceived tactical objectives.
  • work to limit military contracting and expose fraud, waste, and abuse pervading the sector.
  • organize support across Congress to restrict spending on expensive, high-tech weapons platforms.
  • secure a bipartisan consensus to phase out obsolete weapons platforms by crafting programs for a just transition for workers displaced from weapons manufacturing.
  • investigate and expose the role of corporate resource extraction industries, as well as weapons manufacturers, in promoting any proposed conflict or intervention.
  • prevent our military and intelligence agencies from contriving preventable future national security crises, as the CIA has sadly done relentlessly since it was created.
  • propose long overdue reforms to our “bloated and dysfunctional” national security classification system to enhance transparency and stop security classification (such as “confidential” or “top secret” designations) from being used to evade accountability for human rights violations.
  • continue to advocate for the public unredacted release of the CIA torture report whose continuing censorship prompted even Sen. Dianne Feinstein to decry a constitutional crisis.
  • support veterans and servicemembers by seeking the expansion of VA services across the entire medical system through a single-payer framework of the sort embodied in H.R. 1384, introduced by Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA).
  • relentlessly pursue his oversight responsibilities. Even without a seat in Congress, he has posed uncomfortable questions to executive officials that no legislator ever has, and even risked arrest for doing so.

In addition, our campaign has shown solidarity with the peace & justice movement by taking action against the right-wing coup in Venezuela, to stop escalation of the war in Syria, and to challenge U.S. support for the Saudi genocide in Yemen. In spring 2019, we were part of a grassroots action at Speaker Pelosi’s office at which the Speaker changed her position, announcing her support for the historic 2019 War Powers Resolution spearheaded by Rep. Ro Khanna and Sen. Bernie Sanders.

In Congress, Shahid will champion H.R. 2474, the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act introduced by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA). The PRO embodies the most comprehensive update to U.S. labor law proposed in decades. It will prohibit right-to-work laws passed by state governments that marginalize workplace organizing, expand penalties to discourage employers from retaliating against employees who participate in workplace organizing, and establish new rules to prevent employers from delaying collective contract negotiations.

Shahid will also support Rep. Scott’s proposed Raise the Wage Act. The minimum wage has not increased at a rate commensurate with rises in the cost of living. This has unfortunately eroded consumer purchasing power and not only undermined working families, but also weakened the broader economy.

Shahid will also champion the proposed Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) to allow employees greater opportunities to form unions. EFCA will allow employees to form labor unions without having to undergo secret balloting imposed (and often manipulated) by employers, and will also protect workers from employer abuses and retaliation. As explained by even centrist think tanks, “Unfairly preventing workers from joining together in unions it is not only a violation of their basic human rights, it is also bad for the economy and democracy.”​

In addition to standing with workers on policy matters, our campaign has also stood with workers more literally. We have joined picket lines organized by Unite Here Local 2 workers on strike from Marriott, and AFSCME Local 3299 workers on strike from UCSF. We’ve also supported workers forming new unions with the ILWU at local establishments including the Anchor Brewery, Anchor Bar, and VCA San Francisco Veterinary Specialists.

Workers and their families—especially new Americans driven either by violence or economic opportunity to migrate—stand at the tip of the spear.

Shahid will champion immigration reform aligned with the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, and resist “enforcement-first” proposals that have led to a humanitarian crisis. In Congress, he will:

  • protect dreamers (students left vulnerable after Trump rescinded DACA)
  • fight for a pathway to citizenship for their families
  • end the criminalization of migration by supporting the repeal of the “illegal entry” provisions Section 1325.

Shahid will also oppose border militarization and seek to reverse it, not only in the context of medieval border walls but also the high-tech surveillance nets—like the FBI’s corrupt and authoritarian Next Generation Initiative—that have spread across the country while being presented as immigration enforcement initiatives.

To protect the integrity of our political process from threats including voter suppression, disenfranchisement, gerrymandering, and a campaign finance regime that undermines the influence of working class voters, Shahid proposes to expand the protections of antitrust law to give federal judges a broad statutory authority to protect competition and fairness in political markets.

He also supports legislation to make election day a national holiday, and to increase election security by requiring hand-marked paper ballots and risk-limiting audits by any state seeking federal funds.

Shahid is also especially concerned about the widely overlooked practice of prison gerrymandering, which states across the country are finally taking action to reverse. For the purposes of allocating congressional representation, incarcerated people should be counted based on their home addresses, not the sites of their involuntary incarceration. Fixing this denial of representation would effectively privilege populous areas in the House to the same extent that the Senate structurally over-represents rural states.

In Congress, Shahid will:

  • support the Internet Bill of Rights synthesized by Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA).
  • co-sponsor or sponsor legislation to unwind the statutory framework for mass surveillance embodied in the USA PATRIOT Act and FISA Amendments Act of 2009.
  • seek overdue institutional accountability for documented violations of constitutional rights en masse.
  • support the voices of whistleblowers and seek opportunities for their findings to inform Congress and the public.
  • resist attempts to legislate a weak federal baseline for consumer data privacy protections, to instead allow the states to experiment and enable a race to the top among competing sets of privacy protections.
  • co-sponsor legislation to restore Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (a legal cornerstone of the contemporary Internet) by repealing SESTA & FOSTA, which have encouraged platform censorship and placed at risk the lives of vulnerable Internet users, especially sex workers.

Notwithstanding the legalization of cannabis here in California at the state level, prohibition continues at the federal level, fueling a failed and racist war on drugs and a prison-industrial-slavery complex.

Shahid is committed to ending the war on drugs and supporting communities healing from its racist effects. Our campaign has developed a detailed platform to reform our criminal injustice system and advance civil rights:

  1. Prohibit profiling by law enforcement and intelligence agencies based on race, religion, or national origin, by enacting the End Racial and Religious Profiling Act (H.R.1498).
  2. Limit the transfer of military weapons to state and local police departments by passing the Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act of 2015 (H.R.1232).
  3. Remove cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act and end the failed war on drugs. Further amend the Controlled Substances Act to reduce mandatory minimum sentences by passing by the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015 (S.2123).
  4. Abolish civil asset forfeiture (which the Supreme Court recently limited, recognizing its propensity of abuse) and the related practice of federal adoption. Those practices allow law enforcement to seize money and property from people accused of crimes even if they are never convicted.
  5. Restrict the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers, by making deadly force justifiable only when objectively necessary to prevent imminent bodily injury or death, not whenever potentially reasonable as currently allowed.
  6. Fund and develop a national registry for police officers to ensure that those who have been dismissed for cause from a law enforcement agency, or who have been involved in incidents prompting citizen complaints for excessive use of force, are not re-hired elsewhere. The use of deadly force towards an unarmed civilian should be per se grounds to preclude being hired by any law enforcement agency that receives federal funds.
  7. Prohibit money bail, mandatory fines, and other barriers to justice for low-income defendants. Prohibit the use of past criminal history to determine eligibility for services such as housing, education, licenses, voting, loans, and employment.
  8. De-militarize our borders, de-commission biometric surveillance programs embedded in immigration enforcement initiatives, and provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented workers and their families.
  9. Ensure that any legislation or resource extraction scheme that affects the rights of indigenous peoples is adopted in consultation with them and only with their free, prior, and informed consent.
  10. Tie funding for state law enforcement to a series of reforms, including stricter consequences for excessive use of force, expanded training on de-escalation, as well as a requirement that mental health clinicians accompany officers responding to mental health crisis calls.
  11. Amend the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 to end the mandated support of police departments, and make explicit that community-based crime prevention (restorative justice) and long-term safety strategies (eg, employment, housing, mental health and substance abuse treatment programs) are permissible grantees for the Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) program.
  12. Promote educational, community restorative justice and employment programs that have been shown to improve community safety while creating opportunities for at-risk youth and adults, by re-allocating a portion of the funds annually given to state and local law enforcement agencies, and by tying federal grants to state adoption of statutes that redirect funds currently used for school police officers to restorative justice programs, trauma-informed counselors, and student health centers.
  13. Provide incentives for states to offer after-school opportunities for young people, including safe places to be at night, as well as centers for sports, dance, art, and cultural activities.
  14. Amend the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act to replace incarceration of youth accused of federal crimes with effective restorative justice diversion programs, which hold youth accountable and give them the tools to survive and thrive.
  15. Encourage independent civilian oversight boards equipped with the power to issue administrative subpoenas and impose penalties for police misconduct.
  16. Establish pre- and post-charge diversion programs for individuals accused of drug offenses, modeled after Seattle’s LEAD program and San Francisco’s federal court Conviction Alternatives Program, offering treatment, education, and job skills training.
  17. Prohibit the use of solitary confinement for juveniles held in the federal system, by passing the Maintaining dignity and Eliminating unnecessary Restrictive Confinement of Youths (MERCY) Act (S.329), and significantly reduce the use of solitary confinement and other forms of restrictive housing for adults in federal detention.

In Congress, Shahid will:

  • Enact the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act. Phase out special certificates under section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, which allows employers to pay disabled workers less than the federal minimum wage. This Act would put a freeze on new section 14(c) certificates and gradually raise the wages of those currently working under these certificates to the federal minimum wage. It also increases grants for businesses that employ disabled individuals.
  • Provide living wage jobs to persons with disabilities who want to work under a federal jobs guarantee program along with employment assistance for those who need it.
  • Fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • Pass the Disabilities Integration Act to allow people with disabilities and people who need long-term supports and services more opportunity for community integration by providing more in-home care services. Many disabled people are currently forced into institutions where they’re stripped of their basic rights and autonomy.
  • Ensure Social Security Disability Insurance is enough to live comfortably in every region of the U.S. by tying it to the Consumer Price Index. The max income if you are disabled in San Francisco is around $950. That is nowhere near enough to survive and contributes to homelessness.