Meet Adrienne

adrienneedwards-for-congress-home-pageAbout Adrienne

Adrienne Edwards is an advocate for Los Angeles families and a candidate for the United States House of Representatives 34th Congressional District, which includes Chinatown, Downtown LA, Highland Park, Garvanza, Westlake, Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Boyle Heights, Eagle Rock, Mount Washington, Cypress Park, Lincoln Heights, City Terrace, El Sereno, and Monterey Hills. She is a mother, a community advocate, and a business owner.

Economic Justice for California families

Inspired by her mother, a housing counselor during the mortgage crisis, Adrienne has advocated for families who have been victimized by big banks and corporations. Lauded for her ability to work with diverse groups of people, Adrienne, now a housing counselor, has helped hundreds of people save their family homes and hundreds more find a new beginning with the first time home-buyers program.

As a mother, Adrienne knows first-hand that affordable and safe childcare can improve the lives of families. Additionally, she knows access to affordable education is the key to sustaining a strong middle class. Adrienne believes that student debt in this Nation has reached critical mass and looks forward to exploring solutions to this crisis.

Adrienne continues to demonstrate excellent leadership in her community and volunteers with various nonprofits frequently. Adrienne is well known for her homeless advocacy efforts and is doing everything she can to fight chronic homelessness in Los Angeles. She currently sits as Social Services Provider on the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council where she also serves as Budget Representative. Adrienne also serves as a Budget Advocate for the City of Los Angeles and continues to strengthen her community by mentoring at local high schools, assisting the families in need, and informing her community of helpful resources available to them.

Adrienne strives to create a positive atmosphere for residents of the 34th District. She believes that all Angelenos deserve to be heard and she will carry all of their voices to Washington D.C., where she will continue to fight for access to quality education, good jobs and affordable housing, economic justice for all Angelenos, and support the Affordable Care act.

Adrienne currently resides in Downtown Los Angeles where you can find her and her son walking their dog, Diesel.

Adrienne Nicole Edwards on the Issues

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Los Angeles flourishes as the cultural center of California. The 34th Congressional District has more foreign born residents than any other congressional district in the state. For everyone in our community, every issue is different. We can no longer stand to let those differences divide us. Now, more than ever, we need to be strong and united to take on the challenges that we face in our community. As your representative, I will work with the other members of Congress to ensure that the needs of my constituents are being heard and met. I will continue to fight for the people of California’s 34th Congressional District and urge you to be the change that you want to see in our community.  I am ready to work and be your voice in Washington.

 

Strengthening Families

“I was working for a non-profit when I became pregnant with my son.” A job with no health insurance or maternity leave. I know firsthand how hard it is for families without health care or paid leave to make ends meet. In Congress, I’ll champion policies that actually work for our families.”

Many California families struggle to make ends meet. Women are still paid less than men for the same work. The United States remains one of the only industrialized nations in the world that provides no paid leave of any kind. And Republicans in Congress continue to attack women’s health at every turn, including repeated attempts to defund Planned Parenthood.

It’s time to create policies that support workers and enable families to thrive: expanding access to quality health care, respecting women’s decisions about their health, ensuring that employees have the flexibility they need to care for aging parents and young children, and mandating that women are paid fairly for the work they do.

The middle class is the engine of our economy, the very heart of our country. When working families are held back, all of us are held back. When working families prosper, all of us prosper. In recent decades, the gap between productivity and wage growth has been widened, with the average CEO now making far more than the average worker. This immense income inequality is damaging to all Americans, all of whom witness and ultimately pay for the severe social and economic consequences of underemployment and unemployment — we are one nation, and united we fall and united we rise.

In Congress, Adrienne will:

Fight to shrink the wage gap by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and passing comprehensive equal pay legislation. Push for comprehensive paid family leave that would allow workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for newborn or ill children, a sick spouse, or elderly parents. Defend Planned Parenthood and  ensure that women in every state have access to high quality, affordable health care.

Addressing the Growing Homeless Crisis

Homelessness increased in the last year in the city and county of Los Angeles, leaving nearly 56,000 people in the streets and shelters despite an intensive federal push that slashed the numbers of homeless veterans by nearly a third, according to figures released by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. Homelessness has increased steadily since 2013, as local officials struggle to identify funding for billion-dollar plans like HHH. Over 40% of the homeless population in the state of California lives right here in the 34th Congressional District. “I am determined to help these families and we need to act now. I see the 70% unsheltered homeless everyday.” Skid Row and the tents and campsites along freeways are heartbreaking. Families live in cars and vans, while women and children are left to fend for themselves.

The numbers alone are staggering. Adrienne plans to implore Congress to put resources on the table in order to end chronic homelessness by 2017 and to make progress on ending family and youth homelessness by 2020. Homelessness has become more severe and, in the absence of more effective efforts, is expected to become dramatically worse, endangering the lives and safety of the homeless. We must act now!

In Congress, Adrienne will:

Push for legislation to fight homelessness, coordinate a permanent Federal response to homelessness, strive to reduce the number of homeless individuals in our community by focusing on the needs of people in the community that are at high risk of becoming chronically homeless.

Creating World Class Schools

“As the parent of a public school student, I understand how important it is for us to strengthen our California public schools and give our students and teachers the resources they need.”

Quality public schools are the key to helping families thrive in Los Angeles and ensure that everyone can fully participate in our growing economy. For too long, California schools have been underfunded, our teachers have been forced to increasingly teach to the test, and our students have been forced into a one-size-fits-all approach to learning that leaves too many of them behind. “At times I feel the children are forgotten.”

In addition to strengthening our elementary and secondary schools, we need to give workers the tools to adapt to new technologies that create job opportunities. Our education system must provide students with the skills they need to thrive in today’s economy.

In Congress, Adrienne will:

Fight for programs like the STEM Gateway Act that will ensure our students have the adequate science, technology, engineering and math training to be competitive in the global economy. Reduce class sizes by hiring new teachers. Give more children a chance to succeed in school – and in life by expanding Head Start.

Preserving Our Natural Resources & Addressing Climate Change

We have seen first hand the damage that pollution does to our community, while witnessing the devastating effects that climate change is having all over the world. If we don’t take action now, we will leave future generations with economic and health issues that will only grow more costly and difficult. You can’t fight something if you don’t have the courage to admit that it exists. Too many politicians today deny that anthropogenic climate change is happening, despite the increasing scientific evidence and consensus. Our country’s dependence on fossil fuels and other dirty energy sources pollutes the air we breathe, disrupts our climate, and produces serious health risks, particularly for vulnerable citizens like children and seniors.

We need to incentivize the development of renewable energy and protect our children and families from pollution, in addition to adapting to its ecological consequences, such as earthquakes, wildfires, landslides and severe droughts. The beautiful California landscape is one of our greatest assets and helps make tourism a growing industry for our economy. Germany managed to convert 30% of its electric grid to renewable energy in just 15 years. Fellow Californians, I know we can do the same or even better. We owe it to future generations to protect our natural lands and resources by transitioning away from the dirty energy sources and creating good-paying jobs in the process.

In Congress Adrienne will:

Protect the Clean Air and Water Acts from efforts to weaken regulations and that threaten public health. Push for major new investments in clean energy technology, which will not only reduce the pollution that causes climate change, but create new, good-paying jobs for our region. Advocate for new energy efficiency standards and additional incentives to support improvements. Encourage continued cooperation with the international community to address the harmful effects of climate change

Making College More Affordable and Loan Forgiveness

“My college loans still follow me, and I am still in the process of paying them off.. We need to ensure that a college education is available to all students not just the wealthiest few.”

Adrienne feels a college education should be free for all and debt forgiveness for existing loans be implemented. The cost of a college education has spiraled out of reach for many middle class families.  Students are being forced to take on crushing debt in order to pay for college, and each year there are fewer jobs available for recent college graduates. We are saddled with $1.2 trillion of student loan debt. The government should not be making money off of students seeking the education and skills needed to get ahead in an increasingly globalized and competitive world. With interest rates on student loans higher than most other loans, students are graduating with no clear path out of their debt.

No one should go bankrupt going to college. It’s an unsustainable trajectory, and we must make the investments necessary to ensure that a college education is available to all students who are willing to work hard for it. A traditional four-year college degree may not be for everyone, and that’s fine. To keep tuition from skyrocketing further, our education model needs a fundamental rethinking that promotes science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), while incorporating the best of the digital age, such as massive open online courses. If we can pour billions of dollars into rescuing Wall Street banks, then surely we can at least find a way to make college an attainable option for everyone who wants to invest in their own future.

In Congress, Adrienne will:

Push for lower interest rates on student loans, to help students and their parents get out of debt faster. Increase the maximum Pell Grant amount, so financial aid keeps up with college costs. Make college tuition tax deductible for all families. Fight for long-term reauthorization of the Federal Perkins Loan Program. Work to connect job creators with community colleges and universities so that students learn the skills they need to enter the workforce

Creating Jobs and Growing Our Economy

“Like many, I was raised in a family that sometimes struggled to make ends meet. My Father worked everyday in the transportation industry that experienced low times seasonally. As we grew older, our needs grew as well, my Mother went back to work full time to help support our family. She worked as a Housing Counselor helping people save their homes. She helped me understand how important it is that we give everyone the tools and opportunities they need to succeed.”

American companies continue to send jobs overseas, and the income equality gap continues to grow. The most important task of any elected official is to work to bring good paying jobs to the region and keep them here. I am committed to developing and overseeing policies that will help grow our economy and create job opportunities for people in Los Angeles and across California. We must introduce legislation that will restore America’s competitive edge globally and help create jobs today and into the future.

In Congress, Adrienne will:

Work to connect businesses with our community colleges and universities, and create meaningful apprenticeship programs that put people directly to work. Make sure students can compete in the global economy by putting an  emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education, ensuring we have the skilled workforce to attract businesses to the region. Increase the focus on renewable energy and create smart incentives to attract wind, solar, and geothermal industries to the region, creating jobs right here in California. Fight unfair trade policies to ensure that our manufacturers are competing on a level playing field.

Supporting Small Businesses

America’s 23 million small businesses represent more than 99% of all employers, account for more than half of all private sector workers, and generate three out of every four new jobs. Additionally, small firms account for one-third of U.S. exports and more than half of our gross domestic product. Adrienne is firmly committed to advancing a strong small business agenda in the 34th Congressional District. She will push policy that supports increased job creation and growth in the United States. She will fight to make America stronger at home and more competitive globally by increasing the incentives for small businesses that invest in the United States.

A robust and vibrant small business community has proven vital to Los Angeles’ long-term prosperity. We need Congress to support pro-growth policies that assist small business owners and help unleash the job creation potential of U.S. businesses by adopting an agenda that reins in big government, lifts heavy-handed regulation, and ends lawsuit abuse. We must empower small businesses by providing a leveled playing field to hire, train, and retrain a qualified workforce. Provide small businesses unfiltered access to a safe, cost-effective, and reliable infrastructure that will support a stable flow of goods and services.

In congress, Adrienne promises to:

Encourage the efficient use of the limited resources that the government has dedicated to small businesses in its efforts to reduce regulatory barriers, provide capital, and spur economic development. Give small businesses the opportunity to participate in the worldwide market- place with as few restrictions as their international competitors. Limit outlandish punitive damages that are crafted to force large settlements regardless of the small businesses’ degree of responsibility for the harm done. Improve affordable access to quality healthcare for small business owners and their employees.

Tax Reform

Adrienne wants to enact comprehensive tax reform cutting tax preferences for high-income households; eliminating special tax breaks for oil and gas companies; closing the carried interest loophole for investment fund managers; and eliminating benefits for those who buy corporate jets. In the last few years, Congress has passed and the president has signed into law, tax reforms that have reduced marginal income tax rates, eliminated the death tax, and increased small business expensing. These reforms must be made permanent, thus freeing taxpayers to make decisions based on tax laws that are consistent and predictable from year to year.

The current U.S. tax code restricts opportunity and economic freedom. Adrienne wants to give middle class families tax cuts that will not injure economic vitality. The American people now are fed up with the tax code. It again has become a complicated mess of multiple brackets, high rates, and special-interest provisions. Once again, Americans are forced to devote their hard-earned dollars and their hard-pressed time to complying with an overly complicated and complex code. By the end of the process, most people believe that everyone else but them got a better deal.

Tax reform must continue to be a top congressional and administrative priority. Tax reforms already enacted must be made permanent to encourage jobs, savings, and investment. Adrienne wants a tax policy that allows small businesses the opportunity to reinvest more money to grow their businesses. A sound tax policy aimed at broad economic expansion is one that allows taxpayers the opportunity to reinvest more money in their community. Maximize investment, and create jobs.

Adrienne wants a tax code that rewards work and creates wealth for more people, We must cut taxes for 98 percent of Americans and help families meet the economic challenges of their everyday lives. And we will oppose tax increases on middle class families, including those living abroad. The tax system should be simplified and work for all Americans with lower individual and corporate tax rates and fewer brackets. For taxpayers, it is important to have a tax code that encourages investment and savings by eliminating multiple layers of tax on income. The more you tax income, the less of it you get. We must restore our values to our tax code.

In congress, Adrienne promises to:

Lower tax rates. Cut inefficient and unfair tax breaks. Cut tax breaks that are inefficient, unfair, or both so that the American people and businesses spend less time and less money each year filing taxes. Cut the deficit.

Federal Housing Assistance Reform

California’s housing costs are among the highest in the nation. All public housing waitlists in Los Angeles are habitually closed due to being several years behind in awarding Federal Housing. Adrienne thinks this is unacceptable and wants to put provisions in place that moves the Federal Housing placement process more rapidly. California Congressional District 34 has the highest population of homeless and the most residents living below the area median income due to hardships and higher housing costs.

Adrienne wants to reduce the problems associated with high housing costs. Federal, state, and local governments have created an array of public programs intended to expand the supply of affordable rental housing to low-income California households and it’s still not enough! Adrienne will push California’s state housing agencies to develop a better plan to house applicants faster. The four housing agencies: California Tax Credit Allocation Committee (TCAC), the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee (CDLAC), the Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD), and the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) must join forces to resolve the Housing Crisis in Los Angeles.

Public housing is priced well below the market rate, allowing people to live in more convenient locations rather than move away from the city in search of lower rents. In the city of Los Angeles this has become a nightmare. Again, waitlists are years behind and families are displaced and/or at risk of homelessness while waiting for these services. There is no reason for a family to apply for any government assistance and be forced to wait years to be accommodated. The housing problem in Los Angeles has spiraled out of control and Adrienne is determined to fix this issue.

In Congress, Adrienne promises to:

Propose a better system that will house applicants faster, introduce housing stability programs, increase interest in homeownership programs for working families. Increase transitional housing options./span>