Upstate New York’s farmers are hanging on by a thread. We should throw them a lifeline. Josh knows that our agricultural industry is vital to both Upstate New York and the country. Among other things, Josh supports policies that:
- Break up Big Ag monopolies that are crushing small family farms and squeezing consumers and prohibit them from using corporate PACs to buy influence with politicians;
- Stop foreign adversaries like China from buying up American farmland–because food security is national security and our Heartland is not for sale to those who wish us harm;
- Improve access to markets for Upstate New York’s farmers, including through local and regional food hubs, renegotiating bad trade deals, and putting more local foods in local schools;
- Put Upstate New York’s farmers on a level playing field by increasing the federal minimum wage to match New York’s;
- Invest in innovation, research, and development, including through Cornell’s cooperative extension;
- Address the suicide and mental health crisis facing small farms today, including through federal support for programs like New York FarmNet;
- Reward farmers who protect the environment, including by reauthorizing the Farm Bill to increase reimbursement rates for cover crops and other sustainability practices; and
Fix our broken immigration system to ensure small farms have access to the labor they need.
Campaign Finance Reform
Our campaign finance system is a cesspool. Let’s drain it. Josh believes the corrupting influence of corporate money and dark money is the root of all evil in our politics. Special interests buy seats for politicians who then vote for the special interests’ bottom lines, not yours.
As counsel in the U.S. Senate, Josh worked on a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United, the disastrous Supreme Court case that opened the floodgates to dark money in our politics. As an attorney in private practice, Josh filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court to strengthen campaign finance laws.
Josh not only has been a vocal advocate for campaign finance reform, he has been leading by example. Josh has never taken any corporate PAC money, relying on grassroots support instead. For the 2022 election, over 90% of contributions to Josh’s campaign were $100 or less and over 70% were $25 or less.
Josh has received support from End Citizens United, which recognized Josh’s commitment to refusing corporate PACs and reforming our campaign finance system.
Every child deserves an opportunity to meet his or her full potential, and no child should live in poverty. Josh is the proud product of Upstate New York’s public schools, and he credits his public school education with the opportunities he has had throughout his career. He wants every child in Upstate New York to have those same opportunities and a fair shot at upward mobility. Yet child poverty rates remain at unacceptably high levels across Upstate New York.
Josh supports proposals that:
- Invest in early childhood education, including full federal-funding of universal pre-K for ages 3 and 4;
- Provide healthcare services in our schools so kids can get the care they need where they are;
- Provide healthy, locally-sourced school meals–because kids can’t learn on an empty belly;
- Improve access to comprehensive maternity care because healthy moms mean healthy kids; and
- Create good jobs that create a clear path to the Middle Class–because the best anti-poverty policy for kids is a strong pro-jobs policy for parents.
To do the hard work of solving common challenges with a shared purpose, we first must strengthen our democracy and restore faith in it–and in each other. But, today, many people understandably doubt that their elected officials listen to them, work for them, or even care about them.
Josh has a proven track record of working to strengthen our Democracy and return political power to the People. As counsel in the U.S. Senate, Josh worked on legislation to update the Voting Rights Act following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder struck it down, and he has volunteered on voter protection teams during past elections.
Josh’s pro-Democracy platform includes proposals that:
- Protect access to the ballot, particularly for service-members and communities whose rights to vote historically have been suppressed;
- End partisan gerrymandering–because voters should choose their political leaders, not the other way around;
- Stop Big Money’s corrupting influence in our politics;
Josh has received support from leading pro-Democracy groups, including End Citizens United/Let America Vote, Defend the Vote, and the Voter Protection Project.
Everyone deserves an opportunity to live a fulfilling life and reach their full potential, regardless of their abilities. In his first case out of law school, Josh represented children, many of whom had special needs, in civil rights litigation, and as a Policy Analyst at the U.S. Department of Labor, Josh worked on issues relating to employment opportunities for people with disabilities. In Congress, Josh will support proposals that:
- Provide community-based support for people with disabilities;
- Invest in disaster preparedness focused on the elderly and people with disabilities;
- Increase employment opportunities, including through support for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy;
- Address provider shortages in the home-based and community-based care economy.
Big corporations are enjoying record profits even while working families are struggling to make ends meet. That’s not fair. As an attorney, Josh represented consumers, workers, and small businesses who were being ripped off by big corporations. In Congress, Josh will work to lower costs, including by supporting policies that:
- Crack down on price gouging so corporations can’t profit on artificially increased prices;
- End cartels in the prescription drug industry by banning anticompetitive pay-for-delay deals;
- Cap the cost of critical drugs and allow Medicare greater authority to negotiate drug prices.
Josh is a proud product of Upstate New York’s public schools, and he wants every child to have the great education and opportunities he had. Josh supports policies that:
- Fully fund public education, supporting our students, teachers, and communities;
- Support programs in music and the arts so kids can explore their passions and creativity;
- Invest in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) curricula so America’s students are prepared to compete in the global economy;
- Give kids the support they need to learn, including healthy meals, school-based healthcare, and counseling.
- Promote CTE (career and technical education) diplomas–because a four-year degree should not be the price of admission to the Middle Class.
Josh has received support from New York State United Teachers, the National Education Association, and the American Federation of Teachers.
We are facing existential threats to our environment. They require bold action. As a dad, Josh is especially concerned about the state of the planet we’re leaving to future generations. Josh supports policies that:
- Hold polluters accountable for harm they cause to the environment and stop them from causing that harm in the first place;
- Ensure clean drinking water in every community, including through updates to the Safe Drinking Water Act.
- Preserve our natural treasures, including the Catskills and the Finger Lakes
- Create good jobs building the American-made products we need to fight climate change.
- Establish energy independence, including by ending our reliance on fossil fuels.
- Restore the Environmental Protection Administration’s ability to fight climate change.
Josh has been endorsed by leading environmental groups, including the Sierra Club and the League of Conservation Voters.
Love is love. At a time when constitutional freedoms are threatened, we cannot take for granted the progress we have made in the civil rights movement. That is why Josh supports policies that:
- Guarantee marriage equality, including the Respect for Marriage Act.
- Prohibit discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community, including through the Equality Act.
- Ban dangerous conversion therapies.
Josh has received support from the Human Rights Campaign.
We can keep vulnerable populations safe from gun violence while honoring law-abiding gun owners’ Second Amendment rights. Josh served as counsel on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and he worked on common-sense legislation to keep communities safe. Among other things, Josh supports:
- Stronger background checks to keep weapons out of the hands of folks who are a danger to themselves or others;
- Keeping weapons of war out of schools and off the streets through appropriately tailored and constitutionally permissible legislation; and
- Protecting survivors of domestic violence by prohibiting domestic abusers from accessing weapons.
Josh has received support from Giffords PAC and Brady PAC.
Healthcare should be a civil right in America, not something that bankrupts so many American families. Josh believes that our healthcare system should put patients over profits. He has litigated in federal courts to improve children’s access to healthcare services, and he worked as counsel in the U.S. Senate to advance legislation to improve access to addiction treatment and mental health care. He supports policies that:
- Lower the cost of prescription drugs, including by ending pay-for-delay deals that jack up prices by reducing competition;
- Prohibit corporate PACS controlled by insurance and drug companies from buying influence with politicians;
- Improve access to healthcare in rural communities, including through improvements to broadband access to fully realize the potential of telehealth and by providing more healthcare services in schools;
- Address provider shortages that leave patients underserved and providers overworked;
- Create parity between mental and physical healthcare;
- Strengthen Medicare to cover hearing, dental, and vision services;
- Create a public option so that anyone who wants it can use it;
- Increase the Medical Loss Ratio so more of your premiums go to your care, not insurance companies’ profits;
- Protect women’s right to make their own healthcare decisions;
- Invest in our public health system so we can be prepared for future pandemics;
Josh has received support from the New York State Nurses Association and 1199 SEIU.
Our immigration system is completely broken, and it needs to be fixed in a way that upholds both the law and our values. Josh’s wife is the daughter of immigrants from India and Ecuador who came to America legally to pursue the American Dream. As an attorney, Josh advocated in the U.S. Supreme Court against immigration policies that discriminate based on religion, and as counsel in the U.S. Senate, he helped draft a bipartisan and comprehensive immigration reform proposal. Josh supports policies that:
- Secure the border to stop and deter illegal immigration;
- Update visa programs to ensure our farmers and trades unions have access to labor; and
- Reflect America’s values, including our tradition as a nation of immigrants and our identity as a nation of laws.
Throughout history, when the world has faced big challenges, Upstate New Yorkers have risen to meet them by making the things the world needs to meet the moment. Josh believes we can do that again, putting Upstate New York back on the forefront of manufacturing to build batteries, semiconductors, solar panels, and other products the world needs now. Josh supports policies that:
- Invest in American manufacturing, making the things the world needs right here at home;
- Provide job training programs to equip workers with the skills they need to compete in the global economy;
- End bad trade deals that ship American jobs overseas by forcing American workers to compete with foreign labor on unfair terms.
Strong unions create a strong Middle Class. Josh supports organized labor, and he believes we should make it easier to join a union and harder to bust one. Among other things, Josh supports:
- the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act;
- Project Labor Agreements, ensuring that local projects are built by local workers at prevailing wages; and
- increased enforcement of labor laws.
Josh has an extensive record fighting for workers. He served as a Policy Analyst at the U.S. Department of Labor, focusing on unemployment and job training programs. As an attorney in private practice, he represented workers whose rights were violated under the Fair Labor Standards Act. As a Fellow on the U.S. Senate Labor & Pensions Committee, he fought for pro-labor legislation.
Josh has received support from dozens of labor unions, including the New York AFL-CIO, the United Food and Commercial Workers, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, the United Steelworkers, 1199 SEIU, the North Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters, Communications Workers of America District 1, United Auto Workers Region 9A, the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council #4, the New York State Nurses Association, Laborers’ International Union Local 785, New York State United Teachers, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 43, and Teamsters Local 317.
Law Enforcement & Public Safety
Josh comes from a law enforcement family, so he knows first-hand the sacrifices our law enforcement and first responders make to keep our communities safe. Josh is adamantly opposed to proposals to “defund the police,” and he believes that public safety requires more resources, not fewer.
As counsel in the U.S. Senate, Josh worked to bring Democrats and Republicans together to advance legislation that was supported by the National Sheriffs Association and National Association of Police Organizations, including reauthorization of the Justice & Mental Health Collaboration Program and updates to the Bulletproof Vest Partnership Program. Josh supports proposals that:
- Support law enforcement through Justice Department grant programs like Byrne JAG and COPS;
- Provide collective bargaining rights for law enforcement and first responders;
- Protect retirement benefits, like the Government Pension Offset (GPO) and Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP), which reduce law enforcement’s retirement benefits; and
- Increase overtime pay, including by amending Section 7(k) of the Fair Labor Standards Act to ensure that law enforcement and first responders are eligible for the overtime pay they deserve.
National Security & Foreign Policy
America is strongest and most secure when we demonstrate strength while pursuing peace. Josh believes that keeping our homeland safe is among the federal government’s most important functions. He believes we must lead by example in the world, defending American values and interests by engaging strategically.
Josh supports policies that:
- Confront threats posed by adversaries like Iran, Russia, China, and North Korea;
- Secure America’s borders;
- Use defense funds wisely and efficiently, always promoting American job creation first.
As an attorney, Josh represented the families of 9/11 victims in litigation against Iran under America’s anti-terrorism laws, and he led litigation to curb wasteful spending by the Pentagon.
Civil rights enforcement is critically important as communities of color continue to face unique barriers to the American Dream. As counsel in the U.S. Senate, Josh worked on legislation to advance racial justice, including bills to eliminate mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent drug offenses (thereby giving judges more discretion in sentencing decisions), and he worked on legislation to help inmates build productive lives after serving their sentences. Josh supports policies that:
- Combat discrimination by strengthening and enforcing our civil rights and equal opportunity laws;
- Reduce recidivism by helping people find good jobs and housing after paying their debts and by sealing records for certain non-violent offenses;
- Protect voting rights, particularly against efforts at disenfranchisement targeted at communities of color.
Seniors have earned the right to retire with dignity. Josh will never cut a penny from Social Security or Medicare. He believes that retirement programs should be strengthened, not weakened, and he supports proposals that:
- Expand Medicare to cover hearing, dental, and vision services.
- Lower the cost of prescription drugs, including by ending pay-for-delay deals that jack up prices by reducing competition;
- Require the wealthy to pay their fair share into these programs.
- Eliminate unfair cuts to retirement savings, including the Government Pension Offset and Windfall Elimination Provision.
- Strengthen the care economy so seniors can access the long-term care they need and their families deserve.
Josh has received support from Social Security Works and the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. You can see Josh address a number of seniors’ issues in an AARP candidates forum here.
The Middle Class needs a tax cut; billionaires and big corporations don’t. Josh believes it is unacceptable that hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than janitors, and he believes the tax code should be reformed to be simpler, fairer, and less of a burden for working families. Josh supports policies that:
- Cut taxes for the Middle Class so working families keep more of their own money;
- Require the wealthy and big corporations to pay their fair share so we can reduce the deficit and invest in necessary public services;
- Close the carried interest loophole, which allows Wall Street to pay lower tax rates than Main Street;
- Create a wealth surtax on incomes over $5 million and trusts/estates valued at more than $25 million;
Expand and strengthen the Earned Income Tax Credit to reward work, not wealth and lift kids from poverty.
We owe no greater debt than to those who have served our country in uniform. Josh’s grandpa served in the U.S. Army, and Josh has done work over the course of his career to support veterans, including advocacy in federal court on behalf of Veterans Service Organizations trying to cut through bureaucratic red tape and work in the U.S. Senate to advance legislation providing mental health services for veterans in crisis. Josh believes that supporting our veterans is the most solemn responsibility of lawmakers. He supports policies that:
- Increase support for veterans, servicemembers, and their families;
- Cut red tape the prevents veterans from getting the benefits they’ve earned; and
- Preserve and expand access to VA facilities across Upstate New York.
Women’s Rights & Reproductive Justice
Women’s healthcare decisions are women’s healthcare decisions–not politicians’. As counsel in the U.S. Senate, Josh worked on legislation to provide equal pay for equal work, and as an attorney in private practice, he advocated in federal court to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, which overturned Roe v. Wade, Josh set forth a detailed plan for legislative and regulatory action to protect women’s access to abortion care, and he has been a leading advocate for protecting access to abortion medications, including by urging the Justice Department and the Food & Drug Administration to act.
Josh has received support from leading advocacy organizations, including Planned Parenthood, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Organization of Women, Vote ProChoice, and the Family Planning Action Fund.