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Congresswoman Lori Trahan was born and raised in a working-class family in Lowell, Massachusetts. Her father was a union ironworker and her mother was a domestic worker who juggled various part-time jobs while raising four girls.
The first in her family to graduate from college, Lori earned a scholarship to play Division 1 volleyball at Georgetown University. She joined the staff of former Congressman Marty Meehan as a scheduler, eventually working her way up to Chief of Staff. Following her public service, Lori began working in the private sector as the only female executive at a tech company before moving on to co-found a woman-owned and -operated consulting firm, Concire, where she advised various companies on business strategy and how to create the conditions for employees — especially women — to thrive.
Congresswoman Trahan is one of few freshman who secured two coveted Committee assignments during her freshman term in Congress.
As a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. Trahan has jurisdiction over key areas pertaining to supporting public schools, making college more affordable and accessible, and ensuring fair wages and opportunities for our workforce. As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Trahan oversees important issues pertaining to our servicemen and women, cybersecurity, and military readiness. This powerful Committee often produces one of the most bipartisan, consensus legislative products, the National Defense Authorization Act.
Since taking office, Rep. Trahan has introduced several pieces of legislation directly tied to addressing the needs of her constituents. The Leonel Rondon Pipeline Safety Act, which ensures that lessons learned from the Merrimack Valley Gas Explosion — which affected many families in her district — are realized. Additionally, she introduced bipartisan legislation which would increase funding opportunities for communities dealing with polluted waters due to decaying infrastructure. In the coming months, Rep. Trahan has also introduced several pieces of legislation regarding college affordability and to address the opioid epidemic.
Rep. Trahan is a part of the historic freshman class which has ushered diverse perspectives into the halls of Congress. As a first-time office holder with public service and private sector experience, and as a mother two young girls, Rep. Trahan is bringing her unique perspective and results-oriented work ethic to the table in order to ensure Massachusetts’ 3rd Congressional District is well served.
Lori Trahan believes that high quality, public education is the key to unlocking our nation’s true economic potential, creating new opportunities, and ensuring that the American Dream is still attainable for all. Lori will help to improve and offer support for improving our public schools and universities for students, teachers, and parents.
Higher-education and student loans shouldn’t be a barrier to achieving your dreams:
Explore solutions through federal-state partnership to aid employers who help pay down an employee’s student loans.
Expand targeted aid and grants for students who can’t afford the price of college.
Continuing education options that are local, convenient, and affordable for working people and those who are transitioning to new careers.
Making higher education accessible and affordable. Too many of our young people are saddled with gross amounts of debt that put them on the wrong economic path in adulthood.
Hold private universities accountable for student loan debt. The cost structure of private institutions has escalated to epic proportions. Lori believes that we need to incentivize these institutions to focus as heavily on job readiness and placement as they do on admissions, holding those schools with student loan default rates far above the national average accountable.
Lori Trahan believes that every child regardless of his or her background should have access to a quality public education. We need to look at educational opportunity for our children by helping to provide schools and teachers with every tool and resource that students in the 21st century need to succeed.
In Congress, Lori will:
Increase teacher pay and collective bargaining rights. Protecting and investing in our teachers and providing more money for professional training will help provide our education system with a stronger foundation and also provide students with more resources and a fairer shot in this competitive economy.
Invest in wrap-around programs and ensure our most vulnerable schools and students receive an equitable education. Your zip-code shouldn’t define your success. Investing in wrap-around programs will help serve diverse populations across this district so that students of all backgrounds have the opportunity to succeed. Lori supports increasing Title I funding for our low-income schools and also support the Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and Community Eligibility Provision, which subsidize healthy meals for children.
Fully and adequately fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The average per pupil expenditure has dramatically increased since the advent of the IDEA. In Congress, we need to account for innovation and the different barriers that exist in 2018 to appropriately fund the IDEA. Local districts are struggling to pay for needed services under a student’s IEP. Fully funding the IDEA will help relieve the burden on local communities and also widen the circle of opportunity for students with disabilities.
Promote early exposure to trade, vocational, and apprenticeship programs. There is no question that vocational education leads to good-paying jobs. Lori believes that the federal government should partner with state governments and collaborate to design programs that expose students to more pathways to success at an early age, so they can find the one that works for them.
Early Childhood Education:
Lori Trahan believes that one of the greatest investments this country can make is in a strong early childhood education system. Research has shown that investments in early education reap valuable life-long benefits and that children exposed to quality early education are more likely to graduate from high school, own homes, and have higher earning potential for later in life.
Investing in early education is a priority and in Congress, Lori will:
Support free and accessible full-day Kindergarten. It’s clear, universal full-day kindergarten will not only help our overall economy, but it will also help close the achievement gap. Closing the achievement gap will help level the playing field for all students.
Promote affordable and accessible early childhood care and pre-K services. Congress needs to take action on helping families afford these services. No family should have to break the bank so that their child can receive a high-quality pre-K education.
Jobs AND the Economy
Lori believes that we need an economy that works for everyone and addresses the economic anxiety that plays out in the homes of working families each day. Lori understands that a strong economy and access to good education create economic opportunity for working-class families across the nation.
We need to restore basic fairness to our economy and get it working for everyone, not just those at the top.
Restore basic equity to our tax code. Wealthy families shouldn’t pay a lower tax rate than hardworking middle-class families. In Congress, Lori wants to close the loopholes that unfairly position middle-class families and don’t allow them to take full advantage of the economy.
Unlock public funding to promote smart infrastructure improvements and create jobs. Lori wants to revitalize our cities and towns and strengthen our regional economy.
Continue the Third District’s leadership in developing technologies of the future. By working with businesses – specifically high tech, life sciences, and defense companies—Lori believes the Third District can continue to be on the cutting edge of innovation. Through cooperative planning and creative public-private partnerships, Lori knows that the Third District will continue to be a leader in our regional economy.
In Congress, Lori Trahan will lead the fight to expand health care access for every American and making sure costs are affordable. The battle to pass the Affordable Care Act was hard fought and Lori plans to help improve and strengthen the ACA.
Healthcare is a right, not a privilege.
Defend and expand the Affordable Care Act, which helps cover over 20 million Americans. Lori will stand up to Republican-led attacks that try to dismantle the ACA. Lori plans to build on the current success of the law and make sure no American is left uninsured.
Defend access to reproductive health care. Lori will work to ensure that every woman has access to reproductive healthcare.
Bring down out-of-pocket costs and deductibles. Families in the Third District are being bogged down by rising out-of-pocket costs. Health care should be simple to understand and manage. Patients should be provided with information about proposed treatments that includes alternative options. Lori believes we need to standardize medical records and make them easily transferrable between providers. This will help simplify the patient’s management of their care, reduce costs for providers, and improve the quality of care.
Reduce the cost of prescription drugs. Today, Americans pay more than double than what other countries pay for prescription drugs and Lori is committed to rectifying this. Lori believes we need to demand lower drug costs for working families and seniors.
Women’s Rights AND Opportunity
As the mother of two daughters and the founder of a women-owned business, Lori is committed to standing up for the hard-fought rights, economic independence, and health and safety of all women. Lori understands that even today, women face unnecessary barriers to advancing in the workforce and making decisions regarding their own bodies.
When women succeed, the world is simply a better place.
Pass and promote paid family and gender-neutral leave. Lori understands that we need to apply family leave programs to all genders. Each parent should enjoy an equal opportunity to bond with their child, care for their parent, or recover from illness. Removing gendered language from policies will abolish the stereotype that women are more likely to use services and reduce the number of women passed over for employment.
Work to close the pay gap. It’s no secret; women earn less than men across our economy—especially women of color. By placing an emphasis on pay transparency and preventing employers from asking prospective hires about their salary histories, we can help ensure that women are compensated equally for their work.
Increase the minimum wage. In our economy, women claim a disproportionate amount of the minimum wage jobs in America. Raising the minimum wage will give women a fairer shot at using the resources and advantages this economy offers.
Promote staffing equity. It’s critical that workplace culture provides a space for women to elevate to leadership roles. A staff with a diverse selection of experiences and perspectives can create policy and promote a safer workplace environment.
Confront violence against women. Lori believes that we have a moral imperative to ensure that victims of domestic violence and assault have equitable access to the channels they need to seek justice and heal. One in five women in America is sexually assaulted while in college and twenty-two percent of women experience violence by a partner during their lifetime. Lori will help close loopholes that allow domestic abusers, both physically and emotionally, to buy a gun and also break down the barriers that exist to seek legal remedy in sexual assault and domestic violence cases.
Increase Funding for Support Programs: Too often, humanity gets lost in the discussion around sexual assault. Perpetrators should absolutely be dismissed, and managers held accountable for any harassment that happens under their supervision. These steps, while necessary, do not help victims recover from the psychological and physical trauma of assault.
Fight for Title X: More than four million Americans rely on Title X’s affordable family planning services for contraception education and birth control. Title X also provides for healthcare services including breast and pelvic exams, cervical and breast cancer screenings, and STI/HIV screening and treatment services.
Paycheck Fairness Act: Lori supports legislation, like that introduced by Senator Patty Murray of Washington, that would require greater transparency through data collection, close loopholes that encourage discriminatory practices, and, vitally, enable employees to freely discuss their pay.
Protect Title IX: Under this statute, schools that receive federal funding are legally required to remedy hostile education environments. Due process is absolutely an unimpeachable right, but the facts do not lie: people who are inclined to rape will do so again and again, and we have a moral imperative to ensure that victims have access to the systems they need to begin to heal. If victims have access to a trained campus advisor, they are more likely to complete their education. We have to build up systems of trust in academia and provide educators with the tools they need to advocate for their students.
Lori is committed to protecting the rights of immigrants. In Congress, she will work to fix our broken immigration system and ensure that everyone, regardless of your origin, has a fair shot at citizenship and the American Dream. Lori, whose ancestors came to this country from Portugal and Brazil, understands that we are a nation of immigrants. Lori will seek to return the current political rhetoric towards a tone of acceptance and one that treats those who come to our country with value and dignity.
In America, we build bridges, not walls.
Promote naturalization and help clear a pathway to citizenship. Lori believes that comprehensive immigration reform starts with creating a fair and equal pathway to citizenship.
Bipartisan reform for DACA/ DREAMers. Lori believes it’s time members of Congress step across the aisle and work with their colleagues. Many DACA recipients and DREAMers were brought to the United States by their parents at very young ages, and have spent almost their entire lives within our borders. To send these people back to their countries of origin would be akin to dropping them in almost any foreign land where they are unfamiliar with the language or customs. These people were brought here through no fault of their own; America is their home, and we must defend our neighbors, not deport them to other countries.
Reduce the immigration backlog and reduce delays in court. Some of the most significant bureaucratic delays to dealing with immigration in the U.S. are due to the lack of a proper legal infrastructure. Lori will push for an increase in the number of Immigration Court judges and Board of Immigration Appeals Attorneys. Lori also believes we need to modernize our case management procedures and create electronic filing systems to improve the efficiency of processing such immigrant court cases.
Secure our nation’s border… without a wall. Secure borders on the southern and northern edges of the country are necessary to ensure our safety from drug and human trafficking, violence, and terrorism. Lori is committed to doing all that is necessary to keep us safe. An ineffective, overpriced border wall, however, is not something Lori supports.
Encourage international study and employment.
Election Reform and Campaign Finance
Lori understands that Americans are skeptical about our political system. With trust in our institutions at an all-time low, Lori wants to help foster a stronger relationship between citizens and their government. Lori supports an ambitious campaign finance reform plan and will also work to break down the barriers that exist in civic engagement. Lori understands that voting is one of the most important rights we as Americans have and she intends to expand that right, not restrict it.
Democracy only works when we all participate.
Work to overturn Citizens United—the Supreme Court case that allows corporate and special-interests to dump hundreds of millions of dollars into our elections.
Will support the ‘Democracy for All Amendment’ to end big money dominance in our elections. This act will allow Congress and the States to set overall limits on campaign spending, including prohibitions on corporate and union spending in the political process.
Will support the ‘Get Foreign Money out of U.S. Elections Act.’ This would apply the current ban on campaign contributions by foreign nationals to foreign-controlled, foreign-influenced, and foreign-owned domestic corporations.
Will support ‘The DISCLOSE Act.’ This act would require all corporations, unions, and Super PACs to report campaign expenditure of $10,000 or more. It would require the reporting of transfers by those groups to others making such expenditures in order to expose the source of huge campaign contributions.
Will support ‘The Government by the People Act.’ This act, among other provisions, creates “People PACs,” or small donor committees, that aggregate the voices and power of ordinary citizens rather than wealthy donors (as traditional PACs tend to do).
Lori believes we need to put an end to the cycle of gun violence that is taking too many lives in our schools and our communities. Every year, 114,000 Americans are shot. There’s hardly a community that hasn’t been or won’t be impacted by gun violence, including victims of domestic abuse.
There’s no time for “thoughts and prayers” when every day, an average of 96 Americans are killed by guns.
Lori will support legislation that creates a grace period in which the federal government would be responsible for buying all semi-automatic weapons from current gun owners. At the end of this period, owning an assault rifle without a special permit for approved dealers and collectors would be considered a felony.
Lori supports closing the “gun show loophole” to ensure that gun sales made at gun shows, on the web, and via other unlicensed sellers are subject to criminal background checks.
No-fly, No-buy. Lori will support legislation that would close the loophole that allows individuals on the terrorist watch list to pass background checks and purchase guns with no questions asked.
Comprehensive background checks at every point of sale.
Oppose concealed carry reciprocity. Lori would not support legislation that proposed by the gun lobby that would override state laws and require states like Massachusetts to allow concealed carry holders from across the country to carry in our state.
Create a Select Committee on Gun Violence. In Congress, Lori will advocate for creating a committee that helps investigate solutions to curb violence and also bring people together to create sensible solutions.
Repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA)
Bring back the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban.
Energy and the Environment
Lori believes we have a responsibility to protect the planet our children will inherit. Lori will hold those who sully the environment and pollute the biosphere responsible for their actions. America is a biologically diverse and lush nation; Lori wants to fight to preserve our greatest natural resource.
Saving our planet is a priority.
Push to expand access to cost-saving renewable energy for low-income households. Lori understands that our environment and our economy will benefit from a fresh commitment to an alternative energy source and that we must make sure there is no barrier to entry for families seeking to run their homes in a green, affordable way.
Clean air and clean water are fundamental human rights. While this is true, Lori knows that low-income communities of color are disproportionately saddled with high levels of pollution and toxic hazards. Lori understands that climate change will affect low-income and minority communities, tribal nations, and Alaska Native villages. Lori will work towards comprehensive climate change policies that do not leave any demographic — including former mining communities — behind.
Lori will work towards aligning the United States with international consensus and impose strict regulations on greenhouse gas emissions. Lori believes it is well past time that the United States and our Environmental Protection Agency stand with the international scientific community and let their comprehensive knowledge of climate change patterns inform our own environmental policy.