Cathy Albro says there’s a long list of things she wants to do if elected to Congress. The Democrat is seeking the 3rd District Congressional seat currently held by Republican Justin Amash. Albro hopes her party can take control of the House in the November elections.
Albro won the Democratic primary in the district that includes Calhoun, Barry and Ionia Counties. Most of Kent County and part of Montcalm County are also in the 3rd district.
Health care is at the top of Albro’s priority list. She says Congress has to make sure it’s affordable and effective. Albro says ultimately the U.S. should move to a single payer system. She says that can save money and deliver effective care. However Albro says she’s always open to new ideas.
Albro says the minimum wage should be a livable wage. She says it might have to vary by region. Albro says $15-16 an hour in the 3rd District higher would be a livable wage for a family of three. She says it might be different in other parts of the country.
Albro says the U.S. needs a balanced budget “if that’s at all possible.” But she says Congress should reprioritize the budget. She says spending less money on defense would allow more investment in infrastructure, education and the health care system.
Asked if she would favor a balanced budget amendment the Constitution, Albro says not now, but it could be considered in the future. Albro also says tax loopholes should be closed, and tax fraud cases could be more thoroughly investigated.
Asked about the money spent on defense, Albro says the world has changed in terms of war and conflict. She says she believes in diplomacy and working toward peace and human rights and helping refugees, rather than waging war.
Asked if the federal government spends enough on education, Albro says “no”. She says more investment is needed in early childhood through post high school. Albro says the U.S. Department of Education should hold every state accountable for equity so that every child gets what they need to succeed in life. Albro says only four states have policies related to equity in education, and Michigan is not one of them. Albro says teachers should be trusted to work with interests of students. She says there should mentorships for new teachers.
Albro says the U.S. should be increasing paths for legal immigration into the country. She says immigrants are the backbone of the country, and are needed for economic reasons. Albro says families should not be separated, and people who come to the country as young children under the DACA program should have an opportunity to come citizens.
PFAS’s have been found in a couple different areas in the 3rd Congressional District. Albro says PFAS’s are part of larger problem in weakening the Environmental Protection Agency. She says high standards are needed to prevent toxic substances from getting into water or air.
Albro says she plans to vote “yes” on Proposal 1 to legalize marijuana in Michigan. Albro also favors changes at the federal level. Marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug under federal law.
The 3rd Congressional District has elected Republicans to serve in the House for decades. Albro says she believes that the 2016 Election and demographic changes make it winnable for Democrats.
Discussion of other issues can be heard in the web version of the interview.
Albro says the economy works well for people at the top, but not for the rest of the country. She says unions can help strengthen the middle class. Albro says the federal government should also offer incentives for “socially responsible companies.”
Albro says she would like to lower the interest rates on student loans, if not eliminate it. She favors basing repayment on income.
Albro says decriminalizing marijuana would help keep people out of the prison system. She also favors alternatives to prison such as “restorative justice.”
While Justin Amash has been critical of President Trump, Albro says it hasn’t been enough. But Albro says she’s running to solve problems, and she says if that can happen by working the President Trump, she’s all for it.