Angie Philips vying for Democratic nod for U.S. Senate

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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) The following responses have not been edited.

Name (also include name you’d prefer to be called): Angie Philips
Political Party: Democrat
Current or most recent profession: Community Organizer

Tell us a little about yourself:

I am originally from Grant, Nebraska and moved to Eastern Nebraska in my early 20s. I currently reside in Omaha with my husband and our three children. I studied behavioral science at Bellevue University and worked in case management with struggling families. I currently reside in Omaha with my husband Bill and our three children. I began staying at home after our youngest child was born and became involved in community organizing and human rights advocacy. This led me to founding the Douglas County Democratic Party Women’s Caucus and the Nebraska Progressive Legislative Study Group.

Why are you running for this office?

I am running to give everyday Nebraskans representation in our federal government and to push forward policy that uplifts both our rural and urban communities.

Do you support the actions taken by federal, state and local government officials to combat the spread of COVID-19? What, if any, changes would you propose?

The federal government responded too slowly to the COVID 19 Pandemic. The state government should immediately expand Medicaid and the Governor should enact a stay home order. I support increased testing and guaranteed treatment. Further expansion of PTO, FMLA, and unemployment. Providing zero interest loans and emergency funds for small and micro businesses; direct payments to households for the duration of the crisis; holds on rent and mortgages; and increased funding to house the houseless. Overcrowded prisons should release nonviolent offenders and consider early release where possible. Detention centers should immediately release migrants being detained on civil charges. A fourth wave of legislation is needed to address people impacted by the pandemic who were missed in the first 3 rounds of legislation and a large stimulus package and preventative measures will need to be developed once the crisis is over.

What is your message to Nebraskans during this time of crisis?

As we work to slow the spread of COVID 19 we face many unknowns. One thing we do know is that this virus crosses party lines and so does the solution. We have amazing grassroots, local, and state leadership working tirelessly to ensure our communities can access their basic needs.  We must stand together, protect one another, and be kind to one another. Once the pandemic is over we must take measures to prevent, contain, and treat infectious disease outbreaks and protect ourselves from economic damages.

How will you support the economy now and after social distancing requirements end?

I am currently supporting the people in the economy by connecting people in need to community services and resources. I am doing my best to support the economy at an individual level by supporting small local businesses whenever possible during this time which I will continue to do once social distancing requirements end.

What other issues facing voters are most important to you as a candidate?

Climate Change: We must take swift action to reduce the effects of climate change. The United States should re-enter the Paris Climate Agreement as well as work to surpass those goals. We must end our reliance on fossil fuels and move toward 100% clean energy by decarbonizing electricity, vehicles, and buildings. Nebraska can lead the way in carbon sequestration with regenerative agriculture. Regenerative organic agriculture could remove more than 100% of the current CO2 emissions while building soil health, maintaining crop yield, increasing crop resilience, and improving profitability. Regenerative organic agriculture also increases water absorption and reduces runoff and the release of toxins into our water supplies. We must also work to end and correct environmental injustices placed on marginalized communities including Native people who have been disproportionately impacted by companies that place profits over the preservation of Native lands and sacred sites.

Humane Immigration Reform: Our current immigration system is broken and inhumane. The system has been further strained by President Trump's harmful executive orders and policies. Millions of migrants, including children, are being detained in unsanitary and overcrowded detention centers. The Remain in Mexico order has endangered the lives of thousands. Seeking asylum is legal and migrants being detained on civil charges should be released immediately as well as end all forms of family separation. ICE has proven to be a corrupt agency and should be abolished. We should return the handling of immigration services back to Immigration and Naturalization Services and implement more efficient ways to address human and drug trafficking. DACA and TPS recipients should have an immediate path to citizenship and there should be an immediate end to the Trump administration's Muslim ban. We also must address climate change as part of the solution to immigration as it will continue to contribute to the displacement of migrants.

Healthcare: We are facing a national healthcare crisis. We must act responsibly to address the healthcare crisis we face as a nation. I support a healthcare system such as Medicare for All that utilizes cost containment proposals including a single-payer system, budgets for hospitals and medical institutions, a fee schedule for doctors, and limits on drug prices.

Rural Revitalization and Addressing Economic Disparities: I have proposed a plan that will revitalize our rural communities by investing in small business, protecting and expanding postal services, improving infrastructure, education, and work readiness programs, and uplifting our farmers and ranchers while building partnerships between rural and urban areas. I would also proposal plans to uplift communities like North Omaha that have faced over a century of economic oppression and neglect.

Why do you consider yourself the best person to address the needs of Nebraska voters?

Having been born and raised in rural Nebraska and establishing my life in the city, I have a unique understanding of the needs of both rural and urban communities and an understanding of how we are inherently connected. I will advocate for the needs and rights of every Nebraskan so we can build a Nebraska for everyone.

What separates you from your primary challenger(s)? What about your potential general election challengers?

I believe my connection with both urban and rural and eastern and western Nebraska separate me from my primary challengers. I can connect with voters in a unique way that extends across party lines and political affiliations.

In contrast to Senator Sasse, I am interested in representing all Nebraskans, not just towing a party line. Senator Sasse has failed to communicate with his constituents. One can not represent people they do not speak with and communities they won’t step foot in. In order to ensure open communication with constituents, as Senator I am committed to the following:
1) I will open up an office in North Platte, Nebraska to help fill the gap between Kearney and Scottsbluff.
2) I will host regular monthly townhalls. In person when possible and via virtual conferencing when I’m in DC.
3) I will rotate days at my Nebraska offices and make times when I’ll be available in those offices public so constituents don’t feel like they have to hunt me down.
4) My staff will be informed on where I stand on issues and important votes so when you call my office you’ll get more than “thanks, I’ll relay the message”.
5) I will ensure my scheduler doesn’t blow people off. If an in person meeting is requested, meetings with constituents will take priority over meetings with corporate lobbyists. If for some reason I’m not available for an in person meeting, we’ll do a virtual conference.

Is there any other message, statement or concern you’d like to address?

I’d like to encourage Nebraskans to vote by mail. Voting by mail is the best way to vote during the Pandemic in order to ensure safety for ourselves and our communities.