Issues we fight for

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Combating Climate Change

Our climate is changing – and we need to reverse it. From building out a national energy-saving program in Nicaragua to launching President Obama’s Climate Data Initiative – I have spent my life fighting to reverse Climate Change. This isn't just about protecting the natural beauty that I grew up with Orange County; it's about protecting our homes from wildfires, mudslides, floods, and other devastating natural disasters.

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Rejoin the Paris Climate Accord
  • Achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050
  • Divest of all federal funds from the fossil fuel industry
  • Prevent offshore oil drilling
  • Transition immediately to a clean energy economy that limits global average temperature increase to 1.5–2 C° above pre-industrial levels.

Providing a Modern Healthcare System

Healthcare is a human right -- that's why I believe in Medicare for everyone. I've lived under a single-payer healthcare system and I know the good and the bad. I also know what it's like to get denied health insurance for a pre-existing condition. I'll never forget going to the pharmacy without health insurance and trying to buy an inhaler – health insurance or not I needed to breathe – and being charged $400 instead of the $7 everyone else was paying.

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Expand Medicare for all – limiting excess spending and curbing cost overages while providing exceptional healthcare for all Americans
  • Create an Open Source Electronic Medical Record system
  • Expand Medicaid and prevent applicants from having to drug test or meet work requirements in order to qualify
  • Expand funding for the NIH and advocate for evidence-based research and practice guidelines
  • Expand WIC, CHIP, and other programs for underserved and marginalized communities
  • Protect Planned Parenthood and expand Title X family planning funding
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Protecting Social Security & Medicare

My parents worked their entire lives and deserve the benefits they paid into. My grandma was on Medicare. Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income serve millions of Americans who are physically restricted in their ability to be employed because of a notable disability, usually a physical disability. These federal programs exist to support the most vulnerable in our society, many of whom have contributed to the system to the best of their ability. It is a compact between our generations and a reflection of our values as a society.

In Congress, I will:

  • Fight efforts to privatize Social Security and leave it vulnerable to the whims of the stock market
  • Resist any attempts to cut benefits, raise the retirement age, or pull money out of Social Security to pay for other government programs
  • Oppose efforts to turn Medicare into a voucher system, leaving the burden of health care on to the backs of seniors
  • Allow Medicare to negotiate lower drug prices as the Department of Veterans Affairs and Medicaid currently do
  • Demand better transparency from Medicare to diminish fraud and waste


Stop. Gun. Violence. Now.

From Sandy Hook to San Bernardino, gun violence has impacted far too many in our nation. One in three Americans knows someone who has been shot, including me. It's time we put books before bullets and focus on learning, not lockdowns. It's time we get rid of 18th century laws that do not reflect the reality of dangerous 21st century weapons of war. It's time 60- to 70-year olds in Congress fought the NRA with the tenacity with which 16- and 17-year-olds who cannot legally vote fight.

I am proud to be a Moms Demand Action "Gun Sense Candidate of Distinction" and refuse any contributions from the NRA.

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Digitize gun records
  • Demand universal background checks
  • Close the gun show and online loopholes that allow guns to be sold without background checks
  • Create tax incentives and research funds for Gun Safety Technology
  • Ban bump stocks
  • Mandate National Gun Violence Restraining Orders
  • Halt the sale of high-capacity magazines and the AR-15 assault-style rifle used in the Stoneman Douglas shooting
  • Reinstate the Federal Assault Weapons Ban

Defending Women's Rights & Health

We cannot and should not discriminate against 50% of our community and our country. As an employer and as a policymaker, I've consistently fought for women's equality. The phone company I built in Nicaragua had strong female-male parity -- in fact, 80% of our employees were women. 

At the White House, I worked with the Council on Women and Girls to advance women's equality, and diversity in the technology industry. I also helped launch the Department of Labor's Equal Pay App Challenge, an innovative initiative to arm women with the tools to negotiate higher wages.

In Congress, I will fight for:

  • Equal Pay for Women – It's been 54 years since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act and we are still fighting the gender wage gap. I will support the Paycheck Fairness Act to bring women's wages to equal measure with men's.
  • Paid Family Leave
  • Fully funding the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, to strengthen the agency's capacity to investigate sexual harassment
  • Individual families maintaining control of decisions about family planning and a women's right to choose
  • Planned Parenthood, a vital organization that provides healthcare for 1 in 3 women in America

Passing Compassionate Immigration Reform

More than 30% of our friends and neighbors in the 45th district are foreign born – including my mom. As the son of an immigrant, I understand the important contributions immigrants make to our nation – and the sacrifices they make. I'll work towards compassionate and comprehensive reform of our immigration system.

As a member of Congress, I will:

  • Support a clean DACA bill that provides a path to citizenship for DREAMers
  • Provide a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million hardworking and tax-paying undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
  • Work to reduce the fraud and abuse of H-1B and L1 visas fraud that enables companies to underpay foreign workers and replace American workers
  • Propose the Keep Families Together Act which will prevent immigration authorities from separating undocumented parents from their children
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Standing up for LGBTQ rights

I am dedicated to equal rights for all. This means crafting protections for our most vulnerable and mandating federal workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. I believe that Americans have a right to religious freedom, as long as it doesn't infringe on the rights of other Americans, especially those in the LGBTQ community. Ultimately, diversity and inclusion make our communities and our country better and stronger.

In Congress, I will support:

  • Condemning and fighting the offensive and un-American Trump-Pence transgender troop ban – because those who step up to serve in our military deserve our thanks and respect, not discrimination
  • Strengthening federal and state hate crime laws
  • Funding of federal programs that serve the LGBTQ community and those living with HIV and AIDS
  • Mandating federal workplace protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Enacting federal anti-bullying laws to protect LGBTQ students and support putting into law protections for transgender Americans
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Educating the next generation

There is no better investment of taxpayer dollars than education. As a proud product of the Tustin Unified School District, and former high school teacher in the Peace Corps, I know the impact of a high-quality public education for kids and for our community.

In Congress, I will fight for:

  • Debt-free college education
  • Improved access to Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math
  • Comprehensive computer science and coding instruction from 1st to 12th grade
  • Pre-K for All
  • Loan forgiveness for public school teachers

Defending our national security

I believe in the defense of our country through diplomacy. Whether it's our diplomats at the State Department or our members of the military and volunteers in the U.S. Peace Corps – they are all the face of America abroad. That's why I served our country in Nicaragua as a volunteer in the U.S. Peace Corps and went to Iraq with the U.S. Institute of Peace. 

But I also know that 21st century warfare is being fought online. Companies are being hacked, elections are being manipulated, and our electrical grid is vulnerable to attack by foreign governments.

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Put further sanctions on North Korea
  • Put pressure on the President to rejoin the Iran Nuclear Deal
  • Increase federal funding for the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT)
  • Upgrade our government's technology with a $3B IT Modernization Fund
  • Pass the Protecting Our Democracy Act which would create an independent, bipartisan-appointed commission to investigate foreign interference in the 2016 election and prevent future attacks

Protecting your privacy & data

Just because you're online doesn't mean you've given up your right to protect your private information and communication from companies and your government. According to the Department of Justice, theft of physical property costs Americans $5 billion a year. However, identity theft is estimated to cost Americans more than $17 billion a year. 

Facebook to Equifax – if companies choose to profit off of your data, they have a solemn responsibility to protect your private information from being stolen. Oil companies are responsible for paying for their oil spills – and data companies should be responsible for paying for their data spills.

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Protect all citizens from warrantless data collection
  • Inform citizens about who can access the information that they put on the Internet
  • Defend our constitutional rights to individual privacy
  • Ensure an open and free Internet by supporting legislation to reinstitute net neutrality
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Growing a Strong Economy & Jobs

Having been a small business owner, I know how important it is to have a regulatory structure that incentivizes small business growth and helps to create more jobs. As a technologist, I also know that preparing our future workforce for 21st century jobs is essential. Economist Enrico Moretti has explained that, because of a multiplier effect, each new high-tech job in the U.S. creates five additional jobs in the service economy. Encouraging growth in the technology sector helps support growth throughout our economy.

Of course, at the center of a stable economy ought to be a robust middle class – where all children grow up in safe, state-of-the-art schools; where college is affordable and workers are paid a livable wage; where every family has access to quality, affordable health care; and where seniors are guaranteed their benefits after a lifetime of hard work.

In Congress, I will:

  • Fight to increase wages and benefits to address the high cost of living in Orange County
  • Support an increase in the minimum wage to $15 and peg it to inflation
  • Expand support for job training programs for veterans
  • Work to grow our investments in alternative and renewable “green energy” that creates 21st century jobs
  • Support expansion of technical and vocational schools, as an alternative to higher education, so students can gain the skills and hands-on experience they need to jump into specialized careers with companies that are ready and eager to hire
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Reforming Our Criminal Justice System

Growing up, it never failed to impress me when my Dad hired people who were formerly incarcerated. He always felt that individuals who have paid their debt to society deserve a second chance. Yet, today, most states spend more annually on each inmate in the prison system than they do on each student in public schools.

Americans also deserve equal protection under the law. Yet, when minorities are arrested at higher rates than Caucasians, injustice prevails. I believe in safeguarding the civil liberties of all Americans.

In Congress, I will:

  • Focus on investing in education, economic growth, and jobs -- investing in opportunity instead of squandering tax dollars building more prisons
  • Fight to diminish the prevalence of extended solitary confinement
  • Support programs that keep children who have been in the juvenile justice system from falling into a lifetime in the prison system
  • Support services that facilitate successful reintegration of inmates into communities
  • Sponsor the Racial Profiling Prevention Act
  • Work to rebuild the civil rights protections broken down by the Trump administration

Honoring our Veterans

If you served our country, we are forever indebted to you for your service. My grandfather and father-in-law are proud veterans of the U.S. Navy. That’s why I was proud to launch the Veterans Job Bank when I was at the White House. The Veterans Job Bank connected unemployed veterans to job openings with companies that were ready to hire veterans. 

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Fully fund the Veterans Administration
  • Support all efforts to address the Veterans claims processing backlog
  • Resist efforts by the Trump Administration to privatize the Veterans Administration
  • Propose the G-IT Bill to provide funding to teach coding to returning veterans, to prepare them for leadership roles in the 21st-century economy. This bill would cover computer science degrees at universities, coding boot camps, incentives for businesses to hire G-IT grads, and allow service-members wounded in combat to finish their service attaining a computer science education.

Addressing Income Inequality

The gap between the rich and the poor has worsened significantly in the past 30 years, so much so that President Obama called it "the defining challenge of our time." It certainly hasn't gotten any better under Trump. 

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Repeal the GOP Tax Bill which gives $1.5 trillion gift to large corporations and dramatically increases our deficit
  • Raise the minimum wage to $15 and peg it to inflation
  • Develop a fairer tax code that ensures everyone to pays their fair share

Supporting Affordable Housing

The challenge for most of my friends who grew up here in Orange County is they can't afford to move back. Homelessness is on the rise. A sizeable homeless population encircles the Tustin Library where I went every week as a child.

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Strengthen and expand the Housing Credit, to incentivize developers to create more affordable housing in our community
  • Better fund federal rental housing subsidies for individuals and families most at risk for homelessness

Define our Future

The people of Orange County need to know Brian Forde is a former Science and Technology Advisor under President Obama who believes in fact-based decision making to fight Trump's harmful policies; fights to protect our environment and combat climate change, supports Medicare for All, and is committed to the immigrant families in our communities.

Brian's experience and accomplishments have uniquely prepared him to serve in Congress at a time when technology is impacting every part of our lives.

  • Brian has spent his life fighting to reverse climate change because he believes it is an urgent and moral obligation to our future generations to preserve and protect the Earth. He was personally selected by President Obama to lead the Climate Data Initiative, an effort to leverage open government data resources to forge cross-sector partnerships and build tools that will make America's communities more resilient to climate change.
  • Brian believes that science is fact and that technology can be an equalizer and expand opportunity for all. In the Obama White House, he led Tech Hire, a program to broaden the availability of coding bootcamps across the country and provide technology jobs for women, people of color, and veterans.
  • Brian believes that if you served our country, we are forever indebted to you for your service. That's why he will propose a new "G-IT" Bill that would retrain veterans and prepare them for leadership roles in the 21st-century economy. The bill would cover computer science degrees at universities, incentivize businesses to hire G-IT grads, and allow service-members wounded in combat to finish their service by attaining a computer science degree or completing coding bootcamps.
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