Senate Candidate: Adrian Perkins

U.S. Senate Candidates

What is your campaign website?
www.perkinsforla.com


Which social media accounts can people follow for campaign updates?

● Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/perkinsforla/
● Twitter: https://twitter.com/PerkinsforLA
● Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/perkinsforla/

What top three issues you think deserve your immediate attention in office?

● Economy
● Healthcare
● Infrastructure

How would you compromise with members of opposing parties?

From West Point to the United States Army to Mayor of my hometown, I have always
looked past political affiliations to find common ground with others and work to
accomplish the mission. As a Senator, I will take the same approach. America is
composed of diverse, often competing voices, and a thriving democracy requires
that each be heard. We may differ about how to get there, but we are all Americans
and we all want what is best for the country. That is where I will start and finish, with
what is best for America and her people.

What are your thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement?

I believe that the Black Lives Matter movement is the latest chapter in a long
struggle for African-Americans to realize equality and social justice. In Shreveport,
we had protestors take to the streets and advocate for change without incidents of
violence because we approached the issue as a community, not from the
perspective of us vs. them.


What needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?

We need to restore and reinforce the voting rights act. John Lewis once said that “the
right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or
instrument in a democratic society. We must use it.” There is nothing more sacred in
America than your voice and voter suppression is perhaps the greatest threat to
social and racial justice because it limits representation at the local, state, and
federal levels where the laws that impact people’s lives are made.
Since voting is our birthright, I believe that Election Day should be a national holiday
and that all Americans should automatically be registered to vote.

Should police departments reconsider any of their policies in response to recent events?
If so, which policies deserve priority?

Police departments are mostly controlled at the local and state levels, which means
they vary greatly across the country. In Shreveport, we reviewed our use of force
policies and made meaningful changes, including implementing duty to intervene
and medical treatment sections. We also banned chokeholds, increased
de-escalation training, and added implicit bias training to SPD’s regimen.

How would you rate the state’s — and the nation’s — coronavirus response? What would
you want done differently?

Our nation is fighting a two-front war: a global pandemic that has claimed over
170,000 American lives and an economic crisis that has left millions unemployed. No
one is to blame for the virus, but DC politicians must be held accountable for the
ensuing disaster. They politicized the pandemic and abandoned Louisianans in their
hour of need. Washington’s political games cost us lives and failed to provide
much-needed aid to families struggling to put food on the table or pay their bills.

As Mayor, I sounded the alarm on COVID-19 prior to the first case being recorded in
Shreveport. We immediately began to geolocate cases in a city dashboard, which
enabled us to shift resources, target messaging, and save lives. Mayors are on the
frontlines. We see the pain and heartache this pandemic is causing in our
communities and we see the disastrous consequences of Senator Cassidy’s neglect.
That’s why I am running for U.S. Senate. I cannot stand idly while the people of
Louisiana suffer DC’s sick politics. We will beat this virus, but only if we work
together.

We need leaders who put Louisianan’s health and safety above their
political agenda, and that starts with electing representatives who lead by example.
Hardworking families have waited months for the U.S. Senate to pass an economic
relief package. Members of Congress need to treat this situation like it’s their own
family that doesn’t know how they’re going to put food on the table. In March,
Senator Cassidy voted to strip $600 weekly unemployment boost payments from
the CARES Act and has since advocated for slashing the payments.

Today, hundreds of thousands of Louisianans have seen their payments cut in half and tens of
thousands have been left with nothing as they wonder how they will survive. We
need leaders who understand that lives and livelihoods are at stake.
In the Senate, I will work to ensure that all Louisianans are afforded the relief that
they need. I will also listen to the medical experts and take action to prevent and
fight COVID-19.

Would you support any changes to the current healthcare system? What parts, if any,
need change?

Health care is a right, not a privilege, plain and simple. Over 500,000 Louisianans
have access to affordable insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act, and an
additional one milion Louisianans cannot be denied coverage because of
pre-existing conditions.

Senator Cassidy led the charge in the U.S. Senate to repeal the Affordable Care Act
and strip health care away from millions of Americans. As a medical doctor, he
should have known better. Imagine if those Louisanians had lost their care because
of Senator Cassidy’s bill, what would they have done during this pandemic?
A real leader works to protect our healthcare, not take it away. In the Senate, I will
not only fight to protect the ACA, I will work to expand it.


We need to strengthen the Affordable Care Act by continuing to protect people with
pre-existing conditions, lowering the cost of healthcare for those who pay too much,
extending coverage to those who cannot afford it, and making sure Louisianans’
health care is high quality and covers the services they need.


One thing the Senate can do right now is pass the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, which
would cap prescription drug costs for our seniors on Medicare.
We need to take on the pharmaceutical and insurance companies that dominate our
healthcare system. Senator Cassidy has taken millions from private companies who
are only looking out for themselves. I support legislation that will lower the cost of
prescription drugs and allow for the federal government to negotiate with
pharmaceutical companies to bring down prices.

Where do you stand on gun ownership and the Second Amendment?

As a responsible gun owner and Army veteran who has operated some of the most
advanced military weapons systems in the world, I both respect our constitutional
right to bear arms but also understand intimately the destruction firearms can cause
in the wrong hands.

I believe we need to come together, reach across the aisle and focus on passing
responsible and balanced legislation that respects our freedom and also keeps our
communities safe. I support common sense gun control measures that are
overwhelmingly favored by Americans like closing loopholes, implementing
background checks and extreme risk protective orders.

Do you think our nation’s immigration system needs adjustment? What changes would
you support, if any?

America’s immigration law is complex and desperately in need of reform. This is an
issue marred by Washington politics, resulting in inaction and needless suffering for
millions. We have to create a coherent process of legal immigration while
establishing a pathway to citizenship for those productive members of our society
laboring in the shadows.

What steps would you support to strengthen the nation’s security?

I led troops during three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. I know the importance
of our military strength and the role that America plays as a global leader. We must
re-engage our allies and pursue diplomatic solutions that prevent violent conflict.
We cannot continue to ignore the threat of election interference and we must
protect the integrity of our democracy.


It is essential that the U.S. maintain a strong, capable military prepared to defend
American citizens, protect our interests, and maintain peace and order. However,
these unending wars cost tens-of-thousands of lives and trillions of dollars. I can
remember sitting in a Tactical Operations Center in Iraq and seeing on CNN that all
soldiers were coming home. We had the same patrols that day as we did the day
before. Nothing changed. It was all political theatre. My classmates are still dying
over there to this day.


U.S. foreign policy prospers only when military force is used sparingly and decisively.
America has the most powerful military on the planet – which enables us to rely on
diplomacy. We need to rebuild the State Department so America can utilize
non-military instruments of foreign policy to mend relationships with allies and
skillfully resolve tensions with foes, like North Korea and Iran. We also need
someone in the Senate with the courage to defend our service members and impose
sanctions on Russia, holding them accountable for the bounties they placed on U.S.
soldiers.

What are your thoughts on climate change? What, if anything, should Congress do about
it?

In Louisiana, we love our lakes, bayous, rivers, and coastal marsh. Our working
coastline is a national and cultural legacy that must be protected for future
generations to live, work, and play. Millions of hard-working Louisianans make their
living off the land, water, and our cultural attractions.


Unfortunately, our state is disproportionately impacted by sea-level rise and extreme
weather like hurricanes and floods. Our coastline is losing land at one of the fastest
rates in the world. Louisiana is 6th in the nation in cancer rates and experts say it may
get worse. I’m proud of Louisiana’s industries, but I won’t stand for polluters and
reckless conduct.

We have a moral responsibility to future generations to solve these problems now.
Instead, too many Washington politicians listen to the narrow special interests, not
the economic or scientific experts. They are forcing future Lousiainans to carry an
undue burden because they won’t act now.


We don’t have to choose between putting food on the table and cleaning our water
and air. This year alone, 100,000 oil and gas workers have been laid off – including
folks in my family. We can offer many of these workers immediate opportunities
using their current skills to clean up abandoned wells. At the same time, Louisiana
can develop new industries and continue to be a world-class producer of seafood,
energy, and agricultural products.


Louisianans are strong, resilient, and come together in times of crisis. The massive
Gulf storms that have formed the past few years remind us that we’re all in this
together. We will need to work fast to recover and to rebuild stronger.
In the Senate, I will work to promote conservation, expand access to clean air and
water, protect our environment and require special interests to follow the Scout’s
rule: Leave it cleaner than you found it.

Would you vote in favor of spending bills that add to the deficit?

I will work to always make fiscally smart decisions for the people of Louisiana and
our country. If I were to take a vote in the Senate that increases spending, I would
also have a plan for where that money comes from. It is reckless that congress hasn’t
passed a budget in years. Congress owes it to the American people to balance our
nation’s budget and keep our country fiscally sound.

Do you believe our current political system, namely on Capitol Hill, lacks civility? How
would you encourage civil discourse in Congress?

Political discourse in the United States has become more divisive and less respectful
in recent years, which has resulted in hyper-partisanship and gridlock. I believe that
governing is a sacred duty that should be taken seriously. We will have
disagreements and we can argue our positions passionately, but there is no reason
for our discourse to devolve into partisan rancor.


The late Senator John McCain is a great example of a statesman who fiercely
defended his convictions. I had the opportunity last year to share the stage with his
wife, Cindy McCain and the topic of our discussion was restoring civility to public
discourse. We must always put the people who elected us ahead of the politics of
the moment in order to get the job done.

What other issues would you fight for in office?

One issue that I think needs to be addressed is the digital divide. Unequal access to
the internet limits entrepreneurship and educational opportunities for many living in
rural and low-income areas, which in turn, limits our nation’s potential. As Mayor of
Shreveport, I heard too many stories about the struggles low-income families face in
a digital world. When schools first closed due to the pandemic and students were
forced to work remotely, parents would drive to the schools after a long workday
and sit in their car, so their child could use the school’s wifi to complete their
homework.


Local governments know the needs of their communities better than Washington.
Congress can help empower Mayors and Parish Presidents to plug the digital holes
in their communities. The Federal government should expand grants to incentivize
private businesses to fill existing gaps, creating competition in underserved
communities. This will not only improve education and spur economic development;
it will also make telehealth more accessible in rural areas.

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