U.S. Senate Candidate: Antione Pierce (D)

U.S. Senate Candidates

What is your campaign website?

www.antoinepierce.com 

Which social media accounts can people follow for campaign updates?

Twitter: @AntoinePierce

Facebook: @AntoinePierceForLouisiana


What top three issues you think deserve your immediate attention in office? How would you compromise with members of opposing parties?


1.) Addressing COVID-19: Providing resources for testing, unemployment aid, job security, small business, housing, etc.

2.) Healthcare: Ensuring that every person is covered regardless of their ability to pay

3.) Criminal/Environmental Justice & Reform: We must pass policies to address our incarceration rates, police accountability, and climate change.

I believe that the issues that I am seeking to address will have bipartisan support. We can all agree that these issues should be addressed. I am willing to have the tough conversations necessary to find a consensus on the best way to move forward. 


What are your thoughts on the Black Lives Matter movement?
As an African American in this country, I see the Black Lives Matter message is poignant and necessary. It does not in any way devalue the lives of other races. It brings attention to the longstanding systemic and institutionalized issues that are unique to black citizens of this country. We have to be careful to separate the message of the movement from some of the people who are organizing in their respective areas. The egregious actions of some can be used to distract from the point of the message. Black Lives Matter is not calling for the death of police officers or unfair treatment of good officers. They are calling for social equality and equity in policing and governmental policy. Black Lives Matter!


What needs to be done to promote social and racial justice?
In order to solve a problem, we first have to admit that there is one. The first step to promote social and racial is to acknowledge that injustices persist. Social and racial justice will require a willingness to step outside of one’s comfort zone to hear uncomfortable truths and experiences. We have to be willing to have tough conversations with people who may not share or understand our plight. We then have to collectively demand that the issues discussed in those conversations are adequately addressed through policy. We must see each other’s humanity and seek common ground.


Should police departments reconsider any of their policies in response to recent events? If so, which policies deserve priority?
Police departments should consider implementing a community based civilian board that brings the voices of adversely impacted communities to the table for discussions about community experiences and perceptions. There must be a return to a community policing model so that certain communities, particularly poor minority communities, do not maintain an adversarial relationship with police, rather a partnership where community members see the police as part of the community.


How would you rate the state’s — and the nation’s — coronavirus response? What would you want done differently?
The national response to coronavirus from the President has been dismal at best. Refusing to accept the recommendations of the scientific community and the immediate denial of the severity of the pandemic, including referring to it as “the new Democratic hoax” inarguably cost American lives. Fortunately, Governor John Bel Edwards has worked diligently to follow the recommendations of the scientists in an effort to mitigate the spread of the virus. However, the enforcement of mask mandates and other measures remains difficult which lends to the number of positive cases in our state. 


Would you support any changes to the current healthcare system? What parts, if any, need change?
Yes. I support a universal healthcare model. I believe that every person should have healthcare coverage regardless of their ability to pay. Of course, we could take the path of strengthening our current healthcare policy by reinstituting the individual mandate and other pillars of the Affordable Care Act that have been stripped away. However, it could still leave millions without coverage. I would support a universal healthcare to ensure that no person goes bankrupt or dies because they cannot afford their coverage or their prescription medications.


Where do you stand on gun ownership and the Second Amendment?
I fully support the second amendment. However, we can put policies in place to ensure that guns don’t end up in the wrong hands. We can implement simple common sense measures such as universal background checks, higher age requirements ( from 18 to 21), a ban on assault weapons, and implementation of red flag laws. 


Do you think our nation’s immigration system needs adjustment? What changes would you support, if any?
Yes. Our nation’s immigration system needs adjustment. Our country benefits from economic immigration. Those who are coming to our country for work in industries that are undersupplied with a workforce should be accommodated accordingly. We must ensure that families are allowed to stay together. We must end family separation at the border. This ensures that the family unit remains intact which often offers intangible benefits to immigrant communities and our society in general. We must continue to open our doors to refugees from war torn countries. The humane treatment and due process for asylum seekers should be a top priority. There must be a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and the Dreamers who have lived for a log period in the country. 


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

There are several measures that we could implement to strengthen our national security. We must restore our relationship with our allies and isolate the threat of our enemies. We can deploy our intelligence agencies to detect and bring to justice those that seek to infiltrate and spy on our government and undermine our democracy by attacking our elections. We could use diplomatic measures and/or economic sanctions, if necessary, to promote international cooperation with our security measures. We must fund and equip our domestic emergency response agencies with the resources necessary to have robust preparedness measures in place.  


What are your thoughts on climate change? What, if anything, should Congress do about it?
Climate change may be considered one of the most existential threats to our national security. Congress must accept the science of climate change and act swiftly and aggressively to begin the process of mitigating the damages to our environment before it is too late. We must begin the transition away from energy sources that pollute our air and water and move towards cleaner forms or energy such as solar power and wind power. Louisiana must move in concert with other states, including Texas towards subsidizing renewable energies. Congress must in the future. It’s priorities must be an investment in job training and job creation in industries that do not contribute to stronger and more frequent storms, the erosion of our coast through rising sea levels, or the poisoning of our air and water supply. 

Would you vote in favor of spending bills that add to the deficit?
Yes. I would vote for a spending bill that adds to the deficit depending upon what the spending is for. For example, I would vote for a bill that ensures that every American has healthcare coverage, lower prescription drug costs, paid family leave, and college debt elimination. However, I would not support an increase in the deficits for additional tax cuts to the wealthy or bailouts of multi-million dollar profiting industries. 


Do you believe our current political system, namely on Capitol Hill, lacks civility? How would you encourage civil discourse in Congress?
Congress does seem to lack the civility necessary to create the social and political progress needed in America. Political expediency, partisan polarization, and tribalism have seemingly created a toxic environment in both houses of Congress. I am committed to responding with civility in all matters of public discourse with my colleagues in Congress. I am committed to asking my colleagues to do the same. I believe that we can accomplish more for our constituents when we refuse to allow our rhetoric and behavior to devolve into anything unbecoming of a statesman or beneath the office to which we were elected. 

What other issues would you fight for in office?
In addition to the aforementioned topics, I plan to fight for criminal/police reform, fair and safe elections, women’s reproductive freedom, universal basic income, and ending the influence of corporate contributions on the outcomes of our elections. 

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