With the renewal and expansion of the coverage of the Violence Against Women Act, other important ideas are coming to the forefront of the progressive agenda:
Raising of the minimum wage, which 71 percent of the American people endorse, with a minimum of $9 an hour, although bills to raise it to $10 an hour have been introduced by some members of Congress. Realize that if one was to keep up with the cost of living since 1938, when the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed with a 25 cents an hour wage, the minimum wage would have to be at $13 an hour now to be the equivalent of 75 years ago.
Universal Background Checks for all gun purchases, which 88 percent of those polled want, including 85 percent of gun owning households.
More tax increases to reduce the deficit, a balanced approach with spending cuts that are fair and just, and do not hurt those on the bottom more than those on the top of the economic scale, with 76 percent agreeing with this.
Infrastructure Investments to repair and replace our deteriorating physical plant, and creating hundreds of thousands of new jobs. This is the best job creation policy, and is important for the nation’s economic growth and national security.
A pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, particularly for children brought to America and knowing nowhere else, and 70 percent agreeing with this in polls, and 60 percent of Republicans. This is the right thing to do, and is a way for Republicans to improve their image electorally.
Expansion of the Medicaid program, so that all Americans will be able to have accessible health care, a basic goal of human decency and compassion for those less fortunate.
Marriage equality, so that gay Americans no longer face discrimination legally in any aspect of their lives, including the right to have their marriages seen as legitimate.
Providing of Early Childhood Education, including universal Pre Kindergarten coverage, as a way to assist in the goal of early educational intervention, which will reap benefits in the future.
If all eight of these goals can be achieved, we will have major progressive victories in 2013!