1/ Stick with this thread to the end.

Friday in Hartford a young woman named Solmary Cruz nervously handed me a slip of paper with a neatly written list of changes she wants.

"You promise you're going to read it?" she asked in a weak but purposeful voice.
2/ Written in red pen, she meticulously outlines the steps she thinks will make her Hartford neighborhood safer.

At the top of the paper are her topics:

"*increase patrols and walking
*programs for youth
*stolen car issue
*gun laws
3/ One section is about the need to integrate kids from different neighborhoods. She explains how many homicides are about grudges between blocks or neighborhoods that kids inherit. Meeting the kids they are taught to hate might break the cycle of violence, Solmary writes.
4/ Her paper is comprehensive, thoughtful, and nuanced.

Which is stunning, bc 2 weeks earlier, Solmary was in a car with her three young kids when another car pulled up alongside and a gunman started firing in to the car.

Moments later, her 3 year old son, Randell, was dead.
5/ It's hard to explain or comprehend the trauma of something like this. The impact on her two girls, ages 4 and 5, who witnessed the shooting, has been extraordinary - that story is too private to share, but suffice it to say the girls are reeling.

This is Solmary, on the left.
6/ And the violence may not be over. The target of the shooting survived, and later that same day, a 16 year old was shot blocks away in a connected killing.

A local pastor told me that parents in the neighborhood won't let their young kids leave the house now.
7/ But the real gut punch of her letter came at the end.

"What have YOU done to better this situation?" she writes.
8/ In the next two months, Congress will debate measures to deal with America's epidemic of gun violence.

And the answer to Solmary's question cannot be NOTHING.

I will do my part. But I beg of you - do yours too. Become part of this movement. Before this happens again.

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More from @ChrisMurphyCT

21 Apr
1/ Six years ago, I gave the first speech in the Senate on the Yemen civil war.

This afternoon I'm chairing my first Foreign Relations hearing on U.S. policy on Yemen. A quick thread on why this matters and what I'll be focused on when questioning the witnesses ⤵️
2/ There are four major objectives when it comes to Yemen:
- Reach a nationwide ceasefire
- Provide vital humanitarian aid 
- Get Yemen's economy back up and running
- Lay out a framework for inclusive political negotiations to finally end this conflict
3/ First, after the U.S. finally pulled our support for the Saudi led military effort, the Saudis made a ceasefire proposal. The Biden admin is committed to the diplomatic work needed to help broker an end to this conflict. This is critical.
Read 6 tweets
9 Apr
I want a "longer and stronger" agreement with Iran, but the path to that agreement is through the Iran nuclear deal (the JCPOA).

1/ A short THREAD on why getting back into the JCPOA, as soon as possible, is the necessary predicate to gain other concessions from Iran.
2/ The MOST important thing is to make sure Iran doesn't get a nuclear weapon. This takes priority.

Yes, we want Iran to end support for proxies and their missile program. But all their other malevolent activity is much worse if they have a nuclear bomb.
3/ We had 4 years to try the approach of the JCPOA opponents. Trump leveled crippling sanctions on Iran to get them to negotiate on everything.

It was a disaster. Iran refused to talk, they restarted their nuclear program, and began firing at U.S. troops.
Read 8 tweets
16 Mar
The biggest national security threats we face today - climate change, pandemic disease, China competition - can't be solved with military tools.

But today we spend 13x - THIRTEEN TIMES! - more on the military than on diplomacy/smart power.

1/ A quick THREAD🧵on how we fix this:
2/ I'm teaming up with @ChrisVanHollen, @davidcicilline & @RepBera to propose a $12 billion increase in funding for State and USAID directed towards three specific challenges - competing with China, preparing for the next pandemic, and fighting climate change.
3/ China is running circles around the US when it comes to deploying diplomats and development funding. And their state-sponsored propaganda arm is working nonstop to discredit free and open democracies. We can't continue to let them go unchallenged.
Read 8 tweets
26 Feb
So this is actually big news. This week, two progressive Democrats and two conservative Republicans introduced a ban on non-compete agreements.

1/ Let me tell you why non-compete agreements are so terrible for our economy and why we should pass this bipartisan bill this year.
2/ Non-compete agreements prohibit you from leaving your company and working for a competitor. First, they stifle innovation, bc many would-be entrepreneurs are stopped from going out and working on any product that might end up competing with their prior employer.
3/ Second, non-competes depress wages, bc if you can't leave and work for any other company in your industry, then you have no leverage to ask for a higher salary. Non-competes impose a form of indentured service.
Read 6 tweets
22 Feb
The Iran nuclear deal's original terms made the world a safer place. That's why restarting the agreement through "compliance for compliance", rather than trying to hold out for a new/different deal (as Trump, Iran hawks wanted) is the best path.

1/ A short THREAD explaining why:
2/ The Iran deal put the U.S./Europe/Russia/China all on the same side of Iran policy. Leaving the deal shattered that coalition.

We can't make progress on Iran's missile program or terrorist funding without this team regrouping, and a quick reentry to the JCPOA does this.
3/ Plus, so long as we continue Trump era sanctions, Iran will seek to destabilize the region, in Iran, Yemen, Syria, etc.

Neocons say we can't negotiate with Iran while they provoke, but that's their typical BS. We need de-escalation, and restarting the JCPOA does that.
Read 6 tweets
17 Feb
1/ A quick thread of why traditional "summer school" may be a big mistake for exhausted, traumatized kids, and why we need to be thinking bigger about more emotionally and psychologically relevant programming for kids this summer.

Hear me out.
2/ We underestimate how hard the last 12 months have been on kids. As a parent of public school 3rd and 6th graders, I know. The disconnect from peers, challenges of distance learning, stop and start of in-school instruction, and general stress of COVID has drained kids.
3/ YES there's been learning loss. YES it's been worst for low income kids without regular digital access and kids with learning needs. YES we need to build new services around these kids to help them catch up.

But kids are exhausted, and MORE school this summer may not work.
Read 8 tweets

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