Protect the People

The purpose of government is to protect people and provide a stable society in which everyone can thrive. Our current government isn’t serving its purpose. We can make sure that it does so in the future by providing the following, to truly protect the people:

Medicare for All

We need to ensure that members of our community can thrive. We do this by providing what the majority of the world already does: Universal Healthcare. Everyone needs healthcare. It’s time to vote out representatives who tell us what we want to hear but continue to take big checks from the healthcare industry and pharmaceutical companies. Universal Healthcare means coverage of mental health issues, dental care, and vision correction. All of these are part of a person’s well-being. No one can be healthy if any one of these is not included in their access to healthcare. The majority of folks living on the streets are severely impacted from not having this basic human right. In the current system, none of us are truly safe from worry. I know personally the fear of not being able to provide coverage to a loved one.

Guaranteed Access to Truly Equal Public Education

Our public education system remains separate and unequal. Even within the same school district, wealthier schools provide top-notch education to their students while others are left to squander their potential in under-funded schools. In this reality, the entire community suffers. Cutting funding to education increases costs in the long run. What we deny in educational investments on the front end we pay to combat crime, support social services, and aid those left behind on the back end. When schools can’t do their job, police and social services are forced to take over. Society pays. A small sum invested up front prevents much larger costs down the road, both in monetary and human terms. Today, your ZIP code determines your destiny—we don’t have an achievement gap, we have an opportunity gap. Let’s even the playing field so that America’s children can realize their potential.

Criminal Justice Reform

Through discriminatory sentencing, biased drug policy, police brutality, mandatory sentencing, and predictive policing, we have created an under-class of citizens and the largest prison population in the world. We have devalued and disregarded the lives of black and brown people. This structural and systemic racism must end if we want a stable and fair democracy that will break the cycles of racial brutality in which we’ve been caught since the Civil War. We need to truly ask whether our prisons rehabilitate or merely incapacitate and dehumanize people. It’s unthinkable to continue to use solitary confinement and other cruel punishments that simply don’t work toward rehabilitation of the prisoner. We need to look at other systems that work to restore and repair people and consider a thorough overhaul of our for-profit prison system. Let us be the best people we can be and find solutions—one of which is legalizing marijuana. Our current federal policy on marijuana is ineffective, is costly to enforce, and is destroying lives. It’s cheaper and easier to bring that money into the market, where it can be put to better use creating jobs and building the local economy.

Affordable Housing for All

Tents on the streets and cars in parking lots are not solely the product of mental health problems and drug addiction. For too many Americans, even working two full-time jobs doesn’t pay enough so that they can afford basic housing. There exist two simple causes: Minimum wage is too low and should be tied to inflation, and there are policies in place that incentivize companies and individuals to get into the game of unearned rent, or extraction of uncompensated value without contribution to productivity. I personally know that stability in housing is the first step to stability in life. We need to provide basic housing for those at the very bottom; restrict unearned rent; and promote policies that increase density and efficiencies in housing stock. We cannot feel safe and secure in our own homes when our brothers and sisters are out on the streets. I have known this instability and the memory of that experience persists even today. Everyone deserves a home.

Protection of Civil Rights for All

In a civil society, all members of the community should feel safe. With the rise of fascism around the globe infecting both authoritarian and democratic governments, we need to reinforce our commitment to combating absolutism. We must reinforce and protect the civil rights of all people. We need to elect representatives who understand the real danger that these forces present. Our government needs to stand up and be the wall that will stem the tide, the wall that will protect our civil rights in the face of cretinism, petulance, and the general disregard of our democracy’s foundations. I know what it is like to be threatened, to be othered, to be targeted. Not one of us should live questioning whether our government and our neighbors will be there for us. We need representatives who will defend us all.

Sensible Gun Regulations

A gun owner’s primary focus is safety. Anyone who has visited a gun range knows this firsthand. Gun owners favor sensible gun regulations. It is imperative that people get basic training on proper handling, securing, and keeping of firearms prior to purchase. We must ensure that firearms aren’t purchased by folks who aren’t legally allowed to possess them. We need universal background checks that close the gun show loophole. For the safety of our community, sensible gun regulations must be implemented. As a family man and a gun owner, safety is my number one concern. And, as a veteran, I know very well that safety is paramount. We need sensible gun regulations that respect our rights to bear arms.

Are you registered to vote as a Democrat?

Sadly, Oregon, and in particular the 3rd District, is effectively a one-party system. This means that leadership is decided by voting in the Democratic primary rather than in the general election. Democracy requires choice, and the true choice for Representative of the 3rd District takes place in the May 2020 primary. Check to see if you are registered to vote today!