Like many Arizonans, I was not born here. I grew up in rural Northern California but moved to Phoenix halfway through my freshman year of high school. After graduation, I was not sure what I wanted to do and the thought of going into debt to attend college didn't appeal to me. I also very nearly joined the Marines, but I was slightly over the weight limit to enlist. I decided to take a year off after high school which turned into me working various jobs for years until I found work full time at a financial services company. My wife, a public school teacher, and I were fortunate to be able to buy our house in CD 8 in 2011. We have lived here since and together work full time to raise our two children under 5 years old.
I have been interested in politics throughout my adult life but never wanted to get involved because I did not want to be indebted to the corporate donors. I thought it was not possible to fund a campaign without those donations until Bernie Sanders ran in 2016 that I learned small dollar donations can fund a campaign. I am running now because I want to lead the charge against corruption in Washington and give the residents of CD 8 a true representative. I invite you to review my stances on positions outlined below, but know this above all. I will represent the people, not corporations. Please click the link below to sign my petition and get me on the ballot.
We must get money out of our political processes. Both parties have been bought by large corporate interests and have failed to serve the people for decades. Our current system equates to legalized bribery. Corporations, lobbyists and large dollar donors do not give to candidates and campaigns out of the goodness of their hearts. They are making an investment and expect returns. We must end the corruption. In addition to pledging to accept no corporate, PAC, or dark money donations, I will lead the fight to stop the money infusion into campaigns, including ending super PACs and banning elected officials from being employed to act as a lobbyists. I support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn both the Citizen's United Supreme Court decision which determined corporations are people and the Buckley V. Valeo Supreme Court decision which decided money is the same as speech. Both of these rulings need to be overturned and money must be removed from our political process if we wish to get anything substantive done without a huse fight.
I support and will fight for the full funding of public education. In addition to ensuring certified teachers are paid at least $60,000 a year, I will fight for support and para-professionals to also receive a living wage. I also believe public education should be expanded to include universal Pre-K and to restore Arts & vocational electives. I also support ending standardized testing and free tuition for public colleges or vocational schools.
Social Security is an earned benefit, we pay into it throughout our working lives on the promise the funds will be available when we need them. This doesn't stop Republicans (and too many Democrats) from attacking it and wanting to reduce the benefit any chance they get. I will fight to expand social security benefits to include long-term care and ensure the funding is protected with legislation.
I fully support expanding Medicare For All to include Dental, Mental, Vision and Hearing treatments for all Americans for free at the point of treatment. Included in this plan is also a spending cap for prescription drugs of no more than $200 a year. Medicare For All, while seeming expensive, actually saves money when compared to our current system and allows the cost of healthcare to go to the providers themselves. Cutting out the for-profit middle-man and implementing a single payer system will give negotiation leverage which will help reduce costs further.
We are speeding towards a point of no return and have to decide if we want to take drastic action now or desperate action later. The Green New Deal will ensure America's prominence in the 21st century economy and create millions of jobs across the country. Arizona is well suited to benefit from expanded renewable energy sources and I will fight to make us the solar capital of the world.
Payday & Title Loans, Check Cashing, and even traditional banks have predatory practices which hurt undeserved consumers. I will fight to bring back postal banking to expand on the post office's mission to support the residents of the United States. Types of Postal banking services can include no-fee checking & savings accounts, no-fee ATMs in every branch, electronic bill payments and money orders.
I fully support a woman's right to choose what happens to, on, or in her body. This includes any medical procedures up to and including terminating a pregnancy. However I do believe once a fetus becomes viable outside the womb, the pregnancy should be brought to term unless the health of the mother is at risk. I support and will fight for legislation as well as a constitutional amendment to ensure these protections are secured.
I will fight for establishing a federal minimum wage which ensures all who work full time are able to afford a base standard of living. The wage must also be indexed to inflation.
Corporations have spent decades demeaning and busting unions across the country, This has led to a prejudice against unions which has permeated across the country to this day. This weakens unions ability to raise funds and organize on behalf of their workers. I fully support unions and will fight against right to work legislation.
A rank choice voting system has the voter designate an order their vote should apply in. This allows the voter the ability to vote FOR someone rather than simply against another candidate. Rank choice voting will help dissolve the two-party system of politics we currently face.
I cannot properly convey the level of disdain I have for the private, profit-driven prison system and how the corporations have often lobbied against criminal justice reform in states across the country. I will lead the fight to end all private prisons and commodification of prisoners including the exorbitant rates charged for calls, emails or video conferencing prisoners and their families are forced to pay in order to keep in communication.
Our criminal justice system is exactly what it is called, criminal. The war on drugs disproportionately targeted minority populations and forced severe mandatory sentencing even for non-violent offences. These sentences led to an explosion of the prison population which is often sought after by for-profit prison companies as well as manufacturers who wish to make their products at severely reduced wages. I will fight to end the war on drugs, including decriminalizing all drugs and legalizing cannabis. I also support the review and remediation of sentences for non-violent offenders across the country.
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