Who am I?

I'm a 28 year old father of two children (Austin, 7 and Madison, 5), my wife and I of almost seven years separated late last summer, but we still live together for now and get along fine (in fact, she is among my biggest supporters in this campaign). In September, I wrapped up my four year education at Ashford University and have secured a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and Government as well as Minor Degrees in History and Public Administration.

Currently, I am a part-time cashier at a grocery store called "Giant Eagle", and have been impoverished for most of my existence. So, I can obviously empathize with the struggles of the downtrodden. Having said that, it is worth noting that I have developed a strong work ethic since my mother made me find a job working for McDonald's at the age of 15. Once I get settled in, I tend to be a loyal and hard worker. The relevance of this information will become obvious in a later section.

Finally, I have been politically active since the age of 18. I had eagerly anticipated exercising my right to vote since I was 16 and had to watch in horror as the 2000 election unfolded. During Bush's second term, I was an outspoken advocate for his impeachment and even made regular appeals to my city council to put pressure on Congress accordingly; which ultimately culminated in the members of council agreeing to consider my concerns in a committee meeting (wherein it went nowhere). In 2011, I helped launch a local "occupy" movement - called the "99% of Newark and East Central Ohio" - which is presently circulating an initiative petition to place a measure on the ballot in order to give the people of Newark a chance to chime in on the "money in politics" issue.

Why am I running?

Ever since I became fascinated with politics at the age of 16, I have dreamt about serving in elective office. After all, that's why I pursued a degree along the same lines. Originally, it was my goal to start small with local offices and working my way up the political ladder. However, recent political events have compelled me to throw my hat in the ring for the House of Representatives.

The catalysts? Well, the first issue which drove me to this point was the lack of congressional action in response to Newtown and other mass shooting events. Then, the government shutdown convinced me that the people are not in stable - let alone sane - hands. Most importantly, the lackluster - and unequal - growth of our economy has made it impossible for me to sit on the sidelines any longer.

I want to be a servant of the public. As mentioned in the previous section, I am a dedicated worker, and that tradition will continue in the halls of congress.

My Goals

The top three goals I have are as follows: 1) an adequate response to gun-violence, 2) addressing the issue of money's corruptive influence in our political system, and 3) the development of an economy which lifts up all and leaves no one behind.

Number One: Addressing Guns

It is with a willingness to reach across the aisle that I intend to fight for meaningful action to curb gun violence. I know, this seems like your typical load of you know what from a politician using vague language. However, I assure you that I know how to listen to and be considerate of opposing viewpoints whilst standing strong behind my own values.

Number Two: Money in Politics

My efforts to amend the Constitution to essentially undo the damage done by the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision have already been mentioned, and I would sponsor a proposed amendment in Congress. The inhibitive role played by money in our politics creates an uneven playing field, thereby undermining our democracy. If we don't deal with this issue first, then there is no hope of accomplishing anything else of substance.

Number Three: Strong and Equal Economy

Lastly, I feel the strongest about the need to see to it that our economy works for everyone. Truthfully, this is a multi-pronged issue which concerns education, labor law, tax law, and the safety net. Obviously, education is the most important and this issue must be dealt with as if society as a whole depends on the universal strength of our educational system.

Regarding labor law, I feel as though getting the minimum wage standard as close to a living wage as possible (like $10.10) - and then attaching such to inflation - would be a great start. This would be alongside a reform of our trade agreements which demands that any American doing business abroad must comply with federal labor and environmental standards so as to ensure that American laborers compete with foreign workers based on the quality of their work and nothing else. With respect to tax law, I favor a progressive tax rate, but I also believe that a healthy mixture of different taxes - including a national Value Added Tax - would help to restore balance to our budgets and promote an atmosphere of "shared sacrifice".

Finally, there's the safety net. I believe that the ridiculous cap on the payroll tax should be abolished, and that the age of retirement should be significantly lowered so that better jobs can be made available to younger Americans. Moreover, I'm a fierce advocate for Medicare for All, and will work tirelessly in seeing to it that such becomes a reality.

On each of these proposals, I will reach out to my constituents, my fellow members of Congress, and to the American people overall to spread the word and build support. Like FDR once said, we, the people, have to make the government act, and I intend on becoming a mouthpiece for the people's demands, needs, and interests.

My DFA Values

Allow me to address each of these values one at a time:

Community:

Above everything, I believe that humanity thrives when its sense of community is strong. Human history and basic anthropology studies show this to be true. When we become divided and think about society in a strictly "individualist" framing, the facts demonstrate that the few benefit at the expense of the many. In essence, that was the path which gave rise to the Gilded Age and set the foundation for the horrors of our Great Depression. I strongly feel that the unity of humankind is ultimately what's best for the future of our country, and our species.

Security:

One can define security in any number of ways. I tend to see security as being the product of stability. If you remove the causes of instability, or at least weaken those causes enough for them to not snowball into some terrible turn of events, then we all end up being more secure as a result. What this means is that better funded educational and economical programs targeted both at home and abroad are essential. We must work relentlessly to ensure that the people of the world are as close to content as humanly possible so as to diffuse tensions and promote peace.

Liberty:

Lastly, one key component to good government is to make sure that it gets out of the way when it is not serving a public good. Religious liberty is an inextricable piece of the puzzle here, as are the rights to a free press, free assembly, and the freedom to dissent. One must never feel that they will become an enemy of the state for any reason other than intentionally and maliciously violating the rights of others or displaying a disregard for the rule of law.

My Campaign is People Powered!

Since I just launched my campaign online in mid-December, I haven't had much of a chance - due to the holidays - to get out and meet too many people. However, I plan on using social media and in-person encounters to build support. Hopefully, I can raise the money and collect the sufficient number of signatures needed to get on the primary ballot, and then I will work day and night (when I'm not at my regular job) to get my message out.

Voice support


About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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