Ritchie for Congress
U.S. House in WA-08 in WA http://www.ritchieforcongress.com
275 NW 1st Place Issaquah, WA 98027
Primary Election Date: 2014-08-05 General Election Date: 2014-11-04
Who am I?
I’m a small business owner and family man – I live in Issaquah with my wife of 16 years, Amy and our two children Sam and Charlie. I’ve spent the past ten years building my own small business from scratch. With hands on experience creating jobs and a deep understanding of the struggle to get by that so many American families are experiencing, I am uniquely qualified to be the next member of Congress from Washington’s 8th Congressional District.
My business, HandiHabitats, is a labor of love that grew out of a dark time for my family. When my father had a stroke it turned my life upside down. I left off teaching history at community college to help my dad. While wading through the challenges of getting my father help, I undertook the task of remolding his home for accessibility. I loved the hands on work and the challenge of getting the project done, so I did it again. Since then the business has grown, helping people across the west coast from injured workers and veterans to others suffering from debilitating illness.
The experience of building and managing business that creates living wage American jobs and serves the public me a unique perspective which I will to bring to congress. When my opponent joined other extremists in shutting down the government and harming small businesses across the country - including my own – I felt an obligation to hold congress accountable and serve the public.
I am a lifelong democrat with a double major in History and Political Science at the University of Michigan. I later went back to school and received a Masters in History from Eastern Michigan working in a deli, driving a cab, and doing other jobs in order to make it through school. My education and experience as a history teacher and small business owner have convinced me of the need for compromise and effectiveness in our democracy. If elected I will do my part to bring pragmatism and progressivism back to Washington, DC.
Why am I running?
I am running for a simple reason - I believe in progress over partisanship. My opponent hurt my small business and others across the district and the country last year when he voted with tea-party republicans to shut down and sequester the government over their opposition to a single law. Somebody needs to hold him accountable – that’s why I’m running. We need a representative who is going to be a leader on issues the district believes in and my opponent has refused to be that leader. From voting for the shutdown to voting against equal pay he has shown himself to be out of touch and out of step with the district on a variety of issues. Enough is enough – we've had ten years of his ineffective and out of touch representation, we need to get him out.
My top three policy goals while in office are to see comprehensive immigration reform pass, fight every day to rebuild the American middle class and to see equal pay legislation moved forward. I've already fought for these values out of office - as a small business owner I work every day to create jobs and bolster our economy by paying a living wage to both men and women. I'm a strong advocate for immigration reform which will help undocumented workers and business interests alike while strengthening the American economy. I see immigration reform as a crucial component of improving the American economy along with needed infrastructure investments and other reforms. My number one priority is putting America back to work and ensuring we have the educational and infrastructure tools we need to compete globally in the 21st century. My support of this effort is based off of a simple idea - a vibrant middle class supports our social safety net and pays down our debts.
My DFA Values
DFA believes in community, security, and liberty - so do I.
I believe that we are all strengthened when our community is strong. It is because of this that I am a champion for education and opportunity for every person in this country - whether they are rich or poor, gay or straight, immigrant or not. If we're going to stop right-wing Republicans and big corporations from making a mockery of our political system we need to help each other and build a more equal society.
I believe that security goes beyond our borders and into our communities. We need to build international partnerships and we need to provide a secure economic future for everyone in our country. It will take new clean energy jobs to wean ourselves off of foreign oil. It will take a lot of hard work. It means rebuilding the middle class - infrastructure investment, labor involvement, job creation - these are key tenets of my beliefs and my campaign will focus on these issues. As we build the middle class we pay down our debts and enable ourselves to lower the social security age and give everyone an opportunity to be secure in their future.
I believe that liberty is a fundamental part of America and goes hand in hand with equality. Everyone deserves the right to live a life of peace without discrimination. Our government should not be warrantlessly wiretapping Americans and unlike my opponent I will oppose any such anti-liberty measures.
These are DFAs fundamental values - and they're mine too. If we want to have a secure community with liberty we need to work to provide opportunity and security both financial and otherwise to our citizens. In or out of office I will fight for this every day.
My Campaign is People Powered!
My campaign isn't going to win off of money. I'm not a Microsoft millionaire - I'm not the incumbent. My opponent has beaten campaigns that spent money willy-nilly in the past - it doesn't work.
What works is an aggressive, targeted operation that makes the most of limited resources. We have to win the battle in the field - our advantage needs to be in the organizing work done by our staff and volunteers. If I can't engage the grassroots I'll lose, as simple as that.
That is why my campaign and I are focused on engaging local activists and progressive groups and putting together a winning ground game. We've already started this process - I'm engaging PCOs, labor members, and other activists with an aggressive schedule that has me on the move across the district meeting with local leaders, community groups and potential volunteers across the district. I'm seeking and attaining endorsements from progressive groups across the state. My campaign manager has built an intern program throughout the district which will provide needed volunteer recruitment and management. We're currently putting together a schedule of coffees across the district which we will invite thousands of voters and community members to, giving them an opportunity to get to know the campaign in their community.