Return the Votes to the People

As we head into spring and on toward Arizona’s summer, candidates, activists, and voters will be heating up for the summer primary and the fall election, which promise to be interesting.

Arizona can boast of being home to seven-million unique and diverse people including those from indigenous Native American tribes, Caucasians, Hispanics, Blacks, and others from across the US and around the globe making Arizona the state that celebrates the diversity of America while representing the pride of the Southwest.

When I began my run for Representative of #AZ08, I committed to running a clean campaign, meaning I accept no donations from corporate lobbyists or corporate political action committees with special agendas. I will continue to honor that commitment for the duration of my political career.

I believe all public elections should be publicly funded, to place America’s lawmaking back into the hands of the voting public. Publicly funded elections limit campaign donations to a certain amount, which would then be matched by public funds.
Publicly funded campaigns will the ensure that the laws sponsored and enacted are genuinely in the best interests of the people, whose voices have long-since been hushed, to play the game of ‘Voting for Dollars.’ Now is the time to stop playing games with our public elections and return the votes to the people.

Leveling the playing field in this manner would enhance our political leadership at all layers of government, opening our races more to people of color, veterans, members of the LGBT and disability communities, and other concerned citizens.

In concert with opening the election process to all Americans, I support HR 20, Government by The People Act of 2017, a resolution sponsored by Rep. John Sarbanes, D-MD, as I believe our elected officials should truly represent a cross-section of Americans from diverse backgrounds and neighborhoods. Since every-day Americans cannot afford to run for office and serve, the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens are often neglected.
For example, a growing number of Americans are aware of the devastating impact of private prisons, and that basing incarcerations on financial incentives violates our Constitution. This corrupt system unfairly targets people of color. While white and black Americans use illegal drugs at similar rates, black people are jailed on drug charges ten times more often than whites.

Due to lack of fair representation, the US has five percent of the world’s population and twenty-five percent of the world’s prisoners. We incarcerate as many people as China and Russia combined. This type of injustice will only be overcome when the votes affecting all citizens are made by fair representation of all citizens.

I support other measures, such as enacting automatic voter registration as a first step toward enhancing voter participation throughout our country. As winter retreats, I will continue to support policies which enable under-represented Americans to step into the limelight and help restore our nation to the democratic Republic our Constitution promised over 200 years ago.

“There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty, which makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism.” – Alexander Hamilton

As Arizona and #AZ08 elections heat up, look for more acts of bravery as every-day citizens like me fight to enable America’s every day heroes – working-class men and women, veterans, members of the disability and LGBT communities, and people of color, to run for office and serve their communities based on the honest support of their hard-working peers, and not special interest groups they carry in their back pockets.