Thank you for taking the time to learn more about the issues I find so important, and how I'm determined to help bring democracy back to Washington.
Legislative Reform"All legislators should have limits to their terms in office and also on the millions of dollars in profits from being in office."
The median net worth of members of the 113th Congress reported in 2012 was one-million dollars. The average age of members of the house is 57.8 years, and their average length of service is 9.4 years.
Experience is valuable in any field, and public service is no different. This means experience in the form of leadership, current events and connecting with your constituents. Over time as our representatives age in office they can lose touch with the people they represent due to a generational gap. All representatives should have a limit to the number of terms they can serve to prevent complacency and voter disconnect.
Our representatives have profited greatly during their careers in public service, and need caps on the amount of money they can accumulate during their time in office. Elected officials shouldn’t be receiving thousands of dollars in “speaking fees” for something they should otherwise be providing as a public service. Allowing our lawmakers to sponsor legislation that increases profits for companies in which they hold an ownership stake is a direct conflict of interest, and a corrupt tactic we can no longer allow in our Congress. How does it benefit America to have our elected officials focusing on their own bottom line?
Of our 441 House Representatives, 361 have held positions in public service and/or hold law degrees. Approximately 80% of the current house of representatives are white and 20.4% are women. Congressional lawyers and millionaires do not generally share the same interests as everyday Americans, and should not be the majority of our representation in congress. Only 30 percent of the population are white males, but 60-70% of our representatives fall into that group. "Professional Politicians" only account for 1% of our population, and yet they make up 50-60% of our Congress.
The average income for members of congress continues to rise while the median income of ordinary citizens continues to decline. This needs to stop, and changes need to be made now! As American citizens, your elected representatives should be working for you. It‘s been proven that the most efficient way to bring down corrupt politicians is by citizens working together. Once elected, I will endeavor to expose this unethical behavior wherever I find it, and together we can bring an end to their corrupt profiteering!
Electoral Reform“Billions of dollars are cryptographically secured with blockchain tech, so why are our elections as insecure as Equifax?“
As the 2016 Election played out, many issues were identified in relation to foreign manipulation of our electoral systems. Evidence has been presented, while facts have been glossed over and covered up. Either way, it’s obvious that our country is in trouble if any of the allegations are even plausible.
Cryptographically Secured Voting
Our current representation lacks a fundamental understanding of modern technology, and more importantly the dangers it presents to the core fabric of our society. Their ignorance has broken our country, diminished our electoral process, and ultimately left us more vulnerable than we've ever been at any other time in our history. The slow or non-existent response to current security threats posed by outside special interests and foreign entities has been deliberated for long enough. We should no longer sit idly by while this negligence continues to endanger our friends, families, and the fundamental freedoms we hold dear. We live in one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, and we need an election system with verifiable results and accountability. An election system where no single vote is tampered with or goes uncounted.
Over the past seven years an underground technological grassroots movement has been steadily growing, and the science behind this movement is the key to securing our electoral systems so that they are never compromised again. We have formulated a plan to rebuild our electoral foundation using a proven technology that will provide an unprecedented level of transparency, accountability, and accessibility for ALL of our people. I want to take that plan to Washington and work with our representatives to make it a reality.
Election Day Holiday and Media Blackout
“The right to vote needs to be more of a right and less of a privilege in the United States.“
The first Tuesday after November 1 must be a federal work holiday. Voters must have the RIGHT to vote without risking their Jobs, Income or Safety. Additionally a moratorium on campaigning and media coverage should be observed for 3 days preceding election day.
Campaign Finance ReformOur current system of campaign finance is damaged beyond repair. Corporations and special interest groups are capable of financing entire elections pseudo-anonymously from both sides through the use of “Super PAC’s” and campaign committee funding loopholes. These rules allow for the buying and selling of representatives who are supposed to support the interests of the people. There is no accountability to be had when the influence of our leaders can be acquired by the highest bidder.
Blockchain Enabled Campaign Finance Systems
I feel that leading by example is the most effective way to start a movement. We are going to show the world how it SHOULD be done, and that it CAN be done, and that you DON'T have to make compromises on ethics or integrity to do it. To that end, our team is developing and implementing an innovative blockchain campaign finance platform. An open-source system that will provide bulletproof privacy for our donor data and real-time visibility into our campaign funding processes.
Instead of talking about how campaign finance needs to be reformed, we're actually doing it. What's more, we're laying the groundwork so that anyone else will be able to do it too!
HealthcareThe current administration significantly damaged our nation’s healthcare system last year. The United States is the 13th richest country in the world, but it remains the only high-income nation without universal healthcare. We need medical care that’s more efficient, and based on cures instead of prescriptions. We need a system that doesn’t facilitate price gouging; where all of our citizens are afforded access to first class medical care, regardless of their income level. Members of congress currently receive federal subsidies that cover 72 percent of their healthcare premiums. I believe it’s time congress was properly motivate to fix our broken system by having to pay the same high premiums for healthcare as the people they represent.
Funding for the Children’s Healthcare Insurance Program (CHIP), which insures nearly nine million children, was overlooked as Congress passed their $1.5M tax cut. Many CHIP recipients make too much money to receive Medicaid, but cannot afford commercial insurance. If Congress decides to defund the CHIP program, our states will be forced to roll back health coverage for millions of children. How many of our representatives would want their own children to go without medical care?
Healthcare and Prescription Drug Costs
Our current healthcare infrastructure is a complex network of private and government funded payers. The administrative costs for billing multiple insurers, and the shocking lack of price control for medical services and prescription drugs has only added to the complexity. It’s why we spend more on healthcare than most other countries, and still only rank 31st in the world in terms of life expectancy. Pharmaceutical companies spend an average of $200M a year lobbying our representatives; and as prescription drug costs continue to rise, they seem to be getting their money’s worth! Most pharmaceutical companies maintain 60-90% gross profit margins, while their executives benefit even more than the shareholders from the profiteering tactics they employ. Health insurance providers themselves are making similar gains off of hard working Americans! The top five for-profit insurance companies posted profits of over $4.5B in the first 3 months of 2017! As with most one-sided relationships, this system has become unmanageable; and the impact of its’ failure is being felt by people everywhere.
A Single Payer Answer
In a single payer system, one public agency takes responsibility for the financing of our healthcare needs, similar to the Medicare system that exists today. And while there are many who would like to see this type of system implemented; there isn’t really a consensus on the best way to get it done. In my personal experience, a solution usually becomes evident once you’ve analyzed the requirements: standardize the costs, streamline the administrative processes, and focus on providing healthcare coverage for everyone. To do those things we need elected officials who make decisions for their constituents instead of being swayed by campaign contributions from “Big Pharma”.
As your representative in Washington, I won’t accept donations from large corporations. I’ll work to find a healthcare solution that meets the needs of the people in District 10, and Americans everywhere. This is NOT an impossible fight!
Equality“All human beings, regardless of religion, sex, or skin color, possess the same natural rights and equal protections of the laws”
You shouldn’t need to be a lawyer to understand what your rights are! Regardless of race, age, nationality, gender, or identity; we all deserve the right to live our lives free of discrimination and hate. There should be no place in this great country for those who employ the tactics of fear and violence to repress or intimidate others. No one should have the authority to dictate an individual’s rights because of their differing beliefs or choices. While the discriminatory policies and practices of the current administration have certainly motivated many of us to stand up in 2017, there are many battles left to be fought on this front. Our basic equality and fundamental rights need to be secured by federal laws; or better yet, amended in our constitution. As it currently stands, many of those rights are only secured by executive orders and judicial rulings that could potentially be overturned.
Equality and freedom shouldn’t be overlooked as political buzzwords, they are rights bestowed on each of us by the founders of our nation. They’re core beliefs that my family members have given their lives to protect. The fundamental principles any true American should be willing to fight to preserve everyday of their lives. If elected, I promise to fight whenever necessary to ensure your fundamental rights to equality and freedom. Furthermore, I promise to advance every opportunity available to enact change in our system of government, so that those rights will be preserved under federal law.
Immigration“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..”
Many of us learned these words at a young age without understanding their true meaning. The sad irony that has always dampened the ignorance of “Nationalism” is that the majority of us are not native to America. Our country was founded by immigrants and their descendants, with a strong view on the importance of immigration. It’s why our great nation has always been considered the land of opportunity.
The annual percentage of immigration into the United States is 0.4%; versus Canada at 0.8% and Luxemburg at 2.9%. Unlike what the current administration would have you believe, we are not doomed to become a poor or crime-ridden country by allowing in more immigrants. In fact, data shows that the opposite is true. Undocumented immigrants pay more in taxes and fees than states actually spend on them for education or healthcare, and they are actually less likely to be incarcerated than legal citizens. Research shows that on average, large cities with substantial immigrant populations have lower crime rates than those with minimal immigrant populations. What’s more, immigrants have consistently improved our economy, as they have founded approximately 18% of all Fortune 500 companies.
There are nearly 800,000 DACA recipients who met the following guidelines to receive approval to go to school and work legally in the United States:
-An individual must have arrived in the US prior to turning 16, but be younger than 31 years old.
-They must also attending school, or have completed school; and must not have a criminal record.
The DACA program is almost entirely funded by its own application fees, and those who receive work permits through DACA must renew them every two years. Additionally, DACA recipients aren’t eligible for means-tested welfare or subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. We stand to lose an estimated $460 billion in GDP deporting contributing members of our community who are in fact benefiting our economy. The United States is the only home these dreamers have ever known, and there is absolutely no fiscal incentive for their removal. Allowing their deportation to continue unchecked would be an act of extreme cruelty, and entirely Un-American.
Sanctuary Cities, border walls, and the deportation of children are not sensible immigration policies. The United States, and especially Texas need a strong and sensible immigration program. When an immigrant arrives in our country and becomes a productive taxpayer, that immigrant should have a route to citizenship that’s both logical and achievable. If elected, I will work relentlessly until our system of immigration meets the standards envisioned by the founders of our nation.
EnvironmentIt’s known now that the earth’s temperature is rising. Storms and hurricanes are becoming more frequent, and increasing in their intensity. Ocean levels are rising as the polar ice caps continue to melt. Global climate change is likely the most dire issue any of us will face in the future, and one that our children and their children will be confronting long after we’re gone.
We live in a time when the effects of climate change should no longer be ignored by those of us with common sense enough to recognize what we’re seeing with our own eyes; much less the scientific evidence that exists everywhere. My family resides in the land-locked county of Bastrop (which I’ve heard referenced as the Bermuda Triangle of Texas). During the last seven years we’ve witnessed: four five-hundred year floods, countless droughts and large fires, a hurricane of epic proportions, and a catastrophe that went down in history as the largest uncontrolled wildfire in Texas. We’ve seen our neighbors lose their homes, rebuild, and then lose their homes again. And while there is no short term “fix” for these types of widespread disasters, there are common sense solutions that can help to slow their progression over the years to come.
Problems and Plans
Many of the environmental protections that had been put in place to address the climate crisis, were implemented by the executive branch under the Obama administration. The negligent, and arguably criminal actions of the current administration to repeal those protections have endangered every one of us. Through their own lack of response, our 115th Congress has been complicit in these crimes against humanity, and allowed this insanity to continue unchecked. Our country needs a legislative branch that will act now to address the climate related issues we’ve already encountered, and also those that lie ahead of us. We need sensible laws in place to help stabilize our ecosystems for the benefit of future generations.
If elected, I will bring the urgency of these truths to Washington where I’ll work with (or on) our representatives to address the reality of the climate crisis, and the ways by which we can make a difference for people right now.
Veterans“While many of our representatives gain wealth from public service, more and more of our veterans continue to become homeless. Why aren’t these individuals who fought for our freedoms getting the same great healthcare and fiscal appreciation?”
We should be fostering a culture in which these brave men and women are provided with mental and physical support when they need it most! It’s time we required our government to support those who have protected our country with the same 110% that these heroes have given during their service.
As often as our veterans are referenced as a political selling point, little has actually been done to really help with their post-deployment issues. We need systems in place to assist with their reintegration into society after deployment. They need healthcare that’s actually accessible, and without costs. There should also be services to facilitate transitional job training, and job placement for our vets when they return home.
Veteran: “Why can’t I come here for emergencies?”
VA Staff: “We’re an outpatient center, and offer walk in care. For emergencies you need to drive to the VA Hospital 80 miles away.”
Veteran: “But there is a hospital and Trauma center on the other side of your parking lot?”
Veterans Wife: “What if he has a heart attack?”
VA Staff: “You can try calling for approval to go to a closer hospital, if it's a real emergency like a stroke or heart attack; and then we might be able to approve payment for the cardiac center on the other side of our parking lot.”
This is a real conversation; and it’s what our heroes can expect after waiting 12-18 months to be enrolled, diagnosed and finally treated. It’s also what I’m fighting to change!! If a veteran is having a heart attack, the nearest critical care provider should treat them immediately (and without billing them). Any and all available medical services should be made completely accessible to our veterans regardless of where they are in our country!
Net Neutrality“Without net neutrality small businesses will be crushed by large companies who pay for priority access. Censorship will reign.”
Many of us in the 1990’s believed that our global communication network should be free of censorship by the federal government and corporations. The term “Net Neutrality” was coined in 2002 to describe the belief that internet service providers should allow equal access to all of the content and applications available on the global network. Net neutrality rules prevent internet providers from manipulating data speeds and accessibility to applications, websites, or content. This is how our global network has remained free of censorship and available to everyone for decades. Without a standard or regulation to be followed companies can pay ISP’s to deliver their content, or their political candidates message with priority over others. Yes, this means you can buy faster access for your corporate or political website and even pay to slow down your competition.
The beginning of Net Neutrality
In 2004, the FCC promoted the principle of “Network Freedom” without regulations, and attempted to enforce network neutrality guidelines. This was done despite rulings from the US Federal Court of Appeals that stated the FCC lacked the authority under Title I of the Communications Act to regulate internet service providers. In 2014, the DC Circuit Court ruled that the FCC could not enforce network neutrality rules if internet providers were not identified as "common carriers". This resulted in the FCC voting to apply a common carrier designation to the Internet, and gave them the authority to enforce network neutrality rules legitimately.
The end of Net Neutrality
The current Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai was formerly an attorney for Verizon. Recently he led the repeal of the (2015) FCC ruling, effectively paving the way for large corporations and politicians to utilize their resources to edge out the competition.
The Information Pay-to-Play Highway
The internet allows companies, individuals and politicians to transact intangible goods and spread their message. If we equate the internet with the US road system it is easy to see how important a free and open internet is to all Americans. Let’s say you need to drive or deliver goods from Texas to Florida. Under net neutrality you can choose the vehicle, delivery service, timing and other factors yourself and take whatever route you find is most optimized. Without net neutrality another individual or corporation can pay for priority access to the optimized route or pay to slow down your route. It is easy to see how this can jeopardize american small business and politics.
A large majority of our representatives have received donations from the telecom industry which indicates they are fully willing to trade money for legislation. I will not be accepting lobbying dollars from these organizations. I have advocated and fought for net neutrality since the 1990’s, and in Washington I will bring this same fight to congress on your behalf.
CybersecurityThe threats faced by our country are no longer limited to the traditional dangers our parents and grandparents encountered; such as bombs and land invasions. There's more than just the horrors we came to fear after 9/11, like terror attacks from the sky. Short of global destruction, America remains deeply vulnerable on fronts we take for granted every time we use a phone or computer, every time we shop or watch television. Our representatives have long neglected the growing threat of cyber assault that makes our everyday infrastructure vulnerable. They don’t understand the dangers, and certainly cannot provide any solutions. Our digital borders, power grids, electoral systems, and nuclear facilities must be brought up to current InfoSec standards as soon as possible.
Personal Data Protection
When you entrust your property to someone and they carelessly allow it to be stolen; that person is considered negligent, and civilly liable for the theft. Large corporations should be held to the same standards as everyone else, and made legally responsible for the personal data of each individual whose information they retain. If the confidential information of millions of Americans is stolen due to irresponsible data management; the people at fault should be held accountable, and not protected by our representation!
As an experienced IT professional I understand the risks we’re facing, and I’m determined to help implement smart safeguards to protect America and our democracy.