I am a husband and father of three, a former scientist, a military veteran, a journalist, and I'm running for Congress in District 12.
Before I go on, I want you to keep in mind one thing, "There can be another way." Where we are today is not good. Where we are going in the future, does not look good. And I want you to keep in mind, the two parties that we keep bouncing between are the two parties that have gotten us here.
Again, I'm only asking that you have an open mind toward believing that another way is possible.
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. My uncles and my two grandfathers both worked in the steel mills and I remember what happened to Pittsburgh when the steel mills closed. In fact we can still see those effects by looking at Cleveland and Detroit. But what's the difference between Pittsburgh today and economic conditions in Cleveland and Detroit? We brought in new industry, and we created a local industry that brought in middle-class jobs. This is the model we should be following: bring back a new industry inside the United States not shipping jobs overseas to embolden a middle-class economy.
As you'll read more about me you'll see that everything has a bottom line financially, and you'll see that I am very much in favor of equality and very much against inequality. You also see that I fully support accountability, including investigations into the past two presidential administrations.
And finally you will see that I am very much supportive of the environment and the impact of industries on the well-being of communities.
After high school, I joined the Army as an infantry paratrooper. I spent three years stationed at Ft. Bragg North Carolina and Ft. Kobe, Panama. It was during my overseas tour that I was trained to be a sniper.
After my time in the military, I wanted to go to college for criminology. Neither Penn State nor Pitt had a criminology program, so I double majored in psychology and sociology. By the time I finished those degrees, I discovered neuroscience and added my third major. I became fascinated by human thought and how our neural circuitry creates our perceptions of reality. For the next sixteen years, I would study those neural circuits at the University of Pittsburgh's neurobiology.
This was how I became interested in the Occupy Movement. After the bank bailouts, it was clear we had serious problems with the economy and how we prioritize our values. In 2008, I voted for Barack Obama, believing, as many believed, that he would actually bring the change that he campaigned on. That did not happen. There were no prosecutions of billionaire bankers despite the fact the housing bubble was a purposeful plan to make billions.
He added the ability to arrest an American without due process in the 2012 NDAA, signed on for at least another decade of combat in Afghanistan in November of 2013. He's put corporations ahead of the American public whether it's their food safety, tax loops or outsourcing jobs. The Trans-Pacific Partnership will continue to move jobs overseas, jobs that would provide middle class jobs and a stable tax base. These type of policies only benefit the wealthiest, not our communities.
I traveled the east coast to New York City, Chicago, Washington DC and Tampa. I interviewed and spoke with dozens, if not hundreds, of people on their perspectives of political atmosphere and social problems.
I didn’t just speak with Occupiers, but also Tea Party, Democrats and people in nearly every walk of life. I wanted to see what ideas others may have and how they perceived the world.
My journalism fed into my passion for the news and politics. Understanding where we are politically, why we are here and where we need to go, but after our government down turn to even worse policy measures, I decided that I could no longer simply write about these issues, I need to act on them.
I served my country once before, I will step up and serve it again. I will not sit back and allow this country to sink any further than it’s already gone.
I am running for District 12 Congress as a Green Party candidate. Although running as a third party candidate greatly handicaps my effort, I could not run as a candidate of the two parties that I view as the problem in our system.
I used to be a Democrat, but after several broken promises by Barack Obama, I started to look for something different. I realized the problem with the two parties is the money in politics that both parties are dependent on. It doesn't matter if a person has all the best intentions in the world when running for a political seat, the fact that each of those parties are dependent on big money dooms that candidate from ever executing what they promised.
In today's political environment, only big money wins. Once a candidate is nominated by one of the big two parties, their soul is sold. Ladies and gentlemen, that isn't democracy, that is a plutocracy. When the people are forced to elect the "Lesser of two evils" our democracy is dead.
This is why I refuse to run as a candidate of the Democrats or Republicans. I do not accept corporate money, nor does the Green Party allow me to accept corporate money if I wanted it. But this leaves open the question: how can I expect to win without big money if big money is the only way to win in politics today? This is where I'm relying on you. My campaign will have to be By The People, For The People.
You don't have to be forced to vote Republican or Democrat if that candidate doesn't fit your ideals as well as I do because what really matters is what ideals are championed. I hope voting for values and not parties is the future. We need politicians who take pride in solving problems and not creating them.
Above everything else, the pattern I want you to see in the way I tackle our social problems, is that I develop solutions that are positive for domestic economics.
I am pro-capitalism, but anti-corporatism. True capitalism would mean anyone with a good idea, initiative and the ability to work hard can start a business and be successful. Corporatism means gaining unfair advantages over small businesses, like paying employees so little they must be subsidized with welfare, or paying less taxes than small businesses.
I can not win this election alone. I am not a knight in shining armor, but you are. I will depend on you to help beat big money. To do this, it will have to be us working together. The people can band together for this one common cause, beat big money, and get the candidates that the people actually want into office.