On The Issues
Get to know the man behind the movement, his life,
what he stands for, and what his plans are for our country!
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Welcome

Welcome everyone. I am seeking the democratic nomination for U.S. Senate for Maryland. I have been both a Republican and Democrat and know firsthand what challenges face many families across Maryland and the nation.

Our national presence on the world stage has always been a reminder of the great value of the tenants of our democracy.

The exceptional cost paid by so many before us reminds us of the price of freedom. Ours is a many faceted shared experience and it demonstrates what makes our nation such an exceptional collection of people. We are taught to regard the whole human species as one family, and what we know is that these shared experiences are what binds us.

From coast to coast, black, white, Latino, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, those born in the United States and our cherished immigrant brothers and sisters, we all have many of the same dreams and that is what galvanizes us into a nation that has been the greatest country in human history.

It is this fundamental diversity that dates to the founding of the nation that continues to demonstrate why we are exceptional. But, we are at a crossroads Brothers and Sisters and some would present to you a very different narrative. The narrative that these differences should divide us.

The inherited wealth of this nation has defined and elected their new standard bearer, his marching orders are well defined by actions, words, suspicion, and insults. This is not a new narrative in the tradecraft of oligarchies. This is not a new idea in the pursuit of hegemony and the ever-growing corporate state. But, the iron law of democracy always persists where the reflexive nature of bigotry attempts to hide. We as a nation have always been about big ideas.

The establishment political structure of career politicians is not getting the job done. You know it, I know it, and they know it! It is time! It is time to look within our own communities for the solutions that will make our democracy work for all of us, not the just the powerful few. Maryland deserves better and the nation has always been better than that.

We need new ground engaged leadership that understands that the pain of inequality can be severe.  That catchy political promises that do not translate into solutions for the working family are completely useless.

We must not passively accept from our so-called leader’s those things we know to be wrong. Wrong for our families, wrong for our nation and counter to all our closely held beliefs. It is time to come together and breathe new life into so many of these stale ideas. It is time for families everywhere to ask the question “How do we get the change we need?”. It is time to insist on policies that help grow the middle class and address the erosion of our collective ability to do better.  It is time.

We must not stand by while those things we know to be wrong are done in our name and our countries name.

I am running for the United States Senate because like many of you, I am concerned. I am very concerned about the behavior of our elected officials. I am concerned that still, there is little being done for the middle class and for families struggling to make ends meet.

This includes the lack of a real visible response from our elected officials in both parties about systemic problems of inequality, social injustice and false narratives presented as political facts! Some of these escalating injustices have real-world impacts that we have not seen addressed. This includes persistent income inequality, unemployment, insane costs of college, poor job growth, an assault on national healthcare and the right to pursue the American dream against an ever-growing and increasingly powerful corporate state.

I am running for the United States Senate to represent the great state of Maryland because like many of you I refuse to retreat from the belief that we are better than this.

We can change these policies because they are ours to change.

We must do a better job working together for the future of our children and grandchildren.

We will control the politics and policies in our communities and it is long overdue.

We can. We must. We will.

I am not a career politician, I am a career American. Crafted in the street of hard knocks and like many of you, I am looking for common sense change that we can see implemented in our communities now.  I am asking for your support to change our collective future.  To take your message and concerns to Washington. We have a plan and we need you, your financial support, volunteers, your help getting everyone to the polls and above all things, we need your prayers.

God bless you, your family, and this nation of ours that has been great from its founding and greater because of each of you! Lets go!

The Corporate State and Wealth Inequality in the United States

Within the United States, there has always been a drive for profits. It is as old as the nation and viewed coast to coast as part of the American dream. The US is clearly the land of opportunity and much can be said about the indomitable spirit of Americas to innovate and develop businesses. The current state of the nation is that the powerful and wealthy have become generationally brilliant at making money.

The richest members of the Forbes 400 wealthiest families have soared to $81 Billion in 2016.

Source: https://inequality.org/facts/wealth-inequality/

Corporations are systems that often grow over time in their effectiveness and efficiency. Simply put, for them to survive and thrive in the countries supply and demand market they must always innovate their ability to sell more for less. How this impacts you and your family depends on which part of the equation you are on.
If you are wealthy, you have mastered the process of acquiring and keeping capital. This is clear when considered for those making $10 million or more, their salaries only make up 15% of their income. Where is the rest from? 25% is from owning a part of a business, 15 to 20 % from dividends earned on stock they own or from or from interest from large savings. This is many of the 10.8 million (yes million) of the nations millionaires make and grow their money.

If you are not wealthy, you are often trading labor hours for a salary. When labor (or income) is compared to the year over year increase in returns for capital it is easier to see where some of the problem is. Simply put labor is not doing as well as corporate profits.

Source: http://www.aei.org/publication/labor-better-vs-capital-might-not-be-good-news/

So with all that said, how does this impact you and your family? This impacts you in some important ways.

First: Labor grow has not improved with the growth of profits. This is a reality.

Second: Americans are doing a lot more work, producing a lot more output and giving their companies a great ability to resell the products and services they create. Essentially, you are working harder and doing more every year, your company is utilizing that labor to increasingly turn a profit, but they are not compensating the workforce for this increase in productivity! Compensation is not keeping up with productivity.

Okay, there is another important mechanism at work that directly impacts how you and your family experience the economy. The vast majority of Americans are not able to save much. On average the working class saves about 5%, so they put about 95% of what they make back into the market when they buy products and services. These transactions support the hiring of employees.

When the top 10% control 90% of the wealth what do THEY do with all that money? They put it into things that employ very few people.

You see the problem here. 40% of the wealth of the wealthy simply sit in accounts. That money is effectively removed from the market that can directly benefit the working class. So the more that the wealthy make, the more they put their money into things that need fewer employees to manage that wealth. This is having a devastating effect on the middle class.

The very important bottom line

So with everything covered above, there is a very important bottom line.

This is the way that you and your family experience your purchasing power.

If you have said to yourself “It seems like my money does not go as far” that is because it does not. There is a mountain of economic a play but if you compare the increase of income (normal growth) to what that money can buy (real growth adjust for purchasing power) there is a shocking reality.

Source: https://www.advisorperspectives.com/dshort/updates/2015/09/23/median-household-income-growth-deflating-the-american-dream

It is easy to see how this has changed over time. Simply search for “Inflation adjusted” homes, college, utilities etc. What you will find is the cost of things you buy and pay for and how those costs have been going through the roof!

Source: http://www.aboutinflation.com/inflation-adjusted-charts/us-index-sectors-inflation-adjusted-charts/dow-jones-utilities-inflation-adjusted-chart

So when you compare the inflation-adjusted cost of the major things you pay for compared to the inflation-adjusted incomes for the middles class you can see the intense crisis that exists and will likely get a lot worse.

 

National Security

This time we want to talk about the men and women of every color and creed who serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud flag. And when innocents in Bosnia and Darfur are slaughtered, that is a stain on our collective conscience. That is why I intend to personally pursue this outcome with all the patience that the task requires.

Now don’t get me wrong. But I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less – because we cannot meet twenty-first century challenges with a twentieth century bureaucracy. They have affiliates in many countries and are trying to expand their reach. There need not be contradiction between development and tradition.

It’s that folks are hungry for change – they’re hungry for something new. The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer. It’s a story with a simple truth: that violence is a dead end. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy.

They stood on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, as the blows of billy clubs rained down. It is where our union grows stronger. We are a better country than this. Because we reject the same thing that people of all faiths reject: the killing of innocent men, women, and children. Finally, I want to discuss economic development and opportunity.

I believe we can provide jobs to the jobless, homes to the homeless, and reclaim young people in cities across America from violence and despair. We have to do what we can, knowing it’s hard and not swinging from a naive idealism to a bitter defeatism – but rather, accepting the fact that we’re not going to solve every problem overnight, but we can still make a difference. Not with an economy to fix and cities to rebuild and farms to save. When one nation pursues a nuclear weapon, the risk of nuclear attack rises for all nations.

Thank you very much everybody.

Jobs

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

When incomes are adjusted for inflation, they have been flat for decades. Our current policies are not making an impact on the continued erosion of the middle class, and doing almost nothing for the working and struggling poor. We will build an enterprise within Maryland that helps develop and grow the entrepreneurial spirit within Maryland.

We have seen the nation spend billions and trillions on things that few will ever see impact the lives and the lives of their families.

We will make the building of an enterprise of innovators and entrepreneurs a foundation of our work. This will bring business leaders to the table. To see the vision of this highly qualified workforce contribute to innovation and new company growth spurred on by the funding and resources to see new business ideas established and flourishing within Maryland.

Our innovation hub brings together business leaders, financiers, and cutting-edge thinkers to develop a business environment second to none. This will include the talent and resources to propel Maryland and its innovative business and business ideas into the future.

This will increase the jobs in Maryland, draw new industry interest into Maryland and work to expand well established and successful businesses already growing in Maryland.

This will be a state-wide business outreach of the innovation hub to “Train, Innovation, and Win”. We know the future of Maryland will be on our collective ability to find and fund those big ideas that are the future of innovative business. We know our state is full of talented people, existing business superstars, and future business leaders. We know if we empower them to drive innovation, they will grow into companies leading the industry and employing many Marylanders.

The Innovation Hub is new and represents our vision for the future of Maryland and Maryland business to drive jobs by investing in our best and brightest! We are excited about your business ideas, your current business and know your success is our collective future! Let’s get there together!

A Stronger Voice

A stronger voice. A stronger fighter for you and your family.

The presidency of Barack Obama ushered in a dynamic that the nation was excited for and had been many decades in the making.

Almost immediately the fault lines between the old and new were well established. Regrettably, in both parties, there is a highly established Political Industrial Complex. The PIC attacks things that challenge the status quo on both sides. We all know that we are better than this.

As President Obama advanced the mandate he was charged with from support well demonstrated by two landslide elections, the opposition parties develop insurgent positions, extreme tactics and an assault on norms, decorum, civil discourse and American tradition that the nation had long considered to have evolved beyond. This aberrant behavior developed into the global spectacle of what our lesser angels look like, sound like and do.

Most of the nation felt then and now our leadership failed to take the fight to them, failed to draw a line in the sand and failed to make it clear that this was not acceptable in our America.

Above all things, failed to meet the perfidy and wholesale assault on our cherished democracy with the solutions that address this tired call to retreat to an era that lacked social inheritance for most and masked in shifts and pivots of willful ignorance and amnesia to the truth.

We know better, and we know we should do better. Our leadership needs to be considerably stronger fighting for you and your family.

Stronger in fighting to ensure your voice is heard and above all things, stronger at winning for you! You and your family need new strong leadership to ensure you and your family experiences are presented in the white house and you need strong leaders that are fighters ready for the next chapters in continued struggle for social equality and all. The midterms represent the needed turning point to begin to get the nation back on track for progress and Maryland needs fighters in the white house fighting and defending the future of Maryland.

Education

 

 

 

Source: https://www.cbpp.org/sites/default/files/styles/downsample150to92/public/atoms/files/8-15-16sfp-f8.png?itok=ZTmqr8P7

This really tells a very important part of the American story. In a nutshell few things impact the generational growth of individuals and family income growth greater than an education. When the growth of the cost of college increases on the levels that have been seen over the last 30 years, this impacts who can go to college and how those costs can and cannot be absorbed by the individual or that family. This is a very critical issue. For many from poor families, this is the way out of poverty. For the middle class, this can be the way to improve their ability to compete for jobs and grow.

Which brings us to a critical cost: college. When compared to inflation-adjusted incomes (almost flat) college costs have become astoundingly expensive. 400% what they were 30 years ago.

Our solution addresses these critical areas:

Free college for the STEM disciplines. We are looking at expanding to all majors, but this will be the starting point. This would include housing and meals. We need to put the most disadvantaged in a position that college is achievable for all those that want it. We need to start looking at college as an investment in the long-term success of our citizens, their families, our communities and our state. These college programs would partner with industry to ensure we are training to the long-term required staffing goals and ensure that the ability to pay for these programs is funded by the exceedingly flush corporate superstructures.
Innovation HUB. Establish expansive private/public coalitions between industry, finance and market leaders to create a series of programs to develop ideas into thriving innovative Maryland based companies. Create a dynamic environment that entrepreneurs can engage with teams of talented and innovative business leaders. This investment in the ideas and the early stages of development ensure that as these companies develop the jobs also grow. This is a program marketed throughout the country to attract the best and brightest to Maryland and grow the talent that is already here.
Maryland has a large retired military population. The incubator will also be marketed to this critically valuable talent pool. They possess extensive skills and experiences invaluable in the creation and management of innovative businesses.
Veteran Services. Maryland also has a very large veteran community. We propose the creation of a Veteran Exchanges and Commissaries. This would provide an important community of those that have served an opportunity to get access to very reasonable goods. We would expand the homeless outreach program for full accountability of every single homeless veteran.

Innovation

At various stages in the campaign, some commentators have deemed me either “too black” or “not black enough.” We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church? And I confess that if all that I knew of Reverend Wright were the snippets of those sermons that have run in an endless loop on the television and You Tube, or if Trinity United Church of Christ conformed to the caricatures being peddled by some commentators, there is no doubt that I would react in much the same way And next week, we’ll also hear about those occasions when he’s broken with his party as evidence that he can deliver the change that we need. We seek no military bases there. But this much is clear: governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Among some Muslims, there is a disturbing tendency to measure one’s own faith by the rejection of another’s.

Hope in the face of difficulty. Because whether it’s poverty or racism, the uninsured or the unemployed, war or peace, the challenges we face today are not simply technical problems in search of the perfect ten-point plan. And then another one. Indeed, none of us should tolerate these extremists. This history is well known.

The hope of a young naval lieutenant bravely patrolling the Mekong Delta. That’s what compromise is about.

It wasn’t until after college, when I went to Chicago to work as a community organizer for a group of Christian churches, that I confronted my own spiritual dilemma. And if we can do that – if we can embrace a common destiny – then I believe we’ll not just help bring about a more hopeful day in America, we’ll not just be caring for our own souls, we’ll be doing God’s work here on Earth. America’s strong bonds with Israel are well known. But it was not violence that won full and equal rights.

King delivered his prayer for our country. I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. But that same principle must apply to Muslim perceptions of America.

Thank you very much everybody.

Domestic Policy Reform

More to do for the young woman in East St. And I’m glad to see that. He was nominally a Muslim since there were a number of Muslims in the village where he was born. It’s not consistent with our traditions of justice and fairness. It’s a promise I make to my daughters when I tuck them in at night, and a promise that you make to yours – a promise that has led immigrants to cross oceans and pioneers to travel west; a promise that led workers to picket lines, and women to reach for the ballot. Let me also address the issue of Iraq.

But it also comes from my own American story. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. We are the party of Roosevelt. They could’ve been told to succumb to the fear and frustration of so many dreams deferred. But I do have an unyielding belief that all people yearn for certain things: the ability to speak your mind and have a say in how you are governed; confidence in the rule of law and the equal administration of justice; government that is transparent and doesn’t steal from the people; the freedom to live as you choose. On science and technology, we will launch a new fund to support technological development in Muslim-majority countries, and to help transfer ideas to the marketplace so they can create jobs.

Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can’t teach our kids to learn – they know that parents have to teach, that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white. And we cannot ignore the very real concerns of Americans who are not worried about illegal immigration because they are racist or xenophobic, but because they fear it will result in lower wages when they’re already struggling to raise their families. I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in the hospital and to live lives free of discrimination. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them.

They cheered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial when Dr. But we also know that government initiatives are not enough. But it does find voice in the barbershop or around the kitchen table. He simply says to everyone in the room, “I am here because of Ashley.” That’s why I stand here tonight. Because next week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third.

This is a problem that’s brought together churches and synagogues and mosques and people of all faiths as part of a grassroots movement. These needs will be met only if we act boldly in the years ahead; and if we understand that the challenges we face are shared, and our failure to meet them will hurt us all.

Thank you.

Healthcare

“In a country as wealthy as ours, for us to have people who are going bankrupt because they can’t pay their medical bills–for my mother to die of cancer at the age of 53 and have to spend the last months of her life in the hospital room arguing with insurance companies because they’re saying that this may be a pre-existing condition and they don’t have to pay her treatment, there’s something fundamentally wrong about that.”

Barack Obama

Health Insurance has an impact on all Americans and represents challenges that directly affect all communities. With 10% of Maryland families living at or below the poverty level there continues to be a persistent issue with developing programs that are innovative and lead to real social change. Many of the most needed of us are also suffering from a lack of preventive care that leads to extraordinary medical expenses. This challenges how we view our entire community and how we prioritize our collective care.

Health Insurance for All

The current administration has made attacking the services that provided 20 million Americans health insurance a real issue by repealing critical components this life-saving policy. Our leaders have not done enough to meet this challenge and sadly have folded on fighting for the working class and struggling poor. Maryland will lead the country in the creation of a solution to the current health insurance shortfall. With the president’s platform to eliminate the individual mandate, this presents the greatest possibility of existing policies to see increases of 50% putting 150,000 of Marylanders at risk. We are better than this. Maryland will lead the nation in developing state solutions that combat this continued assault on the middle class and struggling poor.

Veterans

The Military members that have served their nation honorably have sometimes been exposed to extreme levels of combat and service-related strains. Persistent with these experiences has been an increasingly large number of veterans that continue to find the health care services in Maryland amongst the lowest rate in the country. This has been a persistent issue. Maryland ranks 49th in providing our veterans health care support and ranked 38th overall. With a large number of veterans and retirees that are located in Maryland, these critical statics mean that many of our most honorable citizens are having to accept some of the worst care in the country.

This persistent issue represents a huge shortfall of state leadership.

The first day in office we will ensure our veterans:

Medical care for our veterans is a top state priority. This will be addressed immediately. It is unacceptable that Maryland ranks 49th of all states providing medical care to our valued veterans. They served to ensure the safety of our nation and they deserve better.
Maryland implements programs that ensure Maryland is an ideal state to retire in. This includes no income tax for Military retirees. Combined with our innovation hub (that has programs specifically for our veterans) to develop innovative businesses that employ veterans and many Marylanders.
Military members of every branch live by the credo that no one is ever left behind. Our warrior programs take a complete accounting of every veteran in our state. This includes ensuring that the 500 or so homeless veterans are accounted for, in programs to ensure they are provided the services they need and no veteran is left without the care and support they need for a transition into the workforce.

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