The Issues

VOTING RIGHTS

I will ensure voting rights for all people and equal access to the ballot box in Black communities. There are many contributing factors that curtail voting rights and equal access. Some originate from polling hours, lack of transportation, false information, scare tactics, etc. There are allies addressing these issues. However, I would enact legislation to simply augment these widely known issues with the following:

  1. Since there is a history of voters electing politicians that do not act in the best interests of their constituents, I would fiscally ensure that voter education is taught in K-12 public schools at the appropriate levels.
  2. Vote pandering, social manipulation, political alliances, captivating rags-to-riches stories, and gerrymandering should be removed from elections.
  3. Historically, the candidates with the most funds generally win elections. I would enact legislation to limit total public facing campaign expenditure to 10% of the average income of that particular state.
  4. I would enact legislation to prohibit ranked voting because it is mathematically flawed.
  5. I would advocate for ALL candidates having free access and resources to conduct debates, commercials, town halls, and programming on local public access channels.
THE BUDGET

I will improve the level of transparency, accountability and performance evaluation of the budget process and investments. The budget process and allocated funds for federal expenditures are legislative. I would ensure that it is easier for citizens to navigate the FOIA request process for transparency. Furthermore, our social security fund management and benefit calculations are not transparent. I would ensure that these are made accessible to the public.

MINIMUM WAGE

The median per capita income of Black residents was just $34,911 in 2019 and likely lower in 2022 due to the COVID-19 pandemic) – 45% of white residents. A single headed household in our county cannot be self-sufficient working a full-time $15 per hour minimum wage job. I will establish a living wage that enables ALL families to thrive without being required to work multiple jobs for survival wages. I would enact legislation that ends racial divides in America by enacting legislation that fully integrates all underrepresented ethnicities into the economy.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

I will ensure that businesses owned by ALL residents expand, excel, and increase high-end retail and grocery stores while balancing the needs of the small but unique business owners who are struggling to survive. I would enact legislation to incentivize businesses that receive taxpayer dollars to become diverse businesses based on the current census.

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

I will advance expansion of access for youth, young adults, working parents and returning citizens to 21st century skills and job opportunities. I would enact legislation to identify regions of the area that are economically deprived. Then, turn these regions into opportunity zones by incentivizing both national and global manufacturers and corporations to open operations in those particular regions.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

I will work to rapidly increase affordable housing that reduces the proportion of income ALL residents pay for housing and allow them to age in place and in the State. The housing disparities have three causes: Generation wealth, lack of opportunity, and redlining. Many Black retirees are forced to sell their homes to take care of themselves. Also, many of their children are compelled to leave their hometowns just to find employment. I would enact legislation to protect retirement insecurity, create opportunity zones, and prohibit redlining.

LACK OF LEARNING

I will work to improve academic outcomes for all vocational schools to gain lost ground for ALL students and create a model standard for underserved communities around the country. I would ensure that states establish and enforce learning standards. I would commission experts to perform oversight and incentivize success. However, I would prohibit the use of standardized testing as the primary or significant factor in closing a school, firing a teacher, or making any other high-stakes decisions. Standardized testing has no proven benefit to our children’s education. Standardized tests contribute to segregation, as they have been shown to include racial biases. I would also require that charter schools comply with the same transparency and accountability requirements as public schools.

ENVIRONMENT

I will enact legislation to codify environmental justice and grant federal agencies the power to address environmental justice through agency actions and permitting decisions. I will work to strengthen legal protections against environmental injustice for communities of color, low-income communities, and Indigenous communities. 

I will enact legislation that prohibits the use of toxic “forever chemicals” called PFAS in the manufacture of fire fighter protective gear and clothing. PFAS is linked to kidney, testicular, prostate, breast, liver, and ovarian cancers, among other diseases. More than 66% of textiles generated in a year end up in landfills, according to 2018 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data. 

TEACHER STAFFING

I will creatively incentivize qualified teachers to remain and attract new teachers with competitive salaries. I would better allocate federal funds to decrease disparities in resources between schools in high-income and low-income school districts, ensuring access to a high-quality K-12 education for all children. Additionally, funds will be distributed within states in a way that combats the educational disadvantages of living underrepresented areas and school districts with histories of waste, fraud, and abuse. I will advocate states to pay teachers more and enact legislation to create avenues for federal funding of competitive teacher salaries.

K-12 SAFETY AND SECURITY

All local law enforcement departments should create and exercise tactical strategies to quickly respond and neutralize any possible threat to students. I would commission a group of experts to aid and assists schools in establishing security and lock-down protocols. 

SCHOOL OVERCROWDING

I will fiscally work to decrease the gap between low income, low achieving schools and high income, high achieving schools by providing the funding, trained teachers, and resources required to increase economic mobility for construction, expansion, and repurposing underutilized schools.  

NUTRITION & FOOD SECURITY

I will ensure that free higher-quality meals are available to all students in schools. I will enact legislation that ends hunger and all forms of food insecurity. I  will either expand eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also commonly known as food stamps) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or create a new program. I will work with Congress to ensure that the benefits of the program are redeemable by vouchers. I will further enact that private citizens, civic organizations, and corporations may purchase vouchers to distribute locally. This solves most problems associated with food insecurities. 

CRIME

I will mitigate ALL root causes and socio-economic contributing factors of crime. I will commission a team of experts to determine if crime is a mental disorder. We will treat crime as a bi-product of multigenerational economic deprivation and moral destitution. This team would also explore what is working for other cities in the DMV making them walkable at night. 

HEALTHCARE ACCESS

Here are the top three disparities in health outcomes for Black residents that should be addressed immediately (including racism): 

  1. Low-income citizens workers are forced to work more than one unskilled job leads to increased depression, stress, and raises both physical and mental health risks. 
  2. African-American are more likely to die early from high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. 
  3. I will commission a group to experts to define racism. 

To address these disparities, I will commission a team of experts to determine if racism should be classified as a mental disorder, then identify and mitigate racial practices in all public institutions, departments, and hospitals.  I will improve access and reduce the cost of preventive and restorative healthcare – especially for seniors as well as those with lower incomes or no health insurance. I will enact legislation that creates a single payer/”Medicare for All” health insurance system. The single payer model allows for the government to bring down the cost of care and share risk. 

I will ensure quality professional and support staff (Physicians, RN’s, LPN’s, Patient Care Technicians, Customer Supports) are well-educated, incentivized, and entrenched in the communities where they live. I will work closely with the Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) and the 71 medical boards within the United States, its territories, and the District of Columbia to institute national standards and provide grants for healthcare workers to practice in rural and underserved communities.  I will enact and support any possible legislation that upholds the Constitutional Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

I will reverse the decline in the mental health of Black youth and the high rate of youth suicide. I will enact legislation that will compel all major healthcare providers to provide 24/7/365 telehealth services for mental crisis management, “voice of reason” therapy, and relationship counseling.

COVID-19 PREVENTION

I will ensure a quick response, continuity of County operations, and equitable healthcare for ALL residents during future outbreaks. I will advocate for investments that would increase usage of COVID-19 prevention and protection resources in Black communities. Due to the urgency, healthcare equity is an issue that we cannot get wrong. I will commission a group of medical experts with deep scientific and public health backgrounds to develop evidence and science-based policies to improve the health and well-being of all people. 

DRUGS

I will reduce the use and impacts of marijuana, opioids, and other drugs in “our” communities. I will enact legislation to federally decriminalize marijuana and ensure that the Department of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) regulates the cannabis industry. Also, I would commission experts to mitigate the root causes that trigger mental health challenges that lead to opioid use. I would advocate that state and local municipalities set up safe consumption sites (SCSs) allow medical professionals to respond to overdoses and engage participants in medical and behavioral health services. 

RACISM AND DISENFRANCHISEMENT

I will ensure the community’s most vulnerable citizens are not at risk of socio-economic, educational, and housing disenfranchisement (seniors, people with cognitive, physical, and mental disabilities, and other challenges). I would establish a commission to quantify both poverty and minimum living standards for each particular state. This will be the first step to adequately expanding the anti-poverty program and providing states guidance for legislating living wages. 

I will encourage residents to be good stewards of “our” communities to address and support current priorities and new initiatives. I will enact an Equity Bill similar to the one that I proposed to members of Congress back in 2017:  

https://www.slideshare.net/ElihuEl/equity-bill-template 

TAX PRIORITIZATION AND ALIGNMENT

I will address long-standing tax-based funding, “not in my backyard” mindsets, and other community and individual barriers to equitable planning and growth while considering different ideologies, behaviors, laws {current}, and ethics. 

Ideologies 

Figure 1

 Source: Retrieved from https://prezi.com/vy4uqumn3z4x/political-ideologies/ 

 

There are many ideologies of who, where, when, why, and how economic and wealth is distributed within the United States. An author of women’s empowerment literature, Sadhana Thakur, defines ideology as,  

“Ideologies are the sets of basic beliefs about the political, economic, social, and cultural affairs held by the majority of people within as society. (Thakur, 2016)” 

 

There are a lot of questions surrounding who gets what resources. For example, the majority or dominant culture in America believes that women are better nurturing of children than men. This belief leads to discretionary decisions by family court judges to presume that mother’s should be granted primary custody of children and not the fathers in cases involving child custody. The issue of who gets custody may hinge upon laws. However, most laws are enacted based on beliefs and political ideologies. Here is the political ideology, 

“A set of related beliefs about political theory and policy held by an individual, group of individuals, or a particular social class. (Thakur, 2016)” 

 

Unfortunately, racism is an ideology that unfairly impacts the socio-economic wellbeing of many people throughout the world. From a journal article the covers the factors that contribute to American racism, (Feder, 2020) Steven O. Roberts writes,  

“Racism is a system of advantage based on race. It is a hierarchy. It is a pandemic. Racism is so deeply embedded within U.S. minds and U.S. society that it is virtually impossible to escape. (Feder, 2020)” 

 

Behaviors 

Figure 2 

 

Behavioral economics or Rational choice theory is based on the concept that there are economic consequences for individual actions.  There are financial literacy courses taught all over the world. The goal of financial literacy is to better ensure that behaviors and practices lead to positive economic outcomes in person finances. Most people feel good by having access to money in their bank accounts. We use money for purchasing food, gas, clothes, and some items that are unnecessary; However, there is anxiety, stress, and even depression when there is no money in bank accounts or people experience financial debt. All of us are products of our environments and experiences. Likes, dislikes, and ideologies are all products of external stimuli, but we make our behavior based on both external and internal stimuli (beliefs). As indicated by the above graphic, decisions to save, spend, share, or invest contribute to both macro and microeconomics. All decisions we make establish our behavior. Creating a budget and healthy money management often provides households economic benefits. Comfort and peace-of-mind are incentives for changing behavior to be economically sound in the form of disposable income. Extra cash is good; No cash is bad. 

 

Laws 

Figure 3 

Source: Retrieved from https://feldman.law/news/7-things-to-know-about-wrongful-termination/ 

 

Most people have goals of achieving and/or maintaining a certain quality-of-life. The World Health Organization defines quality-of-life as,  

“…an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards, and concerns. (WHO, 2012)” 

 

Based on this definition, quality-of-life is subjective and not objective. Some factors that contribute to our quality-of-life are food, clothing, shelter, and even relationships. People consider themselves financially or economically advantaged when there is ample money to enable access to food, clothing, shelter, and relationships. The most popular method of being economically sound to better in America is being employed within the workforce. People may spend many years and enormous amounts of money to earn viable incomes within the labor market. To achieve economic stability through income, employment is the only option for most Americans. Some people spend the majority of their lives preparing for that dream job. Indeed, defines dream job as, 

“A dream job is a position that combines an activity, skill, or passion with a moneymaking opportunity. Dream jobs can be exciting and glamorous like acting or playing music, or they can be prestigious and high-paying like working as a doctor or lawyer. (Indeed, 2021)” 

Here is a list of several elements of the typical dream job (Indeed, 2021): 

  • They are engaging: Dream jobs keep you engaged and challenged.
  • They help others: Dream jobs help others directly or indirectly. 
  • They use your talents: Dream jobs use your specific talents and skills. 
  • They include excellent colleagues: Dream jobs have supportive, capable, and kind coworkers. 
  • They maintain a positive workspace: Dream jobs have an upbeat and transparent company culture. 
  • They offer work-life balance: Dream jobs understand the value of and support maintaining a solid work-life balance. 

An unplanned or ill-prepared termination of employment can be financially and emotionally devastating. Most state laws allow for employers to apply liberal discretion to terminate the employment of employees without cause or reason. This is called at-will termination or right-to-work. For instance, “California’s Labor Code contains a presumption that employees are employed at will. This means that either the employer or the employee may terminate employment at any time, with or without cause or prior notice.” (McDonald, 2017)  With employers having this form of discretion, racial disparities in economic outcomes exist. An NIH report addressing the meaning of the phrase Last Hired, First Fired reads, 

“Studies have tested the claim that Blacks are the last hired during periods of economic growth and the first fired in recessions by examining the movement of relative unemployment rates over the business cycle…The unemployment rate among blacks in the United States has been roughly double that of whites for several decades. In the period from 1972 to 2004, the average rate of unemployment was 12.4% for Black males versus 5.4% for Whites. (Couch & Fairlie, 2010)” 

 

Figure 4 

Note: This chart reflects consistent unemployment disparities by year. Retrieved May 29, 2022, from https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20111005.htm 

 

Ethics 

Figure 5 

Source: Retrieved from https://www.scu.edu/mobi/resources–tools/blog-posts/ethics-in-life-and-business/ethics-in-life-and-business.html 

 

Have you ever been in a situation where doing something was legally right, but immoral to do? Unless explicitly expressed, doing the ‘right’ thing is highly subjective. Most of us have handed a few dollars to people less fortunate. 

All American citizens are required to pay taxes. There is a social responsibility on the government to ensure a quantified non-ambiguous minimum standard of living for all citizens is established and implemented. Based on key arguments and discovery presented in the paper, it is the government responsible to work to mitigate all root causes of poverty, economic insecurity, and dysfunctional behavior. I conclude that we must elect political leaders who are capable of and desire to solve problems in our economy. Economic legislation MUST guarantee equity for all and be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound (Boogaard, 2021). 

Sources: 

Thakur, Sadhana. (2016, June 30). Political Ideas in Contemporary World. Centrum Press 

Feder, Sandra. (2020, June 9). Stanford psychologist identifies seven factors that contribute to American racism. Stanford University. Retrieved from https://news.stanford.edu/2020/06/09/seven-factors-contributing-american-racism/ 

World Health Organization. (2012, Mar. 1). The World Health Organization Quality of Life (WHOQOL). World Health Organization. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/tools/whoqol 

Indeed Editorial Team. (2021, Feb. 22). 25 Dream Jobs with Salary Info. Indeed. Retrieved from https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/dream-jobs 

McDonald, James. (2017, Mar. 7). Employment at Will: What It Really Means in California. Society for Human Resource Management. Retrieved from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/state-and-local-updates/pages/employment-at-will-in-california.aspx 

U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics. (2011, Oct. 5). Unemployment rates by race and ethnicity, 2010. U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20111005.htm 

Boogaard, Kat. (2021, Dec. 26). How to write SMART goals . Atlassian. Retrieved from https://www.atlassian.com/blog/productivity/how-to-write-smart-goals 

Couch, Kenneth; Fairlie, Robert. (2010, Feb. 1). Last Hired, First Fired? Black-White Unemployment and The Business Cycle. Demography. 2010;47(1):227-247. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1353%2Fdem.0.0086 

ENDING HUNGER

I am the only candidate bringing solutions to the table.  For instance, I can end hunger during his first term.   I will enact a bill to either expand eligibility of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, also commonly known as food stamps) and Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) or create a new program.   

Congress will ensure that the benefits of the program are redeemable by vouchers.   I plan to further enact that private citizens, civic organizations, and corporations may purchase vouchers to distribute locally.  This solves most problems associated with food insecurities.  Yes, I am an analytical person and problem-solver of socially wicked issues.

ENDING VIOLENCE AND DEVIANT BEHAVIOR

As long as “our” people are primarily being harmed, there is little reaction.  The stakes are too high not to declare war on violent crime.  I will enact legislation to regulate the internet similar to the current regulation of television and telecommunications. Regulation of the internet is needed to moderate the spread of dysfunctional and deviant behavior that ultimately leads to dehumanization and violence desensitization. 

We are all products of our exposures and experiences. There are many factors that contribute to people being desensitized to any respect for humanity. In regard to gun safety, radio and internet content should be rated similar to movies and TV shows by enacting an Internet Safety Act. The lure of dysfunctional culture can be regulated. Study this video:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94zTrkr5_xY 

Internet Safety Act: 

https://www.c-span.org/video/?516637-1/house-hearing-internet-safety

COURT SYSTEM

Our US federal court system job does a poor job at defining and serving victims and citizens filing as plaintiffs. I will enact legislation that addresses complexities associated with consumer and environmental crime victimization. Federal lawsuits by filed victims are far too expensive for regular folks to receive justice. By voting for me, we can end hundreds of years of legalized victimization.

IMMIGRATION

I am a humanitarian and human dignity has no borders. I will solve our border crisis by addressing the root causes that compel immigrant refugees and asylum seekers to risk their lives to travel from their homelands in the first doggone place. Also, I will enact legislation equipping U.S. diplomats with the tools to find common ground with countries around the world.