Making Congress Work Why am I, the most Progressive Democrat in the 7th District race, not running an anti-Trump campaign?
Simply put, because being a true Progressive means making progress.
As I tell constituents every day when I speak with them, I will not make progress on ANY of their priorities if I waste my time as a candidate complaining about Trump or Republicans in Congress.
When elected to the US House of Representatives, I will have 434 coworkers. On any given day, I need at LEAST 217 of them to agree with me on a piece of legislation for it to pass by just one vote. That’s the bare minimum and not a great standard for bipartisanship.
On any given issue, which of my fellow Representatives will agree with me on a bill is going to change, given the topic of the bill. If I waste a year of my campaign complaining about their Party leader, those Republican coworkers will have a year’s worth of my negative soundbites in their minds. They are not likely to want to work with me to develop new legislation, or vote with me on the bill at hand.
All the time, I hear from voters that they want Congress to WORK for them, not squabble amongst themselves. As anyone with coworkers knows, we must behave professionally in the workplace if we are to make progress on the work we’re supposed to do.
As time goes on, if I’m on cable news every evening criticizing my coworkers, they’re unlikely to wake up the next day wanting to collaborate with me on bills that are important to their constituents and mine.
Complaining is easy. Ranting can feel good. I get it. I used to be a Class A venter. I’d call my friends and say, ”I need to vent!” and launch into a tirade about issues of the day, whatever bad was going on in my life, etc. I’d vent and let off steam. I thought it made me feel better and helped me solve my problems.
It didn’t, and as I matured, I made a conscious decision to be a more thankful, positive, proactive person. I grew out of that complaining tendency. I recognized how little it served my emotional well-being, my relationships with others, or my productivity in work and life.
I am every bit as concerned as my competitors about the degradation of our social support system, environmental protections, respect for international norms of foreign policy, and most importantly, respect for our fellow Americans. So, I could complain about these problems every day.
But I am a Progressive Democrat. So, I speak instead in detail about my plans. I didn’t slap “Progressive” in front of my name and leave my platform littered with generic, moderate Democratic talking points.
Having worked in managed healthcare for 23 years, I know that the Public Option will fail Americans’ health and pocketbooks, and further bloat our federal debt. I advocate for a Single-Payer system as the most cost-efficient system for ensuring Americans get the CARE they need for their HEALTH. But I know how we can make progress shoring up the ACA as I negotiate with my fellow Representatives on how best to implement a single payer system. I recognize that the American way will need to differ from how other first world nations have addressed universal healthcare.
Instead of sending alarmist mailers scaring parents about gun violence in schools, without specific ideas of how to curb such violence, I have suggested that one way to curb gun violence would be to tax ammunition and use the revenue to invest in mental health services for children and adults. I mention the fact that HALF of the nation’s deaths by gunfire are suicides, which are rarely part of the gun violence discussion or news coverage.
These are just two examples of how my messaging as the MOST Progressive Democrat in the 7th District race reflects my values of honesty and empathy. I will represent EVERY constituent in the 7th District when I am elected, I am honest with Republicans about my opinions, and I am empathetic to theirs.
I will NEVER give up on my Progressive Democratic values. But I will behave in such a manner as enables me to make PROGRESS on the issues my constituents tell me are THEIR priorities.
That is the job of a Representative!