Daily Kos Community,
Last week I wrote about my policy positions on corruption and fiscal responsibility. In addition, I shared with you a speech that I delivered recently at a Democracy for America meeting. Today, I would like to tell you about myself and why I am running for Congress in Ohio's 12th U.S. Congressional District.
I was born and raised in Portsmouth, Ohio, which is on the Ohio River. Once a striving center of economic prosperity, it is now one of the poorest areas of the state and country. My mother, who instilled in me the values of hard work, family, faith, and sacrifice, raised me by herself. I have never met anyone stronger than her and I am thankful everyday for the sacrifices she made for me.
While my mother and I never had much, we had enough to comfortably enjoy life. However, because of Republican policies, the children of Portsmouth today do not have the same opportunities that I had not so many years ago. It is not only Portsmouth though that is feeling the effects of Republican leadership. The people of Ohio's 12th district, my home of seven years, are also feeling it through loss of jobs, paying more for necessary medicine, and sending their children to failing schools. This is not the American Dream that our ancestors risked their lives for; it is not the country my mom envisioned for me when she sacrificed to raise me alone. She, like most parents, sacrificed so that I would have a better life than her, so that she would someday have grandchildren who lived in a country that was better than she could ever envision.
The problem is that too often today Republicans describe the American Dream as a race to acquire mass amounts of wealth. As a result, they encourage each other and citizens of this country to acquire it without any thought to what it means to those they are hurting and to the future viability of this country. The truth of the matter is that the American Dream is not about material wealth, it is about making sure that everyone lives comfortably, has equal access to chase their dreams, and everyone working together for a common purpose, so that our children and grandchildren enjoy a country that is better place for them to live than when their parents and grandparents inherited it. In short, the American Dream is about constantly moving forward from our founding values and never accepting the status quo as the best we as a people can achieve.
I am running for the House of Representatives in Ohio's 12th Congressional District against Pat Tiberi because I believe in the greatness and potential of the people of my district and of the country. I am also running because I want the children of this country to have the same, if not better, opportunities as me. The truth is that I would not have been able to go to college and law school without help from the federal government. Today, the same programs that helped me (and Pat Tiberi) go to college are under assault from Republicans.
I cannot sit idly by and watch the Republicans destroy our education system. In addition, I cannot sit by and watch them destroy our environment, create economic stagnation, and treat our veterans without any respect once they are home. In short, I cannot sit idly by and watch Republicans destroy our values and our country.
In the speech I posted on here last week, I made a call for the citizens of this country to once again sacrifice for their country. We are, as Wesley Clark said, in this election fighting for the future of our democracy. While we must all vote, we must also fight for the preservation of our country. When I posted last week, I asked these questions, and I will ask them again.
Are you willing to sacrifice everything with me to fight for what is right and just?
Are you willing to stand with me so that we can carry our message to the citizens of the 12th district?
How many of you will devote all of your energy to ensuring that control of Congress is returned to the Democratic Party, the Shepard of our ideals?
How many of you want to leave this country better off than it was given to us?
How many of you have a gut instinct that is telling you that it is time to start fighting for this country?
How many of you know it is time for Democrats to stop letting Republicans set the table on issues of national security, education, and health care?
How many of you wonder what happened to the party of Wilson, Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, and Johnson? Men who would have rather died than cede one issue or thought to Republicans.
How many of you wonder what happened to the party that won World Wars 1 and 2, and gave us the greatest generation?
Do you covet the noble act of sacrifice? Do you covet honor?
We as Democrats point the finger at corrupt Republicans, but we will get no honor of our own until we stop serving ourselves and become the servants of justice, prosperity, and humanity. Our sense of justice, our basic humanity, and the opportunity for all to prosper in this country are on the line in this election. Just like our ancestors sacrificed their lives to bring their families to this country, just like my mom sacrificed to ensure that I had more opportunities than she had, and just like many leaders of the past sacrificed their lives for a cause more noble than themselves, we must fight the noble fight for the heart and soul of our country. If we do not fight now, if we do not reclaim our government now, than woe be to us, and woe be to the other nations of the world who have since the dawn of our existence viewed us as a beacon of hope and inspiration.
Please join with me and help ensure that Democrats win back control of Congress. This campaign and election is not about me, or any other candidate, it is about reclaiming our government from special interests and giving it back to the people. In short, we are fighting to make sure that a government of the people, by the people, for the people does not perish from this Earth.
I hope that this provided background on why I am a candidate in 2006. If you have any questions, please comment on this entry and I will try to respond to all posts to the best of my ability. In addition, later this week www.swordsforcongress.com will be up and functional.
Candidate for Congress
Ohio's 12th Congressional District