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We are honored by the support our campaign to become the U.S. Representative to Congress in Arizona's 1st District received in our 2016 run and we have officially announced my candidacy for the 2018 race.
Just a few of the issues I will focus on for the 2018 Campaign....
* A Reformed MediCare for all. More comprehensive, publicly funded without out of pocket costs
* Protecting and Expanding Social Security
* Ending the endless wars...Supporting our great troops does not require sending them to war
* The reinvention of our entire education system....Including free access to college for all
* Instituting term limits....Sorry, But it is time to turn over the entire Congress and Senate
* People, Planet, Peace and LIBERTY First
Key points of our "Practical Progressive Plan for the People"
Protecting and Expanding Social Security
Right now a billionaire pays the same amount of money into Social Security as someone who makes $118,500 a year. That’s because there is a cap on taxable income that goes into the Social Security system. I would support legislation introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders to end this absurdity, by lifting this cap so that everyone who makes over $250,000 a year pays the same percentage of their income into Social Security as the middle class and working families. This would not only extend the solvency of Social Security for the next 50 years, but also bring in enough revenue to expand benefits by an average of $65 a month. It would also increase COLA's [cost of living adjustments] and lift more seniors out of poverty by increasing the minimum benefits paid to low income seniors.
Protecting Our Individual Energy and Property Rights
Many people in our mostly rural district are creating their own clean, nearly free sustainable energy. And they are under assault by their local county officials and "big Grid" money interest to be forced onto the public energy grid. We all need to come together to protect their rights by forcing changes in zoning laws to not only end the harassment of these pioneers but see them as leaders in a way we can live in the future without the burden of big grid energy prices and lack of security we have in relying on corporate energy.
Health Care as a Right
Establish a "Reformed Medicare for All” single payer [a more comprehensive, publicly funded without out of pocket costs] public health insurance program to provide everyone with quality healthcare, at huge savings for our system. This may require a small increase in what comes out of our paychecks for Medicare [currently about 3% between you and your employer], but I believe most citizens will gladly accept that in place of the expensive, useless programs they have been forced onto. It is time to quickly shift away from a system that is merely disease management that relies on synthetic drugs to only contain our illness and conditions. The first cancer this would eliminate is the cancer known as insurance companies that have corrupted our quality of healthcare. By doing so we will prioritize preventive health care.
Single Payer would expand Medicare to provide universal coverage, allow full consumer choice of physician and hospital, and expand prevent efforts. Single Payer would drastically lower domestic health care costs for consumers by eliminating overhead from the private insurance "middle man" bureaucracy, which pads medical costs up to 30%, and would set price controls as well as negotiate the cost of prescription medications. It would relieve employers of the burden of providing health benefits and reduce paperwork for medical professionals.
The answer is obvious. Health care must be recognized as a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman and child in our country should be able to access the health care they need regardless of their income. The only long term solution to America's health care crisis is a single payer national health care program.
For more information about Single Payer, see the FAQ page on the Physicians for a National Health Program web site.
A Green New Deal
I would like to keep the hope of the "Green New Deal" that the Green Party created and supported in 2016 alive. It would create millions of jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2035, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, and conservation. We would no longer have an unemployment problem in this country, we would have a labor shortage. Washington could improve our quality of life by releasing technology that is currently being kept from us. A clean and virtually free source of energy would eliminate most of our problems.
Creating Policies that Create Jobs
We have the ability to replace all unemployment offices with employment offices. While advancing workers rights to form unions, achieve workplace democracy, guarantee workers freedom of collective bargaining and keep a fair share of the wealth they create. We have done this before with the original New Deal during the depression. One way that we can accomplished this is with the "re-creation" of the CCC's, The Civilian Conservation Corps. I am proud to say my father was a proud part of the program in the early 40's, it changed the projection of his future and our family for generations and created so much of the infrastructure we still enjoy today in our National Forest and Parks. Enrollees planted nearly 3 billion trees to help reforest America, constructed trails, lodges and related facilities in more than 800 parks nationwide and upgraded most state parks, updated forest fire fighting methods, and built a network of service buildings and public roadways in remote areas. Let's fill the CCC program....not prisons!
End Absolute Poverty
Guarantee economic human rights, including access to food, water, housing, and utilities, with effective anti-poverty programs to ensure every American a life of dignity. We have a long ways to go but I will do everything in my power to move us towards aUniversal Basic Incomefor all. Better known as UBI. The sooner we put a UBI in place the sooner we can live as a civilized society. If we don't try to solve our problems with a collective sharing of wealth it will be decided with pitch forks. Which do you prefer?
Education as a Right
It's time to abolish student debt now and free a generation of Americans from debt servitude. Guarantee tuition free, world class public education from pre-school through university. We need to end high stakes standardized testing and public school privatization. Private and parochial schools have a place in our society but not when it takes funds away from our public schools. It has now become obvious that there is widespread low performance and frequent closings of failed charters in many states. And the competition from charter schools and vouchers hasn't improved ailing public schools at all. Instead, it has all weakened public schools by drawing funding away from them.
A Just Economy
Increasing the federal mandate on the minimum wage is long overdue. And it can be done in a way that is not anti-business. Which is how most business owners and entrepreneurs view this subject. We need leadership that will write the new legislation so that it focuses on the highest possible minimum wage possible while having exemptions for part time high school aged employees, small family businesses and training periods.
This is also easily affordable for businesses when you combine our "Reformed MediCare for All" into the equation, Taking the strain of the ridiculous high price of medical insurance that has been put squarely on the backs of the middle class and small business.
We can further create a just economy by making big corporations and the under taxed segment of our wealthy community finally pay their fair share of taxes. Let's make the playing field fair for local credit unions and public banks where they are needed, taking the box store monopoly out of our economy . It's also time to free up technology that is currently being kept from us to provide affordable and almost free energy for all of us. Replace corporate trade agreements with fair trade agreements, this will require a complete restructuring of the UN.
Protecting Our Environment
We need to take the lead with an all out assault to halt climate change. End destructive energy extraction: fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains, mountaintop removal, and uranium mines. Protect our public lands, water supplies, biological diversity, parks, and pollinators. Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe. Protect the rights of future generations. This may sound like an impossible task but I believe that technology is being kept from us that would make energy easily attainable to the average working people, ending our enslavement to high utility bills. "Big Utility" is doing everything it can to limit our rights to make our own solar energy and gather our own rain water. This is a basic right that needs to be protected. Not if, but when I get to Washington I will be providing office space for John Bolenbaugh. If you are not familiar with John's work follow him on Facebook, we need more warriors like John....Click here for John's Page.
Freedom and Equality
Expand equal rights in the work place, protect LGBT people from discrimination, defend indigenous rights and lands, and create a simple and legal welcoming path to citizenship for immigrants. Protect the free Internet, legalize marijuana/hemp, and treat substance abuse as a public health problem, not a criminal problem. Free internet includes removing obstacles created by the FCC [Federal Communications Commission] that keep our great technology companies from providing affordable internet access to Arizona's rural areas, especially the remote areas of our Tribal nations.
Justice for All
Restore our Constitutional rights, terminate unconstitutional surveillance and unwarranted spying, end persecution of government and media whistle blowers, abolish secret kill lists, and repeal indefinite detention without charge or trial.
Peace and Human Rights
Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. In the past I have supported cutting military spending by at least 50% and closing the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire.
I now propose closing hundreds of military bases abroad and bringing those troops and their resources home to rebuild our devastated and "sacrificed" communities. This would include communities like Flint Michigan [get the picture] and setting up portable medical and dental clinics throughout many forgotten areas like the great Indian Reservations in Northern Arizona's 1st District.
Let'stop the U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers, and take the lead on global nuclear disarmament. I am proud to say that I have teamed up with members of other parties and the military to endorse the "Call for Reform in U.S. Foreign Policy". Want to stop ISIS? Let's not create and arm them in the first place.
Protecting Voters Rights
We need to protect voters’ rights by establishing a constitutional right to vote...a legitimate vote. As progressives we have always encouraged making the path to voting as easy as possible, but it may be time for a different approach.
Strange that we can guarantee the transfer and recording of 100's of millions of stock investments purchases and sales daily but can't use the same type of system to guarantee an honest election. It's time for reform that break the big money stranglehold and create a truly representative democracy by creating public campaign financing, ranked choice voting, proportional representation, and open debates.
Everybody Get's a Seat at the Table
Unlike my opponents, I view our country and our world as one big tribe, one big family. So many of our problems in this world would disappear if we guaranteed every person on this planet a seat at the kitchen table. At the very minimum we should be able to make sure everybody eats, no questions asked. Everybody gets to eat. We should be ashamed of ourselves until we can accomplish that.
Ray Parrish for U.S. Representative to Congress in Arizona District One in 2018
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