Our Environment is Non-Partisan
Whether you are Republican, Democrat, or Independent, we share the same environment. Regardless of your ethinic, gender, religious, or class affiliations, we all want clean air, clean water, access to quality food, as well as safe and affordable housing. Preserving the planet we all live on should be a non-partisan issue. It’s time to stop career politicians from dividing us and start working together with qualified leaders to push common sense policies that protect our environment and ensure that future generations will flourish on this planet.
If we truly “trust in science”, let us recognize that the destruction of ocean fisheries, improper forest management, bee extinction, and massive contamination from agricultural and urban chemicals pose significant threats to our quality of life.
I've researched environmental remediation and improvement for almost two decades, including earning my Masters of Science in Environmental Policy. It is important that community leaders, as well as public officials become aware of knowledge including: Satoyama & permaculture; food growers' rights; first nation sovereignty in tribal seed exchanges; passive heating/cooling systems; or other solutions that are abundantly available to improve public health outcomes and boost our economy, while simultaneously improving our shared environment.
We need to incentivize, subsidize, and reduce taxes for working communities, not big business. This includes helping innovators build solutions that include Right to Repair, micropower, microgrids, backyard hydropower, DIY hybridization, microbial fuel cells [MFC], rainwater harvesting and catchment, vermicomposting, terra preta, subsistence farming, using biologic water and carbon sinks to abate droughts, polyculture husbandry, hydrogen generation, and 4th generation micro nuclear with a focus on tax deductions over grants.
We must protect global fisheries by penalizing those who abuse them, and work with foreign and domestic partners to incentivize artificial reef and forest creation. This will ensure that we keep the oceans healthy for generations to come. Indigenous cultures have been developing practices and techniques to protect and cultivate vibrant healthy lands for thousands of years and cannot be ignored. Our policies must be informed by the science that raises all of our standards of living and does not raise our cost of living.
Democracy is Fueled by Family Business
The largest employer in America is not Amazon, Walmart, or the US Government; it’s small businesses. With some 60 million people working for companies with less than 100 employees, small businesses and local family owned businesses are the lifeblood of this country.
Neighborhood innovators employ half of America, and contribute to a society that is not dependent on government assistance and stimulus packages that fuel inflation. Throughout the pandemic, over 1 third of small businesses have gone out of business due to government mandates, crime/destruction of property, and inflation.
Yet, the most systematically overlooked part of the economy has been our community businesses.
I have no doubt that our community storefronts, restaurants, and offices are standing in the way of a consortium of corporate developers. I lived through the destruction of my hometown growing up watching mom and pop family establishments like my family’s face skyrocketing insurance, targeted taxation, and finally eminent domain.
My bipartisan coalition will push for legislators to vote on policy that includes tax deductions for small local businesses and working communities. In addition, we need to improve awareness about HUBZones and work to increase subsidies for small business incubators. Finally, we must end all mandates and let small business owners make the best decisions for their own health and safety.
A strong middle class is a fundamental component of any free society. People who are struggling to keep the lights on don’t have time to focus on civil liberties and political freedoms. As the middle class shrinks, our dependency on the federal government increases.
America’s infrastructure is literally falling apart. This includes roads, bridges, highways, schools, and hospitals that haven’t been improved in decades. Not to mention, America has some of the lowest rated healthcare and education outcomes amongst industrialized nations. Is this the America you want to live in?
What we invest in will continue to grow. Right now your leaders have tunnel vision for investing in the Military Industrial Complex and Big Pharma. Will you ever get to see your tax dollars invested in initiatives that empower your community? That’s my focus.
Read My Lips: “No More Mandates”
Let me be clear, I am vaccinated. I am a Navy officer and have fully participated in the schedule of vaccinations required to us by our healthcare professionals. My wife, Elaine, is a 1st responder here in Seattle. Like any important family decision, we have done research and have consulted with professionals who we trust. I am confident that we have all the information we need to make an informed decision about the best choice for our family.
However, the best decision for my family may not be the best decision for yours. I recently spoke with a nursing student in Seattle who may be unable to complete the degree program she paid for. Her college administrators are refusing to allow her to complete her coursework because she has not been vaccinated for Covid 19. This young black woman has been working, saving up, studying, and fighting for the opportunity to go to a nursing school for over a decade. She was advised by her physician that taking the vaccine would not be the best option for her health due to private reasons I will not discuss. She is listening to the advice of her healthcare professionals. And now, she is facing discrimination because she trusts her healthcare professionals. Does her voice not also matter?
Healthcare should be based upon informed consent and transparency. We believe that people make the best choices when they are empowered with information and encouraged instead of being condemned and shamed. The truth is, what we’re being told is “the science” has changed several times over the course of the last 2 years. Of course, people will be skeptical when their leaders give them contradictory and inconsistent messaging.
As leaders and policy-makers, if we truly want to increase vaccination rates, we must stop creating messaging that is condescending and authoritarian. Mandates and policies that prevent citizens from having access to essential services and access to grocery stores, restaurants, and other public venues are draconian, unscientific, and un-American.
From our research, mandates actually cause more harm than good. Small businesses are suffering and families are losing their homes. Individuals and communities who have historically faced discrimination and becoming even more marginalized by these policies. Statistically speaking, Black/African Americans are one of the least vaccinated groups in the country.
Are we to ignore their legitimate concerns? Are we to accuse our brothers and sisters of being conspiracy theorists because they distrust a government that has historically discriminated against them. Let’s stop pretending like the messaging from OSHA, CDC, or even the White House has been consistent, clear, or concise.
We need more compassion and less condescension. This is not a narrative of struggle between “Pro-Science” and “Anti-Vaxxers.” This is a conversation about informed consent and democracy. There is always more than one solution to any problem, and each individual body has different needs. If people are investigating other solutions for their health, Democracy demands that we also let their voices be heard.
I am pro-science and anti-mandate.