Who am I?
Professionally, I work for a union. I'm an advocate for employees in arbitration cases who find themselves in situations that can often result in life-changing consequences. Whether these consequences are the result of the employee’s own doing or are the result of factors outside of their control, my responsibility is to provide representation for each employee to ensure that they receive the best possible result.
Another important part of my job involves negotiations. As such, I assess the law and the facts of a given situation, review the circumstances surrounding an issue and then develop proposals. Following that, I engage in bargaining, negotiate compromises and ultimately work toward a solution to the issue at hand.
I have worked for the same union since 1996 representing employees before Federal government agencies. In one case, my work resulted in a change to Federal law – a change that benefited the employee I represented as well as subsequent employees in the same situation.
I am a hard worker. I also love my job.
On a personal level, I am a native of Syracuse, New York. I grew up in a middle-class family. My father was a Teamster. I have two siblings, one of whom passed away at age 21 of cancer. I am married to a wonderful woman, a union member herself, who has a terrific daughter. I am very proud to be her step-dad.
I am a graduate of Onondaga Community College, and I earned a bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York (SUNY), College at Oswego. In 1992, I graduated from The University of Akron School of Law. During my third year at Akron, I was elected Student Bar Association president. A few years later, I earned a LL.M. (Legal Masters) from Georgetown University in Washington, DC.
Before law school, I worked in radio, where, among numerous other positions, I was the voice of the Fulton High School Red Raiders football team in 1988. I also like to bowl. I currently bowl on a team with my Campaign Chair and two Vice Chairs on Sunday nights in Murrieta. I have also served as my Homeowners’ Association president since 2006.
In January 2013, I was elected as the Democratic State Central Committee AD 67 Executive Board Representative. I am also a member of the Executive Board of the Democratic Club of Southwest Riverside County. I was the Club’s 2012 Volunteer of the Year – I was humbled by the honor.
Why am I running?
I am running because Congress is broken. I recognize that our country’s founders did not design the institution to work efficiently – it is not supposed to be easy to turn a bill into a law. Yet, they did not intend that the House would work as it has under Mr. Boehner, especially the part where the Republicans force a government shutdown because they opposed a law already on the books.
In short, the Republicans have gone too far – their unwillingness to work with Democrats for the common good is unparalleled in our country’s history. From their refusal to move in an expedited manner to ensure that the government did not go into default, to their excessive and meaningless votes to defund the Affordable Care Act, they have actively worked to stop the government from doing its job.
Given my background, and the fact that the current member of Congress from the 42nd District is the ultimate back-bencher whose 20 years in Congress has produced minimal results, I have decided to run for Congress. I am more than just a fresh voice with a fresh perspective – I am someone who has demonstrated that I can work with others to resolve issues, as I do in my job every day.
Stated differently, I am uniquely well suited to serve in Congress because my experience is one of working with others who take a completely different position than mine and ultimately resolving the issue. The most serious problem with Congress today is that many of those serving, especially those elected in 2010, are unable and unwilling to engage in the give-and- take necessary to forge a compromise to achieve a result – a situation that the current member of Congress supports with unwavering consistency despite his many years of experience. He should know better.
Citizens voting in 2014, including a majority of the Republican electorate, will be voting to end the gridlock – people simply do not have confidence in Congress and they want it to work better. The candidate with the best chance to win will be the one who has demonstrated that they are willing, and have the ability, to work with both parties to deal with the issues facing the country. My career has been the perfect preparation for this.
This is especially true in California’s 42nd, a plus-10 Republican district where a Democrat must attract votes from both sides to win. I will take my goals and values to Washington, but I will also take the ability to work with those holding positions different than mine.
When Democrats take control of the House in 2015, we cannot act as the Republicans have acted since they took control in 2011; we must work toward solutions to the serious challenges that are facing the country, in a bipartisan manner. I am running because I have the ability, experience and expertise to do this. It is what the country needs.
Of the most important policy goals for our county, the following are my top priorities: I am committed to creating jobs by supporting infrastructure repair, environmental protection and the continued development of green technology. I am also committed to implementing comprehensive immigration reform, including a sensible road to citizenship for those who are undocumented. Finally, I am committed to restoring the Voting Rights Act and guaranteeing voting rights to all Americans.
My DFA Values
My campaign slogan is “People First.” This reflects my philosophy of how a successful society should function. Government is the essential backbone, guaranteeing protection and equal opportunity for every individual. When I am elected, in addition to what I have outlined above, I will:
• Support and work to improve public education for all children;
• Protect Social Security benefits for seniors and those entitled to the program.
• Acknowledge and provide appropriate responses to the causes of significant climate changes in climate in order to reverse the damage to our earth, atmosphere and water;
• Support legislation to ensure that workers and especially those in the military earn a fair and appropriate wage.
• Support measures to ensure that military personnel and their families get the benefits to which they are entitled as quickly and efficiently as possible.
• Gather the necessary resources to address traffic issues in California’s 42nd district;
• Support measures to ensure that the Affordable Care Act works as it was intended through the necessary fine-tuning of the legislation necessary to achieve the goal;
• Support a woman’s right to make her own decisions about health care, including her reproductive health;
• Support appropriate regulation of banking and other financial services industries;
• Support legislation to regulate and limit the practice of hydraulic fracturing with the goal of eventually eliminating it;
• Support technological and medical research without litmus tests;
• Ensure that college students have reasonable access to a higher education through appropriate regulation of student loan programs;
• Ensure that fair and equal laws include LGBT persons.
My Campaign is People Powered!
A congressional campaign may be won either by flooding the media with money and deceptive messages or by recruiting committed local leaders and teams to work for electoral victory. I have chosen the second way.
Within a few weeks of beginning my campaign, I reached out and secured the commitment of many of our local Democratic and progressive leaders. Those include a former chair of the Riverside County Democratic Party; the chair of the San Diego County Democratic Party; numerous members of the current Riverside County Democratic Central Committee, three of whom serve as Vice Chairs of their Assembly Districts (60th, 67th, and 75th); current presidents of several Democratic Clubs within Riverside County; a former Congressional candidate and numerous other distinguished Democrats and progressives whose achievements have extended through the decades.
Some of the individuals who I reached out to also agreed to help me to turn California's 42nd Congressional District blue, including all three of the RCDCC Vice Chairs. Although officially we are known as "Committee to Elect Tim Sheridan To Congress," together we have designated the group "The Team," and each individual has his/her own page on the campaign's website with their headshot, biography and and a second picture of their family or another important part of their lives. The campaign's theme is "People first." People first has to start with people power - hence the reason that in addition to me, you will also see "The Team" on our website. We plan to continue to build "The Team" throughout the campaign.
We have also reached out to the progressive grassroots through social media. I have joined a progressive group on Facebook, and we have been actively engaging progressive individuals on Twitter. We plan to continue to build our campaign on social media.
Finally, my intention is to continue to speak honestly about the issues that so deeply affect Americans, to secure the endorsement of leaders of multiple genres, and to steadily gain my constituents’ support so that I may effectively represent them in Congress.