Who am I?
I am a retired teacher. I taught social studies (mostly government and economics) at Van Horn High School for just over 20 years.
I have always been an voracious and reflective reader, primarily non-fiction. As a result, I consider myself to be very well informed regarding the problems we face as a nation and painfully aware of how inaction on the part of our elected officials is making matters worse by failing to take positive actions to address these problems.
On the other hand, with regard to running for public office, I am a novice. I am working diligently to rapidly increase my knowledge level regarding the nuts and bolts of running a campaign, but I can use all the help I can get.
A final note - I am also a singer-songwriter, with a pretty good catalog of politically-themed songs.
Why am I running?
I was moved to run for office through a series of books that I have read the past few years. I have long been concerned about the threat posed by climate change, as well at the long-term negative effects of continued high levels of unemployment. Tens of millions of my fellow Americans are seeing the American Dream slip out of reach as the result of continued unemployment. As Elizabeth Kolbert's recent book makes clear, global warming poses an existential threat to the human race.
Paying able-bodied workers to sit idle in the face of this threat is madness. We need bold and immediate action to put the unemployed to work facilitating the development of clean, alternative sources of energy.
With a seat in the Missouri House, I can introduce and promote legislation to accomplish this important goal.
1) New Deal type jobs programs to put unemployed Missourians to work developing clean, alternative sources of energy and planting trees to reverse deforestation. (I started a not-for-profit - Workfare Incorporated - to accomplish this, but was unable to raise enough money to get it off the ground.)
2) A public option for health insurance. I have written about this topic, proposing a Federal Health Insurance Co-operative modeled on the FDIC for banks. As a member of the General Assembly, I would propose a state level version for Missouri.
3) Replace sales taxes with excise taxes to the greatest extent possible. Sales taxes are regressive. Excise taxes facilitate the utilization of the 'benefits-recieved" principle of taxation, with the money necessary to provide public services being paid by those who use the services. (For example, setting the tax on gasoline at a level that covers the cost of road construction and maintenance, as well as other costs associated with driving cars.)
My DFA Values
For quite some time now I have been concerned about the effects of greed on our nation. Wall Street, the big banks, and multi-national corporations, aided and abetted by the Republican Party and too many Blue Dog Democrats, have taken control of our government and turned it into a vehicle for moneyed interests.
We need to elect solid majorities in both houses of Congress and in state legislatures across the nation who will (in the words of the Preamble to the US Constitution) "promote the general welfare." We need to make government serve the common interest instead of corporate interests.
In reading the "Our Values" section here on your site, I can only say that the goals of my campaign are identical to your values. I want to be a part of a movement to see this great country of ours finally live up to the ideals upon which our nation was founded. The freedom and security of not just Americans, but of people around the world, will be enhanced and ensured if we succeed in this mission.
My Campaign is People Powered!
I have hosted events for MoveOn and other progressive organizations. I am a member of a great number of progressive organizations.
In the rotunda of the capital building in Jefferson City Missouri a great number of noble statements are printed in big gold letters. My favorite is "Ideas control the world." Sadly, the ideas controlling our government and the world right now are not the best ideas. I believe that the ideas and ideals I support and intend to promote are shared by progressive organizations throughout America and are demonstrably superiors to the regressive and hurtful agenda being pushed by the radical right wing of the Republican Party.
We need to elect solid progressive majorities to Congress and state legislature and get about the important business of making the world a better place and saving the human race.