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Growing up, we had a saying in our house: “a fair wind at our back is best”. Fair.  And at our backs. Today, that wind is neither fair nor at our backs.  I intend to change that, and I need your vote.

My name is John Nelson, and I’m going to make Congress work for us. I'm not a career politician.  I believe that governance is a service, not an opportunity.  I worked my way up from working for a $4 minimum wage in call centers, to working for an airline, and finally, a career as an attorney. I entered law school when I was 33, when everyone said I'd never succeed.  I know how to work hard to achieve the working-class goals that we share in Ventura County.  I believe in action, truth, and service.

I’m still not exactly sure how it happened, but my parents came from the bright red state of North Dakota with a set of ideals and beliefs they still follow to this day… beliefs they passed along to me. Weekends were spent marching for civil rights while I was pushed along in a stroller. My mom was the national director of the school lunch program and then the national director of WIC. To this day, she spends countless house every week doing community service. That’s the kind of progressive activism and work ethic I think we ought to have representing CD-26.  Her public service continues to inspire me every day.

We need someone in Washington who wants to make change – to see the future as something we own, instead of something we’re merely swept along with. My opponents, including Julia Brownley, are opposed to Medicare For All. The US spends the most money on healthcare in the world at $10,345 per person. What do we get? …The highest infant mortality rates in the industrialized world. The lowest life expectancies. The highest drug prices. Our healthcare system is in terminal condition. We can fix this.

All of my opponents are opposed to free college tuition… including Julia Brownley. None of them want to give young people the hope of a brighter future. They don’t know what it’s like to struggle today. They don’t know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. I do. They don’t know what it’s like to get a payday loan. I do. They don’t know what it’s like to have to decide between health insurance or putting a roof over your head. I do. They don’t know what it’s like to walk to work because you can’t afford the bus. But I do.  And every day, I’ll remember that a job in Congress isn’t about winning the next election.  It’s about making sure your kids never have to worry about things as basic as education, healthcare, housing, and transportation.  They’ve convinced us that these are “entitlements”.  So I ask you, what exactly is a human entitled to?  Because make no mistake: I see these as fundamental human rights, and certainly rights every American deserves.

Beyond fundamental needs we have today, what challenges we will face in the near future? Is oxygen an entitlement? They’d certainly have us believe that.  For every 1 degree of warming, California will lose $26B in GDP.  And long before then, farms will be moving north, completely devastating Ventura County’s agricultural sector. They don’t care about the future of the planet, its health, or the health of our children. They get paid now. They get elected now. And make no mistake, these challenges are in the near term. Before my kids graduate high-school, we’ll be facing them.  We need clean, renewable energy for the health of the planet and the health of our economy. Clean energy employs roughly 485K people in California. That is ten times the number of coal jobs in the entire country. And with the right leadership, we’ll see millions more jobs in the next decade.  These jobs can build a middle-class for generations, ensuring that our children won’t be asking for a payday loan every week, or struggling to make rent payments, or never being sure how to put food on a table.  We need an economy that works.  For all of us. All the time.

We need a safer world, in which we’re not gambling with the lives of children as we send them to school. We need to have common sense gun regulations in place to keep our children safe. But children should also not live each day in fear of their parents being detained by ICE while they’re at school. These are the realities in which our county’s children are living.  I’ve spoken with parents who wait by the door for their kids, and kids who wait by the door for their parents.  Talk about a human right – no 6-year-old should need to wait up until 10PM on a school night because they’re afraid that if they fall asleep they’ll never see their mother again.

I am 100% for keeping our country safe from foreign and domestic terrorism. But that safety should not extend to wiretapping Americans without a warrant. The 4th Amendment provides that protection for all Americans. Julia Brownley recently voted to strip that right from all of us. Kamala Harris didn’t vote to take that right from us, and neither did Ted Lieu, but Julia Brownley did. Along with Devin Nunes and Dianne Feinstein.  We can be hard on terrorism without sacrificing basic protections.

Universal Pre-K and Medicare-For-All are basic, fundamental goals we need to be fighting for.  We already have a great insurance system.  Medicare.  We just need to expand it to include everyone.  It’s on par with some of the top-rated medical systems in the world.  Why not build off of its successes, and shore up its weaknesses?  We cannot grow as a country when 11.3% of our citizens are one accident away from catastrophe.  It’s not only imprudent, it’s unethical.

With free tuition at public colleges and universities, our children could go to school without mountains of student debt burdening them for the rest of their lives. We could go back to school as adults, as I was fortunate enough to be able to do, and retrain for whatever the future brings our way.  By 2030, California will need 230K more nurses than applicants.  People need good jobs, and California needs educated people. Let’s bridge the gap.  And this isn’t a pipe dream – when I was born, California offered University degrees at no cost for residents.  None of my opponents support Universal Pre-K, or free higher-education… including Julia Brownley. Kids who have access to preschool have an advantage over kids who don’t. Period. Kids who don’t have access to preschool often never catch up to their peers.  Multiple studies have shown that these programs raise graduation rates, lower absenteeism, and are particularly powerful when English is not the child’s first language.  A recent study demonstrated 23% higher wages for children who attended Pre-K.  Don’t our kids deserve this?  Has equal education also become an entitlement?

I want everyone to have a chance to succeed. I want a Future for All, and not just for some. That’s a future without walls. I want a future for our kids to look back on and see that we cared. A future that gives them hope and dignity. A future that is bright and unlimited where everyone is helping each other succeed, because it's immoral to make people poor with our actions, as a government and as a people.

 

News

Sunday, November 5, 2017 11:13 AM

Republican Tax Bill Is A Disaster For Middle Class And Small Business

I will be honest with you. There are problems with our tax code. There are things that Republicans could have proposed in their tax plan that would have lots of bipartisan support. Did they do those things? No. They talked a lot of talk, but when it came to putting pen to paper, they caved to the 1 percent.

 


Tuesday, September 26, 2017 9:06 AM

Puerto Rico Needs Our Help

It has been almost a week since Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico as a category 4 storm, causing the worst devastation that the island has seen in 100 years. 

The 3.4M residents of the island are all US citizens, but it doesn't feel that way if we look to our President. Over the weekend, National Anthem protests at football games received the attention of President Trump, yet he did not tweet about Puerto Rico until Monday. In those Tweets? He reminded the people of PR that they owe a lot of money to Wall Street.

Why isn't Puerto Rico receiving more aid from our federal government? Why hasn't a disaster relief bill been signed, let alone introduced? What is our current Representative doing? Nothing is more important than helping all of our citizens, and it seems that PR has been forgotten. 

If this terrible tragedy was occurring in Ventura County, we would be in desperate need of

help, and our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico deserve the same.


Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:33 PM

70,000 Ventura County Children At Risk Because Of No CHIP Funding

CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program funding will expire September 30, 2017. If Congress fails to extend CHIP, about 1.1 million children in the program could lose coverage completely, according to a study for the Commonwealth Fund by George Washington University.

This is unacceptable. 36% of children in Ventura County rely on CHIP or Medi-Cal for their insurance. This means if CHIP funding is not extended, over 70,000 children in the county could be without insurance. Congress needs to act now and set aside partisan bickering to make sure the most vulnerable members of our society are protected.


Committee to Elect John Nelson
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