VA01 Side-by-Side Candidate Survey
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Cross-Grassroots Candidate Survey - Virginia District 1
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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http://santanaforcongress.com/http://www.suddarthforcongress.com/http://vangieforcongress.com/
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https://www.facebook.com/SantanaforCongress/https://www.facebook.com/SuddarthForCongresshttps://www.facebook.com/vangieforcongress
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I. Candidate profile, experience, leadership skills, and campaign strategy
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1.  Prior experience with public office or role in your community – prior attempts at public office; voting in past elections; elected office(s) held with years/terms served
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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Current occupation:
Operational Logistics Analyst
Current occupation:
Principal, Linden Tree Capital LLC
Current occupation:
Senior Project Control Principal/Strategic Planner for SAIC
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No prior experience with public office, community Big Brother, assistant chaplain in the Marines, youth basketball coach.
This is my first campaign. My bio is available at www.suddarthforcongress.com/about_johnDespite 25 plus years of solving some of our government’s most difficult problems, I have no previous elected experience.
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2. Your story what inspired you to run for office, why people should vote for you over other candidates
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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I left the Marines in September of 2016. After the 2016 Presidential election, I realized my public service wasn’t finished and I needed to do more to protect our democracy and freedoms. I filed my paperwork with the FEC on January 2, 2017, determined to represent the 1st Congressional District. I was not only motivated by the election of President Trump, but also the ongoing degradation of the values and institutions we hold dear. We have a real vacuum of leadership in this country and it’s especially evident in our president and also our do-nothing congressman, here in the 1st district. Our current Congress has been unremarkable and unwilling to take a stand on most issues. Locally, Representative Wittman is a rubber-stamp for this administration, who is unwilling to meet with his constituents or hear their stories and/or issues. I am the candidate for the future of the 1st Congressional district – I believe that I am the strongest candidate because I have the progressive vision, the integrity and the temperament to lead us all forward. I am someone who was inspired to serve our country early on. I am a West Point graduate who served as an Army artillery officer in Germany and in the Rapid Deployment Force. I have an MBA and a certificate in Public Management from Stanford University. I spent 25 years as a corporate executive running multi-national manufacturing companies. I know how the world works and I understand how our national policies on healthcare, education, and infrastructure hurt American workers for the benefit of special interests. Even as a busy corporate executive, I’ve always served my community, including being chairman of the local Habitat For Humanity, turning it around to sharply increase the number of houses built for our clients. My wife and I have been married for 33 years and have two grown sons educated in public schools. I am now at a point in my life where I can dedicate myself fulltime to public service. Deeply concerned about the direction our country is taking, and as a successful leader who understands complex issues, I’ve decided to devote myself to putting the country back on the right track. I feel that I’ve been called to action, and I am ready to serve.I come from a less-than-ideal background. I did not really know my father, and I often ended up living with relatives because of the effects addiction had on my mother. At one point around the age of 18 I was homeless. But despite how dark those times felt, I knew deep down inside that there were opportunities everywhere if I just worked hard enough and applied myself.

I fear those opportunities no longer exist. It doesn’t matter if you study hard, work even harder and play by the rules. The system is already rigged against average, middle-class citizens much less those who are coming from a disadvantaged background. My story shouldn’t be the exception to the rule; it should be the norm in our society.

As far as people voting for me over other candidates, I have the education. I have the most experience. And I know that I am the most qualified to represent the 1st District in Congress.
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3. What aspects of your experience will serve you best if elected? What are the most important qualities and leadership traits you bring to the campaign and the office you are seeking?
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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My experience as a Marine Corps officer and commitment to "Ductus Exemplo" (Lead by Example) is the cornerstone of my campaign and my service as Representative for the people of the 1st Congressional District. I am committed to my beliefs and values but I am also able to have a conversation with someone regardless of their political ideologies or background. In a ‘Red’ district, I believe that is a critical skill. The 1st District will know that their congressman is a leader, will be held accountable for his actions, and will always act with integrity. I am older and much more experienced than most candidates. I’ve succeeded in very difficult situations both here at home and in many different countries. I also a good understanding of how some of our policies hurt the well-being of Americans and the better solutions other countries have found. I also have always been a leader trusted to act in good faith, who has been a team builder seeking consensus and win-win solutions. I’ve been on the board of some contentious joint ventures where at first interests seemed to be at odds with one another.

By taking a calm, fact-based approach I’ve been able to identify common ground and get agreement on how to move forward. I’ve done this in the Army, as a corporate executive working with many different nationalities, and in the community working with non-profits. I have a unique skill-set and temperament which make me uniquely suited to help break the stalemate in Washington and get us back on the path to solutions and realizing America’s awesome potential for the sake of our children and grandchildren.
As a strategic planner, I solve problems for a living. In fact, I solve problems that others think are unsolvable. For example, when Space Shuttle Columbia went down in 2003, NASA tapped me to get the space flight program back on track (I was project manager for the Hubble Space Telescope battery pack project at the time). The reason I am chosen for these projects is because I bring people with differing views and goals together to find commonality and to achieve the desired outcome.

Already I have people from all parts of the political spectrum in my campaign. If I can get a conservative man from Callao, VA to support me, I know I can work those in my own party as well as with those across the aisle in the House to actually get things done for the people of the 1st District.
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4. How will you support whoever wins the Democratic primary?
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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I’ll take a page from Tom Perielllo’s book and give my full support to whomever wins the Primary in June. Not just in words, but boots on the ground volunteering. The 1st Congressional District is large and the more strong Dems sharing our message, the better. Absolutely.I have no intention of losing the primary. However, should that be the result, I will support the nominee in whatever way they ask.
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5. What is your prior experience connecting/working with grassroots groups? How would your campaign use grassroots help – besides canvassing and phonebanking?
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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My experience with grassroots organizing started with the Women’s March in January 2017. Two weeks after the Women’s March. I filed my intention to run for office, I joined 500K like minded women, men and children for the most galvanizing, inspiring day.My decision to run for office was emboldened and I quickly began a tour of all the Democratic and community action groups around the district. Meeting those groups, sharing their energy, and learning about the issues that drive them have been the best experiences of this campaign so far. Many of the groups have also expressed willingness to have post card writing parties to get our name out in a more personable manner. Grassroots groups are already a key part of this campaign – allowing us to speak and participate in their events, meet more constituents, work within the campaign, helping us spread the word, and giving us key insight and feedback. Not only have I learned more about the district, I’ve picked up important lessons in organizing, mobilizing and messaging. I’ve also marched in the Charlottesville to DC march after the white supremacist violence at UVA and returned to the Women’s March in DC this year to speak and renew my commitment to serve the people of the 1st Congressional District and bring bold progressive change. I’m beyond impressed at the people and groups I have met with over the last year. They are action-oriented, welcoming to all, strongly committed to their mission and their organization will be the key to flipping this district in November. I’ve been working with grassroots organizations for a long time. We try to fit the aspirations of the volunteer with the needs of the organization.I was part of King George Huddle from its formation and have enjoyed getting to know many different grassroots groups throughout the 1st District.

I am going to challenge grassroots groups in the 1st District to step up and be a part of my fundraising effort and be drivers of our coordinated social media message. I will also include members of grassroots organizations on my transition team to prepare for real constituent service in this district.
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II. Issues/Policy
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6. Do you consider yourself a progressive? Why?
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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Absolutely. Our platform, fundamentally, is built around a belief that the government should play a positive role in people's’ lives and that our institutions and our systems should be constructed in a way that benefits the many and not the few. And if they are not fulfilling that duty, they should be reformed immediately. Yes. I am for single payer, equal rights, investment in infrastructure and education, action on gun violence and climate change, and for making America a better place. I am against special interests dictating policy and truly believe in the idea of We the People. The honest, simple and unfortunately politically acceptable answer is that I am an independent-minded Democrat with progressive values.

However, with that I must say – and you probably won’t like this – we have to move beyond labels at some point. Part of why I’m running for office is that I’m tired of living in a divided country. And the more we label ourselves, the more we divide ourselves. At some point, there has to be an understanding that all of us have more complex views than can be indicated by a single term like “progressive” or “conservative” or any other label.
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7. What single issue has most motivated you to run for office? What proposals do you have to address/advance it?
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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Healthcare is our number one issue. It perplexes me that we live in a country with such great wealth, industry, and ability but we still fail to provide the most basic of resources to folks. Healthcare is a right and we must provide access to every man, woman and child regardless of their zip code, employment, or status. I will support the current Medicare for All bill and believe that this country needs to implement a single payer system in order to provide universal healthcare access. Single payer healthcare. Single-payer healthcare (public payer but private providers) would reduce total cost of our healthcare over time by 50% or over $1.5 trillion, freeing up unfathomable resources for other uses within our country like education and infrastructure to lift the life of every American. At the same time, we’d have better healthcare outcomes and everybody would be covered. It’s the way every other advanced democracy does it and they are already getting the results that I’ve stated.No one single issue has motivated me to run for office. As the mother of 6 daughters, I don’t see just one main issue as being the problem, I see systemic governmental dysfunction that permeates all portions of our lives.

I took a look at some of the biggest issues affecting the 1st District and found that:
- We have a massive teacher shortage due to limited tax revenues in many of our rural areas
- We have a shortage of first responders – those who run toward danger when we run from it
- Almost 35% of enlisted military families in the 1st District receive some kind of aid like food stamps, WIC, or SNAP. We have 3 major installations in this district (Quantico, Dahlgren and AP Hill).
- We have a high rate of veteran poverty in the 1st District

That’s why I proposed the Income Now for Veterans, Enlisted families, Safety officers and Teachers (INVEST) Initiative last November. My proposal is simple: we exempt the first $50,000 of earnings of these groups from federal income tax and give them an immediate boost of up to $6,000 a year in income. The total cost would be approximately $60 billion which could be covered by closing carried and/or deferred AMT offsets in the tax code.

It is a simple – albeit temporary – solution that would give state legislatures and local jurisdictions time to deal with current structural funding issues and develop ways to improve long term compensation for teachers, school personnel and first responders. It would also give the federal government time to ramp up compensation across all branches of service and reexamine potential fixes for veteran pensions.
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8. What have you heard from voters in your congressional district that is of primary concern to them and does it vary throughout the district?
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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For my first visit to the Northumberland Democratic Committee in February 2017, I was prepared to discuss the election, healthcare, the environment, and immediately the group brought up the area’s lack of broadband internet access. It’s clear that is a critical issue for large sections of the 1st Congressional District. I’m committed to expanding broadband internet access to rural communities and treating it like a utility – the way we treat access to water or electricity. Having internet access is critical to create a competitive educational environment, a trained student population and to support economic development. Healthcare reform is also a big issue around the district, as well as addressing our gun violence epidemic and building up our public education system. A large part of the district relies on major rivers and bays. Protecting the environment is of huge importance to many residents in the 1st Congressional District – no off-shore drilling, no pipelines, no fracking, no coal ash ponds, no power lines through communities. We must do better to preserve the rivers and streams that feed into the Rappahannock and the Chesapeake Bay.

Yes; everyone is concerned about education and healthcare. People in Northern Virginia are also concerned about transportation. Most people politically active at this stage are very concerned about the direction of the country and many are getting involved for the first time. I believe this is a unique opportunity to advance progressive positions. Concerns absolutely vary throughout the district. In some parts of the district, the main concern is employment opportunity and prosperity. In other parts of the district people are concerned about environmental issues. In other areas, transportation is a critical issue.

There is, however, one common thread that runs through all of their concerns: the feeling that government isn’t on their side. No matter what the issue is, people no longer have a sense government has their best interest at heart nor will it do the right thing. That, by the way, is why Donald Trump won in 2016. He made the forceful case that he would make government do the right thing. You better believe that I, more than anyone, can make the case to voters about making the government do the right thing and look out for them and their families.
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9. Please provide your top 5 policy priorities in order from highest to lowest, from the list of issues grassroots groups have identified as interests.
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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1. Health care: maintaining ACA, implementing a single payer system
2. Education – e.g.: school funding, testing
3. Environment – other: clean air and water
4. Economic development, jobs, living wage, innovation/science and technology
5. Broadband internet access
1. Healthcare
2. Education
3. Gun safety
4. Climate change
5. LGBTQ rights and equality
1. Economic development
2. Healthcare
3. Transportation and Infrastructure
4. Human Rights (LGBT, Women’s, Civil)
5. Education
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10. For each of the 10 topics below (a) thru (j), what is your position and what are the specific policies and legislation you will be advancing? Answer all or answer only the ones you want to highlight the most.
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(a) Economy & Taxes -- Support vibrant and fair local economy and job creation; efficient and fair taxation
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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I support vibrant and fair local economy and job creation; efficient and fair
taxation. In Congress, I will work to create an economy that works for everyone and not just the lobbyists and specials interests.

Here’s my plan:
● Make sure everyone has access to high speed Internet to close the digital divide and help our rural economies grow.
● Raise the minimum wage to at least $15 an hour and index it to inflation so everyone who works can afford to feed their families.
● Only support trade deals that are fair to American workers, farmers and companies.
● Put more money in the pockets of our families by ensuring that women are given equal pay for their work.
● Create good-paying jobs by investing in infrastructure, new energy and technology.
● Expand access to credit for small business so they can have the capital they need to expand their businesses and create jobs.
● Fight for economic fairness to that we can lower the tax burden on middle class families.
● Oppose President Trump’s hiring freeze for federal workers that continues to do great harm to our community.
The positions that I’ve stated—single payer healthcare, infrastructure investment, action on climate change, campaign finance reform, equal rights and equal pay, and better education are all mutually reinforcing to create this progressive America we seek. They result in lowering federal spending and reducing the trade and budget deficits. They create not just good paying jobs and rewarding careers. They make us more competitive internationally and they help save our planet. The keys to job creation are education, transportation and innovation. The reality of job creation is that unless you have a skilled or semi-skilled workforce, necessary infrastructure in place (or at least in development) and communities who embrace innovation, you can put all the effort in the world into job creation and nothing is going to happen.

The failure of most candidates running for office is that they like to tell the people what kinds of jobs or industries communities need. That’s the wrong approach in my opinion. As my district’s representative in Congress, I will work with local communities to build consensus around what kind of jobs and businesses they want. Once the people have spoken, I will put the full weight of my office behind that effort and lead other officeholders to do the same in a coordinated effort.
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(b) Civil Rights & Criminal Justice – Equal Rights Amendment; racial justice (address racial profiling, mass incarceration and police brutality); LGBTQ rights and equality
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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I will fight to ensure that every person has the same opportunity to succeed regardless of race, color, creed or sexual orientation. Divisions weaken us - diversity is an American strength. I believe strongly in the power of inclusivity. No one should be marginalized, discriminated against, or oppressed because of their race, how they identify or who they love. We have made many strides as a country to protect the rights of all Americans but it is important that we continue to progress. That means defending the law of the land that allows all Americans to marry who they choose, protecting the rights of transgender Americans to serve in our nation’s military and rejecting any kind of discrimination or mistreatment of the LGBTQ community in our schools, businesses and communities. As far as criminal justice reform, there is currently a Criminal Justice Reform Initiative in congress, which to be honest, has not been very effective due to it being very low on the list of priorities for congressional Republicans. I hope to be part of a blue wave of progressives across the country, so that we can prioritize fixing a broken and corrupt criminal justice system that disproportionately targets poor, minority and urban communities. We need to legalize marijuana federally, overhaul prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders and allow for more judicial discretion during sentencing. At a local level, we need to promote community policing and create better lines of communication between law enforcement and the folks they serve. Equal Rights Amendment; racial justice (address racial profiling, mass incarceration and police brutality); LGBTQ rights and equality: I am for criminal justice reform, equal rights for including LGBTQ, fair treatment of immigrants, citizenship for Dreamers, and ending of mandatory sentencing.It’s utterly appalling to me that in 2018 we’re still talking about Civil Rights. But, as a woman of color I know it’s absolutely necessary. For decades, I have often been the only woman in the boardroom, and certainly the only woman of color. As recently as 2008 I was called “little girl” in a meeting by a sitting US Senator. Imagine his surprise when he found out I was the project manager for the DOD!

It’s time to once-and-for-all take out the legislative sledge hammer and chisel the concept of equality into the ultimate guiding document of our nation: the United States Constitution. I support a new “Universal Equal Rights Amendment” that would make clear that any distinction that can be used to divide us can no longer be valid for the purposes of treatment different than others around us. We have nickel and dimed this issue long enough. It’s time to codify the concept of absolute equality in the constitutional soul of our nation.
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(c) Climate Change/Clean Energy – Aggressive transition from fossil fuels to clean energy; develop green jobs; Do you oppose: hydraulic fracturing; offshore drilling; construction of new large fracked gas pipelines?
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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I will advocate for infrastructure funding and investment in manufacturing technology for renewable energy. The US must become the leader in the green economy. I oppose fracking, off-shore drilling, pipelines and overhead lines through established communities. We also need to find workable solutions for the disposal of coal ash.

Climate change is a real threat to our economy, our national security and to the health and well being of our children. That’s why I will take strong action to combat global climate change and protect our environment. I will:

- Strongly oppose President Trump’s massive budget cuts for the clean up of the Chesapeake that would harm both our environment and our local economy.
- Fight for vital investment in wind and solar power to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels that damage our environment.
- Support legislation to bring back President Obama’s regulations to combat pollution from coal and transition coal jobs to the production of clean energy.
- Work to support increased fuel efficiency standards so Americans reduce dependence on oil and cut down on harmful emissions.
- Fight against President Trump’s dangerous budget cuts that would dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.
Aggressive transition from fossil fuels to clean energy; develop green jobs; Do you oppose: hydraulic fracturing; offshore drilling; construction of new large fracked gas pipelines? I am opposed to all of these except when a clean renewable energy alternative is not available. Action on climate change includes investment in renewable energy, more efficient homes, schools, and businesses, faster cars and mass transient, less time idling in traffic, and an efficient energy grid. It also includes smart, interconnected systems that function at optimal levels. We are more competitive internationally, have good jobs and manufacture products we can export and it changes our defense needs as well, saving us money and reducing our foreign military footprint.Environmental protection is economic protection for CD1. Many people of the people of the district rely on agriculture and aquaculture for their income. In fact, over one half million acres of the first district are used for active farming. This does not take into account woodlands and wetlands that are used for agriculture and aquaculture or held in environmental abeyance. To fail to protect people’s livelihoods and the future of our planet is political malpractice.

Smart environmental policy for CD1 will find new and innovative ways to harmonize the economic needs of the people of CD1 with the environmental requirements our future demands. I will support clean/green energy generation initiatives district-wide and propose and/or support legislation to lower the recently imposed tariffs on solar cell technologies. I will oppose all efforts to frack in the district as well as efforts to build new pipelines. I will also work with the USDA and the EPA to develop an inter-departmental agency focused specifically on rural environmental policies that make sense for farms and fisheries while advancing environmental protection. Currently, no such agency exists and cooperation between the two is done on an ad hoc basis. I will propose legislation to codify the existence of this cooperative agency.
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(d) Education - Support public school funding; make college more affordable
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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I will fight to put more money into classrooms and oppose all efforts to divert funds from our public schools to a private school voucher system. We need to help people go to college by making community colleges or two years at public universities free and by reducing student debt by allowing students to refinance their college loans for better rates. Education is the key to the success of every child in our community, and public education is one of the great equalizers in our country. That’s why I will fight to make sure a quality education is available for every student in our district, our state and our country. Here are my priorities.

Wire all our schools, libraries and neighborhoods for high speed Internet so rural students have the same opportunity to succeed as those in suburbs and cities. We need to invest more money into classrooms and oppose all efforts to divert money from our public schools to a private school voucher system. We must make sure all our students get the proper start by making universal pre-k a reality in every community.
We must protect and enforce laws that guarantee a quality education to those students with disabilities.

Support public school funding; make college more affordable: I am for universal pre-K, higher level of funding for primary and secondary schools in all ZIP codes to create truly equal opportunity and affordable college education.See answer to Question 7
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(e) Workers Rights & Family Friendly Economy – Raise the minimum wage (indicate to which level in your district); paid time off, paid sick leave; affordable day care and eldercare; right to collective bargaining/form unions
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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Graduated increase in minimum wage to at least $15 and indexing it to inflation so that everyone who works 40 hours a week can feed their families and live in dignity. There can be a tiered implementation period in order to protect small businesses. I believe the savings we see from a transition to single payer (and the elimination of the healthcare burden on business) will also provide the opportunity for wages to increase.Raise the minimum wage (indicate to which level in your district); paid time off, paid sick leave; affordable day care and eldercare; right to collective bargaining/form unions: I want to raise the minimum wage over time to $15 an hour. A higher minimum wage drives investment, creates demand, and results in all workers at all wage levels being better off. There is no evidence that a higher minimum wage results in job losses but there is a lot of evidence that a gradual increase in the minimum wage drives investment in labor-saving capital and training workers to be more productive. This increases our productivity and competitiveness

Until those who believe that a higher minimum wage suppresses job growth put away their ideological myths, and observe the way the world really works, they will be holding back upward mobility, productivity and economic growth. I will stand up against this self-defeating misconception and I will stand strongly for a higher minimum wage, paid time off, paid sick leave, affordable day care and eldercare and collective bargaining.

We must raise the minimum wage over a 2 year period to $15.00. Furthermore, there needs to be tax breaks built into the corporate tax code that allows small businesses (companies with fewer than 100 employees) to write off a portion of training costs for full-time employees and well as a percentage of FT benefits. We not only need to encourage higher wages overall, we must encourage businesses to move away from “stacked” part-time employment practices to allow for more lasting, long-term opportunities (which typically come with benefits such as paid leave).

Furthermore, we must affirm the right to collectively bargain while challenging unions to reimagine their roles in the workplace in the 21st century. I am intrigued by some of the 21st century labor initiatives that are being developed by SEIU and AFSCME that consider talent and overall organizational contribution as part of protected pay status of union members.
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(f) Gun Safety – Close background check loopholes; ban assault weapons; ban large round ammunition clip; ban bump-stocks
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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Our nation needs comprehensive gun reform that will protect all citizens from gun violence.

KEY PROPOSALS:

- Implement and require universal background checks for all gun and ammo buyers.
- Reintroduce ban on the sale of assault weapons.
- Bar sales of guns to violent criminals including individuals with charges of domestic abuse and assault.
- Require training and certification for any citizen to own or operate a firearm.
- Implement federal registry for gun sales to assist law enforcement in stopping illegal gun ownership.
- Require gun manufacturers to incorporate existing safety mechanisms into guns to prevent cases of injury, especially those inflicted by children.
I am for all of these. I will stand strong for this and I will not accept money from the NRA or other special interests.I think it’s important to start any conversation with the one, immutable and not-so-popular fact about guns: they’re not going away. There’s a constitutional amendment that says you have the right to own guns. And seeing that state legislatures can’t even pass the Equal Rights Amendment despite being given 40+ years, I don’t think any effort to repeal the Second Amendment has a snowball’s chance in hell. So, let’s be adults and take the unrealistic idea of banning guns altogether off the table and talk about common sense solutions.

The solutions being demanded aren’t difficult. Instead they are simple, common sense things that can be done to keep us all safe. We need instantaneous universal background checks. If an ATM can check your balance in a split second, so can a background check system. We need to close the gun show loophole. We must reinstate the assault weapons ban that was the law of the land for many years. And finally, we must figure out a system to allow mental health professionals to anonymously place temporary holds on background records to allow law enforcement to perform more detailed checks. Had a system like this been in place, 17 people would not have lost their lives in Florida.

Furthermore, every ammo purchase should be recorded in a national database with unique identifiers on each casing and shell sold. To add further accountability, we should add inert silicon-based taggants – chemicals that can trace what gun fires what bullet. Not only would it help law enforcement track criminal activity, it will also encourage gun owners to be more vigilant about the safe and responsible storage of their weapon and ammunition.
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(g) Health Care – Expand access to health care; support and improve ACA; move toward single payer?
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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I believe that healthcare is a human right. I support the single payer healthcare initiatives in Congress now, and would advocate for them when elected. Our campaign wrote a paper outlining our position on single payer healthcare, which can be accessed here. In the interim, I will fight to improve the Affordable Care Act so that all of us can get the health care we need at an affordable price. I will fight to make sure no one loses his or her health insurance coverage because of the cost.

We can take steps immediately to improve the law by:
- Allowing every American to buy in to Medicare as a public option to compete with private health insurers and lower insurance premiums for all of us.
- Allowing the federal government to negotiate cheaper prices for more affordable prescription drugs under Medicare and Medicaid.
- Making the costs of insurance cheaper by re-funding high risk insurance pools.
- Creating subsidies to allow people in states that refused Medicaid expansion to buy into Medicaid.
- Fighting Republican attempts to allow health insurance companies to re-impose lifetime limits on coverage.
Yes, see above.The first step to expanding access and improving the ACA will be taking greed and excessive corporate profits out of the system. If the federal government can exercise price controls over commodities, it can exercise controls over healthcare. It is estimated that the top 6 health insurance companies netted combined profits over $30 billion for 2017. The entire health insurance sector racked up over $100 billion in profits in 2017. At some point we have to, as a country, come to the understanding that healthcare insurance companies exist to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility of delivering profit to their shareholders, not provide quality health care to Americans like you and me. If we placed common sense profit controls on these companies while requiring shareholder diversification, we could, in the short term, put hundreds of billions of dollars back into the system and drive down costs.

I support a single payer system. However, I see enormous obstacles to making that a reality. Several things would have to happen before we can even talk about single payer as an actual possibility:
1) Override the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. As long as insurance companies can dump vast amounts of unrestricted money into the political system, there will never be the political will on Capitol Hill to enact single payer.
2) Provide a plan to health insurance shareholders that would assure them that they will be made whole in the transition to single payer? Why is this important? The #1 investor in health stocks are retirement plans. Not making investors whole could cause generations of senior citizen poverty.
3) Win hearts and minds. Too often people hear single payer and REALLY hear “socialized medicine”. Until a thoughtful dialogue happens that dispels myths around single payer, vast swaths of Americans will not support it. That is especially true in CD1.

The path to single payer will be long and difficult, but not impossible. What must happen – I’m sure much to the chagrin of many people reading this answer – is an incremental, negotiated approach. We must start pushing, nudging and urging the system in the right direction based on the principles that will deliver our healthcare system to where it needs to be. I understand those principles and I have the skills and abilities to bring others along on this journey – both congressional colleagues and the people of CD1.
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(h) Immigration – Preserve DACA; no deputation of federal immigration enforcement to local police forces
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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We need comprehensive immigration reform that keeps families together. I strongly oppose President Trump’s policy that has seen ICE raids against law-abiding immigrants and have destroyed families. I believe we need reform that protects our borders, removes violent criminals from our country and provides a pathway to citizenship for immigrants who have been making positive contributions to our communities. I am against this administration’s attempts to divide us by scapegoating immigrant communities. We also need to immediately codify DACA by passing a clean DREAM Act and protecting the almost 1 million DREAMers who are living in limbo due to the reckless actions of our current president. YesThe fact of the matter is that the vast majority of immigrants who are in this country illegally are here because they want what we want: a better life for themselves and their families. It is unrealistic to think that we are going to be able to deport 11 million undocumented immigrants. While it is easy for some politicians to scapegoat illegal immigrants to the cheers of crowds at rallies, there is a human and economic toll that is never discussed.

When elected, I will work with members of both parties to bring about common sense immigration reform. For me, such reform would first preserve DACA. For non-DACA recipients, reform measures would take into account the amount of time a person or family has spent in the US and whether or not they have paid taxes and contributed to our society. If those basic criteria are met, then they would be given a finite period of time to begin the process of applying for citizenship starting with the resident alien (green card) process. I do believe there has to be further rules and regulations attached resident consideration (no criminal record or hint of criminal activity, immediate cessation of overseas remittance of American currency, verifiable employment, an American-born citizenship sponsor, etc.)
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(i) Governance Reform -- Voting rights, protect/increase voting access; fair redistricting; campaign finance reform; overturn Citizens United
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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Voting is a fundamental right in our democracy, and I believe it is our job to ensure that we fight against voter disenfranchisement. Yes, I am a signer of 90 For 90 and campaign finance reform. The overwhelming majority of federal spending is controlled indirectly by special interest groups that influence (own) congressmen through campaign contributions and lobbying. It’s hard to change direction with congressmen beholden to large contributors. Limiting contributions to a certain amount and only from citizens would redirect Congress’ focus to the citizens. Is this a pipe dream? Absolutely, until we elect a majority committed to changing it. And that is why I must ask for small contributions from each of you. Congressman Wittman already has raised $1 million, almost entirely from special interests, including $16 thousand from the NRA.My grandmother who was from Westmoreland County, just down the road from where I live, told me a story about when she was a little girl. A group of citizens got together and went to the county board and demanded a new library. The chair of the board said there wasn’t any money for a new library but they could raise taxes to pay for one. The people said they didn’t want their taxes raised. The chair of the board told them that he fully sympathized with their position…and as soon as they were ready to pay more in taxes they could come back and talk about a new library.

The fact of the matter is that we, as a citizenry, slacked off and allowed our apathy to create voids within our body politic. And what filled that void? Power and money. Now that we have amazing organizations like Indivisible, Huddle, etc. reengaging and creating a more active and informed electorate, the entrenched forces of power and money are unwilling to vacate the areas we ceded to them not too long ago. Make no mistake about it, we have a fight on our hands. The ultimate solution is to override Citizens United and institute publicly financed campaigns.

There are two things that I would address legislatively:
1) Three years ago, the Supreme Court of the United States gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) in Shelby County v. Holder.
2) Since voting methodology is a function of state governments, laws vary widely from state to state. This can be confusing and ultimately influence the outcomes of elections.
A new Voting Rights Act must restore the protections lost in 2013 and set forth a new nationwide voting methodology baseline that ensures ease of voting while maintaining security and voting fidelity

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(j) Womens Reproductive Rights -- Support access to safe and legal abortion
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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In Congress I will fight to ensure that women have the right to choose without governmental interference. I will strongly oppose all efforts by extremists in Congress to defund Planned Parenthood – denying vital health care services for women and families. I will protect access to contraception so we can continue the progress that has been made in reducing unwanted pregnancies.AbsolutelyThis is an answer that should never be difficult for any woman, nor should it be complicated: I AM PRO-CHOICE. The government has no right to ever interfere with a woman’s right to choose. Period.
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Other information you would like to share
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Edwin SantanaJohn SuddarthVangie Williams
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As a Marine, protecting our national security has always been a vital part of my life. In Congress, I want to make sure our nation is secure and that our troops and veterans receive the support they deserve. I believe our nation needs to:

- Exert the full use of diplomacy so we only send our troops into harm's way as a last resort.
- Work with our allies to combat global terrorism. This means reaffirming our commitment to working with NATO and the UN and standing up against irresponsible actions by Russia in Syria that only destabilize the region.
- Proper investigation into cyber threats such as the Russian hacking into our Presidential election.
- Keep our promises to our veterans by making sure that they receive the health care and other support they need when they come home.
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