David Wilson Brown (D)
10th District Candidate
Event: April 12, 6:30-8:00pm, West Asheville Library
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Listen to the questions and responses.
David Wilson Brown, a Progressive Democrat candidate for the 10th Congressional District of North Carolina, is an IT consultant who is ready to serve.
David has been a resident of North Carolina for over 30 years, attending South Mecklenburg High School and earning a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Communications from Appalachian State University in 1996.
While attending school at App State, David interned on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Sue Myrick (R- NC9). He has maintained his passion for politics, but his career got drawn into other areas related to communications, including a year at WBTV, working in corporate media production, and as a web developer.
Now David is a full-time IT consultant specializing in business productivity as well as a husband to his wife, Barbara, and father to his two kids. It is because of grave concern for the future for his kids that he feels the call of public service once again.
The Republicans are quickly stripping away all of the progress achieved under President Obama and any hopes of helping even more Americans. Under the leadership of such an amoral president and supported by terrible attacks on our voting rights, they look to harm as many in our district as possible, with projected 104,400 becoming uninsured in the 10th district alone!
The biggest problem we have to deal with as government officials is that society has alot of needs that have no profit motive. There’s no profit motive for people to be healthy. There’s no profit motive for the environment to be protected. An example is fire protection. There’s no profit motive in a fire department. So one of the things I really have a problem with in the Republican Party is the drive to privatization. The drive to privatization is to make money for their corporate donors. That’s it. They talk about privatization of Social Security and Medicare, and it’s coming. That’s the result of the tax bill. That’s why Paul Ryan is retiring. He’s got the tax bill, and he knows what the effect is going to be. With the balanced budget amendment, it is a move towards knocking down medicare and social security. And the reason they want to do that, is they want corporations to profit off our money. Money that we paid into the system, from our paychecks. Money that should be our earned benefit. It’s in the government coffers and they want it. They want the interest from it. But no one in America benefits unless they are part of that corporate structure. So we have to fight that every step of the way.
David Wilson Brown on the Issues
1- Preservation of American Democracy
Number One, The first thing, if the special counsel is still investigating, we have to move to make sure he is protected. I think what we have seen is that past presidents adhere to political norms, and they would lose political capitol if they stepped outside those norms. What we have now is a president who both doesn’t know or care about the norms. He’s blown through them without any fall out, because he has a group on his side. The republican party has enabled this movement of extremism. They’ve been setting up this situation for years, where someone like Trump could get elected. Paul Ryan was one of his chief critics early on. But very quickly he realized it didn’t hurt him to support him. So when they see he’s a Teflon president, they realize they can use him to get what they want as a rubber stamp. We have to go through and look at what’s being done, the nepotism, the security clearance for those that don’t qualify for security clearance. There are things on the books to make sure this doesn’t happen, but they’re being ignored. We have to make sure that the legislative enforcement arm is much stronger. We have to make sure that someone like him doesn’t use the blueprint he’s used, to take advantage of the office. He clearly ignores the emoluments clause. And the Republican Party, as a whole is allowing this to occur.
I worked for a Republican Congresswoman. I believe in the power of compromise and the power of working together for the common good. There are benefits to having a conservative party balanced by a liberal party. Unfortunately we now have a party that’s gone to such extremes.
How to preserve our Democracy? The thing that’s gotten so bad, are these attacks on our voting rights that Republicans have done. Gerrymandering, limiting of polling places in minority locations, voter id laws, purging of the voter rolls, all these things are done because they know the majority of Americans are leaning towards the Democratic ideal. So number one, we have to fix all of those things, then we have a much more reasonable conservative party that we can deal with. I say conservative party, because I think what we’re seeing is the death rattle of the Republican Party as we’ve known it. They’ve gotten too extreme. Their base is shrinking, aging out. When you have a man like Donald Trump, how can they say to the voters, ‘We support Women's Rights?
The simple matter is the special counsel has to be able to proceed. Get to whatever conclusions are there. Make the report. And if there are indictable offenses, then the House of Representatives is required to push for Impeachment. That’s not saying he’s guilty, it’s saying the evidence looks good - we need to have a trial. It shouldn’t matter what party you’re in. You have to move to that trial phase. But we have to wait for that report.
2- The Environment
We should have no new offshore drilling. We should move very quickly to use renewable energy over fossil fuel. One of the groups I’ve talked to is the Citizens Climate Lobby. They’re a strong bipartisan group. I like the idea of depoliticizing the environment. It is the most critical issue for humankind on earth. How in the world can we allow politics to enter into that? One of the things they offer is a Climate Solutions Caucus in Congress. Each member must come in with another member from the other party. So both parties are represented. I’ll be a part of that. At last count their were 50 or 60 members in the House. They have proven their power by recently stopping an amendment that was going to forbid the military from researching the effects of climate change on their operations.
That’s the kind of bipartisan thing I’d like to see. It’s literally putting the country before politics, and I would love to see that happen. We have critical needs here. We have rising sea levels threatening Miami and New Orleans. And water shortages. In Cape Town Africa, a city of 6 million, they’re going to be out of water this summer. We’re going to start seeing mass migrations like we’ve never seen before . It’s very scary, and we have to act. We need to get back in the Paris Climate Accord.
There’s no profit motive in taking care of the environment. So we, as a government, have to take that on. Teddy Roosevelt, a great conservationist, talked about needing to leave the earth a better place, after we leave, than the way we found it. It’s in the boy scout motto. You go camping, and you leave the campsite better than you found it. That’s how I believe we should operate as a nation. And there is no profit motive for a corporation to do that.
One of my plans is to have a modern WPA (Work Projects Administration) And going back to the New Deal, one of the products was the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps). I'd like to create a modern CCC to work with our national parks, and put people to work protecting our environment and the communities they live in. One of the things I’d like to do with this modern WPA and CCC, is put Veterans to work as the leadership of those organizations. Many have experience with public works, infrastructure and rebuilding.
One of the reasons that regulations are such a problem, is corporations have such a problem with them. They’re not effective sometimes because the GOP will strangle the budget of the EPA. Often times they don’t have enough inspectors. If you remember the BP oil spill, they didn’t have enough well trained inspectors to know that site was going to be a problem. We have to make sure we have people employed by the government, trained for those jobs. Can you imagine if we had that kind of Corp here in North Carolina that could deal with our coal ash issues that we have throughout the state. We have to address these things, and there is no corporate motive to clean up their own garbage. Without regulations we’d be back in the 70s with acid rain and smog. I don’t want to live in that world, and I don’t want our kids to live in that world. So I’m going to fight like hell for the environment because it’s literally fighting for the air we breath and the water we drink.
On Renewable Energy: It must happen. We’ve already peaked with oil. We have to move to renewable energy to exist as a powered society.
3- Gun Violence
We have to find a way to reach responsible gun owners. The majority of gun owners are responsible and they get it that changes need to occur. We don’t need to have military style weapons in the hands of civilians. And the great thing is we have a large group of veterans that can clearly attest to what these weapons of war do. They are killing machines. I would definitely move for an assault weapons ban. We need to not onlyban bump stocks, but any mechanism that would be used to create rapid fire of a weapon. We need to ban high capacity magazines, and then, put universal background checks in place for every salable weapons.
Part of the problem is that the propaganda of the NRA is such that any registration of keeping track of weapons is viewed as a problem. I believe in our right to bear arms. It’s in our constitution. But our constitution refers to a well regulated militia. We don’t need to repeal or re-write the 2nd Amendment. But we need to honor the spirit of it. Look at the Supreme Court Heller decision. Anthony Scalia said there should be limits.
There’s a lot of talk about raising the age limits. I’ll be honest. When you talk about age limits, you’re saying, ‘You’re not mature enough.’ You’re old enough to go to war and vote, but you’re not mature enough to own a weapon. I have an issue with that. But if that’s what it takes to make schools safer and colleges safer, maybe that’s where we need to go.
Universal background checks are critical. There are means with technology today to allow this, even in private sales. We can do this without infringing on people's rights.
I will never accept money from the NRA. I’ve made that pledge.
We have a DACA recipient whose part of my staff. She has been in danger of losing her status. She came here at an early age and doesn’t know any other country. She’s an American in every way, except for that piece of paper. People who come here should have a path to citizenship. We should be the type of country that finds a way to make that work.
Now, we certainly have to protect American jobs and culture. But diversity in America is part of what makes America great. We shouldn’t attack people who work hard for a better life. Under this dismal President, we have such income inequality. We have people making money hand over fist in record numbers over the mass populace. Often times the masses look up and say, I’m not living the American dream. These people in power aren’t going to say, ‘Oh well it’s our buddies over here who are taking 3000 times your annual salary as a CEO. They’re going to say, You’re losing jobs because of these folks over there who are coming and taking your jobs. Well, that’s not true. The truth is that American productivity in our workforce is greater than ever. And the money we’re being paid doesn’t match that productivity. And part of the productivity is computer technology. I’m an IT Tech. I can tell you that part of my job is to help teams and management more efficient. When you talk about factories, the jobs are in automation. And it’s only going to get worse. A recent study suggests we’re going to lose 800 million jobs worldwide by 2030 to automation. So we’re quickly going to get to a point that there won’t be enough jobs for everybody. And these corporate people aren’t stupid. They know that. They know where it’s going. They’ve got to keep us fighting in order to continue to allow that to happen. We’re going to get to a point where the gross inequality is going to become so apparent, that people are going to be fed up. I hope we as a nation get ahead of that. And education is a big part of that.
But we can’t deny immigrants are hard working people. Donald Trump claims they’re sending their worse to this country. He takes a small fragment and points to them. But we know that immigrants who deal in criminal activity is such a small fragment. So we have to fix that view of immigrants. These folks just want to earn a living. We have to be a better government. We have help them find a place without disturbing us economically. We don’t want open borders, and we don’t want people streaming in and toppling the benefits that we’ve earned. But if we have a process that allows people to earn citizenship. And send people in that direction where we have needs for labor.
5- Health Care
We have to move to single payer. It’s critical for our nation. We cannot afford to continue to have the healthcare system that we have now. It’s the most costly in the world, and there’s profit being made. This goes back to what I was saying, there are certain things in society, that when profit is what drives it, you get into a position of people having to chose over whether to eat, or get their medicine, whether they keep their house, or get medical care for their children. How is that any part of what the founding fathers had in mind? I honestly believe that the reason we don’t have codified in the Constitution, the right to healthcare, is that if you look at what healthcare was back in that day, they had a totally different approach to healthcare. Doctors were treasured people who were paid to be in a town. And people came to them and payed whatever they could.
With great power comes great responsibility. We have the power to take care of everyone for a lower cost than we’re paying out. That’s what insurance programs are, that’s why it’s so ludicrous to hear when these Republican Senators and Congressman were scoffing at the affordability of insurance programs, ‘Why should I have to pay for sick people with my tax dollars when I’m healthy?’ Well that’s what an insurance policy is. And we can lower the cost dramatically if we move to a single payer system. Now, I also recognize that it’s a big part of our economy, and the technicians and doctors and nurses, they’ve worked hard to get to where they’re at. We need to protect their jobs to make sure they’re paid what they deserve.
We need to cut out the corporate greed, and there’s a lot of waste on the corporate level. Moving to single payer with give the government the ability to bring down costs. We know we what’s going to happen with all of this. If we move to medicare for all tomorrow, there’s still going to be supplemental insurance for those who can afford it. They're going to be doctors who choose to opt out of that. But every person should have basic healthcare.
I think the way to move there, so we don’t shock the system, is Chris Murphy’s Medicare Buy-In Plan. It restores the public option that got cut out of the ACA, that would have made a big difference. That forces the current private insurance to compete at a much better level. Right now there are places where there’s a monopoly in certain counties. BCBS is the only option in Buncombe County. So that’s what we have to do. It will give allow us to prove the medicare model works, and time to grow into it. Give the industry the space to adjust to what we’re doing. What will probably happen, is that several private insurance companies will fold or get bought out. But as the medicare program grows, we’ll be able to take in take those people in. And then we can move to full single payer medicare for all. In ten to fifteen years, I think we can get there.
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