Sam Ronan on the Issues
Living Wage Jobs
Good paying jobs are the backbone of a strong economy that is fair for all. Between 1978 and 2016, CEO pay rose 937% while during that same time worker compensation rose only 11.2%. In 2016 the average American CEO made more than 271 times what the average American worker made. I believe this is unacceptable. I will fight to bring dignity back to workers by crafting legislation that creates clean energy jobs, worker co-ops, and by fighting for a living wage for all workers.
Clean Energy Jobs
According to the Solutions Project, if Ohio worked to get to 100% renewable energy by 2050, it would create over 66,000 permanent jobs in the field and over 151,000 Construction Jobs to build up the grid. This clean energy program would not only be a great jobs program, but also save our state over $20 billion dollars a year in avoided health costs related to pollution and other environmental factors. Lastly the projected energy costs in 2050 for Ohio are 10.4 c/kWh for Fossil Fuel sources, 16.1 c/kWh if you factor in health and climate, and 9.6 c/kWh for renewable sources.
Understanding the importance of addressing income inequality, workers’ rights and community building I am a strong advocate for worker co-ops. Worker cooperatives are designed around the principle that workers are owners in the businesses they work for and have a democratic voice in how their business is operated. One worker equals one vote. For example, workers can vote on a board of directors who will decide how the profits of their enterprise are invested.
orker co-ops in America, as well as abroad, have successfully been used as a tool for communities to lift themselves out of poverty, using democratic control of the workplace to prosper. I will work to develop and support legislation that increases employee ownership training programs and the creation of a U.S. Employee Ownership Bank that would provide low-interest loans and assistance to help workers establish their own cooperatives or gain employee stock ownership in their current business. We live in a democratic society and it is time we bring that democracy to the place where most Americans spend the majority of their lives, the workplace.
I support the Fight For $15 movement to establish a federal minimum wage of $15 an hour that is indexed with inflation. It is an economic certainty that when working and middle class families have more money to spend, they spend it at a higher rate than the wealthy, thus stimulating the economy.
As a product of and a strong supporter of public education, I understand that a tuition free, quality public education is essential for an informed, intelligent, motivated, and successful society. There should be no profit motive, as exists with private and charter schools, in the education of future generations. In understanding the needs of working families, I support universal Pre-K and daycare, which allows working families the flexibility to provide for their households while starting out a child’s education at their earliest developmental stages.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a minimum wage worker in Ohio would need to work full time for 28 weeks just to afford child care for ONE infant. To further put that in perspective, infant care in Ohio costs just $466 less than in state tuition at a 4-year public college.
nderstanding that a college education today is the equivalent of a high school education 20 years ago, I will support legislation to make public colleges and universities tuition free.
Additionally, American student loan debt is almost $1.5 trillion and growing, it is unacceptable that so many Americans are burdened with this debt. That is why I support allowing Americans to refinance their debt at the lowest interest rate as well as supporting legislation aimed at total debt forgiveness for low income households.
I firmly believe that healthcare is a right for ALL, not a privilege for the elites. We are currently paying over $400 billion each year just on the administrative waste and profits of the private health insurance system, whose business model is dependent on denying Americans' coverage. I will fight to pass legislation that establishes a single payer, Medicare For All healthcare system, and will fight against any legislation aimed at cutting funding to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or Tricare. I strongly support Rep. Conyers' H.R. 676 Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act, currently at over 100 co-sponsors in the House.
The opioid epidemic is one of the most serious health crisis' facing America and specifically Ohio at this time, claiming over 33,000 American lives last year alone. I understand that addiction is a health issue, not an issue of criminality. Therefore, I am in favor of legislation to expand rehabilitative and mental health services. It is time we break the stigma and provide the care our fellow Americans truly need.
Criminal Justice Reform
Our criminal justice system is broken and requires immediate reform. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, almost half of all federal prisoners are held for non-violent drug crimes, the majority of which are for possession of marijuana. A major reason for this is the predatory for-profit prison system, which incentivizes the disastrous war on drugs – in service of higher profits for the private prison industry. I will support efforts to fight this predatory system, starting with federal legalization of marijuana.
Additionally, there is a lack of confidence in our current system of policing because of the systemic racism and classism that has targeted vulnerable communities, through draconian policies like mandatory minimum sentencing. I will work to bring REAL reform by fighting to end the war on drugs and through the creation of civilian led review boards that create community accountability for law enforcement.
If we cannot be 100% sure of an individual’s guilt or innocence, then I cannot, in good conscience, support the death penalty.
As a veteran, I understand just as much as anyone the costs of war. For my entire adult life, our brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters in the military have been involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East. As Eisenhower warned in his farewell speech, the Military Industrial Complex has grown to massive proportions, turning our military into a jobs program that profits from perpetual warfare and has led to the deaths of thousands of Americans and untold thousands of civilians in the Middle East.
If elected I will support the rollback of the blanket use of military force without congressional approval, as well as seek to find ways to end our state of perpetual warfare and interventionism in the Middle East. Additionally, I will support common sense bills like Rep. Gabbard's Stop Arming Terrorists Act, which prevents the sale of arms and the funneling of funds to groups that have an affiliation with terrorist groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
Considering the advanced and integrated technology of our time, I understand that now more than ever, American citizens’ privacy is paramount. The implementation and subsequent renewals of the Patriot Act have been a blatant violation of our 4th amendment rights, which states that as Americans, we’re guaranteed the right to privacy and protection from illegal search and seizure. I will support any move to roll back or eliminate the Patriot Act.
Income inequality in our nation is at a level not seen since the Gilded Age, largely due to the massive financial deregulation of Wall Street and massive, multinational corporations not paying their fair share of taxes. I will fight to reinstate Glass Steagall and break up the big banks, which have only gotten larger since their massive bailout after crashing our economy. I will NOT vote to bail out Wall Street, I will vote to bail out Main Street.
I will fight to enforce anti-trust laws and stop major mergers and the monopolization of major industries. I will seek to limit corporate share buybacks, which once upon a time was considered stock manipulation, and has led to the massive inequality gap in CEO and worker pay.
Over the last 40 years, the scourge of dark money in politics has fundamentally changed the way our government represents us and has become a form of legalized bribery. Cases like Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo have stripped everyday Americans of their voices. I will support legislation to amend the Constitution to get money out of politics and restore a free and fair electoral process.
Gerrymandering, or the partisan redrawing of districts to exclude voters and to create electoral advantages, has tainted our democracy and caused an imbalance in representation. I will support any initiative to create fair districts and redraw these districts in favor of the people who live there.
I strongly oppose any and all means of voter suppression, including but not limited to voter ID laws, restrictive early voting, and unnecessary voter roll purging. I support automatic voter registration and a national voting holiday to secure the rights of all citizens to participate in our democratic process.
Net Neutrality is the principle that Internet service providers (ISP) should provide fair and equal access to all websites and platforms on the Internet, regardless of ISP. Currently, the telecoms industry threatens that neutrality by offering fast lanes to larger corporations who offer them the most money. I will oppose any and all attempts to end Net Neutrality and the removal of the Title II designation, which designates the Internet as a utility.
I'm a strong supporter of protecting the environment. Climate change is real and is in many ways the most pressing issue facing the world at this very moment. We have taken steps to address the slow moving catastrophe of climate change, but we haven't done nearly enough, and we cannot afford to delay or roll back environmental progress in any way. Our children's future and our national security depend on it.
I understand that water is life. To that end I will support legislation to protect our streams and waterways, end fracking, stop pipelines (which inevitably leak and pollute our water and soil), defend wildlife and our parks service, and aggressively move to transition us to a 100% renewable, clean energy economy by 2050 by supporting solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal energy expansion.
As a strong supporter of women’s rights, I believe in a women’s right to choose and will oppose any legislation that seeks to roll back Roe v. Wade. I understand that free and open access to contraceptives has been proven to reduce abortions. I also understand the importance of Planned Parenthood and the health benefits it provides for women and men, primarily in low-income communities. I will oppose any efforts to defund or eliminate Planned Parenthood. I support equal pay for equal work. I support 12 weeks paid family leave for all employees.
For too long, corporations and the top 1% have gotten away with not paying their fair share of taxes, using their massive wealth to rewrite tax codes in favor of themselves, shifting the burden of taxes onto America’s working families. I believe in a progressive system of tax bracketing that ensures that those at the top pay accordingly. Additionally, I will fight to pass legislation to eliminate tax loopholes and end the practice of hiding money in offshore bank accounts to avoid paying one’s fair share of taxes.
Recognizing that our country has a legacy of racism, marginalization, and oppression that is still present in modern society, I stand in solidarity with all marginalized and oppressed communities. I will vigorously oppose ANY attempt to discriminate against any individuals based on their race, religion, nationality, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, and level of ability. I will fight to address and dismantle these systematic institutions of oppression and ensure that the rights of all are protected.
am a strong supporter of unionized labor. In these times of record high income inequality, it is imperative that workers have a real voice in determining workplace equality and fairness. Because of unionized labor, we have eliminated child labor, we now have a 40 hour work week, mandated time off, overtime pay, and strong workplace safety requirements, along with many other workers' benefits. I support all efforts to protect and expand workers' rights and the right to organize.
Our roads and bridges have been falling apart for decades. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives America's infrastructure a grade of D. I will work with others in Congress to craft legislation that deals with fixing our crumbling infrastructure through the creation of thousands of public works jobs with a focus on renewable energy and supporting our road commissions' efforts to repair our unsafe roads and bridges.
I am a supporter of the 2nd amendment. As a veteran, I understand the paramount importance of gun safety, education, and proper training. Therefore, I support a citizen’s right to bear arms, accompanied with common sense reform, which would include universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, and ensuring proper weapons safety training requirements for first time gun buyers.