"The way I look at it, I am not running against 34 other candidates, I am running WITH 34 other candidates. We are all on the same team. We’re all in this together. We’re all working to make our city the very best it can be, and I just love that.
The expectations I have for our city are VERY high, and I believe that YOU should have very high expectations in your leadership.
For me, working for Cincinnati families, like yours, ridding our city hall of corruption, fighting to make a more prosperous Cincinnati, a more united Cincinnati, a better-educated Cincinnati, a more fiscally responsible Cincinnati, a business friendly Cincinnati, and a safer and more peaceful Cincinnati will never be just a job to me. It is my passion and my mission." -Andrew Kennedy
*Note to visitors: If I cannot do a good job explaining where I stand, that’s my fault and no one else’s. I want to make it so that every single Cincinnatian has a clear understanding about where I stand so they can decide whether or not to vote for me.
While campaigning early on, I was surprised by the number of Cincinnatians wanting to know how I felt about certain national issues in order to vote for me for city council. I understand that while I am primarily focused on our city, telling you how I feel about national issues can help you determine how I might vote with Cincinnati specific issues and that is very valid. I hope this Q&A helps you decide.
Feel free to submit further questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will respond to you. I might also display the answer on this webpage if I think others will find it helpful. Please keep questions coming. I am here to serve you.
I am an independent. I feel the most comfortable in my own skin this way. I also consider myself a strong centrist. I look to focus on Cincinnati and reconcile the differences between right-wing and left-wing politics by being somewhat left-center on social issues and right-center on fiscal issues. I believe this is the best way to unify the divisions in our city and beyond. While I do aim to be a centrist (yet fiscally conservative), as you can see below, I do take a hard line on some issues. On others, I am much more open minded. I aim to look at what is best for all of my fellow Cincinnatian friends as a whole. I want to listen to ALL perspectives and educate myself from all angles so I can figure out where I am wrong and need to improve to help others best.
The expectations I have for our city are very high, and I believe you should have very high expectations in your leadership. Over the past few months, I’ve spoken to Cincinnatians in parks, at street corners, and on front porches. In restaurants, at ball games, bus stops, and at picnics.
It’s fascinating, as I’ve been talking to folks, no one ever needed to be convinced that a lot is at stake here, and that we need a positive change in city hall. Because whether you’re a democrat, or a republican, or you identify with another party, or identify as an independent, Cincinnati voters understand that our city is in trouble. It’s going to take all of us to vote on November 2nd to set it straight. For me, working for Cincinnati families, like yours, ridding our city hall of corruption, fighting to make a more prosperous Cincinnati, a more united Cincinnati, a better-educated Cincinnati, and a more peaceful Cincinnati, will never be just a job to me. It is my passion and my mission.
At our campaign kickoff party, on the morning of June 26th in Pleasant Ridge Park, I felt extremely humbled, that on behalf of nearly one-thousand Cincinnatians at large, I was able to announce that I accepted their nomination to run for Cincinnati City Council, in the November 2nd general election. And so, our journey begins. A journey that will take us across ALL 52 neighborhoods in Cincinnati; and I want to invite ALL of you along.
My dream is about bringing Cincinnatians together in order to solve problems and make Cincinnati the greatest city it can possibly be. It’s been said before, but we need to hear it again sometimes, and that is: What unites us, is so much stronger than what divides us. Cincinnati, on November 2nd, let’s make sure city hall hears all of us. Let’s make sure this one belongs to Cincinnati.
1. Why are you running for office? --- For me, working for Cincinnati families, ridding our city hall of corruption, fighting to make a more prosperous Cincinnati, a more united Cincinnati, a better educated Cincinnati, and a more peaceful Cincinnati, will never be just a job to me. It is my passion and my mission. I am running because the expectations I have for our city are very high, and I believe you should have very high expectations in the leadership at city hall. As I’ve been talking to folks, no one ever needed to be convinced that a lot is at stake here, and that we need a positive change in city hall. Cincinnati voters understand that our city is in trouble when a number of the people we’ve elected have serious corruption charges made against them. When local politicians become more worried about furthering their own political careers, instead of doing their job and working for the people of Cincinnati, then we have a problem. I am running to restore trust. What I want for your family, your businesses, and your dreams, is what I want for my own family: A bright future.
2. How long have you lived in the city or township in which you are running for office? --- I have lived in this area most all of my life. I consider myself a Cincinnatian to the core. I grew up in Madeira, OH. I then graduated from Northern Kentucky University. I was a news reporter for a while in Yakima, Washington and Evansville, Indiana. Then, I came back home to this area. I've lived in Silverton, OH for more than a decade and then in the summer of 2020, I settled in the beautiful Cincinnati neighborhood of Pleasant Ridge. I love my neighbors and I love it here in Cincinnati. I want to work to make Cincinnati the best it can be.
3. What is the biggest problem facing your community and how would you fix it? --- Many Cincinnatians are hurting, grieving, and angry. We’ve lost loved ones and neighbors to Covid. We’ve lost jobs. We’ve lost employees. We’ve lost homes. We’ve faced racism. We were deeply divided over the last two presidential races. What can the city government do to help heal our community? I certainly don’t know all the answers to all these challenges. However, I do know that treating people with respect, listening, learning, discovering all kinds of new ideas, building trust, and empowering others to achieve success are the most important things I can do as a servant to the people of Cincinnati as a member of council. I do not seek the goals of a particular political party, rather, I aim to find the sweet spot between them that will best serve the community. I aim to listen to all sides and find creative solutions so that together we can achieve Cincinnati City Council’s mission: “to provide, in a democratic and transparent manner, efficient and effective services which will make Cincinnati a better place in which to live, work and play.”
4. Some cities have passed laws requiring masking in order to fight COVID-19. Would you support that if elected? --- When we first had stay-at-home and masking orders in Ohio, the goal we all worked together to achieve was to prevent our hospital systems from being overwhelmed. We seem to have forgotten that important goal however, and instead have gotten in the weeds arguing about personal freedom verses collective responsibility. Every single one of us can agree that overwhelmed hospital systems hurt all of us. I would support mask mandates during the times when we are at high risk of our hospitals filling up—like right now. Once our hospitals are no longer overwhelmed and back to typical numbers, I would fully support removing those mask mandates and making masks as optional as wearing a wristwatch. These decisions would be guided by local public health officials and hospital staff. In conclusion, all this debating about masks… Yuck! I’m just glad as a society we generally agree that it’s most appropriate to wear pants when in large groups. #commonground :)
5. Some cities have required staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or, if not, tested regularly. Would you support that if elected? --- Yes, I believe it is important for the city government to set the example for our community. Employers in Ohio have the right to require their employees to be vaccinated. This precedent has been set by the Supreme Court over and over again. I am vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine, and I am grateful to all those who made it possible. I encourage others to be vaccinated as well.
6. What do you think when you hear 'Black Lives Matter.’? --- I love how the Black Lives Matter movement invites and challenges all of us to look at ourselves individually and as a society. We are asked to work on our own personal bias that we may even be unaware of. At the same time, we are invited to examine the structures and organizations within our communities to see where racism has become a part of those structures, both intentionally and unintentionally. Black Lives Matter would not be necessary if our black citizens had always been treated with the dignity and respect they deserve. My vision is to make it so that every family, regardless of race, background, socioeconomic status, or circumstance, wants to be here in this town of ours; because they know that in Cincinnati, everyone has the opportunity to thrive, and that we all are rooting for one another.
7. How should your township or municipality spend its COVID-19 pandemic relief money? --- I think one priority is to help the people who have been directly affected by covid. Let’s help the people who are being evicted and the landlords that cannot collect their rent. Both are hurting and those are the people who have been affected the most and who we need the help the most. Another major priority is to help small business owners who have been affected. Many of them are struggling as well.
8. Lebanon recently passed a ban on abortions. Is this something you would recommend if elected? --- No. I would not support a ban on abortions. I, like democrats AND republicans, want to decrease the numbers of abortions. I want fewer women to have to make such a hard choice. Providing birth control, sex education and effective social services will help reduce the number of abortions. In my personal opinion, only at the moment of birth should the child receive the full protection of the state. Before that moment, I believe the fetus’s survival is entirely reliant on its mother’s decisions, her will to carry the child, and nature taking its course. It should be entirely the mother’s choice to carry a baby to full term. Citizenship should only begin at birth. However, I fully respect all views on this topic. We, as a society, get to determine the answer. Furthermore, the government should continue to fund planned parenthood. Their services reach far beyond abortions and can save many lives through cancer screening, prenatal services, and adoption referrals. However, the funding should not be used for abortion procedures so that tax dollars from citizens who oppose abortions do not feel like they are contributing financially to the controversial procedure.
9. Do you believe the 2020 presidential election was legitimate? --- Yes. Earlier this year I spoke directly to our Hamilton County Board of Elections Director, Sherry Poland, for more than an hour. During our conversation, I directly asked her some tough questions. You can watch our complete conversation on my website at www.voteforkennedy.org. I believe our Hamilton County Board of Election staff is top-notch and they conducted a fair election here in Hamilton County. Sherry Poland and her staff do a fantastic job. I was very impressed. However, we have 3,141 counties all throughout the United States. I will always be open to real evidence, if presented that says otherwise. I think skepticism can be a healthy thing. I took real steps to investigate the matter personally because I wasn’t sure what to believe. I satisfied my curiosity after some extensive research. Joe Biden is our president now. Period. I also want to thank all poll workers and election officials for doing their part. Without them, this system cannot work. When you vote, thank a poll worker and election official. It can be stressful. However, it is such an honorable and respectable thing to do. I am so grateful for their service. They should be so proud of what they are doing.
10. How would you characterize what happened Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol? --- The events of January 6 disturbed and grieved me. I consider myself a freethinking independent centrist. I think the best way to unify our city, state and country is to lean a little bit right-center on fiscal issues and a little bit left-center on social issues. It was painful to watch this event take place—people deciding to stop our democracy at work with violence. We are so fortunate to have the democracy we have. We need to work to keep it by letting the democratic process play out even when we don’t like the result of an election. If you believe you are right, a long sustained democratic effort is much more admirable in a civilized nation than a short burst of anger because you did not get your way. Peacefully protest, get to work, and vote again. This was a painful lesson for some to learn that are behind bars now. I hope posterity takes note. DO NOT try a coup on the United States. For a couple hours those that broke into the capital probably felt very heroic and strong. However, after they stumbled out, reality set in. Now for the rest of their lives, they are paying for it. If you want to be a real hero, get to work in your communities and be a champion for democracy.
11. Issue 3 makes a number of changes to the city charter, including lowering council salaries and allowing for the recall of future mayors. Do you support or oppose Issue 3, and why? --- 100% yes! I am voting yes on issue 3. I met with Tom Brinkman this week and dove into the details behind it. Here I only have 1200 characters so I cannot explain everything. Do your research. The people that simply dismiss it are usually people who won't take the time to read and understand it. Vote YES on ISSUE 3. It is fantastic for the people of Cincinnati. Something needs to be done about the corruption we have faced in City Hall lately. Issue 3 is a great fire-starter to this end. Way to go Tom Brinkman and the petition signing team for spearheading this effort!
12. What is the single best thing Cincinnati can do to fight crime? --- I believe we need to create good jobs that pay a living wage and educate and train people to fill those jobs. Also, we need more of a focus on entrepreneurship among minorities in low-income areas. Dream big. Only simply working on wage increases will keep people down and reliant on their employer. True freedom comes when you branch out and realize you can save and then start your own business. But most people don't want you to know that. It isn’t going to be easy but if you have the drive, I would encourage you to do it. Then you can pay all your employees tons of money that you think they deserve. Small business is the true paramedic to fighting crime and lifting groups of people in certain areas out of poverty. Some employers would rather you stay stuck working for them. The more we focus on empowering others to thrive in a small business for themselves, then the less that people will lower themselves to crime because they will be fully invested in their business and their communities. I want Cincinnati to be a small business engine that pumps out countless successful startups. We need to have entrepreneurship classes in high school too. Empower others up. Crime will drop down.
13. Should Cincinnati's earnings tax be increased to pay for city services? --- I believe that at this time, there is no need for an increase in the earnings tax. Increasing taxes after coming off last year’s pandemic is a bad idea. Cincinnatians are taxed enough right now. I’m going to fight against taxpayer money being spent on pet projects too. I’m going to fight to keep our city’s earnings tax the lowest in the State.
14. What would you do to help heal racial divides in Cincinnati? --- This is the million dollar question! I do not pretend to know all the solutions. But I commit to listening and continuing to learn. I was raised in privilege in a mostly white neighborhood. For ten years of my adult life, I lived in a mostly black neighborhood and had some of the most lovely neighbors. It was living there that I learned how much racism is present in our daily lives, and started to face my own inherent biases. I want to challenge other white people who were raised like me to look at your own hidden beliefs and stereotypes.
15. Should Cincinnati expand the streetcar route? If so where and how should it be paid for? --- The streetcar is not paying for itself and it is not being used to the extent we thought it would. It only benefits very few neighborhoods. I have no interest in expanding it. I was skeptical of building a streetcar from the get-go. However, now that is built, I can appreciate the tenacity of those who worked so hard to make it happen. Really, it was quite an impressive movement. So, we need to keep funding for now. After all, we committed to building the darn thing and it was expensive. Because of this, I have to be committed along with all Cincinnatians to work to make it a success now. It would have to really tank now for me to quit funding it now, BUT that is still not entirely off the table. Use it or lose it Cincinnati. No to expansion. However, if the cars are packed to the brim and it is providing a surplus, then perhaps we can look at expanding it. I highly doubt that will happen though. I want to be practical and smart with your tax dollars.
16. Cincinnati spends 36 percent of its budget on police. What changes, if any, would you make to Cincinnati's police budget. --- 36% of our budget on police is just fine. Thank you CPD for all you do. You are so appreciated by me and so many of us here in the community.
17. How would you address our affordable housing problem and how would you change the system that created it? --- My wife, Michelle, is a social worker, she has seen firsthand the need for more affordable housing. She understands, much better than I do, the huge problem that the shortage of affordable housing is. Her work as a social worker has taken her into those very homes of people who are about to lose them for various reasons. She has seen their pain firsthand. She has come home sad, frustrated, and feeling helpless because the wait lists are so long and the homes so limited. We should use some city dollars to incentivize, challenge and stimulate our philanthropic entities and banks for more help. And work to find more funders from outside the city government. We certainly need to work to obtain assistance from the federal level to make sure we get every dollar Cincinnatians deserve. Because Cincinnati, with the population it has, along with a high poverty rate, and a twenty-eight thousand housing unit shortage, according to research from Xavier University, needs to also be able to depend on federal programs and low-income housing tax credits.
18. What is the hidden gem in your Cincinnati neighborhood and why? --- My wife brought me to Pleasant Ridge, and we love it here. I could talk about our amazing and unique restaurants, fun shops, tacos, or the hilariousness that happens in our Facebook group. However, the thing that makes Pleasant Ridge our favorite is our neighbors. We cannot walk our dog without meeting many dog friends and human friends. My daughters have made friends at the park and in the pool. When we need a favor from a neighbor, from letting our dog out to borrowing an egg or two, we have at least half a dozen people we could ask who would say yes in a heartbeat. I love Pleasant Ridge!
19. At the end of your term, what would success look like? --- A more unified city. Crime rate down. Jobs up. Streets and infrastructure better in a measurable away. Race relations better. Education needs met. Public services being met or exceeded. All the things council can influence for better or worse. Another measure is that if I ran for reelection, and I was reelected.
20. Have you ever been to Cincinnati City Hall? Why? --- Yes, curiosity and simply wanted to check things out as a concerned citizen. Most recently during this pandemic when I've gone down, I simply get turned away because of Covid and have to watch happenings online like most everyone else.
Submit your questions to email@example.com.
1. Priorities – What will your Top Ten priorities be when you become a member of council?
1. Rooting out corruption and shadow deals. Building trust is a must.
2. The safety of ALL Cincinnatians.
3. Booming our Cincinnati economy!
4. Identifying ways to technologically advance our services to the community. We need to be lightning fast in our response to everything like a business. I've worked in the private sector where things are instant. Anyone can take a picture of a document on their phone and upload it instantly. Payments are instant. Interactions are to the point and efficient. They days of slow government processes needs to end. I hate slow. Everything needs to be fast. I'm very passionate about making change in this area. Now.
5. Making sure basic services are met and expectations are exceeded.
6. Stopping wasteful spending and running the city more like a business not a charity.
7. Unifying our community on social issues. Making sure all voices are heard. I want to listen and find ways to improve our city.
8. Re-declaring war on drugs. I hate drugs with a passion.
(*However, I support the legalization of marijuana. Across the board, I'd like to keep taxes low. Except here. I would like to tax the heck out of marijuana, beer and sugar. All the crap that is terrible for human beings, but isn't reasonable to make illegal. These tax dollars can go to keep the harder drugs off the streets and keep our neighborhoods safe.)
9. Helping Cincinnati go green wherever possible.
10. Addressing Affordable Housing.
*(Basically, yes to fiscal responsibility. Yes, to pro-police initiatives to keep our public safe. Yes, to small business. Let's hold ourselves and others accountable and to high ethical standards.)
2. Streetcar – What is your opinion on our streetcar situation? I was skeptical of building a streetcar from the get-go. However, now that is built, I can appreciate the tenacity of those who worked so hard to make it happen. Lately though, I’ve noticed very few people riding on the streetcar and my skepticism has returned. We need to keep funding for now. After all, we committed to building the darn thing and it was expensive. Because of this, I have to be committed along with all Cincinnatians to work to make it a success now. It would have to really tank now for me to quit funding it now, BUT that is still not entirely off the table. Use it or lose it Cincinnati.
3. Affordable Housing (Extended) – My wife, Michelle, is a social worker, she has seen firsthand the need for more affordable housing. She understands, much better than I do, the huge problem that the shortage of affordable housing is. Her work as a social worker has taken her into those very homes of people who are about to lose them for various reasons. She has seen their pain firsthand. She has come home sad, frustrated, and feeling helpless because the wait lists are so long and the homes so limited. I come from privilege, and I have never had to deal with housing insecurity. I certainly can’t imagine the stress that would cause. But I do know we need to do better, and even though I did not support the charter amendment Issue 3. We should use SOME city dollars to incentivize, challenge and stimulate our philanthropic entities and banks for more help. And work to find more funders from outside the city government. We certainly need to work to obtain assistance from the federal level to make sure we get every dollar Cincinnatians deserve. Because Cincinnati, (with three-hundred thousand people, along with a high poverty rate, and a twenty-eight thousand housing unit shortage… (This, according to research from Xavier University…)) ABSOLUTELY needs to also be able to depend on federal programs and low-income housing tax credits. I do recognize how supporters of the charter amendment currently feel about city hall not doing enough. We have not had a wide-ranging affordable housing strategy here in the city. And the effects of that are evident. We have to get this right and incentivize growth and equity using every tool we can. This whole issue has a lot of parts and is a MASSIVE task, yes, but it is no excuse and we need to do better. Many, including my wife Michelle, have made it known to me, and seen, how disastrous evictions can be to people. We also have to do a better job making sure both landlords AND tenants have access to support and an overall better system to help them through the painstaking process on BOTH sides. And while we need to make ABSOLUTELY sure we keep a balanced budget, when you love a city, you fight for all the people in it that make it work. You fight to build a strong and robust economy for everyone as we get back to a new normal and as we finish off this virus. You fight to lift others up, and never to appeal to some, by pushing others down. I promise to listen and consider all creative ways to help solve this issue while still keeping our budget balanced and the services we offer as a city fully functioning and fully staffed. Furthermore, I want to support the re-examination of tax exemptions for religions. This will need to happen at a state and federal level. However, I will be a voice for change across our city, county, state and country. All of the US. Exemptions for religions from property taxes, for example, represent an enormous benefit to religions that we ALL pay for — the total value of all property owned by religious groups in Cincinnati and throughout Hamilton county for that matter, easily runs into the tens of millions of dollars. And for the United States as a whole it easily runs into the tens of billions. This creates a problem, because these tax exemptions amount to a substantial gift of money to religions at, again, the expense of someone. The taxpayers… YOU. For every dollar which the government cannot collect on religious property, it must make up for by collecting it from its citizens… As a consequence, all citizens are forced to indirectly support religious organizations, even those of us that don't want to be a part of them. Every time you pass a religious property, know that YOU are paying for it, not them. I disagree that this is the way it should be. The religious that congregate there should be paying for it. This is a violation of our constitution’s establishment clause because it directly aids religion. We need to reexamine exempting religious organizations from taxes as a society. That real and difficult conversation needs to begin now. And when our society finally decides it is time to tax the religions, and the three branches of our government reflect that in their decisions too, these religious organizations should then feel proud that they are actually helping society out with their tax dollars. These are tax dollars that can go to help fix our affordable housing problem for example, help aid more youth programs, and care more for our elderly. Religions can look at paying taxes as a real act of kindness. We cannot keep taxing our businesses and citizens into oblivion when there is so much of an opportunity for religions to help out in this way. Religions, who are using make-believe spirituality as a guise for a business of conning Cincinnatians and the rest of the American people. Who only do enough good to toot their own horn and give the perception they are helping without actually doing so. I think they should be taxed much like casinos. Religions and casinos offer similar highs to its users. This massive change can help fix our affordable housing issues. I am not afraid to promote this change. For it to work, it will require a lot of cooperation from all levels of government and the public. With the growing number of non-religious, I think this will be a matter of time. The sooner the better in my opinion.
4. Developers - On dealing with developers: We need to be skeptical of politicians getting involved in these deals and empower and entrust the professionals that work in city hall… Whose job it is to deal with them and who are getting paid through OUR tax dollars to do so. And if there is some sort of impasse, then council needs to discuss it openly, transparently and in the public eye. It is simply the council’s role to understand what is happening surrounding those developments and assist the city manager and the city development staff in prioritizing, if asked. This, so we can achieve the larger initiatives we want to achieve to continue to grow our region. Furthermore, I will work with other council members to come up with a code of conduct, so we can hold EACH other accountable. As a member of council, you can, and SHOULD make the proper introductions if needed between developers and all other parties, and then butt out. Empower others. This, to assure voters that when projects come before city council those folks will get the fair hearing they deserve. Not given out as favors - but given out based on what is best OVERALL for our city.
5. Corruption - Additionally, on raising ethical standards, we all know the state legislature has already raised the ethics bar with their solid version of the ethics disclosure process. Let’s pass a near identical version of that for city council... Council also needs more regular reports on who has given money to campaigns. This, so red flags will be spotted earlier. By the way, I want to make it known that I’ve made the commitment not to accept donations of any kind from anybody… Individuals, businesses, developers, organizations, Political action committees… Etc.… First, because I don’t like it when politicians ask for money. And second, because I don’t like it when politicians ask for money. Instead, my campaign wants to ask folks to give to a Cincinnati based charity, OR, support local Cincinnati businesses around town. I think it’s a novel idea rarely seen in politics today. And my volunteers and I, are proud of that. For me, it’s not about money. It’s about service to you.
6. TQL Stadium – Would you have voted to build the new TQL Stadium? Yes, I supported the building of TQL Stadium. I acknowledge the tearing apart and hurt it caused some living in the community where it is now built. We are thankful for your sacrifice. Overall, it helps Cincinnati as a whole and will help catapult Cincinnati into more economic boom-times ahead.
7. Funding for Cincinnati Movies – Helping to bring movies to Cincinnati is a great idea. Leveraging some city tax dollars to do this is a good idea too. I am a financial conservative by nature so this may surprise some Cincinnatians. However, I am also a marketer and the payoff to Cincinnati is huge here. When people all over the country and the world sit down and watch a movie that was shot in our city it provides our city more exposure. More exposure means more businesses and young professionals become aware of our city, the more awareness we have, the more likely these people will want to come here and bring their talents, businesses and families with them. We need to keep bringing movies to Cincy. Plus, it is a ton of fun and there is incalculable abouts of pride Cincinnatians feel when they know a movie was shot here. It also fills up hotel rooms and restaurants with the movie crew when they come. Cincinnati will have star power when I am on city council. The little bit of money we spend to encourage movies to be shot here helps Cincinnati in a bit way.
8. Bar problems – Where do you stand on Galla Park – Smitherman wants to close them for a year, but not go after the Reds and Bengals for fights from fans. Please explain why it’s ok for sports teams to allow fans to damage property and fight. But a bar is responsible for people using heroin outside the establishment and trying to enter? We need to take hard steps to make the area safer at times. But, yes. This is not entirely the bar’s fault. That bar can do better in some areas to help contribute to a safer overall environment like Smitherman wants. He is frustrated that his asks have been seemingly ignored. However, you bring up a good point that Cincinnati has a serious drug problem. I will work to hold bars accountable for meeting the requirements to operate safely in our city, but not hold them accountable for our cities drug problem which is all of our problem to deal with. I loath drugs and want to work get them the heck out of Cincinnati. I want that responsibility so that bars in Cincinnati don’t have to worry about that. Galla Park, myself, the Red, the Bengals, and the whole community need to work together to fight our drug problem and take steps to stop unruly folks. Galla Park should stay open but needs to be held accountable at some point or else businesses can get away with anything. We need to work together. Punishing the bar in the center is easy to do because they are an easy scapegoat. There is a bigger problem that needs to be addressed here.
9. Water rate increases – Council as part of the budget process also approved five years of water rate increases. It starts with a 3.75% water rate increase next year, followed by a 5.55% increase for each of the following 4 years. How do you feel about this rate increase? I have heard many Cincinnati residents express to me they are upset about this rate increase. A rate increase is needed, and I support the current council’s decision to raise it somewhat, but I believe it should be a 3.75% increase and stay put there.
10. City Manager Raise – The 2022 Budget included a 5% raise for the city manager, bringing her annual salary to $265,130. How do you feel about that? City law requires a review before any raise. If it is decided she still gets it after her review, good for her. We need the best city manager and from what I have heard she is top notch. This just means the bar was raised, and she has to go out and prove she is worth it to the people of Cincinnati. I like the sound of that.
11. Bell Tower – (*NEW UPDATE*) Recently it was reported by the Cincinnati Enquirer that city council members pledged to help the funding for the preservation of a 126-year-old bell tower at First Lutheran Church on Race Street in Over-the-Rhine. This, with $500,000 in leftover 2021 budget money. Not only does this violate our constitution's establishment clause that forbids government from aiding a particular religion, it also sets up a bad precedent, and is a waste of Cincinnati taxpayer money. Under the guise of preserving something historical, the council just pledged a half-million dollar offering to a church on our city’s dime.
*Since my opinion article appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer, the church will no longer be accepting the funds. This is a big win for Cincinnati and I am proud and content with the outcome of this situation.*
12. What is your stance on tax abatements? I hate tax abatements. We need to get rid of them all. However, we need to keep property taxes low. So, we need to get rid of ALL tax abatements and keep property taxes low. Simple stuff that keeps things fair for everyone. I am passionate about this. However, I remain open to continue hearing arguments to keep them around. The discussion needs to remain open. I enjoy the tension here and will listen to both sides but I am pretty set on doing my part to remove them.
13. What is your stance on public safety? We need to support our police. They put their lives on the line for the protection of our city. I will ask what police need to do their job and try to get that to them while also continuing to listen closely to the community and work to hold them and myself accountable for the job they do.
14. What is your take on our economy? I want to work as hard as I can to make Cincinnati the next tech hub for young professionals. My work at C-Change with the Cincinnati Regional Chamber has helped prepare me for this task. There is a great need for workers with experience in cybersecurity, IT support, cloud and data/database management experts. I will vote for legislation that will maintain a pro-business atmosphere where the cost of doing business in Cincinnati remains low. We need businesses to invest in our city and create jobs so we can continue to grow.
15. Will you keep property taxes low? Yes, I will be voting "no” on the property tax increase that the Parks Board has put on this November’s ballot. I love and use our parks a bunch but we need to find ways to save money. Increasing property taxes after coming off last year’s pandemic is a bad idea. Cincinnatians are taxed enough. I’m going to fight against taxpayer money being spent on pet projects. I’m going to fight to keep our city’s earnings tax the lowest in the State.
1. Gay Marriage – Do you support the legalization of same sex marriage? Yes, of course!
2. LGBT Adoption Rights – Should gay couples have the same adoption right as straight couples? Yes, as long as they pass the same background checks as straight couples.
3. Gender Identity – Should “gender identity” be added to anti-discrimination laws? Yes.
4. Planned Parenthood Funding – Should the government continue to fund planned parenthood? Yes, their services reach far beyond abortions and can save many lives through cancer screening, prenatal services, and adoption referrals. However, the funding should not be used for abortion procedures. This, so that tax dollars from citizens who oppose abortions do not feel like they are contributing financially to the controversial procedure.
5. Gun Buyback – Should the federal government institute a mandatory buyback of assault weapons? No, this would be a violation of the 2nd amendment. Increase mental health and background checks instead. It should be voluntary with some financial incentives instead.
6. Transgender Athletes – Should transgender athletes be allowed to compete in athletic events? Yes, with whatever gender they identify as. I was recently against this. However, I changed my mind after speaking with community members and with equality Cincinnati Leaders about it. Yes, I can do that.
*If interested in my views before changing my mind, see below:
(Prior to 10/12)
Yes, of course they should, but only with competitions composed of males and other transgender athletes. Natural born women with hormone levels that are equivalent to the norm, should have their own competitions without apprehension about their competitors having an unfair advantage. There should be two categories in sport competitions: 1. Male and Transgender Athletes. 2. Female Athletes. However, I support transgender athletes in their struggle and am open to exploring this topic further with the transgender community. All transgender athletes have such profound respect from me. I hope they continue to raise the bar for themselves and push through societal limits. While it can be tempting to want to compete in the female category, I believe transgender athletes will become stronger athletes, and individuals; and earn the respect of others, only with full acceptance and empathy for opposing viewpoints, and if/when they decide to boldly compete with the category of men and other transgenders only. We are rooting for you. We are proud of you. I want to encourage you. Many including myself have no clue about all the struggles you face. I stand firm with my statement above for now while admiring you for the champions that you are because of the extra struggles you may face. Go kick some butt and stay strong always. I want to be a friend and supporter to the transgender community.
7. Religious Freedom Act – Should a business be able to deny service to a customer if the request conflicts with the owner’s religious beliefs? No, all customers deserve to be treated equally.
8. Racial Sensitivity Training – Should the federal government require racial sensitivity training for employees? Yes, as long as it covers all protected groups (age, sex, race disability sexual orientation, religion) and is not based on critical race theory. Ensure there are clear guidelines, action, and accountability for acts of discrimination.
9. Gender Transition Treatments – Should people under the age of 18 years old be able to receive gender-transition treatments? No, children should not be allowed to make these kinds of irreversible life decisions. However, when a person turns age 16, they can, but only for non-surgical treatments such as puberty blockers and hormone therapy. At age 18, they can have at it with any array of gender transition treatments.
10. Abortion – What is your stance on abortion? I am Pro-Choice. Providing birth control, sex education and more social services will help reduce the number of abortions. Only at the moment of birth should the child receive the full protection of the state. Before that moment, I believe the fetus’s survival is entirely reliant on its mother’s decisions, her will to carry the child, and nature taking its course. It should be entirely the mother’s choice to carry a baby to full term. Citizenship should only begin at birth. However, I fully respect all views on this topic and will continue to listen to all opposing viewpoints to confirm or adjust my opinion. Just a quick point on citizenship - Section 1 of the 14th amendment states that persons born here or naturalized are U.S. citizens. By those criteria, the unborn cannot be U.S. citizens.
*Furthermore on this special topic, I like these thoughts and opinions from two other folks:
a. “The unborn” are a convenient group of people to advocate for. They never make demands of you; they are morally uncomplicated, unlike the incarcerated, addicted, or the chronically poor; they don’t resent your condescension or complain that you are not politically correct; unlike widows, they don’t ask you to question patriarchy; unlike orphans, they don’t need money, education, or childcare; unlike aliens, they don’t bring all that racial, cultural, and religious baggage that you dislike; they allow you to feel good about yourself without any work at creating or maintaining relationships; and when they are born, you can forget about them, because they cease to be unborn. You can love the unborn and advocate for them without substantially challenging your own wealth, power, or privilege, without re-imagining social structures, apologizing, or making reparations to anyone. They are, in short, the perfect people to love if you want to claim you love Jesus, but actually dislike people who breathe. Prisoners? Immigrants? The sick? The poor? Widows? Orphans? All the groups that are specifically mentioned in the Bible? They all get thrown under the bus for the unborn. -Methodist Pastor David Barnhart
b. “Last night, I was in a debate about these new abortion laws being passed in red states. My son stepped in with this comment which was a show stopper. One of the best explanations I have read: ‘Reasonable people can disagree about when a zygote becomes a “human life” – that’s not a philosophical question. However, regardless of whether or not one believes a fetus is ethically equivalent to an adult, it doesn’t obligate a mother to sacrifice her body autonomy for another, innocent or not. Body autonomy is a critical component of the right to privacy protected by the Constitution, as decided in Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), McFall v. Shrimp (1978), and of course Roe v. Wade (1973). Consider a scenario where you are a perfect bone marrow match for a child with severe aplastic anemia; no other person on earth is a close enough match to save the child’s life, and the child will certainly die without a bone marrow transplant from you. If you decided that you did not want to donated your marrow to save the child, for whatever reason, the state cannot demand the use of any part of your body for something to which you do not consent. It doesn’t matter if the procedure required to complete the donation is trivial, or if the rationale for refusing is flimsy and arbitrary, or if the procedure is the only hope the child has to survive, or if the child is a genius or a saint of anything else – the decision to donate must be voluntary to be constitutional. This right is even extended to a person’s body after they die; if they did not voluntarily commit to donate their organs while alive, their organs cannot be harvested after death, regardless of how useless those organs are to the deceased or how many lives they would save. That’s the law. Use of a woman’s uterus to save a life is no different from use of her bone marrow to save a life – it must be offered voluntarily. By all means, profess your belief that providing one’s uterus to save the child is morally just, and refusing is morally wrong. That is a defensible philosophical position, regardless of who agrees and who disagrees. But legally, it must be the woman’s choice to carry out the pregnancy. She may choose to carry the baby to term. She may choose not to. Either decision could be made for all the right reasons, all the wrong reasons, or anything in between. But it must be her choice, and protecting the right of body autonomy means the law is on her side. Supporting that precedent is what being pro-choice means.” -Author Unknown
11. Hate Speech – Should hate speech be protected by the first amendment? Yes, because I don’t trust the government to define the boundaries of hate speech. No particular topic, group, or individual is above being scrutinized. ALL speech needs to be protected SO LONG as it does not threaten violence. Also, being challenged on one’s beliefs or stances is NOT persecution. The word “persecution” gets tossed around too much these days when an individual or group feels challenged too much. Only weak individuals or groups require excessive praise. To those that have become accustomed to privilege, equality can feel like oppression. ALL speech needs to be protected by the first amendment. I will not budge here. We should speak and think freely and protect this right with everything we have.
12. Death Penalty – Do you support the death penalty? No. Too many people are innocently convicted and spending life in prison is a harsher sentence anyway.
13. Government Mandates – Should health insurance providers be required to offer free birth control? Yes. Normally the government should not decide what services a private business can provide. In this case, we need to make an exception. Unwanted pregnancies can cause a lot of problems for our society. We need to be proactive here, not reactive. I support this as a government mandate. That said, I think it is in an insurance providers best interest to offer free birth control, regardless of a mandate too.
14. Women in Combat – Should the military allow women to serve in combat roles? Yes, preventing woman from serving in combat roles is discriminatory.
15. Gender Workplace Diversity – Should businesses be required to have women on their board of directors? No, board members should be the most qualified regardless of gender.
16. Confederate Flag – Should states be allowed to display the Confederate flag on government property? No. If the Confederates won the Civil War, sure. But they lost. So, no Confederate flags on government property. Display it on your personal property all you want. I will defend your right to do so even though, to me, is a symbol of racism, separatism, and treason. I understand some think it only symbolizes rebellion and is a historical symbol. I respect your opinion, but I disagree. Fly it all you want, but not on government property.
17. Safe Spaces – Should universities be forced to provide “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” for students? No. Not unless the university itself wants to provide that for students. I think safe spaces are great and kudos to universities that offer that for students.
18. First Amendment – Should the government support a separation of church and state by removing refences to gods and super-entities? Yes, but do not waste money removing existing references. References to such things create a bias against religions that do not believe in gods or super-entities. Our government should remain secular and should not endorse the idea of imaginary super-entities. State religion has bad consequences for societies. However, I will defend your right to believe in whatever super-entity you wish. There are many to choose from. They are all very interesting to me. I grew up Lutheran. I am now a freethinking secular humanist. I still attend church with my family. I support them and enjoy watching them enjoy themselves with their particular religion that helps them. I have no problem supporting and attending services of all religions. However, we need to keep our government secular. This, to be open and welcoming to all viewpoints. I simply love and support the human race. Personally, “Love” is my religion, "Humanity" is my race, "Peace" is my weapon, "Kindness" is my power, "Honor" is my rule, and "Life" is my choice.
19. Niqāb – Should women be allowed to wear a niqab, or face veil, to civic ceremonies? Yes, we should respect these cultural traditions that do not hurt anyone.
20. Circumcision – Should boys and girls under 18 years old be protected from the irreversible life decision of circumcision from parents, religious leaders, hospitals, and doctors? Yes. While it is somewhat socially acceptable today under the guise of religious freedom, circumcision is actually an appalling human rights violation and should be considered infant torture and genital mutilation. When a child is born, that child should be protected by the state from unnecessary surgeries on their genitals like circumcision. Parents, doctors, religious fanatics, and hospitals who do this to innocent children should be held accountable and punished by a law here in Cincinnati and beyond. We need to take steps to protect the defenseless children being subjected to this barbaric and disturbing nonsense. I will work with religious leaders, parents, hospitals, and doctors to unify and educate people on this issue. I understand the profound religious and cultural norms these changes will challenge. And I will do it anyway, because it is the right thing to do.
21. Euthanasia – Should terminally ill patient be allowed to end their lives via assisted suicide? No, but they should be allowed to refuse artificial life support if they are that bad. I understand to some, this sounds not very empathic. However, imagine the precedent this would cause if we allow assisted suicide. Can you imagine commercials on TV saying: “Feeling down because of your aliments? Buy our product, end your life today, and just be done with it.” As human beings it is your duty to push through any amount of pain and not give up. Our human race cannot tolerate giving up. Neither can you. Life can hurt so bad at times and death seems the only way out to get of the pain. Push through anyways. All the way to the end no matter how terminally ill you are. You got this.
22. Judicial Bias – Is Is there a bias in our judicial system? Three things. First, we need to recognize that racism exists. Second, we need to recognizing there is bias in our system, especially our judicial system. Third, we need to keep the conversation going and in people’s faces until change actually happens. You know, to get a little personal, on the part with "bias in our judicial system…" I thought that as a father, if it wasn’t working out with my ex and I for any reason, we could get a divorce and we’d each get 50/50 custody. But I found out, much to my surprise, there is a bias against fathers in our judicial system too. And that got me thinking, if there is a bias against a good father like myself just because I’m a father, then there might be, just maybe, a bias against good people just because of the color of their skin. And, I’m not just angry about it, I’m beyond pissed off about it. And so, as long as I have breath in my body, I am going to call out theses biases I see happening all around us. Regardless, of whether or not, I make it on city council, I’m excited, because I already know what I want to do with my life. And that is: boldly call out the system bias and those who abuse their power at any level. The people that are in these positions of power in our judicial system, better wake up. The judges, the guardian ad litems, etc... When it comes to providing children with equal time with fathers AND equal sentencing when it comes to race... It is not just one judge, or one guardian ad litem... It’s all of them. It is our system. Our children deserve better. The pain that I’ve received in this way has been transformed into an infinite amount of energy to bring about change and hope in a better tomorrow and a more equal system in all ways. And by the way… If you’re a judge, or guardian ad litem, and you didn’t like it when I said its ALL of you, tell me please, how does it feel to be stereotyped? Justice is not as blind as it should be. Justice has its eyes wide open. And justice is a racist and biased against fathers unfortunately. This needs to change.
1. Critical Race Theory in K-12 Education – Should critical race theory be taught in K-12 education?
Absolutely yes. I recently changed my mind from 'leaning no' to 'yes' after speaking to fellow Cincinnati City Council Candidate, LaKeisha Cook. She enlightened me a bit on some things I did not understand or were unsure of. Thanks LaKeisha!
*If interested in my views before deciding to support CRT in K-12 education, see below:
(Prior to 10/12)
Leaning Nope. However, I am not set in stone and I need more information. Are we talking an entire year-long class on the subject or a 2-day lesson plan in just History class as juniors in High School to talk about Critical Race Theory? How much time are we talking about using in school for this? 2 hours total or 180 hours total. I could be persuaded if it is just a couple hours of a students time. Critical Race Theory is already being taught in colleges though. I think that is fantastic and where it belongs. I am open to listening more. And I am not 100% opposed if it ever came to be. Personally, however, I believe that in grade school, we should simply require racial sensitivity education as long as it covers all protected groups (age, sex, race disability sexual orientation, etc) and is not based on critical race theory. I understand critics argue that CRT elevates storytelling over evidence and reason. I would not go that far. I just think we still need ensure there are clear guidelines, action, and accountability for acts of discrimination even at a young age. I do not think it should be part of the curriculum for kids K-12. I am educated on CRT (But anyone is free to educate me more) and yet I am still learning new perspectives on CRT every day and want to keep an open mind here. Every day I personally want to work to eliminate my own prejudices that I might be unaware of. I want to be a champion for the entire human race. Also, nothing can stop grade school kids from discovering any theory that is out there on any topic on their own. This is great too. We should never silence discussions of racism, equality, social justice, and the history of race. In high school, I think we need to have mandatory entrepreneurship classes. Knowing the basics on how to run a successful business needs to be hardwired in the blood of all Americans. This will help us out tremendously. Especially in our low-income and minority groups. I believe we need to focus more on create good jobs that pay a living wage and educate and train people to fill those jobs. I am going off subject here but I don't care, this is my site. Simply working on wage increases will keep people down and reliant on their employer. True freedom comes when you branch out and realize you do need your employer. YOU can be the employer. I want to see more folks begin to thrive by creating their own businesses and hiring good folks in their communities. To do this, save and learn from whatever industry you find yourself working in. Do not sign a non-compete, then start your own business! Too much focus is on preparing people to only work for others. I want people to work for themselves. Break yourself of this mold and find your calling, provide a service or goods to people, and find your freedom. Small business is the true paramedic to fighting racism, crime and lifting groups of people in certain areas out of poverty. It isn't easy. But it’s worth it. The more we focus on empowering others to thrive in business in Cincinnati, and beyond, the less people will lower themselves to racism and crime because they will be fully invested in their business and their communities. Back on topic,
Critical Race Theory... This is the million dollar question too. I do not pretend to know the solution. But I commit to listening and continuing to learn. I was raised in privilege in a mostly white neighborhood. For ten years of my adult life, I lived in a mostly black neighborhood and had some of the most lovely neighbors. It was living there that I learned how much racism is present in our daily lives, and started to face my own inherent biases. I want to challenge other white people who were raised like me to look at your own hidden beliefs and stereotypes. I lean no but I need more information and cannot seem to come to a full conclusion.
2. Student Loans – Do you support increasing taxes on the rich in order to reduce interest rates for student loans? No, but we should still reduce interest rates for student loans.
3. Free College for All – Should the federal government pay for tuition at four-year colleges and universities? No, but provide lower interest rates for student loans and provide more scholarship opportunities for low-income students.
4. In-Person Learning – Should K-12 schools reopen for in-person learning? Yes.
5. Common Core – Do you support Common Core national standards? No, education should be handled at the state and local level instead of the national level. We need to teach to each student’s potential instead of uniform testing. I like the concept of Common Core but not the current implementation by our federal government. To improve our national average, I could get behind a national base standard that allows states and local districts to customize their implementation.
6. Universal Pre-K – Should the federal government fund Universal preschool? Yes, but funding should come from states instead of the federal government.
7. School Vouchers – Should the government offer students a voucher that they can use to attend private schools? No, we should focus on improving our public schools instead. Furthermore, in 2002, in a 5-4 split, when the supreme court ruled that school vouchers were constitutional, I believe the supreme court got it very wrong. Well, 4 got it right, but 5 got it wrong. School vouchers ARE unconstitutional unless it is for students with disabilities or on the autism spectrum. Otherwise, it just diverts public funds to private schools and private religious schools. Bad idea for the overall good of our society in my opinion. It also violates the constitution’s establishment clause. Ohio needs a Blaine amendment like many other states have that specifically prohibits the use of public dollars in private religious schools. In some programs private schools are actually allowed to cherry-pick students, turning away low-performers and even those with disabilities. Some studies have even shown voucher students actually losing ground, in some cases significantly. I am not for vouchers at all, unless, again, it is for students with disabilities or on the autism spectrum.
8. Charter Schools – Do you support charter schools? Yes. They are public and are still held accountable for their performance. They also offer a more diverse array of teaching styles that are needed for us to try and improve the overall good of all education for our society.
9. School Truancy – Should the government decriminalize school truancy? No. Children need to go to school and their needs to be accountability if they are actively skipping school.
1. Gun Control – Should there be more restrictions on the current process of purchasing a gun? Yes, we should require strict background checks before gun purchases. We should make it much more difficult for violent convicted criminals and mentally ill to obtain guns. Personally, I am a proud gun owner. I learned to shoot a gun in the boy scouts. It was a good experience. I also love to go to the shooting range to practice with friends. I will defend the right of clear-minded, law-abiding citizens to own guns in which to hunt and to protect themselves and their families.
2. Armed Teachers – Should teachers be allowed to carry guns at school? Yes. In some cases. I would love to focus on hiring professionally trained security guards instead. Allowing teachers to carry guns could increase the risk of accidental shootings... However, if in smaller schools, or in some schools where it is difficult to hire security personnel, certain teachers, who might want that profound responsibility, and who have demonstrated a large degree of trust among students, parents, faculty and the community, should be able to carry a gun after they have had the proper training in order to protect students. The responsibility of which teachers could be chosen for this extra duty would ultimately fall on the school board or perhaps the superintendent alone. No extra pay would be given to this teacher. It would be a position of much responsibility.
3. Drug Policy – Are you in favor of decriminalizing drug use? No, I hate drugs with a passion. I cannot emphasize enough my disgust for drugs. However, I think we should decriminalize SOME drugs that offer medicinal benefits such as marijuana. I do not smoke marijuana, nor do I shame people who do it for recreation or certain health reasons. I just choose not to smoke. I really don’t like drugs and want them off our streets. I have seen people shooting up around the corner of my own street. I know it is happening all over. I will do whatever steps I can do to crack down on drugs. Drugs destroy lives and communities. I want them the heck out of Cincinnati, Ohio!
4. Gerrymandering – Should the redrawing of Congressional districts be controlled by an independent non-partisan commission? Yes, I am an independent and I belief firmly that gerrymandering gives an unfair advantage to the party in power during redistricting. We need to switch to a multi-member, proportionally selected redistricting system.
5. Term Limits – Should there be term limits set for members of Congress? Yes, term limits will increase performance and prevent corruption.
6. Supreme Court Reform – Should the Supreme Court be reformed to include more seats and term limits on judges? No. I respect strong arguments for reforming the court, and it is very tempting to want to go this route, especially when it could help your particular stances. However, reforming the Supreme Court is unconstitutional and would upset the balance of power. Judges need to be far away from the current wild swings of public opinions of the day. If it is a strong enough argument or case, it will make its way back to the supreme court in good time and change will take place. I hate being patient too on some issues where I think the supreme court got it wrong. We need to adhere to how it is written in our constitution in my opinion.
7. Affirmative Action – Do you support affirmative action programs? Not always. Regardless, we should create more social programs to address poverty.
8. Muslim Surveillance – Should local police increase surveillance and patrol of Muslim neighborhoods? No, this decision should be based on crime rates instead of race or religion. Targeting Muslims is unconstitutional, racist, and incendiary. Police should increase surveillance and patrol of all high crime neighborhoods.
9. Gun Liability – Should victims of gun violence be allowed to sue firearms dealers and manufacturers? No. manufacturers and dealers should only be held liable for negligence.
10. No-Fly List Gun Control – Should people on the “no-fly list” be banned from purchasing guns and ammunition? Yes, but not until the no-fly list screen process is improved for accuracy and includes due process. If the government considers you too dangerous to board a plane, it might be wise for us to make it more difficult for that person to buy a gun.
11. Patriot Act – Do you support the Patriot Act? No. The Patriot Act was passed after 9/11 to combat terrorism with lots of support. However, in recent years, the government has been using this law outside its original intent to spy on Americans. Additionally, it is unconstitutional, because section 215 violates the 4th amendment, the protection against unlawful searches and seizures, by permitting warrantless searches. Plus, section 505 allows the government to investigate people based on their speech which is a direct violation of our first amendment rights.
12. NSA Domestic Surveillance – Should the NSA (National Security Agency) be allowed to collect basic metadata of citizens phone calls such as? No, only with a warrant showing probable cause of criminal activity.
13. Social Media Regulation – Should the government regulate social media sites, as a means to prevent fake news and misinformation? No, social media companies are private and should not be regulated by the government. The government should not determine what is fake or real news, the people however, do have that luxury.
14. Net Neutrality – Should internet service providers be allowed to speed up access to popular websites (that pay higher rates) at the expense of slowing down access to less popular websites (that pay lower rates)? No, treat all traffic equally and continue the openness of the internet.
15. Flag Burning – Should it be illegal to burn the American flag? No, this is a violation of free speech. However, I love our flag. I will always treat it with respect. Whether or not you do, is up to you.
16. Eminent Domain – Should the government be allowed to seize private property, with reasonable compensation, for public or civic use? Yes, as long as landowners are fairly compensated, and the projects will benefit the community.
17. Juneteenth – Should Juneteenth be declared a federal holiday? Yes.
18. Edward Snowden – Should the government grant immunity to Edward Snowden? No. Many of us appreciate what he did. Some of us dislike what he did. However, he knew the consequences of his actions and he took action and then got away. So here we are. Hero or villain? We all get to decide for ourselves. From me, he has my respect, but it is probably better he stays where he is. It is interesting that this is the only issue on here about one man. I like to think this shows the profound power each individual human has. What we do in our lives can have major impacts on society. So, decide what you have to do to make a positive impact and go do that thing.
19. Political Advertising on Social Media – Should social media companies ban political advertising? No. This would violate the first amendment. It is not the job of a candidate to get you to vote for them, it is the job of a candidate to inform the public on where they stand. Political advertising helps accomplish this for the betterment of society. (They are annoying though, aren't they?)
20. Air Force One – Should the military upgrade Air Force One? No, not until the cost of $4 billion dollars is dramatically reduced.
1. Minimum Wage – Should the government raise the federal minimum wage? Yes slightly, and slightly adjust it every year according to inflation. I am a business-friendly guy. However, we need to help these people out and this is long overdue.
2. Taxes – Should the U.S. raise taxes on the rich? Yes, slightly on the ultra wealthy on a national level maybe. But here’s the thing, balance here is important for me. SMALL (and I do mean small) swings in either direction are fine with me from time to time. We need to tax to run our society efficiently. Too much taxation or too little taxation can hurt us in either direction on the rich or other classes. We need a healthy overall balance for our society. I like our taxes where they are at. Yes, I take a rare stance that they fine where they are at. They hurt to pay them, yes! But, they provide an overall good for society that we need. Furthermore, I am against tax abatements. I understand getting rid of them completely will be off the table, but I think we need to dial back the length of time they get dished out for sure. During a pandemic we should not raise taxes on anyone though.
3. Equal Pay – Should employers be required to pay men and women the same salary for the same job? Yes.
4. Corporate Tax – Should the U.S. raise or lower the tax rate for corporations? Do not raise or lower. Keep the current rates but eliminate deductions and loopholes.
5. Paid Sick Leave – Should businesses be required to provide paid leave for full-time employees during the birth of a child or sick family member? Yes. I am business-friendly, but we have got to do this. This is a no brainer for the well-being of our society.
6. Government Spending – Should the government make cuts to public spending in order to reduce the national debt? Yes. Slightly in some areas and more in others. We need to actually make an effort here. I would be proud to make spending cuts.
7. Economic Stimulus – Should the government use economic stimulus to aid the country during times of recession? Yes, the government should intervene to boost a recovery. However, we need to stop sending these stimulus checks back to Americans. We should turn the recession around to our advantage by taking that opportunity to be more focused in the form of increased spending on infrastructure. Why aren’t we doing this more? Beats me. This helps us out of the recession quicker and then we can put the pedal to the floor with economic growth when the market turns once again. Economic boomtown for everyone when we do this. Let’s go!
8. Public Transportation – Should the government increase spending on public transportation? The level of spending should stay where it is.
9. Universal Basic Income – Do you support a universal basic income program? No. This will encourage people not to work and harm economic growth.
10. Labor Unions – Do you believe labor unions help or hurt the economy? They help. Labor unions are good overall, but they can become corrupt and should have their powers limited.
11. Welfare Drug Testing – Should welfare recipients be tested for drugs? Yes, and if they have a criminal history related to drug abuse, we should consider immediately terminating their benefits. However, if this testing is too expensive, because it will cost tax dollars to implement, then we need to do random testing or just in areas we identify abuses going on.
12. Capital Gains Tax – Should the government increase the tax rate on profits earned from the sale of stocks, bonds, and real estate. No, increasing the capital gains tax will limit investment in our economy. I could one day be persuaded for a slight increase if there are no other options, but not much.
13. Welfare – Should there be fewer or more restrictions on current welfare benefits? More, reform the system so that it supplements, rather than replaces, a working income, except for the elderly and disabled.
14. Overtime Pay – Should the government require businesses to pay salaried employees, making up to $46K per year, time-and-a-half? No. Our economy and business cannot afford a decrease in worker productivity and the government is currently over-regulating private businesses. Workers will go where they the money is and where they are appreciated anyway. If they don’t like this, they have the power to find a business that treats them how they want. There are businesses that do pay time-and-a-half. I’d rather work for one of them too. However, I will not force a business to do this via government order. I’d simply ask the business for it as an employee or I’d leave and find a better opportunity. As a worker, you have so much power. Just ask for more or leave if you don’t like the business. Business is tough, but you are tougher.
15. Tariffs – Should the government increase tariffs on products imported into the country? No, except for 1. China, and 2. Minimal Import tariffs on U.S. businesses that are outsourcing to incentivize them to look in the U.S…. Overall, a global free trade system is better for our businesses and consumers. Increasing other tariffs too much would hurt our manufacturing businesses that totally rely on importing cheap resources to make their products.
16. China Tariffs – Should the U.S. increase tariffs on imported products from China? Yes, China artificially manipulates their currency and we need to make an exception with China and hold them accountable until they stop.
17. Tech Monopolies – Should the government break up Amazon, Facebook, and Google? No.
18. NAFTA – Should the U.S. continue to participate in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)? Yes, NAFTA helps lower the prices of consumer products.
19. Estate Tax – Should the current estate tax rate be decreased? No, I am satisfied with the current rate.
20. Domestic Jobs – Should the President offer tax breaks to individual companies to keep jobs in the U.S.? Yes, and increase taxes and import tariffs on outsourcing business to incentive companies to look in the U.S. as mentioned in topic #14.
21. Offshore Banking – Should U.S. citizens be allowed to save or invest their money in offshore bank accounts? Yes, as long as offshore income is reported. If not reported, we need stiff punishments.
22. Government Pensions – Should pension payments be increased for retired government workers? No, not until we decrease our national debt.
23. Pension Reform – Should pension plans for federal, state, and local government workers be transitioned into privately managed accounts? No, privately managed accounts will jeopardize the financial security of senior citizens.
1. Police Body Cameras – Should police officers be required to wear body cameras? Yes, this will protect the safety and rights of police officers and citizens.
2. Defunding the Police/More Social Workers – Should funding for local police departments be redirected to social and community-based programs? No. We need the police. Our community appreciates the work, the protection, and the sacrifices of our polices officers. We will not defund the police. However, we can maybe (and I do mean maybe because I need more research data available and only a handful of cities try it. Cincinnati is not an experiment and we should wait to do something like the following ) add an additional social workers-based unit to respond non-emergency mental health calls to ease the workload on the police and have add a softer touch when dealing with a family mental health crisis. I want this for our city. However, I am not sure how 911 operators could determine this with 100% accuracy and get it right. I need more data before I would just give 911 operators that call. That is not fair to the operators if they get it wrong and were trained wrong either. My wife is a social worker. I also don't want her wrongly dispatched and killed when an officer should have been there. One option might just be to provide our officers with more social work training so they can be both a social worker and an officer in a sense. I am not sure exactly yet how this will play out with the future of policing but I am super interested in the ideas surrounding it. But back to the main question. No, we should not defund the police. I would be hesitant to ever decrease a police budget by one cent. More likely it needs to go up with inflation, but the funding percentage should hover right around 35-37% of the full budget in Cincinnati.
3. Qualified Immunity for Police – Do you support qualified immunity for police officers? No, and increase the personal liability for misconduct. I love and appreciate our officers that encourage accountability. It shows honor and bravery. Special thank you to all police officers. You are loved and appreciated by me.
4. Demilitarize the Police – Should police departments be allowed to use military grade equipment? No, extreme situations should be handled by higher agencies with specialized training and equipment. This helps protect our regular officers as well as our public.
5. Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentences – Do you support mandatory minimum prison sentences for people charged with drug possession? Yes. I loathe drugs. We need penalties to keep drugs of our streets.
6. Private Prisons – Should the government hire private companies to run prisons? No, private prisons will sacrifice quality of care and rehabilitation services for profit. Bad idea.
7. Solitary Confinement for Juveniles – Should prisons ban the use of solitary confinement for juveniles? Yes, it is severely psychologically damaging to young undeveloped minds.
8. Drug Traffic Penalties – Should drug traffickers receive the death penalty? No. I do not believe in the death penalty. Spending life in prison is a harsher sentence anyway.
9. Collective Bargaining – Do you support limiting police unions collective bargaining power for cases involving misconduct? Yes. I love the police and the police union. When there is misconduct, bargaining power should be limited.
10. Criminal Voting Rights – Should convicted criminals have the right to vote? Yes, but only after completing their sentences and parole/probation and debt to society.
11. Prison Overcrowding – Should non-violent prisoners be released from jail in order to reduce overcrowding? Yes, but they must perform community service on a daily basis and be placed under house arrest using an electronic bracelet. They must also show complete willingness to abide by the process.
1. Immigration – Should children of illegal immigrants be granted legal citizenship? Yes, if they were born here. However, it should not grant their parents citizenship. The parents must formally apply like every other new citizen. We need to make it easier for hard-working immigrant families to become citizens with us by streamlining the process. We are all immigrants here going back less than just a dozen generations. Remember that. Abolishing all national borders is out of the question though. I love the song “Imagine” by John Lennon. I don’t think we are quite there yet, but it is a nice dream to have and to aspire to.
2. Border Wall – Should the U.S. build a wall along the southern border? No, this would be too costly and ineffective. Make it a high-tech surveillance barrier instead of a physical one. No need to militarize it either unless we are being invaded by another military force.
3. Immigration Healthcare – Should illegal immigrants have access to government-subsidized healthcare? No, but they should be allowed to purchase private healthcare.
4. Muslim Immigrants – Should Muslim immigrants be banned from entering the country until the government improves its ability to screen out potential terrorists? No, banning immigrants based on their religion is unconstitutional. Extra measures do need to be put in place to screen immigrants from high-risk countries though, not based on religion, but based on simply working to protect our citizens from terrorists that might want to take advantage of an otherwise lackluster US immigration process in order to slip in unnoticed and do us and our family’s harm. It can happen. We need a strong balance here.
5. Illegal Immigrant Detainment – Should local law enforcement be allowed to detain illegal immigrants for minor crimes and transfer them to federal immigration authorities? Yes, if you are illegally here, you are already on thin ice because you did not go through the process. Regardless, we need to help you along to get your citizenship asap if you are law-abiding otherwise. However, if you screw up, even just a little, you WILL run the risk of being deported. Follow our laws and prove that you are worthy of being here by not being a criminal. Then, get your citizenship, and live the American dream you want to live.
6. Immigration Ban – Should there be a temporary ban on all immigration into the United States? No.
7. Deporting Criminal Immigrants – Should immigrants be deported if they commit a serious crime? Yes, so long as they satisfy any needed punishment here first.
8. Sanctuary Cities – Should sanctuary cities receive federal funding? Yes. Cites should not be punished because of this. If so, it will be a political tactic that divides us even further. If there are sanctuary cities it is because the people, who the federal government serves, wants it that way.
9. Border Security – Should the U.S. increase restrictions on its current border security policy? Yes, and allow border states to manage their own security policy.
10. In-State Tuition – Should undocumented immigrants be offered in-state tuition rates at public colleges within their residing state? No, but they should be able to pay the same rate as out-of-state students.
11. Immigrant Laborers – Should working illegal immigrants be given temporary amnesty? Yes.
12. Immigrant Assimilation – Should immigrants be required to learn English? No, but it can be encouraged because having strong communication is a tool that helps our society. Regardless, we should embrace the diversity that immigrant add to our country. It is in the best interest of the immigrant because it will obviously help them along if they can communicate with us better. It should not be required.
13. Skilled Immigrants – Should the US increase or decrease the amount of temporary work visas given to high-skilled immigrant workers? Increase.
14. Citizenship Test – Should immigrants be required to pass a citizenship test to demonstrate a basic understanding of our country’s language, history, and government? Yes.
15. Dual Citizenship – Should immigrants to the United States be allowed to hold dual citizenship status? Yes, unless they have committed a crime.
1. 2020 Election – Was the 2020 US presidential election conducted fairly? There are more than 3,000 counties in the United States. As an independent, I toured our Hamilton County Board of Elections personally to make sure nothing fishy would present itself. The people there are class acts and take their service seriously. I have met with the director and staff and was able to check out the facility where it all happens. They have a bipartisan system for verifying results. As for Hamilton County in Ohio, I believe that yes, it was conducted fairly. I do acknowledge small amounts of voter fraud has happened in other counties in other parts of the United States. However, it is my belief that this did not and would not have changed the outcome of the election. We need to remain extremely on guard here though, and I love the high accountability and “prove it” attitude we have surrounding our elections. We need to always have this and remain skeptical. Trust, but verify for ourselves. Yes, it was fair.
2. Voter Fraud – Should a photo ID be required to vote? Yes, this will prevent fraud. We also need to do a better job of helping those who are disadvantaged to the point that they lack the resources to obtain one.
3. Foreign Lobbying – Should foreign lobbyists be allowed to raise money for American elections? No, foreign interests should not be able to buy the influence of our politicians.
4. Electoral College – Should the electoral college be abolished? Yes, and switch to a ranked-choice voting system. The electoral college was good for its time when it was created in. It served its purpose. It is no longer needed. We need to get rid of the nostalgia surrounding it. We can do better and need to get with the times we are in.
5. Right of Foreigners to Vote – Should foreigners, currently residing in the United States, have the right to vote? No, only legal citizens should have the right to vote.
6. Minimum Voting Age – Should the minimum voting age be lowered? No. It should not be raised or lowered. It is fine where it is at.
7. Campaign Finance – Should there be a limit to the amount of money a candidate can receive from a donor? Yes, politicians should not be bought by wealthy donors.
8. Campaign Finance – Should corporations, unions, and non-profit organizations be allowed to donate to political parties? No, these types of donations just turn into bribes.
9. Lobbyists – Should there be a 5-year ban on White House and Congressional officials from becoming lobbyists after they leave the government? Yes.
10. Candidate Transparency – Should political candidates be required to release their recent tax returns to the public? Yes, and require a public audit each year they are in office.
11. Criminal Politicians – Should a politician who has been formally convicted of a crime, be allowed to run for office? Yes, so long as they have finished serving their sentence and as long as it was not a felony, violent, financial, or sexual crime.
1. Climate Change – Should the government increase environmental regulations to prevent climate change? Yes, and provide slightly more incentives for alternative energy production.
2. Alaska Wildlife Refuge – Should drilling be allowed in the Alaska Wildlife Refuge? No.
3. Alternative Energy – Should the government give tax credits and subsidies to the wind power industry? Yes, some.
4. Paris Climate Agreement – Should the U.S. withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement? No. Even though the U.S. is being held to a higher standard than other countries, we need to stay in it.
5. Dakota Access Pipeline – Should the government stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline? No. We should have finished the job. I love green energy, but this was fantastic low hanging fruit that we could have make happen and would have helped out our economy in a big way as we continue to search for alternative energies. We blew it.
6. Oil Drilling – Should the U.S. expand offshore oil drilling? Yes. We absolutely should, now that we were unable to complete the Dakota pipeline. If the Dakota pipeline had been complete, perhaps we could put the brakes on expanding offshore drilling. We needed that Dakota pipeline and we blew it. Hopefully one day we can finish the job.
7. Plastic Product Ban – Should disposable products (such as plastic cups, plates, and cutlery) that contain less than 50% of biodegradable material be banned? No, but increase tax incentives for companies that make biodegradable products and increase consumer incentives to recycle these products instead.
8. Fracking – Do you support the use of hydraulic fracking to extract oil and natural gas resources? Yes, but with increased oversight and not in heavily populated areas. We should pursue more sustainable energy resources and remain alert about any long-term effects fracking may have on our environment and stop if more research comes to light indicating it is too detrimental.
9. Animal Testing – Should researchers be allowed to use animals in testing the safety of drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and cosmetics? Yes. We need to protect the human beings that will be using these products. Animals that are being tested on should be respected and pampered otherwise.
10. Corporate Subsidies – Should cities be allowed to offer private companies economic incentives to relocate? Yes, but rare cases. About half as much as what is being done in most cities. This, as long as the tax revenue will eventually exceed the tax incentives. Then, spend other half of the money on improving infrastructure and the community to attract companies that way. Balance here. No big handouts. Cincinnati can really stand on its own to attract companies anyway and we shouldn’t need this.
1. Drug Price Regulation – Should the government regulate the prices of life-saving drugs? Yes, slightly, and shorten the lifespan of drug patents slightly too. However, too much regulation on drug prices would also limit the investment in research and development into new life-saving drugs. I fully take that into account. Typically, the government should not regulate prices of private businesses. However, when these prices save lives, we need to make an exception with life-saving prescription drugs. The people of the drug companies that make these drugs are so appreciated and we thank them. This is not meant to hurt them. It is meant to balance saving lives with some excess profits.
2. Pre-Existing Conditions – Should health insurers be allowed to deny coverage to individuals who have a pre-existing condition? No, it is immoral to deny health insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. This, even knowing that insuring people with pre-existing conditions drives up costs for everyone. As a society, we need to be able to absorb some of this to help those most in need. Typically, the government should not be involved in health insurance and how they do things. We need to make an exception in this case.
3. Mask Mandate – Should the Federal government mandate that masks be worn by all people on public transportation? Only during imminent danger from a virus about to run rampant without a large portion of the population vaccinated yet. We have learned that we need to be proactive, not reactive.
4. Mental Health – Should the government increase funding for mental health research and treatment? Yes, slightly or at least stay the same. Then incentivize private companies to continue their care.
5. Marijuana – Do you support the legalization of Marijuana? Yes, I believe it is time. We should legalize, tax, and regulate the heck out of it instead of criminalizing it. This will free law enforcement up to focus on the harder drugs.
6. Medicaid – Should the federal government increase funding of health care for low income individuals (Medicaid)? Yes, for elderly and disabled.
7. Obamacare – Do you support the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare)? Yes, I support the majority of the plan but not all aspects. The single most important and achievable thing we can do is to improve the health insurance subsidies. We all knew in 2010 when the law was signed that the subsidies were not adequate, and that for many people the Obamacare was not affordable enough. So, for Congress to amend the law now that the makeup of congress has changed, and make the ACA genuinely more affordable is long overdue and badly needed.
8. Vaccine Passports – Should the government issue vaccine passports? Yes, until this virus is under control. We might be about there.
9. Medicaid Work Requirement – Should people be required to work in order to receive Medicaid? No, the large number of people who receive Medicaid are disabled. It is hard to apply for a job if you are sick. I would help States reduce Medicaid costs to require work because research shows people who are employed are healthier than those who are unemployed, but this is too harsh for some.
10. Safe Haven – Should cities open drug “safe havens” where people who are addicted to illegal drugs can use them under the supervision of medical professionals? No, this would encourage drug use and lower funding for rehabilitation centers. I would only do this to use it as a sting operation. I hate drugs.
11. Single-Payer Healthcare – Do you support a single-payer healthcare system? In theory, I do, sure. We all do. Sounds great. In real practice, I am skeptical. I don’t want to bankrupt our nation and I believe a single-payer healthcare system, would strap us so much financially, it could lead to our ruin. I can get behind lots of changes as you can see from reading where I stand on lots of other issues. However, right now, I do not support this.
12. Medicare Drug Prices – Should the federal government be allowed to negotiate drug prices for Medicare? Yes, but only for certain life saving medications. Pharmaceutical companies are appreciated for providing what they do for us and need to make profits somewhere to continue life-saving research.
13. World Health Organization – Should the government fund the World Health Organization? Yes, but we should decrease the amount slightly or perhaps relative to the amount that other countries contribute. We need to fund our national and local programs too.
14. VA Privatization – Should there be more or less privatization of veterans’ healthcare? More. Veterans should be able to see any doctor of their choice.
1. Mandatory Vaccinations – Should the government require children to be vaccinated for preventable diseases? Yes, at the very least for the deadly contagious ones. I don’t like the sound of mandatory sometimes either, but if it saves lives, we should do it and I trust science. My children are fully vaccinated, I am proud to say. In regard to COVID, Ihave taken both shots of the Pfizer vaccine. I will support and encourage getting vaccinated. The government cannot force adults though. Participants must be willing. I am proud I got the shot and I hope you receive it too. Cheers to better days ahead.
2. Nuclear Energy – Do you support the use of nuclear energy? Yes. We need to do this while we support nuclear energy, we should increase investment into cleaner renewable alternatives.
3. Space Exploration – Should the government fund space travel? Yes. I love NASA. I love dreaming about what is beyond. In my lifetime, I want to see not only a person walk on mars, but I want to see a fully functioning space station/lab on mars that supports human life and research. For the human race to continue to thrive, we need to push out beyond our earth. We need to constantly be pushing the boundaries and never take our foot off the gas pedal here. To do this, we need to fund space travel still in the short term, until private companies catch up and take over. Then the government can sit back and regulate private space travel. For us to get to this point, we need to fund now. The very future of the survival of our species may depend on our level of investment now. That’s a big payoff. It is not only dreaming about what is out there to discover, it could mean life or death for our distant children. Yes. Fund.
4. Cloning – Do you have any reservations about cloning humans? Yes. But not with the rest of the animal kingdom. Have at it, science.
5. Stem Cell Research – Should scientist have free reign and access to research stem cells even from aborted fetuses? Yes, the payoff to our human race is too good to pass up. Study away. Cure diseases. Go us.
6. GMO Labels – Should producers be required to label genetically engineered foods (GMOs)? Yes, because I am skeptical of the motives of the food companies selling them. I trust the science here, but consumers have a right to know what is in their food.
1. Will you support a strong separation between church and state? Yes. But I will also support religions and their right to believe whatever they want. We NEED to have religious freedom in this country. However, we need to stop it from creeping into our government. (It would be a terrible thing if we became a theocracy like Iran. Even if it is a Christian version.) Check out the picture of me on my confirmation day at a Lutheran church in Cincinnati, OH! I was about 12 years old. I am the one in the top left. I still go to church sometimes with my wife and kids. It’s fun sometimes. I can do as I wish. I can believe as I wish. And it is a beautiful thing. As far as I know, my entire family identifies as Christian. I 100% support them and their right to believe whatever they want. However, this is what I now believe: Religion is a lifelong con job on the gullible masses. These gullible masses, including those in my own family, my own community, and my own circle of friends, refuse to accept reality. The reality is, there is no heaven or hell. There are no gods, or angels, or demons, or ghosts, or spirits. When you die, it will be just like it was before you were born. When you die, the consciousness you have now, will be absent forever, just like it was for an eternity in the past before you were born. There is no eternal celebration. Nor is there eternal torment. Charismatic religious leaders here in Cincinnati and around the world like to promise wonderful things they can’t possibly know while also using scare tactics to keep a grip on their power, influence, and flow of money. Religion is a lie and a drug that creates delusional thinking. Religion rejects scientific facts like evolution because it is at odds with the biblical account of creation. Groundless irrational dogmas are finding their way into our laws resulting in the discrimination of LGBTQ people and limits on women’s reproductive freedom. I want to UNITE this city against such deceptional traps as religion while still upholding the constitutional right for the religion-machine to believe in whatever imaginary super-entities it wishes. I want to ignite the power of human reason and critical thinking skills in our city. I want us all to feel free to judge and scrutinize everything without fear. Some people dislike tension. I like our tension. It makes us stronger. Think of our democracy like lifting weights. You need the tension to build muscle. Challenges should be welcomed! And they are with me. That's democracy and we will always have varying degrees of tension. ( However, if you go to North Korea, it is all group-think and perceived unity. There is very little freedom of thought. That would be terrible don't you think?) Furthermore, as a child it was confusing to be taught facts and science Monday - Friday about dinosaurs and evolution etc., and only to then be taught on Sundays questionable stories from a book complied by a bunch of dudes at the 'Council of Nicaea' (Now near İznik, Turkey ) in the year 325. The people who believe in such imaginary gods, no matter what religion or cult they identify with, are delusional. I do not apologize for saying so. Furthermore, religion seems to think it is above scrutiny and criticism. Only weak ideas or people require excessive praise or coddling. I want to critically examine our own communities, our own selves, and MY own self. I want to find BOLD new innovative ways to improve our city and our lives. I want to challenge the status quo on EVERYTHING and push us and our city collectively into greater heights. It is time for an enormous societal shift to take place. If you want to stay stuck in the past, don't vote for me. My job as a candidate is not to get you to vote for me. My job as a candidate is to let you know what I think and where I stand. If you want to propel all of us into a brighter future where the sky's the limit, and anything is possible, well then, I say, bring it on. I am ready to get to work NOW. Our community and our city hall needs big change from intelligent independent-minded people who can think freely without being constrained by party, religion, or group-think. People who can admit when sufficient evidence is not available to support their once die-hard beliefs. People who can look at facts and can change their mind when cold hard evidence is presented instead of arguing a ridged party line vs. another ridged party line into oblivion. I am a proud Independent Cincinnatian no matter what and I would be proud to serve you as a member of council. I'll never bow down and kiss the ring of any particular party or religion for that matter. I understand each individual is free to make his or her own choices. I gladly accept that because it also allows me to do the same. I love our country and our constitution. Go USA!
If you want help getting out of your religion but don’t know where to turn, you can reach out me or research a number of other organizations that can help you.
1. The Freedom from Religion Foundation. https://ffrf.org/
2. The Secular Coalition of America. https://secular.org/
3. The Center for Freethought Equality. www.cfequality.org/
4. American Humanist Association. https://americanhumanist.org/
5. The Center for Inquiry. https://centerforinquiry.org/
2. Should we tax religious organizations? Actually , yes. I mention this above when I talk about our city's affordable housing problem. I believe it is time for an enormous societal shift to take place. But to start this shift, elections at the local level need to reflect the people’s will and resolve for positive major changes. And this is why I have decided to apply this new tone to everything else I’ve said and laid out as my vision for Cincinnati over these past many months and over the course of my campaign. I want to support the re-examination of tax exemptions for religions across our city and all of the US. For these changes to take place, it will need to be done at state and federal level. However, I will be a voice for these changes. Exemptions from property taxes, for example, represent an enormous benefit to religions that we ALL pay for — the total value of all property owned by religious groups in Cincinnati and throughout Hamilton county for that matter, easily runs into the tens of millions of dollars. And for the United States as a whole it easily runs into the tens of billions. This creates a problem, because these tax exemptions amount to a substantial gift of money to religions at, again, the expense of someone. The taxpayers… YOU. For every dollar which the government cannot collect on religious property, it must make up for by collecting it from its citizens… As a consequence, all citizens are forced to indirectly support religious organizations, even those of us that recognize the crookedness of them. Every time you pass a religious property, know that YOU are paying for it, not them. And I think that’s bull. The religious that congregate there should be paying for it. This is a violation of our constitution’s establishment clause because it directly aids religion. We need reexamine exempting religious organizations from taxes as a society. That real and difficult conversation needs to begin now. And when our society finally decides it is time to tax the religions, and the three branches of our government reflect that in their decisions too, these religious organizations should then feel proud that they are actually helping society out with their tax dollars. These are tax dollars that can go to help fix our affordable housing problem for example, help aid more youth programs, and care more for our elderly. Religions can look at paying taxes as a real act of kindness. We cannot keep taxing our businesses and citizens into oblivion when there is so much wealth being tricked out of people by religions. Religions, who are using make-believe spirituality as a guise for a business of conning Cincinnatians and the rest of the American people. I think they should be taxed much like casinos. Religions and casinos offer similar highs to its users.
1. Iran – Should the U.S. go to war with Iran? No, the U.S. should encourage Iran to disarm through diplomatic channels.
2. Mandatory Military Service – Should every 18-year-old citizen be required to provide at least one year of military service? No, service should be a choice instead of an obligation.
3. Israel – Should the U.S. continue to support Israel? No, we should be less involved.
4. Military Spending – Should the government increase or decrease military spending? Increase, but only after our deficit is drastically reduced. Until then, I am satisfied with the current amount of spending for now. We always need to keep on high alert and be ready to respond to threats that can hurt our freedom. Spending here is important and threats are no joke. We could lose everything we have and just be another ancient civilization one day if we let up here. We need to have the strongest, smartest, boldest, most feared military in the world at all times like we do now. A quick special thanks to all military service personnel and our veterans. It is because of you that we are now able to past the freedom we hold so dear to the next generation. Then, it will be up to them to continue. Never ease up. Not even for a moment. Wherever you are right now and whatever struggle you are enduring; I want to personally thank you. Our free world is counting on you. Our free world depends on you.
5. Foreign Aid – Should the U.S. increase or decrease foreign aid spending? Decrease, until we drastically reduce our national budget deficit.
6. Afghanistan – Should the United States pull all military troops out of Afghanistan? I am no military expert, but I think, yes, mostly, but not completely. I think we do need a smaller force to remain there. This, to not lose all the ground we have gained, and to always keep some level of pressure on the enemy. We cannot let them breathe or go a day without fear. We also need the intelligence we can gather while there. We cannot do this if we cut and run entirely. We need to drastically troop numbers there, yes, and get most home, but still invest in strategies that can keep the military members that are still there out of the crosshairs as much as possible. There is an enemy there that can gain strength and that wants to hurt our freedom. With a smaller force, our aim should be to still inflict a decent rate of confusion, fear, and casualties among our enemy. I would still need to consult with my military friends before submitting this as my finally opinion. I am open to learn more about what to do here.
7. United Nations – Should the U.S. remain in the United Nations? Yes, of course. We should use the U.N. peacekeeping forces to protect our interests.
8. NATO – Should the U.S. remain in NATO? Yes.
9. Torture – Should the military be allowed to use enhanced interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, to gain information from suspected terrorists? No.
10. Syrian Refugees – Should the U.S. accept refugees from Syria? Yes, but only after extensive background checks and continuous monitoring to ensure they have no terrorist connections.
11. Drones – Should the military fly drones over foreign countries to gain intelligence and kill suspected terrorists? Yes. But only with permission from the country in question and only when we are 100% sure we can get who we are after with no other casualties.
12. Terrorism – Should foreign terrorism suspects be given constitutional rights? No. They are not U.S. citizens and do not have constitutional rights.
13. India Arms – Should the U.S. sell military weapons to India in order to counter Chinese and Russian influence? Only small amounts. We don’t want a global arms race. Selling military weapons to foreign countries will help boost the economy, but we should work to increase diplomatic efforts to resolve conflicts peacefully.
14. NATO – Should the U.S. defend other NATO countries that maintain low military defense budgets relative to their GDP? Yes. Keeping democracy thriving around the world is worth it.
15. Jerusalem – Should Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of Israel? No, and we should not encourage foreign governments to move their embassies there either.
16. NSA Surveillance – Should the U.S. continue NSA surveillance of its allies? No, spying on our allies severely damages our reputation abroad.
17. Cuba – Do you support former President Obama’s move to lift the trade and travel embargo on Cuba? Yes.
18. F-35 – Should the government cancel production of the F-35 fighter? No. Not quite yet. We need that jet. However, in the future, yes. We will be investing more in drones and the future of air superiority for us as Americans shows more signs of leaning towards more pilotless aircraft to patrol the skies.
1. Military Congressional Approval – Should the President be able to authorize military force against Al-Qaeda without Congressional approval? No, Congress should approve all military conflicts. However, if the danger is imminent, in rare cases, the president should be able to use whatever means necessary to prevent another terrorist attack.
2. Foreign Assassination – Should the U.S. assassinate suspected terrorist in foreign countries? Yes, but only if there is undeniable evidence, they are planning to attack our country.
3. Capitol Defense – Should the U.S. Capitol in Washington D.C. be protected by a security fence? No, the capitol should always be open to the people. If there was an immediate threat, I trust our military could quickly set up a perimeter with barriers and a high-tech surveillance type wall if needed. Fence = nonsense.
4. Nuclear Weapons - Should we increase or decrease our supply? We should decrease and work with other countries to encourage them to do the same. One day I would like to see a world with peace. Long lasting peace where the human race can work together to make the world a better place to live, work, learn and play. This will take a lot of work and our military will always be vital. That's the dream though.