Democrat David Wilson Brown shares why he’s running in North Carolina’s 10th District: to fight for the people in his community, and to provide a check on the excesses of incumbent Patrick McHenry, this administration, and the GOP.
I am a son of the middle class who has lived in North Carolina for over three decades. I am the father of two wonderful kids and husband to an amazing wife who is a social worker. I currently work as a tech consultant, helping organizations improve data management and team collaboration using software. I graduated from Appalachian State with degrees in Political Science and Communications. While there, I served a first term Congresswoman from a district that used to be composed of some of the current 10th district.
Now, in the shadow of the 2016 election, which brought to the surface our country’s worst, most ugly inclinations, and put those in power for everyone to see, I feel called to serve my country to provide a necessary check on the excesses of this administration.
We have a high hill to climb here in the 10th: To beat a seven-term GOP incumbent with a large campaign war chest and a district drawn to favor and protect him. But we will not be discouraged. We know that Patrick McHenry and the Republican leadership will stop at nothing to stay in power. But the American people are beginning to see who they really are, and what they really stand for.
Republicans claim they oppose deficits, yet when they got their opportunity to deliver a balanced budget they chose to pass a budget and tax bill that gives so much to so few and adds over one trillion dollars to our deficit. Now they say that to fix it we must restructure Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Patrick McHenry goes so far as to say Social Security and Medicare should be phased out federally and replaced with state programs. We know how disastrous this would be, especially in red states like North Carolina. Let me be clear. These are not entitlements. These are funds that you’ve paid into your whole life and you deserve. They’re non-negotiable.
This is the heart of Republican fiscal policy: feed their corporate bosses and give crumbs to everyone else. Compare this to the Democratic Party. Elizabeth Warren says it best: “We’re supposed to build opportunity. This is about our children and our grandchildren. This is about the kind of country we want to be. This is about the kind of people we are.” This is why we fight. To keep others from stealing what we’ve already earned, with a lot of hard work and sweat.
Despite where we are as a nation at this moment in history, despite the setbacks to civil rights, despite the dehumanization of our immigrant community, despite the attacks on the press and the attacks on our rule of law, despite constant attempts to erase our voting rights, we are a great nation. We’re bending but not we’re not breaking. Our institutions are holding. Patriots are walking into the light, and people are engaging by the millions. In 1932, ironically the last time that Republicans held all branches of government, FDR said “Let us … highly resolve to resume the country’s interrupted march along the path of real progress, of real justice, of real equality for all of our citizens, great and small.” So, let us resolve as well.
We must be a nation that raises up those in need and the most vulnerable. Those born into poverty or those who find themselves there through unforeseen circumstances. Those who are struggling to define their own identity and those who fight physiological ailments in body or mind. For all who desire to live out the promise set forth in the Declaration of Independence of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, we must stand up and fight back!
FDR also said: “Liberty requires opportunity to make a living—a living decent according to the standard of the time, a living which gives [us] not only enough to live by, but something to live for.” We must deliver policy that ensures that every American can earn a LIVING WAGE. A wage where a worker can actually survive in today’s economy. We can achieve this by tying corporate tax rates to those corporations providing their workers a living wage and by providing a federal jobs guarantee. I propose a new, modern WPA program called the American Working Corps that will be a part of that jobs guarantee. This program will be used to address our nation’s critical infrastructure needs, to help our transition to renewable energy sources for our communities, to help rural communities attract new businesses that provide real jobs with living wages, to work to conserve our precious environment, and deliver good unionized jobs to members of our community.
Teddy Roosevelt, the great conservationist, said: “there is none which compares in importance with the great central task of leaving this land even a better land for our descendants than it is for us.” We must provide a cleaner environment to future generations. We are at a tipping point and we must not allow short-sightedness to threaten the existence of our children and their children. I support bipartisan measures to limit our carbon output and I have pledged never to take money from the fossil fuel industry. I recently heard a climate scientist put it into simple terms: 300 Republican Representatives and Senators are holding back the seven billion on Earth from actively working to heal our planet.
Teddy Roosevelt also said: “the health and vitality of our people are at least as well worth conserving as their forests, waters, lands, and minerals, and in this great work the national government must bear a most important part.” This was over one hundred years ago, and he clearly understood that we, as a nation, must endeavor to serve our people in providing for their healthcare. We must seek a solution to provide every American affordable, quality healthcare. I believe the recently unveiled “Choose Medicare Act” is the answer. This bill would restore a public option that was unfortunately omitted from the ACA for everyone, everywhere in America. It counters Republican arguments that there would be a loss of choice and would ensure the sustainability of the Medicare system, leading to the final solution of universal health care for all via a sustainable Medicare for all system.
I believe that education is the great equalizer. It is why many of the wealthy adamantly oppose adequately funded public schools. From the very beginning of my campaign, I have called for a “moonshot” for education. We as a nation must put unprecedented effort toward transforming our education system for the 21st century as we did in putting an American on the moon. Many of you may have already heard me express concern over a recent study that suggests that we will lose 800 million jobs worldwide to automation and artificial intelligence by 2030. 800 million. We must prepare our nation. We must fully fund our school systems. We must provide a better salary for our teachers, administrators, and support staff. Those who do so much for our children deserve to be paid commensurately for the great service they do for our nation.
Furthermore, we must bring an end to gun violence in our schools. We have inherited a responsibility to properly regulate the right to bear arms. Justice Antonin Scalia, a stalwart originalist, admitted in Heller v. DC decision that standing law does not conflict with prohibitions of possession, laws forbidding the carrying of weapons in sensitive locations, laws imposing conditions and qualifications to the commercial sale of weapons and laws defining that only weapons in common use are protected by these rights. We must get back to common sense restrictions in order to protect our citizens. Our lives are more valuable than unfettered access to weapons that greatly exceed reasonable use in our civilized society. We need more than thoughts and prayers. We need to deliver change. No more assault weapons. No more loopholes and hinderances to true universal background checks.
These are the critical challenges of our times and we must be up to the task of tackling them with common sense solutions and an eye toward the future. We must protect our environment in order to continue life on earth as we know it. We must protect our democracy from greed that leads to tyranny. We must protect our liberty and the opportunity for every person to succeed no matter their station at birth, their race, their gender, their sexual orientation or their abilities. That is the American Dream. That is why we’re here. That is what makes America truly great.