My name is Mikel Weisser; I am a Democratic candidate for US House of Representatives here in Congressional District Four. Congressional District Four includes most of the Western half of the state, the central highlands and the rural area around metropolitan PHX. That’s portions of 7 counties and/or 9 or 10 legislative districts. It runs from Yuma to Utah, Parker to Payson. I affectionately call it the Left Coast of Arizona. I am a vice chair in the Arizona Democratic Party’s progressive caucus, Mohave County Party Secretary and on the state board of Democracy for America, AZNORML and the state poetry society. I serve as the legislative liaison for AZ’s cannabis community, working w Safer AZ, the folks behind a couple of reform bills that went through the AZ statehouse last session. I am a longtime political writer, retired teacher, former plumber, teen runaway, carnie, until recently a touring poet (which is actually a lot like being homeless), an artist/entertainer of sorts and I have a couple of Masters Degrees, an MA in literary criticism from University of Illinois at Springfield and a Masters in Secondary Education from NAU.
My main platform issues are education, immigration, legalization & equalization. Education as in doubling the number of teachers in the classroom, doing away w test centered instruction, equalized funding for all schools no matter your zip code and increasing on-campus social services. Immigration as in solving the problem of undocumented immigrants by providing access and documentation facilities for economic refugees at existing border crossings, stop treating our neighbors and friends to the South as terrorists, ending the drug war that has made the border a war zone and insisting that America be a nation that will not tolerate slavery. Legalization as in ending the corrupt and misguided prohibition against cannabis and hemp, taking a real bite out of crime instead of fueling the prison industrial complex, allowing American ingenuity to robustly embrace the legal cannabis industry. Start treating this start up industry as American capitalism at its best and stop treating the cannabis community as an oppressed minority, recognize the legitimate medical benefits of cannabis, end the terrorizing of our sickest citizens and let tens of millions of Americans in the shadows learn to respect their country again.
Lastly equalization is more than issues like LGBT, minority and women’s rights, though those things are at the heart of my social agenda. When a person cannot marry, or adopt or be w their loved ones at a time of medical crisis, it is not even like being a US citizen. We have got to abolish the structural discrimination of our LGBT community. That is a given. As for women and equality, it is time to put an end to challenges on women’s reproductive rights and guarantee equal pay for equal work. I further think we have a long way to go to remove the structural racism that is still a large part of the American fabric. But more than that, I refer to equalization as a way to balance the access to quality of life and opportunity that rural citizens in America rarely enjoy. Roads, internet and cell service, clean dependable water, medical facilities and quality schools—these need to be the basics of 21st century America, not the many sacrificing for the moneyed. For me, American history has been a record of our efforts to live up to the ideals of our founding fathers. That cause is why I have devoted my life to changing America for the better, starting here in Arizona.
Op-Ed News Column: http://www.opednews.com/author/author17330.html
4490 Sundown Dr
So-Hi, AZ 86413
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