More About Me and Key Issues (Ballotpedia Survey, Part 1)

NOTE: On February 21, 2020, I came around to fully endorsing Bernie Sanders’s vision for Medicare for All Americans. My previous stance was to expand Obamacare and Medicaid, and I will support legislation that does so, but I agree that our aim should be universal healthcare for all.

Here is a bit more about me in response to the Ballotpedia Survey. The survey is quite long, so this is just Part 1. I will complete it later this week.

Transcript:

Hi, my name is Richard Thripp. This is my son, Ricky. I’m a teacher educator at University of Central Florida teaching technology and I studied financial literacy among future teachers. I’m running for Congress in Florida’s 6th district as a progressive Democrat. I think we need a change in government. What we’re seeing now is unbelievable. We have basically seen every promise that Trump has allegedly made be torn down again and again. Now, they’re actually coming for your Social Security and your Medicare benefits, even though you spent your whole life paying into them, as many seniors have in the 6th district. This district has an incumbent Republican who is not a good guy at all. He comes out and he says things that are just unbelievable, [but] it’s [a district] we can WIN. I think we’re going to see that all over the country—what you saw in 2018 [blue wave in the U.S. House]—we’re going to make it even bigger this time, and we’re going to restore the government to what it should be: Working for the people, instead of the special interests and the wealthy corporations that are receiving the largest tax giveaways in modern history. Thank you, and please pitch in if you can, and as we get closer to the primary and general election, we’ll be building a movement with volunteers and possibly even staff. Thank you.

Headshot

GradImages: Portrait of Richard Thripp

Who are you? Tell us about yourself in 200 words or less.

I am a teacher educator and recent graduate of the University of Central Florida where I studied the financial knowledge of future teachers for my dissertation. I’m 28 years old, a husband, father to a 10-month-old boy, and born and raised in Daytona Beach. I was formerly Republican as both of my parents are fervent Trump supporters, but became increasingly outraged by the terrible policies and attitudes we are seeing, as well as more understanding of the climate crisis, economic inequity, and issues of discrimination. My purpose in running for Florida’s 6th Congressional district is to get these important messages out there, mobilize the Democratic base in order to win the race, and to support whomever is the Democratic nominee for president in order to put the brakes on what will be seen as a dark chapter in American history. In Congress, I will fight corporate and special interests and advocate for the 99% on a host of issues.

Key Messages (Top 3)

Addressing the Climate Crisis
Restoring Congressional Authority
Strengthening the Affordable Care Act

What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?

Most prominently the climate crisis, as we need to address this with legislative action. My support of the Green New Deal has already been heavily criticized, but what we have now is actually a cash grab for polluting corporations. Emissions that are not regulated or taxed are a subsidy. We don’t necessarily need carbon taxes, but just that polluters be required to take actions to be net carbon neutral. Of course, much of human activity now would be unprofitable if not for kicking the can down the road, and would have to be curtailed. My district just had a huge near-miss from Hurricane Dorian, the rapid intensification of which was fueled by hot ocean waters from the human-caused climate crisis. We know from scientific evidence that the increase from 0.03% to 0.04% of atmospheric CO2 is of HUGE consequence (even though it sounds small), and methane from fracking is a big problem too. Congress needs young people like me who will take leadership rather than bribes on this issue. As a father of a 10-month-old boy, I owe it to him to take action.

Addressing wealth inequity is another big problem. What we have now is like feudal times, and this is no accident (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 2010). The Republicans’ Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 went straight to the wealthy, and is the greatest robbery in the history of our country. Just empowering the IRS with resources to enforce EXISTING tax laws against the wealthy would make a huge difference.

What is your campaign slogan?

I Once Was a Republican, But Now I Know Better

What was your very first job? How long did you have it?

As a teenager, my father illegally employed me for his under-the-table business cleaning kitchen exhaust systems in restaurants within the same Congressional district I am seeking election to. I would spray caustic chemicals to remove grease, clean grease traps, scrape dried and encrusted grease off filters, and go on the roof to secure and clean the fan unit.

As a 15-year old, my first legitimate paid employment was as a student worker at the Holly Hill Public Library (unfortunately, no longer exists). I helped many people with computers and technology including learning new skills, finding jobs, and I even taught a computer class to seniors consisting of three two-hour lessons.

What is the first historical event that happened in your lifetime that you remember? How old were you at the time?

As a 6-year-old I found the 1998 Florida wildfires terrifying. My father rigged up a pump to our swimming pool to hose down the tar-and-gravel roof on our 1958-built house as flaming embers rained down in our yard. The fires we now see in California and Australia are far worse, due to the climate crisis. The fossil-fuel funded Republicans and Labor Party cover their eyes, ears, and noses.

Who do you look up to? Whose example would you like to follow, and why?

As a financial educator I look up to Dr. Annamaria Lusardi for her leadership, research, and advocacy for financial literacy. We need strong financial education coupled with effective regulation that prevents Americans from being fleeced by predatory or misleading financial products and practices. Among politicians I look up to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for breaking the mould and showing that young people can attain higher office and make a (positive) difference. Claims of a socialist, welfare agenda are overstated. What we have now is plutocratic oligarchical welfare for privileged wealthy elites. I do advocate individuals like myself capturing a portion of this wealth through long-term investing in the stock market such as an S&P 500 index fund. Unfortunately, only about 50% of Americans actually do this, and for those who do it’s limited to retirement accounts. Just because the stock market is up does not mean the typical American benefits.

To be continued…

Donate to Richard Thripp's Campaign

For Parts 2 and 3, click below:
On the Climate Crisis and the Next Decade (Ballotpedia Survey, Part 2)
Perspective, Issues, and My Potential Role in Congress (Ballotpedia Survey, Part 3)

NOTE: On February 21, 2020, I came around to fully endorsing Bernie Sanders’s vision for Medicare for All Americans. My previous stance was to expand Obamacare and Medicaid, and I will support legislation that does so, but I agree that our aim should be universal healthcare for all.

4 thoughts on “More About Me and Key Issues (Ballotpedia Survey, Part 1)

  1. Pingback: On the Climate Crisis and the Next Decade (Ballotpedia Survey, Part 2) | Richard Thripp for Congress

  2. Pingback: Perspective, Issues, and My Potential Role in Congress (Ballotpedia Survey, Part 3) | Richard Thripp for Congress

  3. My name is Rob Martin and I just moved to Deltona from Casselberry. Admittedly, I have only skimmed the issues section, but I do have additional follow-ups (I do appreciate the mention of the social security debt ceiling and I am a fan of removing the cap).

    1) I owe over $180k in student debt, over $70k of it is private loans. My monthly payments are $500 a month, but will jump up to $850 a month next year once I finish my free associate’s degree (through my union). Even though I’ve been making payments since end of 2016, my interest rates are so high that they’ve pushed up student loans by an extra $20k since when I first left college. What’s your plan to address the Student Loan Debt Crisis?
    2) Our democracy is healthiest the more that people participate in it. Do you have a stance on Ranked Choice Voting, Open Primaries, Election Day as a Holiday, Expanding Prisoner Voting Rights Restoration, Overturning Citizens United, ending gerrymandering, etc.?
    3) As a Union Organizer/Rep, unions are very important to me. We’ve been playing defense for so long that we’re slowly losing all of our rights and the 40-hour work week to live off of is essentially a joke now. What’s your plan on strengthening unions to be as strong as they were before the Reagan Presidency?
    4) Would you support a wealth tax so that the less fortunate are not the ones carrying society on their backs and the wealthy will pay their fair share?”

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