Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Response from Cori Bush, Candidate for U.S. Representative (Dist. 1)

1. What do you view as the key role, and/or attributes needed for this position? What experience/attributes do you have that qualify you for this position?

This position demands someone that is a strong leader that reflects the people I serve. When I say I am the people I represent, it's not a campaign slogan. I will walk into the capitol building in 2018 carrying with me the months I spent homeless, the children I raised on my own, the patients who can't afford medication and the assault I suffered protesting injustice.

I have never lived anywhere but St. Louis. When I talk about jobs and opportunity rather than tear gas and tanks, it's because I worked a dead-end job and watched tanks roll through the streets of my city.

And when I say St. Louis needs leadership, everyone listening knows I’m right. And they know it needs to be me.

2. Why do you think you are the best person for this position? What differentiates you from your opponent(s)?

Running for congress is not a career move for me. It's the only way to guarantee that my mental health patients will get the medication they need, that young mothers in my congregation will have child care so they can work and that my city will no longer be haunted by injustice. I want to replace the legacy of injustice in St. Louis with real leadership, and I am the perfect candidate to do it.

3. What do you feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues? (please be specific)

Every day I am looking for resources to help clients to get the medication they so desperately need. Many make too much to qualify for Medicaid but not enough to afford insurance. Medicare for all would help our clients become stable. It could also help with transportation which is a huge barrier.

I often see patients falling through the cracks as they lose Medicaid. Once my patients become pre-transient, it’s hard to get them stable again.”

Medicare for all, I believe would relieve so much frustration for nurses—the time we lose looking for resources. We could focus more on caring for our patients. I have patients who don’t even realize they are getting better because they are so stressed about how to get their prescription filled next time.

We also see kids who are not in college or kids who have to leave college that are dropped by their insurance. Medicare for all would help those families.

I will hold information sessions to gain more insight on the solutions then co-sponsor a bill to push this through.

4. Describe how you work with, or will work with, others to address your priorities.

Connect, networking and standing true to my values while giving my colleagues the opportunity to explain the ideas. I will harness that network during our bi-weekly staff check-in.

5. Who are your 3 largest campaign contributors? Are there donors from whom you will not accept campaign contributions?

Steve Philips, Nick Apperson and Savanna Cooper have each given a significant amount of money yet they are always asking to be involved other aspects of the campaign. We will not accept cooperate contribution. However, our donors are mainly from local shops and progressive individuals.

6. Since the shooting death of Michael Brown and the national rise of the Black Lives Matter Movement, criminal justice reform has become a national topic of conversation, yet few changes have been made on a national level. If elected, will you make criminal justice reform, and racial equity, a priority in Washington? If so, how?

I’ve created an organization to focus on these issues in Missouri. The Ferguson Truth Project came out of the Michael Brown murder. The media and the police had their own narrative but it was not what we were seeing on the ground. It thought it was an opportunity for real people to get their stories out. So we decided to build a national platform where their stories could be told. Someone else was getting to the families first before they could tell their stories. We pulled together activists from all over the country. I will invite the people affected by this issue to Washington, DC to speak out on these issues and I will lend my voice to help make sure their voices are heard.

7. What do you believe is the biggest danger posed by the Trump administration, and how do you plan to fight it?

During a 2016 Presidential debate Trump referenced the agreement saying, "NAFTA is the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere, but certainly ever signed in this country.

`Now he takes a very different tone, promising the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he will impose tariffs while ignoring NAFTA.

Trump won the election, in part, because of his hardline against foreign trade alliances, say organizers, noting that NAFTA was largely unpopular in the 1990s because the public feared the alliance would have negative impacts on the American economy and trigger a loss of manufacturing job to Mexico and Canada.

8. Are there any issues you believe you could work with the Trump administration on? Which ones?

Not sure if he has made up his made about progressive issues but replacing the school to prison pipeline with a school to prosperity pipeline may be a place that we can work together.

9. If you could ask each of your opponents one question, what would it be? (You may specify a different question for each opponent or the same question for both.)

I would ask what they feel are the most pressing issues currently facing this office and what plans do you have to address these issues?

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