It's very, very hard-- to dislodge an incumbent in a primary. But it's been done. Hilda Solis, Donna Edwards, Matt Cartwright, AOC, Jamaal Bowman, Marie Newman, Cori Bush took out corrupt conservative incumbents in recent years, each being told-- firmly-- by the status quo media that they had no chance at all... none. But you know what's much, much harder? Running as an independent and beating an entrenched incumbent that way. And that's exactly what Daniel Wilson is trying to do in Ventura County, just north of Los Angeles, where a pointless establishment corporate Democrat, Julia Brownley (New Dem) has been in Congress accomplishing nothing at all since 2013.
CA-26 is a very blue district-- D+10, where Biden beat Trump 61.4% to 36.5%-- which includes about 80% of Ventura County and a tiny bit of northwest Los Angeles County. The registration is 219,701 Democrats, 145,779 Republicans, 109,358 No Party Preference, and 35,509 Other. Voter turnout broke county records when over 422,825 Venturans cast their ballots in the November election. Bernie Sanders won Ventura County in the March Presidential Primary indicating one of the reasons why no one has been able to unseat Brownley... she’s never had a political challenger from the left. Until now. Let me introduce you to Dan Wilson, a Bernie-grade progressive running against Brownley as an independent who, like Bernie, will caucus with the Democrats-- and hold their noses to the grindstone.
Dan is running on the mantra:
Climate justice is healthcare justice
Healthcare justice is racial justice
Racial justice is employment justice
Employment justice is housing justice
Housing justice is educational justice
Educational justice is justice for all
Challenging the Status Quo-- Fighting for All
-by Daniel Wilson
Iʻm a 37-year-old, working-class transgender veteran. While living as a lesbian, I served my country under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell as an aviation structural mechanic (AM2/AW) in the U.S. Navy. Less than a year after California’s Prop 8 banning same-sex marriage was repealed in 2013, I married the woman of my dreams. I graduated Summa Cum Laude from California State University Channel Islands in 2017. I then completed my transition from female to male while working in the service industry. And now? I’m running for the United States Congress to represent Ventura County, California.
Born in Maryland, I was raised by a wonderful, hard-working single mother but we grew up poor with few options. My whole life society has tried to tell me what I could or couldn’t do and who I was supposed to be. I’ve been told that I can’t wear male clothes, that I can’t be a loud woman, I can’t get an education, I can’t love women, I can’t serve in the military, I can’t be a mechanic, I can’t transition, and especially that I can’t run for Congress. I’ve never listened to any of it, and here I am today, having challenged every single one of those status quos.
The Time for Change is Now
The only thing I CAN’T do is sit quietly while people are being hurt, exploited, and neglected by our for-profit government!! I’ve never been able to keep quiet in the face of injustice. But like so many other young people rising up across our country, I am sick and tired of yelling into the void and nothing ever changing because our politicians are deaf to our cries. Our political voice is supposed to be the most powerful tool we have in our society but too many of us have been intentionally silenced by oppression for generations. And that’s why I’m running for Congress in 2022! To use my white privilege and loud voice to amplify the voices of those who have not been able to speak for themselves for far too long.
This is not a game. Our lives are worth more than their profits and we are DONE playing by their rules. The time for change is NOW and we are showing up to make sure that it happens. I am one of more than a dozen young leftist candidates running for office all across our country and we are committed to our fight for better for all of our people. We are going to arrive in D.C. as a united, unstoppable force for good. And the best part is that we are doing it without corporate or fossil fuel money, without lobbyist help, and without bending a knee to the establishment status quo.
We are trans, we are Black, we are queer, we are Brown, we are young, we are Indigenous, we are angry, and we are unapologetically challenging the system. We know now that we deserve better and we are not going to settle for anything less.
Political Parties Inherently Subvert the will of the People
Contrary to popular belief, running nonpartisan is actually the most democratic route you can take as a politician because it is wholly inclusive and removes all of the restrictions that political parties put in place to make it harder for us to participate in our democracy. We need to look no farther than the DNC’s rigging of two presidential primaries in a row and their refusal to adopt Medicare for All on the party platform or the GOP’s civil rights violations, voter suppression, and intimidation as proof of some of their obstruction.
Serving in a divided U.S. Congress with a slim majority held by either party gives an independent representative more weight and leverage in forcing through or blocking the passage of legislation. The policies we are fighting for are not radical, extreme, or divisive. In fact, the majority of voters in our country are demanding these policies but are constantly disappointed by the greed of our for-profit, corporate politicians, like Julia Brownley, who refuse to pass anything that will challenge the status quo. When forced into choosing whether to lead, follow, or get out of the way, Representative Brownley chooses to follow or get out of the way and the time has come for Ventura County to have a leader who’s going to fight for their people and not their donors.
From Surviving to Thriving
My first priority is fighting for the policies that we ALL need to survive: Medicare for All, Climate for All, and Housing for All.
Every person in the United States is limited by our for-profit healthcare system but it is our children, people of color, immigrants, and low-income communities that are impacted by it the most. We must first and foremost cancel ALL medical debt in this country!! No one should spend their life in debt and financial duress because our corrupt hospitals and insurance companies deny coverage and then charge exorbitant rates to people who are sick and in dire need. Next, we need to drop the Medicare age to 0 and expand the program to include dental, vision, prescription, hearing, comprehensive mental health, and long-term care. Everyone gets to pick their doctor and get their care free at the point of service.
Every person in the United States is affected by the toxification of our climate and natural resources directly caused by the fossil fuel industry, the mining industry, industry super polluters, and the jet-setting 1%. And again it is our children, people of color, immigrants, and low-income communities that are impacted the most. All of our people need clean air and water to live. Yet corporations bottle our water during droughts, oil companies run pipes under rivers that disrupt and destroy the natural sources of clean water even if they never rupture, and government officials are never held accountable for allowing our infrastructure to decay to such an extent of negligence that our sources of food and water are now poisoning us. Not only do we need to renovate our national infrastructure to renewable and sustainable systems but, as a country, we also need to collectively take a proactive hands-on approach to restore the environments, ecosystems, and habitats that we have single-handedly destroyed.
The majority of people in the United States are impacted by the rising cost of housing regardless of whether they own or rent. We need stronger legislation for eviction protections, rent controls, and rental assistance programs. We need better first-time home-buyer and down-payment assistance programs in addition to rent-to-own incentives for landlords. If the cost of rent continues to rise faster than wages while companies buy up entire neighborhoods to create a permanent renter-class, our unhoused population is going to explode to even larger than the estimated half-million of our brothers and sisters that are already struggling to survive without a home. In 2019, 37 million households were spending 30% of their income or more on housing and 17 million were extremely cost-burdened, spending more than 50% of their income on housing. These statistics of struggle are all political policy choices, we must choose to do better.
My next priority is fighting for the policies that we ALL need to thrive: Education for All, Employment for All, and Justice for All.
Employment for All will provide job training in sustainable industries with a monthly stipend to cover living expenses while enrolled and until job placement. Jobs in the government program will vary from clerical to construction and are guaranteed to all come with a living wage, a retirement plan, and a path to citizenship for those who want it. Beyond that, we WILL pass a $15 minimum wage, ensure that it is tied to the cost of living and adjusted annually, and abolish the federal tipped minimum wage. I hope that the PRO Act is already passed before I’m sworn into office in 2023, but if it is not I will fight for its passage and an amendment to it that specifies the inclusion of domestic and agricultural workers while also striking any language specifying citizenship requirements.
Education for All needs to begin at Pre-K and continue beyond high school into certification programs, trade schools, secondary schools, adult schools, English as second language schools, and public colleges and universities. All children will be provided nutritious school meals from Pre-K through high school graduation. Additionally, and something not often talked about under this policy platform, is improving the quality of our students’ educations through improving the quality of life of the people teaching them. We need to federally mandate livable baselines for teacher and support staff salaries and benefits. Last but not least, CANCEL ALL STUDENT DEBT!! Cancelling student debt will go a long way to lift an entire generation of working-class folks, people of color, and low-income communities out of poverty.
Justice for every resident in this country. What does that look like? It looks like reparations for African Descendents of Slaves and Black American Descendents of Chattel Slavery. It looks like the restoration of land rights to Native and Indigenous communities. It looks like abolishing ICE, closing immigrant detention centers, and making the immigration process fair, compassionate, and effective. It looks like ending the War on Drugs, releasing all people incarcerated for non-violent drug convictions, expunging their records, and assisting with a new start. It looks like reimagining community safety by divesting from police to invest in our communities who have been most neglected and harmed by the increased militarization of, and constant rising budgetary allocations to, our police departments.
I've never run from a challenge in my life, and I've never seen a problem I didn't want to solve. That doesn't mean that I won every battle or that I solved every problem. What it means is that, as my constituent, you will always know that I am going to fight for you, no matter the outside pressures and no matter the political cost.