Mike Ortega is an exceptional candidate-- both an engineer and a philosopher. In a STEM school he went to to study science, he also studied Che Guevara and Pedro Albizu Campos, whose writing, he says, helped him to understand why every child didn't have the same opportunities to excel and climb out of poverty the way he has. Mike learned that he had to act if he was going to see the justice he knew was possible. He saw his school falling apart, so he worked with his classmates to organize walkouts in protest. This got the attention of the local school board, which began fixing the problems right away. This moment helped shape Mike's lifelong fight to improve basic human dignity for working people. He built several chapters of the Young Socialists from the ground up and championed efforts to unionize garment and meatpacking factories. He's exactly the kind of candidate Blue America has been looking for-- and, added bonus, he's taking on one of the most reactionary Blue Dogs in Congress, Lou Correa, who is one of the 9 threatening to kill Biden's Jobs and Family plan.
On his website, Mike wrote that "While our leadership is focused on compromises that maintain the status quo, our families have felt the effects. We need to work together if we're going to enact Medicare for All, protect our undocumented workers, and leave our children a habitable planet." Please join us today in contributing to Mike's campaign by clicking on the Blue America 2022 congressional thermometer on the left. Do you like what you've been seeing from members like Cori Bush, Mondaire Jones, Marie Newman and Jamaal Bowman, all freshmen we endorsed last cycle? I believe Mike will be another champion like they are.
The Urgency Of Now
-by Mike Ortega
Growing up poor in a large immigrant family showed me the importance of taking care of our people. There is an unspoken pact between working families: we must never stop fighting against forces that keep us down. And whether it was in the workplace pushing unionization efforts or organizing communities to fight for justice-- I have kept that promise to my family.
Grateful doesn't begin to describe how I feel about the moment that I find myself in today. It seems like a miracle that I'm able to work developing life-saving medical equipment, and that I'm expecting my first-born child with my beautiful wife. But I had to ask myself-- does my fight stop here? Do I watch on the sidelines, sitting on all the lessons I've learned on the ground, and ignore everything we learned from the movement to elect Bernie Sanders?
Everything they say about having a kid is true. The experience has put everything we see today into perspective for me. I'm running for Congress because we have seen our leaders fail to ensure that our children have a safe and habitable planet to grow up on. Every day we see what's wrong, as plain as day-- but money has become more powerful than what’s right.
There is no time to wait for a hero to save us. Impending crises like climate change will wait for no one. We have to work together in our communities, on the ground, to battle big monied interests. My district-- the people of Anaheim, Santa Ana, and Orange-- are ready for change, today.
Today, Lou Correa, the Democrat representing our district, fights to keep prescription drug prices high. Every year we send Lou to Washington to focus on the profits of the pharmaceutical industry that funds his campaigns... and every year more and more people are exploited by price gouging. It's clear to me that our district deserves better than this level of conservatism and self-serving opportunism.
Today, the pandemic rages on, and is being used as a reason to keep immigrant families in danger at the border. Programs like ICE don't need a reason-- they'll terrorize our families and neighbors because that's what they were made to do. Lou Correa knows we need comprehensive immigration reform-- but still supports ICE and has proposed legislation to keep their officers up to date with the latest equipment while they tear families apart. In a district where more than 1 in 3 people were born outside of the country, anything short of dismantling ICE is unacceptable.
The people of CA-46 voted overwhelmingly for Bernie Sanders in 2020. They wanted someone to fight for them. Instead, they're getting a Blue Dog Democrat that was passed the torch by another Blue Dog before him. This isn't Blue Dog country-- this is a working class, family and community-powered district.
Lou Correa is proud to be in the Problem Solvers caucus in Congress-- where he compromises with Republicans to water down the change we need. I was raised to never compromise when it came to your family or community's health and safety-- that was part of the pact.
So we know what's ahead of us today-- we'll have to work together to get the bold changes we need: Medicare for All, affordable housing, a strengthened education system, and to abolish ICE. We need a Green New Deal to bring sustainable union jobs to Orange County-- making our district a hub where we can learn the skills necessary to protect our planet. We understand the stakes, and are ready to work to turn the tide right here in our hometowns. Because when we work together, we win.