Monday, February 22, 2010

Why I'm Challenging Charlie Rangel

An interesting candidate opposing Charlie Rangel-RW

by Rev Michel Faulkner

For the past 22 years, I have dedicated my life to serving my community as a New York City pastor and spiritual leader. I have counseled the suffering, married couples, helped the grieving, fed the hungry and have acted as a liaison between my community and the government. This week, I took what I believe to be the next logical step in that commitment — by announcing my candidacy to become the next member to the United States House of Representatives for the 15th Congressional District.

The system in Washington, DC, is broken at a time of enormous challenges and we need real-life solutions. Solutions that are based on the community’s input and welfare, not a federal government takeover. As I speak with the people of Northern Manhattan, it is clear that they have become apathetic about democracy. When people don’t trust democracy, they don’t vote — placing political leadership in the hands of those who use political power for their personal gain.

My opponent is 40-year incumbent, Charles Rangel. Unfortunately Mr. Rangel has come to epitomize what is wrong with Washington today. His gross underpayment of federal income taxes while chairing the House Ways and Means Committee shows the hypocrisy of our Congress. Furthermore, his occupation of four rent-stabilized apartments (while so many in our community are in desperate need of affordable housing), demonstrates his disconnect from our needs and struggles. It could not be clearer that the people of this city deserve a new direction and need new leadership.

My priorities are this: We need to bring government spending under control. Those who control the purse-strings in DC have irresponsibly spent our nation into near bankruptcy and mortgaged our futures.

While the national unemployment rate has been making headlines lately, the need for job creation in my community has been at a critical level for generations. To address this crisis, we must recognize that nearly 80% of all jobs in America today are created by small businesses, and for that reason we need to reduce the red-tape and tax burden on these critical economic engines. I also intend to promote programs that use microfinance initiatives to support a path to economic self-reliance, to expand economic opportunities for individuals and to foster community economic development.

In order to restore the possibility of the American Dream for all of our nation’s citizens, every child in our nation should have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. Towards that end, I support the expansion of Charter Schools, which generally have outperformed public schools and stimulate a level of parental involvement unseen in the traditional public school environment.

Turning to our nation’s healthcare, I will promote and support achievable, community-based, preventive health and wellness initiatives; and, I will oppose the myopic view that a government takeover is the only form healthcare reform can take.

In Massachusetts, Scott Brown proved that dynasties can be toppled. The people of the 15th Congressional District in New York deserve no less.

The above originally appeared in he New York Post.

1 comment:

  1. Interesting but it should be noted that the fact that Washington is "broken" is the only thing standing between the citizens and their total enslavement to government.