Our politicians ignoring the needs of their citizens is largely based on two key reasons:

#1) The costs of running a competitive campaign are extremely high. It’s next to impossible for an average citizen with great ideas and good moral character to run against and beat an uninvolved and corrupt politician, particularly if they’re an incumbent, due to corporations being allowed to back a specific candidate many of our elected officials are backed by moneyed interests. Therefore, a career politician has no need to cater to their voters, but solely the major donors who have one goal in mind: get Congress to pass legislation for the purpose of increasing their own wealth.

To resolve this issue I would fight to overturn Citizens United which has allowed appalling amounts of cash to funnel and fuel our elections with limited regulations.

#2) The everyday American voter is often unaware of who they’re voting for and what issues they’re voting on, particularly when it comes to local races. Social issues tend to be at the forefront of the media, dividing public opinion, as legislation, that controls deregulation and other economic issues that are destroying our middle class, slips by the notice of the average voter. As those concerns tend to strike our heart and soul, we inadvertently become single-issue voters,rather than looking at all the ideas of a particular candidate. I believe our political parties use this to their advantage: they expect you to vote straight party ticket based on a few social issues. Meanwhile, they’re making trade deals that are sending more of our good paying jobs overseas and deregulating corporations and banks that continue to put the hard-earned dollars of the working class at risk. We must start looking at every candidate for office and not just voting down ballot based on one party or a singular candidate for president or governor.

My solution to this issue is to get rid of party affiliation on the ballots. This will force voters to research the people on their ballot and vote for who they believe to have their best interest in mind.

It is important to the future of our nation that we provide our youth with the assistance they need in order to not only succeed in life but to have the time and energy to concentrate on the problems we’re leaving behind. I do not believe that a young adult, just getting out on their own, should be socially and economically handicapped due to their background or their parents’ financial situation. In order for our youth to have the best chance at succeeding after high school, I believe there are three basic things we need to have in place:

#1: A debt-free option for higher education;

#2: A single-payer healthcare option for individuals 25 and under;

#3: A minimum livable wage.

Items one and two will be paid for by taxing Wall Street on speculation trading.

The third item (a minimum livable wage) would be decided by calculating the average costs of modest-living nationwide and would be funded by the employers.

Certain exceptions could be made for startups and small businesses who show that their profits are minimal, but only for a set period of time, which would allow the business to prove its viability. It should be the responsibility of owners and managers to make a company successful: the financial burden should not fall on either the workers or the taxpayers. The success of our nation is in the hands of those who haven’t yet started their careers, and I think it’s in our best interest for them to have the chance to concentrate on how they can solve the problems we’re leaving behind rather than being focused on keeping their heads above water.