Issues

  1. Root out corruption in government. We all know the story from last year and the indicting of a quarter of the council on corruption charges. Regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum, if we can’t forcefully do something about the corruption in politics then nothing any of want done will get done. In addition to going after those taking the “bribes” we must also go after those individuals and corporations that are giving the bribes. Corruption is a 2 way street after all.
  2. Looking closer at the city budget. We can and must find better and more effective ways to allocate funds in the city budget so that money can work better for the citizens of the city.
  3. Rank Choice Voting. You may have heard about this voting method as some states and locales have adopted it in the past few years. There is no reason why we can’t push for this initiative right here in Toledo. In fact many decades ago city offices actually had a version of Ranked Choice Voting. Ranked Choice Voting allows more candidates to get involved in running for office and contrary to what the two major parties will tell you, this voting system would limit the “spoiler effect” allowing you the citizen to truly vote for the candidate that comes closest to your view. In addition we must find a way to stop using these various company’s voting machines which have had their issues since day 1. Paper ballots are the only way to go.
  4. Elimination of all red light and speeding cameras. When these were adopted it was thought that it would be more efficient, but along the way we forgot that having government entities filming anything and everything is technically a violation of the 4th Amendment and well as the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment. In addition these cameras are owned by a private entity (not the city) so technically when you receive a fine because of a camera, part of that fine goes to a non-governmental institution. Would you pay a fine from a police speeding ticket to Walmart? Of course not! If someone is speeding on the roadway, they need to be pulled over by the police the old fashioned way.
  5. General Police Reform. There has been a lot of talk over the past year and a half on reforming various functions of the police, with some even advocating for defunding them. At a minimum there needs to reallocation of some of the funds that go to TPD and instead spend that money to address some of the root causes of crime. In addition, adoption of a citizen/civilian review board that actually has teeth is absolutely necessary. Police are supposed to be public servants and if they can’t agree to measures such as these then the calls will continue to get louder for defunding and even abolition. CSRN Toledo has some very good ideas on this front and I support their efforts.
  6. Push for a $15 minimum wage. Usually this is seen as a state or federal issue, but there have been some cities that have already adopted this policy. The pandemic has seemingly taught many that they don’t have to work jobs that pay them poverty wages where they are also treated like trash and thought of as entirely disposable. If capitalism is supposed to be about the ability of people to spend money on goods and services to drive everything, then more money in average people’s pockets will allow that to happen. It will provide a better living standard for all, and yes some prices will go up a small bit, but those trying to scare you that a Big Mac will suddenly cost $25 are doing just that, trying to scare you.
  7. Environmental Protection. We must work with environmental groups, such as Lake Erie Advocates, so that we can keep our natural land and waterways clean. We all know of the Algae Bloom issue that pops up every year and the cause is the pollution that gets dumped into the rivers that eventually flow into the Maumee River and Maumee Bay and the larger Lake Erie itself, causing the Algae Bloom. We must find a better way to reduce and eliminate the factory farms upstream that are the cause of the water issues we face downstream here in the city. Water is life of course, and we must do all we can to protect it. This also means on a local level advocating for parts of the Green New Deal that can be done locally as well as finding a way to get a revised Lake Erie Bill of Rights established after the previous one was thrown out by the court system. City and countryside must come together to make a cleaner environment for our future generations. This is also paramount as water availability will continue to be a bigger issue going forward everywhere and as we are all aware we live right in the middle of the largest supply of fresh drinkable water on this continent.
  8. Road Repairs. A local issue if there ever was one is the conditions of the roadways and streets and the disrepair so many of them are experiencing. Recently a levy was passed by citizen initiative that was to be solely about road repairs. We need to make sure that those funds are actually going to fix the streets followed by the streets themselves getting fixed.
  9. General support for unionization of workers. Over the decades as Reganomics has changed our nation for a producer of goods to a service industry, we have seen working conditions and wages deteriorate. This is because where the auto, steel, glass plants of old were made up of unionized workers who truly had a say in their wages and conditions, workers at say McDonalds are not unionized and can be and are exploited. This needs to change immediately. Until workers can have good wages and dignity in their work our society will continue to divide between the 1% who own and exploit and everyone else who are just barley surviving. If you want the prosperous middle class that we used to have, then higher wages and unionization is, in the capitalist system we have, the only way to go.
  10. Support for small business over large corporations. Local small business is supposed to be the foundation of “Main Street” in this country. Over the past few decades the largest corporations have become so large that they have strangled small business to near extinction. Sure Walmart and Amazon may be more convenient but how many small shops over the years has it destroyed? Combined with deindustrialization, it has forced many people to take these low wage jobs, as they are the only option, which do not allow for them to invest in a small business of their own. Local small business will always get preference from me over large corporations. Speaking of those large corporations, how many of them (Amazon?) are getting huge tax breaks just to build their warehouses of exploitation in our city? Just because Amazon will “create jobs” doesn’t mean they should also have a tax bill of $0.
  11. Form a coalition on the council to get these reforms and others passed. This may be the most important part of my platform in a way because one person can not (and really should not) be responsible for making the changes needed for a whole city (let alone a state or a whole country). Toledo City Council is made up of your specific district as well as At-Large members. This year there is the voting for ALL the At-Large seats and there will be 6 of us total elected to council. If you want my stated reforms and others to actually pass and become policy, a coalition that can comprise a significant voting block must be achieved to get them. That means when you go to the polls this September 14 (primary) and November 2 (general) you will be voting for 6 of us not just 1. You are reading this right, this is a political candidate telling you to vote for not just themselves but to also vote FOR some of that candidate’s “opponents”. Therefore in addition to myself, James Kushlan of course, there are 5 others to choose from. Based on my research of the other candidates in the race, as well as interacting with some of them, if you want significant change in Toledo, then this fall you should vote for (again 6 total): James Kushlan, Daniel Ortiz, Harvey Savage, Nick Komives, Steven Fought, and Alfonzo Narvaez.

Created, paid for, and authorized by Kushlan 4 Council Committee