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PoliticsIamA Steven David, a 32-year-old Democrat running for Congress against Kevin Brady -- AMA!

Dec 7th 2017 by stevendavidtx08 • 25 Questions • 9796 Points

I'm Steven, and I'm running against Kevin Brady because I disagree with pretty much everything he represents in Congress. Whether it is net neutrality, healthcare, tax reform, or renewing CHIP. AMA. Proof - https://twitter.com/stevedavid/status/935135824445952001

EDIT @ 10:40AM CST - Holy cow y'all are asking questions! I am still answering, but trying to be as thoughtful as possible.

EDIT 2 @ 10:57AM CST - Forgot to put my website link up. www.electstevendavid.com

FINAL EDIT: I'm gonna close it out. This has been amazing and I appreciate all of the questions and dialogue. Clearly I am going to do another one in the future, so keep an eye out. Shameless plugs: like my FB page @ https://www.facebook.com/stevenforcongress/. and follow me on twitter @stevedavid

Q:

Tell em ant

A:

I refuse to answer this question because it only has 1 updoot.


Q:

Where is your voting base or how are you building a base? Based on your work history with the City, I imagine your base and network of connections live closer to the city and can’t vote for you. Rep Brady’s district is pretty far from Houston.

A:

I think my voting base is people who feel that this type of government isn't what they want. I do work for the City, and the interesting thing about it is that it is non-partisan. Yes, we know what each elected officials party is, but your party isn't worn on your sleeve when you sit down to work on a problem. I think that we (Americans) work this way naturally. We have a set of values that drive us, and maybe we choose to subscribe to a party platform, but at the end of the day we believe more in our values than in our party.

I work for the City, but I live in the district. I am running because we don't have someone who is thinking about us in the middle-class.


Q:

I wish I could vote for you.... Andy Biggs is my districts elected representative and could care less about the middle class in the district. He only seems to care about the donors that donated to his election fund....

A:

Thank you. You should consider running.


Q:

What's your stance on medical/ recreational cannabis? And what's your opinion on the idea that many of our politicians are sociopaths?

A:

I couldn't care less about marijuana, but I care a whole lot about over-incarceration. As states legalize marijuana we see precipitous drops in citizens going to jail for something stupid like possession of marijuana, and that is a great thing. In Harris County jail, like 60% of pre-trial inmates are there for drug possession, and average wait time to trial is 10 months. Its ridiculous.


Q:

Do you think that people of your generation would be better served by a third party?

Do you think the two-party system best serves the people or those in power?

A:

I think we are going to find out your question pretty soon. Whatever is going to happen with Trump is going to create a very big divide among Republicans. Separately, as electeds become younger we are going to see it better reflect society.

I'm still on the fence on that.


Q:

How would you vote in regards to H.B. 38 concealed carry reciprocity and why?

A:

This is a decent bill that creates consistency among states regarding licensing (similar to driver's license), however I would vote no. There isn't consistency on how states issues those concealed handgun licenses, meaning that a permit from a state that only requires you to sign a form to be able to conceal carry is just as valid in a state that requires classes and training by a licenses individual. That gives me HUGE concern. This bill puts the cart before the horse. I'd like to focus on the horse.


Q:

Do you feel there should be a national guideline for background checks and safety training to issue a concealed carry licence? Would consider voting yes to hb38 is all states were on the same playing field as far as requirements go?

A:

Yes to both.


Q:

Hi Steven. I wish you luck in your campaign. I've worked in politics in the past, I just want to point out a couple of major omissions you've made.

Kevin Brady isn't exactly a household name for many Americans, and this isn't a very high profile race. So far, you have neglected to mention the district you are running for, the cities it covers, let alone the state. From reading the AMA, I've gathered that you are based out of Texas. But at one point a poster refers to "The City", to which in return you also simply refer it to "The City".

I understand that it's in your username, but that isn't necessarily clear. And obviously this is all information that is easily found on Google. But when you are reaching out to the general public to share your platform, and ostensibly ask for donations for your campaign, this should all be readily evident.

Obviously this big issues you bring up are very important. But first and foremost, if you win the election, you will be representing the constituents of your community. The fact that you haven't even mentioned which community that is, this is a fairly big stumble.

If elected, what do you promise to do for your community specifically?

A:

Thanks for the feedback. This was my first AMA, and I have definitely learned a lot.

I promise to listen and be transparent about what I'm hearing. This "my community supports me" is a joke. I'm a data dude at my job and we count stuff like this. Constituent sentiment should be a KPI for electeds and tracked publicly.


Q:

Hi Steven, Over the years, I've become pretty jaded in regards to politicians and their promises. What separates you from all the other fresh-faced aspiring politicians, who once elected, abandon the people who got them into office and bow to special interests, and all of the sudden get rich and become a career politician?

A:

Trust. Politics is a dialogue with people, not with pundits or tv screens. Alexis de Tocqueville said that American Democracy is best because we participate out of fear of not getting the same as the next gal/guy. I agree with this sentiment, but I'm less cynical about it. Please don't exit politics. It's arduous and frustrating, but it's worth it!


Q:

Have you ever sexually harassed, molested, or raped a woman of any age? Sounds like a dumb question, but apparently this can't be taken for granted these days.

A:

No, no, and no. Also, not a dumb question. Apparently we live in that kind of society.


Q:

Are you at all concerned that countless folks could Photoshop your AMA photo so that the piece of paper you are holding up appears to state something horribly offensive?

A:

If it happens I'm coming for you.


Q:

Do you wear socks with sandals?

A:

I'm not a monster.


Q:

What's your position on the second amendment and gun rights?

A:

I believe in the second amendment, but also believe that the government is obligated to regulate extenuating circumstances to gun ownership. They already do it with felonies, but don't really do it with people who beat their spouses up. This kind of inconsistency is what gives government a bad wrap.


Q:

They already do it with felonies, but don't really do it with people who beat their spouses up

What about the Lautenberg Amendment? When I was in the military people who were convicted of domestic violence were discharged because they could no longer own firearms.

A:

We found out with the shooting in Sutherland Spring that the military didn't do a good job on conveying the information that they should have. This is what I mean when I talk about inconsistency in government process.


Q:

Will you work across the aisle or will you just go with what your party is telling you do to?

More generally, how do you see the divisiveness of congress and the country? As a layperson it seems that there is so much focus on making sure that the people in power will fail at everything they do and a refusal to work with the other side because it "makes you look bad".

A:

Of course I'll work across the aisle. I think a defining trait of my generation, and younger, is our stubbornness and disregard for being told what to do. I know how to do my own research, as well as listen to experts, and if it stinks I don't support it.


Q:

Any views you associate yourself with that often aren’t favored by Liberals/Democrats?

A:

Guns. Economic incentives for businesses (but tying them to jobs and public infrastructure agreements).


Q:

Hi Steven. I'm a constituent within Brady's district. Haven't lived here long, but I already know that Brady does not support my views. So, I'm glad you're doing some outreach.

Here's my questions:

1) Net Neutrality. Brady, as well as our Senators, seem to think that the concept of Net Neutrality is anti-competition and by removing the Title II regulations will improve the internet. They also seem to think that companies will, on good faith, not block or throttle content. However, we've seen in the past that this is not true (for example, from 2007 to 2009, AT&T tried to force Apple to block VoIP services when not on Wi-Fi, and in 2012 they straight up blocked FaceTime unless users upgraded their data). Where do you stand on Net Neutrality, what kind of regulations (or lack of) would you support in order to keep the internet free? And will you pay attention to the public on this issue?

2) The Rising Cost of Education/Student Loans. What do you plan to work towards in terms of the ever rising costs of education and the burden of student debt. I recently got my master's degree in Computer Information Systems and have a strong interest in public service jobs, though I am not in one right now. The recent tax bill proposals could kill student loan interest deductions and, if I'm not mistaken, also the public service loan forgiveness plan used to encourage people to join public service jobs. As a representative, how will you target fixing the costs of education and the ever growing debt problems?

3) Healthcare. The constant fight over healthcare nowadays is just frustrating. What healthcare proposals do you support, and why?

4) LGBT Rights. Texas is not exactly a bastion for equal rights for all. I'm LGBT, and watching the recent trend of "bathroom bills" and discrimination hiding under the guise of "religious freedom" is really discouraging. Just Monday, the Supreme Court sent back a case to the Texas courts that has the potential to deny benefits for city same sex spouses. Will you fight for LGBT rights in the US House? Where do you stand on these issues?

5) Getting Elected. Brady has a strong grip on the District. And while I have known you were running for quite a while, I never really see a whole lot about you floating around. What's your strategy to get your name out more, and how are you trying to get the voters to know just who you are and what you stand for?

Looking forward to your responses and thanks for doing this AMA.

A:

1) The internet should be free. Plain and simple. I whole-heartedly disagree with the notion that we should trust telecommunications companies.

2) I did a little bit more of an in depth answer below, but the tl;dr is that PLSF is key to getting highly-educated people for work for governments and non-profits and we need to keep it in place, and someone having the guts to take out debt to get an advanced degree should be rewarded and incentivized to do so, not punished. I will say, however, that I believe that college is becoming WAY to expensive and it is incumbent on college to ensure that these 'non-profit' colleges are not gouging students.

3) Ultimately, I support single-payer. I don't think we can get there right now because there needs to be contingency planning for the impacts to the ~800k jobs that are healthcare industry related. The ACA was a good start, but just a start. You don't throw out a bill like the ACA just because. You build on it.

4) This is going to be cliche, but love is love. These attacks on LGBT, particularly transgendered people, are being done by sorry excuses for human beings. When the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, that should have been the end of the discussion.

5) I plan on shaking as many hands as possible, and hopefully look forward to shaking yours.


Q:

Would you currently support a public option for healthcare?

A:

Yes.


Q:

I hope you win but Reddit is very liberal so I assume you will get Redditors support just by wrapping yourself in blue but how can you win in this very conservative district where liberal is used as a slur?

A:

I haven't spoken with as many people in the district as I would like, but I have spoken with a lot. Overwhelmingly I am hearing very intense nervousness around healthcare and economic opportunity. People are genuinely afraid of their healthcare costs going up, or, through the potential repeal of the ACA, losing their healthcare altogether. Additionally, a whole bunch of people my age are VERY concerned about what is going to happen regarding their student debt. This district is very different than the rest of Texas in regards to education; 30% have a bachelors or higher. With this tax reform going through, people who are graduate student, or have graduate degrees face an enormous disincentive. People are just upset, and I think that this election is going to be about issues and not about what party you're a member of.


Q:

Hi Steve. In your answer about student debt, I wish the Dems framed college that doesn't charge tuition to students as an investment in America's future. The return on investment is enormous, but saying it's "free" gives the Republicans an easy opening to attack. With that said, how is the best way to fund college with no tuition costs?

A:

I think that free college is one of those things that SHOULD be debt funded. I'm ok with increasing the deficit for things that are proven to increase GDP.


Q:

What is your opinion on a wall between the U.S. and Mexico? Why do you hold that opinion?

A:

Immigration from Mexico is net negative, and there are a whole lot better ways to spend $10 billion. Also, 10-foot wall = 11-foot ladder.


Q:

Hi Steven, I am a 32 year old who is not a democrat running for congress. I am presently sitting in my pajamas browsing reddit.

What good decisions did you make in your life to get you to where you are today?

A:

I have made a TON of bad decisions in my life. If you care about the direction our country is going and want to change it, go volunteer for something you believe in. That is where I started in 2008.


Q:

Why do you consider or label yourself as a democrat? Do you ever just want to represent a group of people based on common values instead of what a job title expects?

A:

Yes, but the two-party system is king here.


Q:

Can you explain American politics to me in five words or less?

Can you describe trump in four words?

Can you describe yourself in three words?

A:

Not representative of Americans.

Out of his depth.

Bears. Beets. Battlestar Galactica. (Idealistic. Generalist. Stubborn.)


Q:

Even though I disagree with essentially all of your policy positions, as an early-thirty something individual myself who's extremely interested in politics, what do you think needs to be done to get more millenials running for federal office? Our founding fathers were mostly less than 40 years old, while the average congressman today is near 60. Regardless of your political beliefs, diversity of age in congress is a good thing. What do you think needs to happen?

A:

People our age just need to recognize that we are having our opportunities for a successful future/retirement thrown down the drain by our parents and grandparents generation. Also, I don't care that you and I don't agree on things. If you want to run, please let me help. I've run campaigns before and would be happy to give you advice.