It is often said about politicians that they need to go to Washington and “get things done.” Which begs the question, of course, as to whether anything is being done there right now. In fact, what is being done is often questionable in terms of the values many of us hold dear.

The House consists of 435 Congressional Representatives. Neither I nor any other candidate can walk in with a magic wand and say, “Voila! I’m here to get things done!” In the House of Representatives as in the life of an individual, the first question is not really what do we do, but rather who we are and what we stand for. I would go to Washington with a viewpoint and a set of values – the belief that as citizens we are stewards of a sacred trust, challenged by current circumstances to defend democracy itself from the tyrannous tendencies of money and power when wielded against the rights and powers of the people of the United States.

 It has been said that a person can base their life on circumstances, or on a vision. I believe the circumstances of the United States have become so challenging because we have lost our vision – namely, our commitment to democracy itself; our willingness to do whatever it takes to expand our freedoms and protect them from encroachment; and our sense of responsibility as individuals to be engaged and active citizens. It’s hard to complain about rights being taken away if you weren’t really using them to begin with.

 The American government has lost its ethical center and its deep commitment to democracy, drifting ever more consistently in a corporatist direction. And no one specific legislative initiative can fix that. I believe that a wave of independent candidates, all committed to a huge course-correction, is necessary to turn our ship around. I feel my campaign, and most importantly my win, can help inspire such a movement.

 If any district in America can help create a new political conversation, it’s California’s District 33. I will not go to Washington just to represent the interests of the people of this district; I will go there to represent the consciousness of the people of this district. Californians do more than simply get things done; they get new things done.

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