Hey, Reddit! I’m super excited to be here for my very first AMA. My name is Kia and I’m running for Congress in California. Proof.

I’m a California native and the son of Iranian immigrants. I believe in the fundamental goodness of the American people, which is why I was both ashamed and outraged when Trump took the presidency.

Since becoming president, Trump has pushed a regressive agenda that has denigrated our political discourse; undermined our credibility abroad; and increased inequality and intolerance.

My top priority is to unseat the current incumbent, a pro-Trump Republican representing a district that voted for Clinton by over 5%, and to promote a progressive agenda that benefits all Americans, not just those seeking Trump’s largesse.

So ask away! I’m looking forward to answering your questions.


Get involved with my campaign by visiting my website and following along on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

You can also contribute to my campaign directly here.

Comments: 276 • Responses: 39  • Date: 

justscottaustin35 karma

Your priority is to unseat the other party? Do you see the flaw in that?

Kia_for_Congress14 karma

I oppose the Republican agenda that is increasingly anti-immigrant, anti-environment, and anti-middle class. Further, the majority of people in my district voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump, so the citizens of California's 45th District are on the same page as well. In order to flip the House of Representatives next fall and combat this Republican agenda, we must win back California's 45th district seat. But most importantly, we currently have a representative that has fundamentally failed to represent her constituents.

justscottaustin32 karma

See? It's not enough to oppose. You have to stand for something, too.

You sound like an outraged sound bite, mate.

Kia_for_Congress12 karma

I promise you that we are pushing a positive vision about the future of Orange County that has nothing to do with being against Donald Trump and Mimi Walters. I've outlined it in some of the other answers here but happy to talk about any of them further if needed

RecallRethuglicans-4 karma

Standing for good against evil is all that is needed.

unclejello1 karma

So Hillary is good and Trump is evil? I’m pretty sure they play for the same team underneath all the politics.

Kia_for_Congress0 karma

Hillary Clinton would have not been my first pick to be the standard bearer for the Democratic Party in 2016. With that said there is no question in my mind that she would have made a better president than Donald Trump. I don't view Donald Trump as evil. I believe that he is advocating policies that are bad for the people of this country. I also think he is in over his head and beneath the dignity of the office.

Hipp01330 karma

Firstly, thank you for taking time out of your schedule to answer questions. Although I am not a California resident, I like to know more about those running for elected government positions in other states.

Secondly, you only really mentioned that the incumbent representative is a pro-Trump Republican. This doesn't tell me much about his beliefs or actions, but rather only tells me whether he likes our President or not (in fact, you didn't even give his/her name). With all due respect, regardless of whether you support Trump or not, running simply on the basis of being pro- or anti-Trump does not give much information on your specific beliefs or intentions and has the potential to alienate a good portion of your intended audience. (I'm sure that you have specific beliefs and intentions, however from how I see it that the OP does not make this clear.)

So my question is, what makes you a better fit for your state district* than the current representative? What can you specifically do for your state district* that they can't?


Edit: Not sure why I've been downvoted. Oh well.

Kia_for_Congress16 karma

Thank you so much for the question.

Firstly, I will respond in regards to Mimi Walters, the current representative from California's 45th district. As a Member of Congress, I would actually represent the interests of my district. For instance, Mimi just voted in favor of the Republican tax plan, which will only serve to hurt middle-class families not only in my district but also in the entire state of California. Secondly, she does not ever return to the district and she does not live in the district. She's not accountable, accessible, and she does not care what our citizens care about. Our problems include the cost of housing, healthcare, income inequality, the cost of childcare, student debt, and protecting the environment— Mimi has done nothing to address these issues and instead, she has voted to take healthcare away from 22 million people.

What I want to do is work to build the middle class and fight for working families in my district and in this country. There is nothing more important than that.

Hipp0136 karma

Thank you for your response! If I was a member of your district you would have my vote.

Also, apologies if my question sounded like it leaned one way or another politically (given the downvotes); I'm not familiar with the political situation on a per-District basis in California, so my question was one out of curiosity.

Kia_for_Congress13 karma

No worries at all. I always tell people that it can't just be about being against Donald Trump and being against Mimi Walters. We need to present a positive vision of where we want to take the future of Orange County and this country. Because at the end of the day it's about what we can do improve the lives of others.

FakFeinstein1 karma

And yet you start your AMA with saying “you’re ashamed and outraged when Trump got elected”

Kia_for_Congress3 karma

I mean I am both ashamed and outraged. But I want to channel that anger in a positive way and actually work to make a difference in the lives of my constituents.

Made_in_Murica25 karma

Dude, you’re going to need to get better at answering questions if you want to beat Mimi Walters.

What do you stand for? Not against? If I asked Mimi if she wanted to help the middle class, she’d say “yes”. That doesn’t mean her actions support that statement. But how will your actions support your promise to help the middle class? What policies? What are your stances on the criminal justice system, corporate taxes, offshoring of profits, welfare, policing, drug policy, the electoral college, automatic voter registration, net neutrality, space exploration, climate change, universal healthcare, student loans, Wall Street? Give us something to work with. Don’t just say that you’re progressive. Kampala Harris calls herself progressive, but she and Bernie Sanders are not the same animal.

Kia_for_Congress12 karma

So you can find a lot of where I stand on all those issues on my issues page here https://kiafororangecounty.com/issues/. I've tried to make it as exhaustive as possible. I also promise you it will not change once I win the primary.

In terms of what you laid out:

1) criminal justice system-I believe we need to end mass incarceration and enact criminal justice reform. I view the war on drugs as a complete and abject failure.

2) I definitely don't think we should be lowering the corporate tax rate to 20 percent. I would prefer corporate tax reform that rewards companies that are creating jobs here in the US and paying their workers well.

3) offshoring of profits-we shouldn't make it so easy for companies to do so. I was also a fan of the idea of using some of that money to help pay for an infrastructure package.

4) welfare reform was a huge mistake that has hurt many people living in poverty. I'm not saying we need to go back to the system we had before, but I can tell you that the current system doesn't work for anyone. I would really like to see state and local governments test out different universal basic income ideas to see how workable they might be.

5) A great deal of work needs to be done to build trust between police and the communities that they are serving. There have been far too many tragedies around the country and there hasn't been enough accountability.

6)drug policy-kind of connects to my first answer but we should be treating it as a public health problem as opposed to using the criminal justice system.

7) the electoral college-would abolish it if it were up to me.

8) automatic voter registration-strongly support

9) net neutrality-strongly support

10) space exploration-support but also think more broadly that we need to invest more in science and technology.

11) climate change- existential question of our time. Have to address. Need to put a price on carbon, invest in clean energy, and make regulatory changes that will help to speed the transition.

12) universal healthcare- support single payer

13)student loans-support debt-free college. In terms of how we get there I think we start by making community college free, expanding Pell Grants, allowing the ability refinance student loans, and cracking down on bad actors in the for-profit sector.

14) Wall Street-Need to build on the work in Dodd-Frank as opposed to rolling back regulations the way the Republicans have proposed. Need to strongly protect the CFPB and make sure it continues doing the work that its doing.

Berrrrrrrrrt_the_A1018 karma

What will you do to not encroach further on the second amendment rights of Californians and all other law abiding citizens in the US?

Kia_for_Congress7 karma

Far too many Americans die of gun violence every year. There are in fact only two countries in the world with a higher rate of gun ownership than the United States: Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Quite simply it is too easy for those who wish to do others harm to gain access to firearms.

That's why we must 1) close background check loopholes, 2) reinstate the assault weapons ban, 3) ban high capacity magazines and bump stocks, 4) reverse the prohibition on the CDC in regards to researching gun violence, 5) make sure that those who have a history of domestic abuse are not allowed to purchase firearms, 6) invest in mental health to address the high number of individuals who commit suicide with a gun, and 7) increase funding for organizations like the ATF so that they can actually work to enforce the gun laws already on the books.

I do not believe that any of these reasonable changes would encroach on the second amendment rights of Californians and other law-abiding citizens. As Justice Scalia wrote in Heller, "Nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

DarthVenti15 karma

Who’s rights are more important, a taxing paying law abiding American or an illegal alien?

Kia_for_Congress2 karma

There’s no doubt that our immigration system is broken and that we need to fix it. Still, it is not realistic or just to forcibly deport 11 million people from the United States. What we should do instead is 1) Protect Dreamers, and ensure that there is a path to citizenship and take other steps to improve the lives of immigrants and bolster communities and the economy, 2) Focus on undocumented immigrants with criminal records, 3) Work on a long-term plan that creates a path to permanent residency.

Meanwhile, we need to work hard to ensure that we’re attracting the best and brightest to the United States.

DarthVenti19 karma

An entire paragraph on what you want to do for illegals with out mentioning the first part of my question, law abiding tax paying Americans. I guess in the end you did answer my question on who’s more important.

Kia_for_Congress6 karma

I will do my utmost as a Member of Congress for all Americans. If you refer to the question about what the priorities should be for the Democratic Party in one of the answers above, you'll see what I think we should be focused on as a party and as a country. Supporting the middle class, combatting climate change, and fixing the immigration system will benefit us all.

SpudDK9 karma

Will you be aggressive about Medicare for All?

To clarify, "supports" is a Lucy and the Football type statement. Doesn't mean much, given how frequently we have seen M4A and similar efforts pushed back and off to the side for basically any reason.

Put another way, what will you be doing to help get M4A into law?

Kia_for_Congress21 karma

I will absolutely be aggressive about supporting Medicare for All. Healthcare is a universal right and every single woman, man, and child in this country deserves access to quality and affordable healthcare. In the United States in 2017, no person should ever go bankrupt or face financial ruin just because they got sick.

That's why I was the first candidate in my race to come out in support of single-payer healthcare. I strongly believe it represents the best and the most efficient way to meet the healthcare needs of each and every American. It is the system that Americans both need and deserve. Advocating for Medicare for All will be one of my top priorities in Congress.

Dingareth12 karma

Advocating for Medicare for All will be one of my top priorities in Congress

How are you planning on paying for it? It’s easy to say you support it, but how do you plan on implementing it?

Kia_for_Congress22 karma

I am open to different mechanisms for paying for it and there are a number of different proposals for doing so. Bernie Sanders proposed 10 different ways to pay for it and what I would like to see is more discussion as to the best way of doing so. I also agree with Ro Khanna who said, "when Republicans talk about the $32 trillion cost of single payer, can every Democrat please point out the current system costs $49 trillion?". It is expensive but there are also an incredible number of savings compared to our current system.

I believe that you have to phase it over time. Probably starting by lowering the medicare age to 55 and then continuing to lower it until everyone is covered.

SpudDK3 karma

Thanks, appreciated, good luck.

Kia_for_Congress5 karma

Thank you!

bluhwk8 karma

Thanks for doing an AMA, good to see candidates communicating with the public.

I've read that your 'motivation' for running stems partially from the announcement of Trump's infamous travel ban and your personal issues associated with that. Anti-Trump, anti-republican is a reasonable enough stance and all but what else do you especially stand for? What do you think your campaign has that will make Californians vote against the republican movement except for simply disliking Trump (which, can probably not be counted on too surely)?

Kia_for_Congress9 karma

Yes, the travel ban is why I'm running but it’s certainly not the only issue that I care about. It's representative of the kinds of politics that are coming out of this country. For example, we need to fight for the Dreamers, we need to fight against the decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Yes, you’re right. It’s not just about opposing Mimi Walters or Donald Trump, we need to have a vision that demonstrates that we are actually doing something to make peoples’ lives better in Orange County and in this country.

What I want to offer these voters is someone who has the experience of working for two really great Senators. I’ve learned how a representative should go about being accountable, accessible, and taking action on issues that people care about. I’m passionate about the environment, addressing student debt and healthcare, and ensuring that we provide jobs that pay good wages and provide good benefits for all people.

Californib7 karma

There's a Republican in elected office in California? That's a surprise.

Kia_for_Congress13 karma

So in 2018 to flip the House of Representatives Democrats need to win 24 seats. There are 7 seats in California held by a Republican where the voters also voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. 4 of those districts are in Orange County, including this one. We cannot take back the House without all winning all 4, making Orange County critical to Democrats in 2018.

poshpotdllr6 karma

iranian american citizen resident of california here, coming to you live from my intelligence operations center in phoenix arizona where i conduct my counter terrorism operations and general shitpost trolling. thank you for doing this ama and thank you for being an iranian american that is participating and taking responsibility. as a persian that is involved in politics i know how rare that is.

1- do you recognize that saudi arabia is the worlds biggest sponsor of terrorism through spreading takfiri salafi wahhabi rapist racist fascist terrorist ideology through the expenditure of 10s of billions of dollars in mosques and madrassas to brainwash and recruit for alqaeda and its splinter offshoots such as isis/isil/daesh, AQAP. HTS, alnusra, etc? if you dont i can educate you.

2- do you recognize that there is an undeniably treasonous effort in the united states to lie to the american people and drag them into a war with iran by lying about terrorism? if you dont i can educate you.

3- do you recognize that hillary clinton is a criminal traitor that needs to be tried for high treason and punished to the maximum extent of the law if found guilty (execution)? if you dont i can educate you.

4- do you recognize that the united states is guilty of war crimes in yemen as the saudis use illegal weapons including cluster bombs and biochemical warfare against civilians? if you dont i can educate you.

5- do you recognize assange, snowden, and manning as patriotic heros? if you dont i can educate you.

6- do you support california succeeding from the union if america continues down a path of deviating from american values and ideals (supporting terrorism and the rise of state sponsored/endorsed/ignored/tolerated fascism) with the calexit movement? if you dont i am really curious as to why.

7- do you support holding those who conspire to use propaganda, internet censorship/manipulation, and psychological warfare against the american people accountable as criminal terrorist traitors? if you dont i can educate you.

Kia_for_Congress5 karma

You must be lost. /r/The_Donald is that way.

Fynn_the_Finger26 karma

His opinions might be unpopular, and his offers to educate incredibly condescending, but I think he deserves more than a blithe dismissal and labeling.

Kia_for_Congress12 karma

I certainly did not mean to come off as blithe or dismissive.

1) I certainly have a number of issues with Saudi Arabia in regards to how they conduct their foreign policy and the numerous human rights abuses by their government. That's why I support efforts to limit arms sales to them. I am also fairly concerned that Jared Kushner appears to have outsourced our Middle East policy to Mohammad bin Salman. He represents a worldview which is incredibly dangerous to American interests in the region.

2) I strongly oppose a war with Iran and believe that maintaining the Iran deal is critical to help ensure that we prevent war. People like Tom Cotton continue to push a policy of regime change in Iran and we must forcefully speak out against such a move. The same individuals who are advocating for war with Iran are those who led us into the Iraq War, which I consider to be the most disastrous foreign policy decision of my lifetime.

3) I do not know the relevance of continuing to talk about Hillary Clinton.

4) In terms of Yemen, I certainly do not support how Saudi Arabia has conducted their efforts and believe the United States needs to do more to put a strop to their actions.

5) I think that Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning have a complicated legacy. I've always agreed with the famous line from Louis Brandeis that "sunlight is the best disinfectant." There was information that came from Manning and Snowden that was important to have be public. I for instance strongly oppose many of the mass surveillance programs that Snowden brought to light and because they became public, we for the first time passed a law that placed some limitations on some of the Patriot Act authorities.

In regards to Assange, I was not a fan of him attempting to leak documents for the sole purpose of electing Donald Trump as president of the United States.

6) I do not support California seceding from the United States.

7) Not completely sure what you are asking here, but if it is about the Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election via those means, I think that we need to continue to investigate and ensure that we have a full accounting of what exactly happened. Once we do we can then act accordingly.

YassiJoon3 karma

As someone running in a coastal state and a costal district, what are you going to do to combat climate change and rising sea levels?

Where do you think our nation should go with regard to alternative energy? How can California, a state that gets the majority of its energy from fossil fuel (natural gas), improve its own consumption to align more with the environmental views held by most Californians?

Kia_for_Congress3 karma

Climate change is undoubtedly the defining issue of our generation. Scientists have repeatedly confirmed that if we do not drive down global greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, it will be impossible to meet the targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement, and consequently, to avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change.

As a Congressman, I would first and foremost be a staunch advocate for the Paris Agreement. With the Trump Administrations’ announcement to withdraw from the accord, the U.S. is now the only country in the world that opposes it. This is unbelievably irresponsible, embarrassing, and frankly, stupid.

This is why it is also essential to accelerate non-state climate action driven by American companies, cities, and states, including the “We Are Still In” movement led by California Governor Jerry Brown and Michael Bloomberg. We need to continue to drive down U.S. emissions by divesting from fossil fuels and investing billions (if not trillions) in renewable energy and clean-technology.

The U.S. also has to put a price on carbon and make the regulatory changes that will help the transition to a low-carbon economy. Examples include ending fossil fuel leasing on federal land and targeting 100% electricity by 2030. We need to also make sure that we are doing something to support workers who are being displaced by a lot of these changes. By and large, we have failed to do so thus far. That’s why you see so many people in coal country support Donald Trump, because they feel completely abandoned by their government. It doesn’t have to be that way.

Ultimately, climate action will bring about more jobs, clean our air and water, improve our health, and increase our national security. It’s in all of our best interests.

kaz10303 karma

There was just a contentious election for the chair of the Democratic party in CA between Eric Bauman and Kimberly Ellis. Who did you support and why? Thanks.

Kia_for_Congress3 karma

I am not a delegate and couldn't vote in that particular election. Had I been able to do so, I would have voted for Kimberly Ellis.

The number one most important thing though is that we have to be unified as a party and can't be stuck fighting amongst ourselves. We have to be on the same page if we are going to win this election.

bagaudin2 karma

Proof didn't get through :)

Kia_for_Congress2 karma

Sorry! Waiting for the Tweet to go out so I can link it. (It's my first time doing this, so sort of learning on the fly!)

[deleted]1 karma

[deleted]

Kia_for_Congress1 karma

I do! She’s great and types faster than I tweet. :P

mutatron2 karma

voted for Clinton by over 5%

What does this mean? Fewer than 95% voted for Trump? What district is it and where in California is it?

Kia_for_Congress7 karma

California's 45th District is located in Orange County and it includes the cities of Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Villa Park, parts of Orange and Anaheim Hills, Laguna Hills, Rancho Santa Margarita, and Mission Viejo.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton got 49.8% of the vote and Donald Trump got 44.4% of the vote.

SkaMzy2 karma

Hey Kia. I am from Europe . I have question for you. Why my Girlfriend left me ?

Kia_for_Congress12 karma

That one is above my pay grade. Best of luck though!

lcl822 karma

Hi Kia, thanks for doing this. I've been an organizer in OC activism for a few years, currently with the CA 45 Action Council.

Just wondering...

1) What do you think differentiates you from other district candidates you know of (besides Mimi obviously), mostly in terms of the policies you will fight for but also maybe in terms of how you might be better positioned to win?

2) This is kind of my main issue and I realize it's a delicate one to campaign on but... since the Federal discretionary budget is more than 50% military spending (full cost accounting, including things like Dept of Energy weapons spending, interest on past military debt etc) will you PLEASE try and educate the public about why this is excessive and counter-productive and promise to try and divert funds from military waste to human benefit if elected?

3) What kinds of campaigning do you think both you as a candidate and us as potential supporters could do to turn the tide here in the 45th? I'm looking especially for "outside the box" ideas, and of course have some of my own, but was wondering where you're coming from on this as a candidate.

Looking forward to your responses,

Christian

Kia_for_Congress1 karma

1) But this is a very unique and specific job that we are all running for and the question that everyone has to ask themselves is who is going to be the best at it. More fundamentally, who is going to make the best member of Congress? Who is going to be able to go there from their very first day and know what they are doing and be able to deliver for the people of the 45th District?

The reason that this person is me is that I have track-record that shows that I have that experience. I spent over six years working in the US Senate for two of the most accomplished and respected Senators, Tom Harkin and Sherrod Brown. There is a reason they both endorsed our campaign from the start and it's because they both know I would make an excellent member of Congress. If you ask them they would tell you as much.

In fact, I have more experience in Congress than Mimi Walters and I have more experience in public service than Donald Trump. And if this past election has taught us anything it's the value of experience and the value of having someone in office who knows what they are doing and doesn’t have to learn on the job. We have a complete and utter amateur in the White House in Trump. He is completely lost at sea. Now more than ever we need experienced people in Congress.

But I will also add that I don’t have a bad thing to say about any of the other candidates running. They are all accomplished in their fields and, I believe, running for the right reasons.

2) Absolutely, I am very familiar with this issue and I will definitely be making the case that our spending priorities are out of whack.

3) I believe that we need to put a price on carbon, make regulatory changes to encourage the transition to a clean energy future, and massively invest in research on clean energy.

4) I strongly believe that we are going to win this campaign at the doors and it's going to be critical that our work every other campaign and build a real grassroots movement that is going to take us across the finish line. In terms of creative and outside the box ideas, I have a number I've been thinking about and they all revolve around finding unique and different ways to reach out to voters.

Fynn_the_Finger1 karma

Open ended question with some meandering:

What do you think the democratic game plan in the increasingly likely event that we regain both chambers of congress and the white house in 2020? I feel like we squandered a real opportunity in 2009-2011 where we ended up spending all our political capital on the ACA, which, while probably the best we could do with lock step republican opposition, ended up enshrining insurance companies into law when a lot of the democratic base is of the opinion that insurance companies are the problem.

In short, what should be the democratic priorities be, and how hard are you willing to play to get them through republican opposition?

Kia_for_Congress3 karma

Thank you for the question!

Firstly, the priority should always be to implement policies that support the middle-class and working families across this country. That means addressing issues like the cost of housing, the cost of childcare, student debt, income inequality, and the fact that the United States is the only developed nation in the world that does not mandate paid sick leave and paid family leave. More fundamentally, we need to do more to create jobs that pay a living wage and offer good benefits. Secondly, the Democratic Party needs to prioritize taking real steps to combat climate change. Addressing this issue is our opportunity to create more jobs, improve our air and water quality, and improve our health. Thirdly, we need to fix our broken immigration system.

I’m not going to Congress to be one of 435 members, but to be a leader that will get things done and drive the direction of the Democratic Party. I’m not afraid to take risks, and I will always be thinking about what’s best for my constituents and my country. There are worse things in life than losing an election, and I will never let that fear stop me from advocating and fighting for these priorities.

Kia_for_Congress1 karma

Thank you so much everyone for your questions. I very much appreciate your engagement and look forward to doing more of these going forward. Thanks again. Please do not hesitate in reaching out to my campaign if you are interested in getting involved or if you have any further questions.

Kia_for_Congress3 karma

You can learn more about my platform, get involved, or contribute to the campaign via our website: https://kiafororangecounty.com/

Thanks everyone and have a great rest of your Saturday!

eireannos1 karma

In light of a recent spate of sexual harassment allegations at the Democratic Party Headquarters in Orange County, if elected, how would you ensure that women on your staff would be protected in that kind of working environment?

For reference: https://www.google.com/amp/www.ocregister.com/2017/10/18/half-dozen-women-allege-sexual-harassment-at-union-orange-county-democratic-party-headquarters/amp/

Kia_for_Congress6 karma

I have absolutely zero tolerance for sexual harassment. It would never be acceptable in my office and we need to eradicate it from Orange County, from Congress, and from society as a whole. To do so, I would ensure that we have regular and consistent anti-harassment training for all staff. I would make sure that individuals in management positions have additional training to handle any issue that arises. I will also make it clear to everyone in my office that they can always come to me directly and I will always be on their side. It is of the utmost importance to me that anyone who works in my office feels safe, comfortable, and respected at all times.

More broadly, Congress should not be able to settle sexual harassment claims in secret or by using tax-payer money. You should also not be able to deduct these settlements from your taxes. Further, businesses should not have the ability to write-off sexual harassment settlements as a business expense.

NewYorkUniversity1 karma

Dear Candidate Kia,

What's your stance on college access and education in general? It seems you unfortunately attended Michigan and not NYU (I forgive you), and while we work to make college more affordable from an institutional level we're curious to know what you would do to address these issues from a legislative level.

Sincerely,

Not your alma mater

Kia_for_Congress5 karma

In this country, it's nearly impossible to advance without a college degree. And there is far too much student debt right now, an astounding 1.4 trillion dollars. When you come out of school with that wrapped around your neck, it fundamentally prevents you from starting your life. You can't buy a house, you can't get married, you can't do the things you're supposed to do when you graduate college. It's absolutely essential that we address this issue. In the short-term, what that looks like is 1) increasing the amount of money to be spent on Pell Grants, 2) pushing plans for free community college, 3) allowing people to refinance their loans, both private and public, at lower rates, and 4) making sure we crack down on bad actors, especially those from the for-profit college sector who mislead and deceive in order to get people to enroll in their schools. Longer term, I'd really like to see us adopt Bernie Sanders' debt-free college plan because there should be no one in this country who goes to college and drowns from the debt incurred.

GoBlue :) :) :)

[deleted]1 karma

[deleted]

Kia_for_Congress3 karma

The exact opposite actually. I’m running on a platform that, above all, wants to ensure that every single American in this country is treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.

Meanwhile, the presidents’ words and actions are based on hatred and will continue to incite more hatred. He’s referred to Mexicans as rapists, made fun of a disabled reporter on national television, demonized Muslims with his baseless travel ban, bragged about sexually assaulting women, and banned transgender individuals from the military.

As a Member of Congress, I will combat this hate every single day. I will be a relentless advocate for people of color, women, and the LGBTQ community during a time in which our own president has failed to do so.

BlankVerse1 karma

https://ballotpedia.org/California%27s_45th_Congressional_District_election,_2018

With 7 announced Democrats challenging Mimi Walters, aren't most of you wasting your time? Wouldn't it be better if a few of you considered challenging the local California legislators or try for city council positions? Or even challenge some of the county supervisors?

Kia_for_Congress7 karma

One of the greatest things about this country is that anyone who wants to is able to run for office. I would certainly never tell anyone that they should go run for something else if this is what they want to be doing.

I have nothing but the deepest respect for all of my opponents and think they are all incredibly impressive and running for all the right reasons.

I believe that this primary is going to make us stronger and more energized as a party and whichever candidate emerges is going to be better prepared to take on Mimi in the fall. It's like they say, iron sharpens iron, and this competition is going to make us all better as candidates.

Absobloodylootely0 karma

Hi, thank you for coming on here!

I'm in Texas, in a congressional district that also might flip (one of the highest priorities of Dems in the state). Like in your district we have a Republican incumbent and 6-7 Democrat candidates in the primaries.

How can one ensure that such an intensive primary helps the Democratic chances of success rather than hurt it? On the one hand, one should be able to utilize it to get more coverage and engagement, while on the other hand we risk putting voters off if we start with in-fighting.

Also, how can volunteers at this stage help the Democratic party in districts such as yours (in addition to helping preferred candidates if one has any)?

Kia_for_Congress1 karma

I think in my case I make it very clear that I am running to unseat Mimi Walters not to engage in infighting with my fellow Democrats.

I believe that these primaries are going to be a good thing in terms of energizing our party but also helping to increase the name recognition and Democratic turnout. There is at least some evidence that is what happened in Virginia.

At least in my race, at least thus far, all the candidates have been very respectful towards and each other. I hope it stays that way and I certainly didn't get into this to try and tear down other Democrats.

In terms of how volunteers can help Democratic in addition to helping preferred candidates, there are a number of things that can be done. It is always important for instance to help with registering more voters. In Orange County, the local party and many of the clubs have undertaken their own canvassing efforts that are not linked to any particular candidates. Volunteers who don't prefer one candidate over another can be invaluable those efforts.

Creativewiz19880 karma

Kia,

This administration is striping away civil rights from many Americans. Typically straight men in government have an agenda that doesn’t always help the smaller community’s that are at risk such as the black community, lgbtq community, women and all other POC. What are you going to do to help turn back a lot of the B.S this administration is actively doing to take basic civil rights away. Why should I vote for you rather than an LGBT person of color in your district?

Kia_for_Congress0 karma

There is no issue more important to me than civil rights and making sure that every single American is treated with the respect and dignity that they deserve.

I can promise you that I will do more than any Democrat running in Orange County on these particular issues. These are issues I worked on when I was on Capitol Hill, I have a track record of standing tall when it comes to civl rights and protecting people from diverse backgrounds.

Firstly, we need to strongly oppose the numerous actions that Trump has taken on this front (i.e. banning transgender individuals from the military, etc). Secondly, we need to advocate for new policies that protect these communities. For example, I staunchly support the Equality Act, because I believe that no person in America should ever be fired or discriminated against because of their gender identity or sexual orientation. And it’s why I will fight to address issues regarding voting rights, criminal justice reform, and police violence.

I will always stand with the LGBTQ community, even when it’s not convenient. My old boss, Sherrod Brown, was I believe the only non-coastal Democrat to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996. He was not afraid to vote that way even if it meant that he would lose supporters. He wasn’t afraid to stand tall. That’s the kind of example that I look to in terms of how I am going to conduct myself in office. I will always be a relentless advocate for every constituent, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic status.

ell20-1 karma

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Kia_for_Congress5 karma

Unfortunately, there was no credible Democratic challenger in 2016. There was a Democrat who ran but didn't do the work to win the race, so only ended up with 41% of the vote. Further, the way people did not see Donald Trump coming, people also did not see this change in Orange County coming. Mimi also promised the voters of her district that she would keep Donald Trump in check and that she would not just be a rubber stamp for his policies, but she has failed to do so.

What I can promise is that I will always put my constituents and my country above my party.

D3humaniz3d-1 karma

Guy from Europe here

What is your stance on the immigrants issue? Do you think there should be some sort of control where you only accept refugees from war zones and not just economical/welfare imigrants?

Kia_for_Congress2 karma

Well, first of all, I certainly believe that the United States should accept refugees from war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and otherwise. The Trump Administration’s travel ban, which prevents nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S., is a deeply disturbing policy that is contradictory to American values. It also does absolutely nothing to keep us safe (which is the argument used by the administration to support it) given that there has never been a violent attack on American soil conducted by anyone from any of these seven countries. Even under the Obama Administration, the U.S. had only committed to taking in 10,000 Syrian refugees, far less than many of its European counterparts. We have a moral imperative to do more, and the reality is that it is also in our interests to do more.

When it comes to immigration writ large, it’s important to remember that some of the most successful Americans are either immigrants themselves or the children of immigrants. From Steve Jobs to Dara Khosrowshahi to Elon Musk, there are countless examples of people who have come to this country with absolutely nothing and ultimately built an extremely successful business that contributes to the U.S. economy and culture. My own parents immigrated to the U.S. from Iran in the 1970s and started their own small business in Orange County. We have always welcomed the best and brightest from all over the world to come to the U.S. and we should continue to do so. Our diversity is what makes us stronger.