As the title says, I am a Democratic candidate running for congress in Florida's 28th Congressional District and I did indeed grow up in poverty for the vast majority of my life. My mother was a single mother and made less than $12k/year because she had to choose to either work more to make more money or be more involved in raising four children and have no money, she chose the latter. I do not say this to garner sympathy or pity, but to demonstrate that I not only intimately know the deficiencies of this country that leads to our rampant poverty compared to other developed nations, I lived that reality. I am not backed by any political organizations, think tanks, corporations, or any large moneyed interests, I am independently trying to improve the lives of all Americans, but I cannot do that on my own.

You can visit my website to learn more about my policies in detail at However, as a summary, here are some key points:

Public Funding of Elections:

While I am in congress this will be my primary focus and I will explain why. Our politics are dictated by corporate power. Since elections are privately funded, the primary goal of politicians who receive that funding is to maintain their source of revenue. Since the revenue disproportionately comes from corporate and big moneyed interest, that is where most politicians are going to cater their policy to.

Growing up in the conditions I did, I know there are a lot of very important issues right now. People are dying because they can not get the proper healthcare, for example. However, this must be our primary focus, this must be our number one issue. Before we can fix anything else. Yes, granted, people are not dying because elections are privately funded, but until the majority of people have more of an impact in politics, we can never have enough power to change the more important issues.


Currently, our economy is in decline, but it has been this way since the fall of the Bretton Woods system in 1973. After the 2008 financial crisis, the US economy massively increased its twin deficit, the budget deficit of the US government and the trade deficit of the American economy, was increased exponentially and intentionally to have the entire world pay for it with their surplus. Paul Volcker described it vividly as the "controlled disintegration in the world economy". This is something that we were still feeling the ramifications of to this day, then came the economic crisis due to the covid pandemic.

Even though we were massively increasing our deficit and using quantitative easing to rehabilitate the dying US economy, we had no inflation. In fact, even after trillions of dollars in QE, there was a noticeable deflation in 2011. The inflation from the covid pandemic did not come from an increase in spending, but from a disruption of the supply chain. After the supply chain was disrupted, it was further exasperated when the US, the largest consumption economy in the world, gave stimulus checks to everyone which massively increased demand. Now I do agree that there needed to be a stimulus, but there is no denying that it contributed to inflation, not because it was additional spending, but because it created additional demand, then there was the no tolerance "Covid Zero" policy from China further disrupted the supply chain. Reducing spending won't improve inflation and austerity will only succeed in harming those affected the most by inflation.


The United States healthcare system is worse than any other developed nation in the world. Our citizens spend more money on healthcare per capita and receive the worst care. Many other countries have had decades of different degrees of single-payer healthcare, the UK being the outlier that completely nationalized its health industry from top to bottom, and all of them get better outcomes. We are far richer and more capable than all of these countries, there is no excuse to continue using this broken system.

The only reason the system exists as it is now is because lobbyists ("American Hospital Association", "Blue Cross Blue Shield Association", "American Medical Association", "Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America", etc.) spend hundreds of millions, perhaps billions, combined, making sure that the system exists not to benefit American's health, but their own pockets.


Homelessness is a massive issue in the United States. In fact, it is an increasing issue in many developed countries. However, there is one country, the only one, that had a fall in homelessness during covid and that was Finland. They have a housing-first policy. Essentially, they get those who need shelter a stable home, they get them mental and medical care if necessary, then they assist them in getting their life on track and getting supporting themselves. Once they are able to, they assist them in transitioning to the private housing market and give the social housing to someone else that is in need of it. This is the type of policy that we must use in the US, our issues with homelessness is a lot more critical, so the costs, in the beginning, will be high, but as time goes on, the cost to maintain that system will decrease as fewer and fewer people become homeless.

These are just some of my policies, but a lot more are on my website, if you have further questions about my policy or me personally, I would be happy to answer them.

Lastly, even if you are not in my district, if you agree with my policy, I would implore you to donate to my campaign.

I am a qualified candidate on the ballot and the decisions made by congress have national impact. As much as I have a disdain for the way our elections are funded, as things are now, without money to pay for things like signs, cards, staff, ads, etc, I cannot win, unfortunately, that's how things are.

Edit 12:00pm 6/18/2022: I have answered the questions that I can for now, I will be resuming around 1pm, I will be unavailable until then (for transparency sake, I have to take my pet to the vet).

Edit 2:20pm 6/18/2022: I have a few meetings and other engagements for the next two hours, but I will answer more questions later today. I add these edits if there will be long periods of no activity. This was postponed.

Edit 10:00pm 6/18/2022: This lasted a lot longer than I expected, but it is now 10PM so I will call it here, I appreciate everyone who participated, even if we did not agree, I genuinely do!

Comments: 1002 • Responses: 52  • Date: 

HicSuntStulti473 karma

Who are you? You mention your mom and growing up in poverty but you don’t say anything about yourself in the present. What do you do for a living, what is your education, why are you qualified for office, and why did you decide to run now?

Juan4Congress217 karma

I am more than happy to elaborate further on my life, though, my website's about page will have information in that context as well. Currently, I left my work to focus on this, but what I did before was work for a tech company called "Wix Inc." They are a website building company like Squarespace, I worked as an SEO Expert in their company. My education is mostly self directed, I have never referred to myself as this, but others have called me an "autodidact". I did not have a lot of traditional schooling. I took my GED around the age of 16 and basically stopped going to school since, after I worked to help my family with bills and so we would be struggling less, eventually due to my own personal self-education, I eventually worked for Wix.

As for why I am qualified, well, I would ask, what more do you want from a representative than someone who sleeps in the same places that you sleep, eat the same foods as you, live under the same conditions, struggles in the same ways. I know the problems of this country and how you can fix them, it doesn't have to be me specifically, but I see nobody else speaking about the things that are necessary and that is also the same reason I decided to run.

-Dargs135 karma

I wouldn't want myself to be elected simply because I didn't have it easy. Having a bit of a struggle doesn't qualify me, and it doesn't qualify you...

Juan4Congress166 karma

I don't agree that someone needs some specific specific skill or trait to be a public representative. That is how you walk in to an technocratic or oligarchic form of governance. Public positions should be held by the public and the only qualification you should need is that you are a citizen, that's it. Any other personal requirements may or may not make you vote for someone, but it shouldn't qualify or disqualify anyone.

Rodfar266 karma

Why are you running for Congress?

How do you plan to help people once you've got your chair as a congressman?

What are your core beliefs regarding economics, market, socialism and capitalism?

Juan4Congress258 karma

I am running for Congress because I have struggled a lot in my life and I want such a thing to not be a reality in this country in the future. Some might disagree, but what happens in congress is important. Electoral politics is a major aspect of how the structure of our society is determined. Now, that does not mean that electoral politics is sufficient on its own, but this is a necessary component.

The other component, is what you said, the people. A proper strategy to change society will combine the efforts of the people who have funded my campaign and elected me to the seat, as well as my efforts in the capitol. The people's help will be vital in instituting change. An event that sticks out to me a lot is when Cory Bush was sleeping on the steps of the capitol to demand change, that is the kind of actions the people need to coordinate with their representatives to get change, but at much larger scales.

The final part of your question in terms of economics, I understand the topic more deeply than most. I've read books from Adam Smith and David Ricardo, to Kropotkin and Marx, as well as modern economists like Jeffery Sachs and Yanis Varoufakis. Capitalism and Socialism are buzzwords at this point removed from the realities of our current economic system and removed from the academic sense of those words. Markets will always exist in some form or another in my opinion. Human beings, either it is nature or not have a particular predisposition to want to trade. No other animal has ever said to another of its kind "this is mine and that is yours, I will give you this for that" other than human beings, that's what makes us special.

partytillidei22 karma

Cori Bush sleeping on the street was pure performance, Joe Biden said he was going to pass it months earlier.

Juan4Congress144 karma

I wouldn't call it "pure performance", but all protests are a performance to a degree, but it doesn't mean it isn't substantive. Biden announced a freeze in evictions until October just five days after she did it. I think more should have been demanded, sure, but the tactics are not dissimilar to what I am envisioning. I think civil disobedience can be powerful ESPECIALLY if you couple that with a policy goal and a voice in congress.

gunbladerq-48 karma

buzzwords?? seriously? nah, you're totally not serious. You claim you want to help the working-class, yet you are sympathetic to capitalism and the 'market' that has caused so much pain the working-class. Is it natural for a select few humans to control so much wealth??

Juan4Congress9 karma

No, I never said I was sympathetic to "Capitalism" and it is a buzzword, ask two different people what the word means and you will get two different answers. Markets have always existed from Ancient Greece, to the plains of Mongolia, there always were and always will be markets. The issue with our current system is not markets, but whom owns the firms in those markets, that is where the vast majority of profits are expropriated and confiscated, not through a market, but through ownership.

SuburbanGirl207 karma

What is your last name? Who are you? What qualifies you to run any level of government?

Looking at your webpage really feels like a bot created the page using a very common name. There is no substance, I couldn’t see a last name, and had to scroll 2/3 through the about me to even find a current picture of “Juan”.

I’m willing to be wrong, but my spidey senses are tingling.

Juan4Congress41 karma

My last name is Paredes, I appreciate the tip about my last name, but, I wouldn't say my website lacks substance. It has a lot of policy substance! Also, I do have a picture on of me on the homepage, my picture on the homepage is more visible on a desktop rather than a mobile device.

I believe that the only specific qualification anyone would need to run for any sort of government position is that they are a citizen of the United States. Having specific skills or traits for qualification or disqualification would eventually lead to technocratic or oligarchic rule.

However, why you should vote for me is a different question and that is because my overall goal in politics is to remove the blight of poverty from the borders of the US. To make it so anyone who is an American will live a prosperous life regardless of who they are, who their parents are, or the circumstances of their birth.

I can assure you that I am not a bot in any capacity!

Careless-Doughnut-95126 karma

Is this satire?

MenShouldntHaveCats56 karma

Hi I am poor. I grew up poor. I may stay poor. I want you to be poor too. Vote for Juan. I’ll make all your wildest dreams come true.

Juan4Congress11 karma

Well, I am not as poor now as I once was, I don't want anyone to be poor, and I wouldn't make everyone's wildest dreams come true, unless you mean that an ultimate goal of removing poverty is a "wild" dream, then sure.

spydormunkay71 karma

Your position on dealing with homelessness is scant besides building more public housing. Which can be done, but is likely politically infeasible due to cost.

Furthermore, I'm alarmed by your following characterization of the housing issue.

This is an artificial scarcity, there are more empty homes in the US than individuals living in the streets. In fact, in Florida alone, there are nearly enough vacant homes for all the homeless in the nation. There isn’t a lack of homes, and there is, undeniably, not a lack of space. It’s a scarcity because of a lack of affordability.

What would be your position on a federal law that would incentivize states and municipalities via grants to reform their zoning laws to allow more higher density housing?

Restrictive zoning laws in high-demand areas that only allow for single-family homes and limited density have been shown to increase housing costs due to limited supply.

The federal government has no direct control over such laws, but can influence states and municipalities to reform their rules.

Similar proposals have been brought up by Elizabeth Warren during the 2020 campaign. What is your position on this?

I'm alarmed by your characterization because it implies you would oppose this kind of proposal.

Juan4Congress12 karma

Well, I would argue the costs of dealing with the symptoms of homelessness is far higher than the cost of public housing.

The details of the policy will heavily depend on the idiosyncrasies of the nation in question that is implementing them. I will be honest, I am not entirely familiar with zoning laws in detail, but I understand how they are used to suppress population density even when there is demand for housing in that area to maintain suburbs, even if they are unsustainable.

However, the housing first principle means that you give a homeless person a home, a condo, or a rental apartment contract, without preconditions. You are not required to solve your problems or get sober, for example, to get a permanent home.

If we have to remove certain zoning laws to succeed in that policy, then I am not against it. In fact, beyond just public housing, those zoning laws are what make the majority of our cities unsustainable in an urban planning context.

spydormunkay13 karma

I appreciate the honesty in your reply. I'm happy you seem open to the idea of zoning reform.

As for your other proposals, I fully support Housing First and I am "not against" Public Housing. I add the qualifier because while I would support more funding for public housing if given the chance, the issue I have with it is the political implausibility of appropriating enough money to fix the housing issue with public housing alone and, more importantly, the political implausibility of maintaining that funding over the long-term.

Housing can't just be built, it has to be maintained. Congress has failed to provide consistent Capital funding over time to fund basic maintenance and repairs for existing public housing, leading to disrepair in a lot of the country's public housing projects.

The issue lies in the basic structure of Section 9 Public Housing law, which gives Congress wide lateral to increase/decrease Capital funding. This leaves needed funding vulnerable to politics as funding can vary depending on who controls Congress.

That's why I'm also curious to what your position on alternate proposals to would be for:

  • Permanent mandatory appropriations for fully funding Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, eliminating waitlists, and eliminates the yearly political battle over housing funding.

  • Utilizing Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) conversions in order to rehabilitate existing public housing, converts public housing to Section 8 PBV/PBRA contracts which have historically more consistent funding patterns.

Juan4Congress2 karma

I agree, it is problematic that congress is able to use this as a political leverage tool at the expense of people who depend on it. I think both of those policies are essential to a public housing program in the US. For example, my family tried to get section 8 many times, but never could, if permanent and mandatory appropriations were made to fully fund section 8 to allow everyone within the eligibility (including my family) to be provided with public housing, it would have been a massive improvement to my life.

alegxab68 karma

A few tips:

Unless your first name is extremely recognizable you should introduce yourself with your name And surname

Which party are you even running for? Will you be on the primary ballot?

Don't make a donation box that covers the whole page the first second i open your site. That's fine if you're a well known person or organization, but not for some unknown rando

Juan4Congress4 karma

I appreciate the tips.

I am running under the Democratic Party, I had this in a previous title, but I redid my post and forgot to add it back, I will see if I can edit it in there.

Yes, I am a ballot qualified candidate, in fact, I specifically waited until I was to do this.

I will genuinely take your feedback into consideration, honestly, I appreciate it.

Catos_Ghost46 karma

Dude, you've been asked like 5 times now. WHAT IS YOUR NAME? You come across as someone scamming for donations.

Juan4Congress5 karma

I have answered the question in other replies, my last name is Paredes, I am not sure how that comes across as scamming anyone, though.

Yeshua-Hamashiach66 karma

What are your thoughts on the 2nd amendment? EDIT: Lol, anti 2nd amendment, gl winning Florida.

Juan4Congress12 karma

I don't agree with the current interpretation of it, the interpretation is cherry-picked to prevent regulation. I think far more regulation is necessary. I think people should be able to buy and keep firearms, but it should be regulated.

I think Switzerland is a great example of how to balance this, they have licenses that need to be renewed every six to nine months, they have red flag laws, they have strict rules for publicly possessing a firearm even if concealed. The way things are now will just lead to a lot more unnecessary and tragic deaths.

kerred30 karma

What are typical tactics you have seen that actually get younger people to vote?

And what tactics have you seen that discouraged people from voting people should be aware of?

Juan4Congress11 karma

Hello, thank you for your question!

I am assuming you mean in regards to the current electoral system that we have now, as we cannot make any drastic changes in time for the next election. In that case, from my experience, in and out of the candidate space, young people put a high priority on policy. Currently, the political establishment usually uses fear as a tactic to activate voters

"If you don't vote, the Republicans will do this" or "If you don't vote, the Republicans will do that", you can insert any policy there. While this is completely true, it is usually not enough to activate young voters, they generally want something to vote for. They need to be inspired to vote rather than riled up through fear.

Though, I would like to say that, our electoral system is designed to disenfranchise voting in every capacity. It is not a holiday, it is done on a workday with limited early voting availability, it is done in an inconvenient time, there are registered voter purges, and last, but not least, they constantly close polling places. By "they" I mean the Republicans, but regardless of party none of this should ever happen, this is how we truly fix our turn out problem, by making it more convenient and easy to vote.

Parks199312 karma

What is your last name?

Juan4Congress9 karma

My last name is Paredes.

JaySins117 karma

If elected, what will you do with your millions of dollars you’re likely to have after the first couple years of your term?

Juan4Congress4 karma

Nothing, because I won't make millions in my first couple of years with a Congressman salary. I know you mean by the bribes I would take, but that is my way of saying, I have no interest in those bribes, what I want is to live in a country without poverty.

Chastethrow3164206 karma

So what kind of America do you want to progress to?

Juan4Congress16 karma

One where poverty is eradicated. We live in the modern era with more than enough advanced technology and wealth to make it so nobody in this country lives poor, we just need to have the political and social will to change it.

NicoRath2 karma

You state that you only believe what will fix healthcare is single-payer. Why not take a look at other systems like the Netherlands which uses highly regulated private insurance or Germany and Switzerland which use non-profit funds to provide it (which can offer for-profit plans that are more generous). And how will you pay for it, it would cost 32 trillion over 10 years according to the none partisan Urban Institute, an increase in payroll tax or a broad income tax increase? And what about abortion, if a republican controlled Congress passes another version of the Hyde amendment women would lose access to abortion through their now only healthcare provider and would have to pay everything themselves. And if single-payer is passed why not allow private insurance to provide additional coverage for things the government doesn't cover (or at least doesn't fully cover) like they can Medicare part D for some drug prices? And would you vote against a public opinion plan if it came up for a vote? And would you vote for a single-payer bill that would allow for people to opt-out and buy private insurance which has been suggested by some? I'm asking partially out of curiosity and because you will definitely be asked this

Juan4Congress2 karma

Well, I am aware of the Netherlands healthcare system, they are private, but it is funded by the state. they are only managed by private insurers. They are required to offer a basic plan that is funded mostly though public measures.

The issue with a primarily profit driven healthcare system is the fact the the main motivator is profit, rather than care coverage, care quality, and overall cost. You sited the Mercatus Center study that said it will cost 32 trillion in 10 years to implement Bernie's specific Medicare For All proposal. However, that same study said it would save 2 trillion over the same period, because it will replace our current system which would cost 34 trillion in 10 years.

I understand the fears of government restricting access to care politically, but the answer to that would be to expand democracy to make sure people can defend their rights to proper health. I can assure you that Republicans would have a lot easier time in limiting abortions in a private system where they just have to make it unaffordable than they would in a sufficiently democratic enough political system.

Healthcare that is private will always cost more because you have to account for the profit of the corporate masters that will own these private firms. For your last question, I think it is not a good idea to have an "optional" publicly funded program because it will be doomed to fail at the start, it will never be possible to maintain that financially. Or actually, the US probably could, but it would be excessively expensive to maintain.

AdAgreeable3822-1 karma


Juan4Congress3 karma

It sounds to me that you are an individual that has not only a lot of free time, but also expendable capital as well. This puts you in a privileged position to be helpful in many ways. This includes volunteering and donating, but I also need to emphasize that electoral politics is necessary, but not sufficient on its own. Getting involved with local chapters of non-profit organizations can give you a lot of opportunity to make meaningful changes. For example, recently, just volunteering to help make a local garden in a neighborhood that is poor, knowing a lot of people will benefit from it made me feel really good. I did not get anything from it personally other than knowing that I helped people.

Something I learned living through poverty is that, while things might get hard sometimes, it is good to remind yourself of the good things that you have, I never had much money, but I always had a family that cared, and I was grateful for that.

Sowiedu-3 karma

What knowledge or opinions or attitudes towards public blockchains like Bitcoin/Ethereum do you have and what are your intentions in utilizing these new monetary technologies?

Juan4Congress11 karma

Money is political, full stop. There is never going to be a currency that is removed from politics, nor would you want there to be. However, I very much think that "Blockchain" as a technology, a fully anonymous, but fully transparent ledger of all transactions would be incredible for proper monetary policy, but that is much further in the future. There is much we must fix within our political system before we can have that conversation.

Face-the-Faceless-17 karma

Just so you know, Ted Cruz isn't actually named Ted, his real name is Raphael. Why did he hide it? Because the voting population are horribly racist and bigoted, that's why.

That being said, have you thought about getting a legal name change?

I'd also like to know how prepared you are to resist the temptations offered to you by massive international corporations. This is the absolute apex of human society we're talking about here, they have literally everything you could realistically want to offer you in exchange for control, and if they can't control you by playing nice, they'll end up trying to control you through fear. What's your plan to avoid the corruption and be different from all of the other Congressmen and Congresswomen?

Juan4Congress0 karma

To answer your first question, no I have not thought of that. I am dubious the majority of people would make their voting decisions on something so frivolous, besides, Miami is quite used to Hispanic names.

Well, I am not sure what you would require as evidence, but I will say this.

I lived my entire life with nothing, it helped me understand what things are truly important in life. I can not be corrupted because the only thing I want is something they cannot give me. I want to live in a country that no matter where you are born, who you are born to, no matter the circumstances, you will live a prosperous life in this country, to eradicate poverty in this country. I doubt that would ever be offered and I want nothing else.

As for fear, well, I guess you are going to have to trust me on this, but I fear very little, and they can't threaten me with worse poverty than I have already experienced, so I feel confident, I will brush off their threats.

Face-the-Faceless7 karma

I'm sorry to say this, but you're woefully underprepared and blind to the dark realities of politics, and your answers don't sound very confident. Your answer is "trust me" and you're a politician. That's not good. People almost always assume every politician is a no good lying two-faced son of a bitch who acts one way around the voters and completely different around campaign contributors.

You are like a single grain of sand, dancing around in a sandstorm. Your answers need to be solid, you need to have everything thought out before hand. Politics are a very savage game to play, and the people who play it are known to smile for the camera and then channel Satan while off camera, and it's that off camera version of them you need to be more terrified of. When your decisions affect billion dollar industries, the people who have those vast fortunes will spend the money on lobbying to control you, or they'll spend it on assassins to either kill you or your loved ones.

The stuff you're trying to get into is exactly as brutal and crazy as a Hollywood action movie like Scarface or The Godfather, you need to have a better plan in place, otherwise you're basically applying for a job as a puppet who sells their morals for personal pleasures.

Juan4Congress1 karma

I disagree with your interpretation of my answer, I was essentially saying that, I cannot be coerced with something I want, because what I want is exactly what corporate interests and the politicians who align with them would never give me. I also disagree that I would consumed by their attacks. There is not much they can do to attack me, and as for trying to kill me, then I'll wear a bullet proof vest, nonetheless, my votes will be unaffected.