2020 Candidate for State Rep., 59th District: Chris Stanley

2020 Candidate for State Rep., 59th District: Chris Stanley

Name: Chris Stanley
City of Residence: Canfield
Age: 40
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Education: BA/MA Ohio Dominican University
Office Desired: Ohio State Representative, 59th District

Qualifications for Office
I believe the knowledge, insight, and experience I have acquired as an educator, First Responder, successful entrepreneur, author, husband, and father have prepared me to represent the people of the 59th District in the Ohio House.

What actions should the State of Ohio take to minimize the economic and health damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic? What legislation, if any, should be considered to ensure future elections are not disrupted by a pandemic?
The state must reorder its budget and tax priorities to generate the funds needed to help workers, businesses, and local governments decimated by the pandemic survive the crisis. Failure to provide support for the unemployed will touch off an eviction and foreclosure crisis that will destroy families and crater our economy. As a school teacher, I also know that it is essential to mount a comprehensive testing and contact tracing program that will stem the tide of COVID-19 and enable our schools and businesses to operate safely. The state can and should pay for this life and economy-saving strategy.
The answer to protecting our elections can be summed up in four words: Universal Vote by Mail. This proven system, now used in five states, will enable Ohioans to change the world from the safety of their kitchen tables. It’s time for Ohio to embrace this much-needed electoral reform.

Do you think systemic racism exists in Ohio? If yes, what is the role of State Government in reducing systemic racism? If no, what needs to be done to change the perception that systemic racism exists?
I believe systemic racism exists because I see how it effects my students. The kids I teach in Youngstown are as inquisitive, talented, and eager to learn as students in Ohio’s most affluent suburbs, but due to Ohio’s unconstitutional school funding formula, their prospects for success in school and in life are in large part determined by their zip code. That must change.
In addition to school funding, the Republican majority’s overall budget priorities reflect systematic racism. State funding for urban areas has been slashed to fund tax cuts for the wealthiest Ohioans. That means urban mayors and county commissioners don’t have the money they need to pay for better policing, infrastructure improvements, and other programs that will improve residents’ quality of life. Erasing systemic racism will be a two-step process: we must first acknowledge the role misguided/malevolent public policy has played in fueling it and then alter those policies.

What will you do to ensure that the approved redistricting reforms are implemented on schedule?
Demand that the Republican majority abide by the new laws and work with Democrats, the LWV and other interested parties to create districts that reflect the state’s actual partisan makeup, encourage substantive debate, and empower rather than disenfranchise voting. The new processes for Congressional redistricting and legislative reapportionment were intended to erase discredited practices like “packing” and “cracking” that made legislators impervious to challenge and unafraid to do the bidding of their contributors.
I’ll do everything in my power to ensure that all involved work collaboratively and I will use the bully pulpit of my office to credit those who are working in the public interest and identify those who are carrying water for special interests.

Some types of non-profit organizations can influence politics via “dark money.” They can receive unlimited donations from corporations, unions, or individuals, that are spent to influence elections. “Dark” refers to the fact that these organizations are not required to disclose the names of their donors, leaving voters “in the dark” about who is making campaign donations through these organizations. This practice recently contributed to a corruption scheme within the Ohio House of Representatives. What impact do you think “dark money” has on our political system? Would you support legislation that would enable voters to learn the identity of donors to these groups?
The Householder scandal shouldn’t shock anyone. The Republicans nailed a “For Sale” sign to the pillars of the Statehouse decades ago. In fact, they’ve been so blatantly corrupt for so long without consequence they believed they could perpetrate a billion-dollar shakedown of Ohio residents and businesses. But their overreach may lead to substantive campaign finance and lobbying reform.
Those reforms should be based on Montana’s DISCLOSE Act which requires all entities promoting or opposing a candidate or ballot issue to reveal their donors, thereby shining disinfecting sunlight on dark money. We must also require more frequent disclosure of contributions and expenditures: weekly during election years and daily in 30 days preceding primary and general elections. Finally, lobbyists must be forced to disclose their clients, the side of an issue they are working, what they are being paid and by whom. Exposure is key to curing what ails the body politic.

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