237: John Brooks for Congress
with John Brooks
John Brooks was the first black graduate from the University of Montana, where he studied ecology, and he has always had the passion to help people and the environment. He's protected US airways as an Air Marshall, and worked with US Customs and Homeland Security to prevent the unlawful trafficking of live exotic wildlife. He's spent 30 years with the US Department of Interior from California to Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Virginia, Washington DC and New Jersey.
John has also held the titles, Refuge Manager, Wildlife Inspector, Special Agent, Computer Forensics Specialist and augmented Federal Air Marshal. Although he retired in 2008 as a civil servant, he's continued to stress the importance of education through his work as an author, filmmaker, musician and community volunteer and believes education is the key to a healthy society.
Although congressional candidates have already been decided for this election year, John comes on the podcast to discuss some of the ways we can contribute to a less-cruel, and more loving environment, not only to benefit people, but animals as well.
John and I also take a few minutes to discuss the issues at hand regarding the police force, the Black Lives Matter movement, and everything that has lead up to our current movement.
*NOTE* I personally try to keep my political views off of podcasts, with the intent of focusing on veganism, rather than causing division in those that don't identify with political parties at hand. I've provided a platform for those to speak about veganism, and align with their views in effort to do so. My intent is not to promote or disqualify any political party, but rather to promote the areas that align with veganism.*
More about John Brooks:
The issues John stands for (from his website):
"What is the difference between a change in “The Climate” and change in “The Weather”?
Weather is what you see and feel on a daily basis. Climate is the change that the EARTH experiences over a long period of time. Global warming is causing the Earth’s climate to change in a direction that will be unhealthy for human survival. And because of our technological advancements of the past century, and we, as an educated society, understand most, if not all of the major greenhouse gasses causing the planet to warm. If the earth’s climate rises over 35 degrees Fahrenheit, life for humans on Earth will not be sustainable. This is why I have made addressing the global warming crisis my top priority as a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives, district 53.
We all came together in the 1980’s to reduce the damage CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) caused to our ozone layer. We now need to unite to reduce an even great threat to our quality of life.
I studied wildlife biology at the University of Montana, being the first American of African descent to graduate from this university with a degree in wildlife biology. I have been speaking out on environmental issues since that time. Because of my background in wildlife biology and my 30 year career with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, I know first hand the importance of making the global warming crisis our number one priority as a community, as a nation, and as a world member.
By making the switch from a fossil fueled economy into a sustainable economy, growth and prosperity would soon follow in the form of new job development and emerging technologies to face the new economy. Sustainable and affordable housing development and true community involvement are all possible if we work together to protect our health, and the health of our children.
The time to act is now. Tomorrow will be too late.
We are stronger, together."
"I come from a family that has always served the community. My father was an Oakland police officer and my mother a nurse and realtor. I had a 26 year career in the federal government as a wildlife biologist and law enforcement officer. My commitment to public service is unwavering. As your representative, I pledge to do my best to bring forth the issues that will help improve the community and your quality of life. I want what you and every American wants. The opportunity to reach our full potential as individuals and a society, and to live healthy, prosperous lives.
In reaching our full potential as Americans, and citizens of this planet, we must first face the fact that our law makers have forgotten what representation truly means. It is not about dictating to the community. It is about representing the community by sitting in the House and speaking for the community that sent you their. I would be going to represent your needs in Washington DC, not my own. You would remain engaged in the process of strengthening our community. You would tell me what needs to be done, and I would do it. That is what I believe the House was originally set up to do. One person goes to Washington to represent those back home working to provide a quality life for their families. One person brings forth the thoughts of the many. That one person should not have power over those in the district, but should be empowered by those in the district.
I am running a “No Money Campaign” to be beholding to no one, except the people of the community. That is true representation. The way we currently structure our campaigns for public office has all been centered around how much money you can acquire for your campaign. If you can not raise money, you can not serve the public. This approach seems to be contrary to the intent of “We the People.”
I believe true change in the federal government cannot occur until the way that Congressional campaigns are financed change. Economic influence transfers in to political power. The unseen consequences of influenced lawmaking tears at the very fabric of what this country stands for. Until true campaign finance reform and control over how lobbyists interact with lawmakers come about, prosperity for the average Americans will never come to pass.
I will represent us, because we are stronger together."
"Smart phones, self-driving cars, and even drone-delivered pizza all sound very nice until you understand the impact the AI (artificial intelligence) robotics revolution has produced, and will continue to have on our society.
Between the year 2000 and 2010, 85% of manufacturing jobs lost were due to automation, not international trade. Twenty-five employees were once needed to produce 1 million dollars of output. Today, that output is realized through just 5 workers. Just imagine what will happen in the next decade if we are not prepared for the shift in mentality of how we work. Millions of people could find themselves unemployed.
Robotics is the next human revolution, but unlike previous significant changes to our way of life, this revolution is moving too fast to enable the adaptations we need to put in place for the sake of the workforce. Smart technology is already a part of our lives, but in the next 5 to 10 years, AI will be a part of your everyday life, and 800 million jobs could be automated by the year 2030.
We can make this revolution apart of our shift towards a sustainable economy and make the advancements in AI and robotics assist humanity in making the transition away for fossil fuels. This and more can be done for the community but all of us must remain engaged in the process. Therefore, we need a Representative that recognizes the value in keeping the community involve making positive changes to our way of life, with the assistance of technology. A Representative that understands technology, and engages with those people who live technology. I worked as a computer forensics specialist with the federal government and continue to surround myself with people immersed in the technological field.
As your Representative, I will assist the community in understanding the changes to come, the employment that will be needed, and how best to integrate the benefits of this new revolution into your daily lives.
It is estimated that 47% of current jobs in the United States are at a high risk of automation. If we work together, we can work towards a sustainable economy that will bring forth new innovations that support our growth and future."
"In the early modernization of this country, public transportation was an integral part of allowing people to travel to and from work, and over great distances. It quite possibly, was the best in the world. But, we gave it up for the automobile as we expanded west.
Because of how we’ve designed our neighborhood separate from our business areas, most American’s can not shop, dine, or travel to work without the use of a car. Consider this: about 80% of your life is spent working. Why would you choose to waste your time in traffic while traveling to and from your place of work? Also consider that many Americans living in low income communities do not have access to a vehicle, or if they do, may not have the income to properly insure the vehicle. Or perhaps a person has a suspended driver’s license and now can not travel to work, without breaking the law. Please understand, about 45% of Americans lack access to public transportation making access to a working vehicle crucial to their economic survival. This is no way to run a democracy.
A Harvard study showed that access to transportation is the single most important factor in an individual’s ability to escape poverty. In cities such as Dallas. Portland, and Washington, DC, public transportation has become instrumental in the success of those cities.
“Public transportation increases economic mobility, decreases the carbon footprint and increases economic development.”
America needs to, once again, put in place a viable public transportation system that works for the public. The installation of systems such as modern street cars, subways, and light rail, will not only provide needed employment, it will also stimulate our local economies. There is no reason to expand the highway system. It will only serve to create more pollution and larger, longer traffic jams.
Let’s put America back to work, and help free up your time by advancing our public transport system. A vote for John Brooks as a member of Congress on March 3rd, will be a step in the right direction.
Remember, community is everything. Let’s create with a purpose in mind and build a future your grand children will appreciate."
"Teachers are very important in the development of a child, and education is the one thing that has the ability to place all Americans on an even playing field. Education is the key to a healthy society because it is the great equalizer. No one is born with the desire to be an under achiever. That is learned behavior based on external influences and a society that profits on an uneducated populous.
When we continue to invest in short term tangible goals and consciously decide not to invest in our country’s future, our greatest renewable resource, we have sent a clear message to our communities that you do not matter. You can continue to work two jobs to make ends meet. You can continue to provide nutrition-less food to your children. You can continue to decide if you can send your children to the doctor for a check up or pay the electric bill this month. Not investing in a child’s education kicks the can down the road for the next generation to deal with, which is why we find ourselves in the situation we are in today.
Everyone deserves to live healthy, prosperous lives. This starts with a quality education for all."
Money out of Politics
"Everyone talks about it. We all know that it is not good for our democracy, and yet it still persists.
Money influencing political elections does not serve the community or the betterment of society. People who hold the power of disposable capital generally “donate” funds to candidates they believe can be swayed to vote a certain way on issues important to the donor. We have seen this occur time and time again in our democracy but tend to only point to corruption politicians may exhibit, when the corruption occurs in a country other than the United States of America.
If we truly care about our country and our fellow Americans, and want to see our tax dollars go for the betterment of society, as a whole, we need to move away from Citizens United and move toward publicly-funded elections. It would be a start in creating what our founder’s called 'A more perfect Union.'"