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Brian Merlen

Running for U.S. House

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Party: Independent Party

CEP Status:


Age: 34

Marital Status: Single

Current Residence: Stamford

Current Job: Freelance editor

Previous Job: Videographer

Previous Job: Phantom technician

Education: SCSU graduate Communications degree specialization video production

Despite statements to the contrary by various individuals, PPE has remained in short supply throughout the country. If elected, how will you ensure that every state and US territory is provided with enough medical supplies and capacity to manage the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the next one(s)?
I believe we need to utilize the Defense Production Act to get the full force of American manufacturing behind PPE production. Our country should be using its existing resources to address this vital national defense need.
The coronavirus has placed a tremendous strain on the healthcare system, and the rise in unemployment has resulted in many people losing their health insurance, amplifying disparities in access to health care. If elected, what would you do to help the healthcare system and all the people who need it? Would you expand coverage with a public option or a Medicare For All concept, something else, or nothing?
I believe fully in Medicare for all or universal healthcare. All studies including Koch studies show we would save money with a system that covers every American.
Do you agree or disagree with President Trump's recent decisions to label certain American cities as "anarchist," and to send federal agents – uninvited by local authorities – into cities such as Portland, Oregon? In your opinion, is this a legitimate use of federal force and rhetoric, or is this an overreach?
I disagree fully with most decisions of the Trump administration, but particularly in this case it is disturbing to have federal Homeland Security abducting Americans off the streets. This is obviously government overreach and the local states should be allowed to operate their own security services without federal intervention.
The pandemic has led to massive changes in our workforce, with many jobs disappearing entirely, at least for now. If elected, how do you envision reshaping the workforce to create new opportunities for those whose jobs have evaporated – for example, in restaurants and bars and throughout the service sector?
I believe we need real world solutions for those struggling from the economic impacts of the Coronavirus and that these solutions have to involve giving Americans both universal healthcare and universal basic income. By investing in tomorrows entrepreneurs, we will give all Americans a chance to invest in their futures.
COVID-19 and the resulting recession have increased the number of people who qualify for Medicaid just when state revenues are dropping. Will you support more relief for state Medicaid programs to continue coverage levels and ensure access to providers?
I fully support giving states the funds they need to serve their Medicaid programs. Now that so many are struggling, we have to not leave states in an economic situation where they cannot meet current obligations under their economic shortfalls.
The coronavirus is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, bringing with it, massive ongoing disruption to all of our systems, from food supply to employment to health care to education and more. From a broad perspective, how do you holistically envision addressing this crisis in the long-term?
I believe Americans need to embrace the idea that we will all be using more online and remote means for work and education for the foreseeable future. By learning to work remotely, and utilizing technology we can move forward in safer and more efficient ways. I believe the technologies we develop to get around the Coronavirus disruption will prove useful in other ways as far as increasing productivity, and that we will rethink modern offices, and educational facilities. In a long enough timeframe we will end the Coronavirus through social distancing and use of masks.
Many Americans are now calling racism a public health crisis in our country, with policy implications and disparities across multiple sectors like law enforcement, residential zoning, healthcare access, employment, and educational equity, among others. What measures must Congress take to address racism and its impact over many generations in America?
Congress must address the existing racial disparities in sectors like law enforcement, residential zoning, healthcare access, employment, educational equity, and others. By looking closely at white supremacy culture and systematic racism Congress can address these disparities. We deserve a society that does not have these disparities in terms of racial issues, and I hope that Congress immediately focuses on these many existing problems.
What measures do you support to help protect voting rights this year and for the years ahead, within the context of the pandemic and post-pandemic voting?
I believe in order to protect voting rights we need to look at the CT delegate process. I know that many questionable problems exist within the CT Democratic primaries, from Dita Bhargavas admission of rigged delegates, to my own friends telling me of shady conduct at conventions they participated in, to the party refusing to let me attend the convention this year by sending a non working link, to the improper offers my opponent made to entice me to drop out, I have seen nothing but problems. We have significant problems within CT, but they are all because of improper conduct of existing party members and incumbents. I have not seen foreign interference, I have only seen questionable conduct of my own parties members. I believe we need real oversight given these revelations of improper DCC chair conduct, and this misconduct being apparently pervasive throughout CT.
Do you agree or disagree with President Trump’s directive for all schools to return to a full schedule this school year? What parameters and/or process do you endorse in making decisions involving the operation of public schools in the age of COVID-19?
I disagree with Trumps directive to return all schools to full schedules. I believe the students should be using remote learning to protect the families. Often the families feature multiple generation households, so these are significant issues to overcome.
The world is facing an impending climate emergency. With the US spending more than the next 10 countries combined on our military budget, do you think that it is important that we transition some of those resources to combat and build resiliency ahead of a predicted global climate catastrophe? How can Connecticut’s existing engineering, manufacturing, and technical project management expertise be transitioned to address that next emergency before it is too late?
I believe we need to better utilize existing resources on technologies that offer green alternatives to fossil fuels. Battery farms, solar plants, EV cars, and many technologies promise a better and cleaner future. I believe we need to put Connecticut's existing engineering, manufacturing, and technical project management expertise into what we need in the future, batteries and clean technologies.