State Representative District 1

Matthew Ritter

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Party: Democrat

CEP Status: participating

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Current Residence: Hartford

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Dan Piper

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Website: https://votesocialist.nationbuilder.com/

Age: 38

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Current Residence: Hartford

Current Job: Teacher (High School English)

Previous Job: Editorial contractor

Previous Job: Community organizer

Education: BA; MAT

Connecticut’s revenues will sharply decline as a result of the coronavirus pandemic and, unlike Congress, Connecticut has a balanced budget requirement. What changes would you make to balance the budget? (If you want cuts, be specific what will be cut. If you want to raise taxes, be specific about which taxes.)
1. Raise taxes on the ultra-wealthy. Stop paying the ultra-wealthy for the privilege of borrowing their money. Specifically tax the rich through income and capital gains. Such taxation can be realized through mass demonstrations and strikes. It is a question of class power. 2. Place private war industry under public ownership. 3. Place all housing belonging to large landlords under public ownership. 4. Place all banks and their assets under public ownership. 5. Place all transportation under public ownership.
What can be done to improve the business climate in Connecticut while COVID-19 continues to be a risk?
The private sector is paralyzed in this pandemic because the rich only invest their money when they expect that doing so will make them even richer. Responding to a pandemic does not provide many avenues for profit. Working people in the United States have suffered so much from Covid-19 because the public spending needed to fight pandemics has been cut for decades, and the public health system was in tatters when the disease struck. ...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... “Improving the business climate” means increasing profitability for the wealthy. And this means getting working people to produce more for less in return. It means cutting public services and regulations on safety and pollution. It means shifting taxation even more from the rich to the poor. .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. “Improving the business climate” means measuring success by how many yachts hedge fund managers can buy rather than by how many people survive the pandemic, how many evade permanent harm to their health, how many can support themselves, how many have access to healthcare, how many have homes, how much children enjoy their lives, or how much they learn and develop. .................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................. Improving the lives of the vast majority of Connecticut residents (including small business owners) during the Covid-19 pandemic means a dramatic shift to the public sector. It requires massive investment in public health and public education. It means establishing universal healthcare through a public single-payer system. It means placing all health providers under public ownership to drive out profit-seeking interests that bleed and strangle the system. ....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... The private sector has little to offer working people. It faces too many risks and too little chance of making profits under the present conditions. Today, economic security can only be created through direct state funding of mass public works programs that pay people to do work that is vital for human needs and under safe circumstances.
What specific legislation would you support to reduce racism in Connecticut?
1. Repeal so-called qualified and governmental immunity for police. Support all efforts to defund, disarm and abolish the capitalist police. 2. Ban Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from Connecticut courts and from Connecticut as a whole. 3. Reparations for African American, Puerto Rican, Chicano, and indigenous people, up to and including rights to expropriate those banks and businesses whose capital is derived from the unpaid labor of enslaved people and from other forms of illegitimate exploitation and extraction. 4. Establish public ownership of housing in order to expand and improve it, and to combat the twin evils of neighborhood disinvestment and gentrification by eliminating the market in real estate that they thrive upon. 5. massive reparative public investment in housing and neighborhoods 6. End racial apartheid in education and its reliance on municipal property taxes for education funding. 7. Mass public works program which prioritizes training and hiring of historically oppressed groups. 8. Furthermore, we in Socialist Resurgence recognize the right of African Americans, Puerto Ricans, and other oppressed nationalities to run the affairs of the communities in which they live should they so choose to exercise this right.
With so much uncertainty ahead about COVID-19, how would you ensure that the people's business – both at the legislature and in all of our elections – will be conducted effectively, and with full participation, in the safest possible manner for the foreseeable future?
Place all internet infrastructure under public ownership and workers’ management. Expand internet access to all homes, and supply it as a basic right, paid for on a sliding scale. Absentee ballots should be made widely available and easy to use.
With higher education facing major changes because of the pandemic, what steps will you take to make sure that Connecticut’s residents have access to college and/or other job training that won’t leave them tens of thousands of dollars in debt?
Higher education must be funded by taxes on the rich in order to eliminate tuition and other fees, and to provide public education to all as it is provided elsewhere, as it was done in California and New York state until the mid 1970s, and as it is done for primary and secondary school today, in this country, and in this state. Education should be free for the student from the cradle to the grave. Our society creates more than enough wealth to make this a reality. All serious measures for creating the best possible education under the current circumstances require serious expenditures of money. And that money should come from the rich who created this situation, not the students who had no choice in the matter whatsoever.
What is one specific policy you support to help protect African Americans as an at-risk group during the pandemic?
1. An actual lockdown, followed by a massive increase in testing and tracing, focusing on frontline workers, who are disproportionately African American. 2. Public distribution of masks. 3. Hazard pay for frontline workers (duly compensating people for their risks and reducing the need to hold multiple service sector jobs in a pandemic)
What should Connecticut do to re-tool our public health for COVID-19 and the possibility of future pandemics, while also addressing other chronic illnesses that put people at risk every day?
1. Expand testing to 300,000 tests per day. 2. Expand tracing so that all positive results can be traced within a minimal amount of time through several degrees of separation. People employed in tracing should also be empowered to get to know the communities to the point where they are well-known and trusted. 3. Place manufacturing under public ownership and workers control to produce health-care supplies. 4. Tax the rich to establish a public works program capable of training and employing tens of thousands of new people in the healthcare field (including preventive medicine)
How can Connecticut lower healthcare costs while also improving quality and access to care?
1. Expand public state health coverage to all Connecticut residents at top-quality care. 2. Working people in Connecticut should seize all assets of insurance companies in the state as payment for the decades of harm visited upon working people in order to amass the capital of insurance companies. 3. The elimination of private insurance would remove major costs in American health-care (profits for private businesses, marketing costs, massive redundant bureaucracy mostly related to billing, and costs related to denying patients’ coverage) 4. Place all hospitals and large health care providers in Connecticut under state ownership, under the management of working people and community members to run them for human need rather than for the profits of insurance companies and other businesses leeching off of the health-care system. 5. The unification of major health-care providers and health-plans would allow for greater bargaining power in buying medicine and other supplies, reducing prices. 6. Expand public health and preventive medicine as public services. Dramatically expand the number of public physical therapists, personal trainers and dieticians. Prioritize their assistance for those most in need of it. Set goals to control and eliminate diseases like type 2 diabetes. 7. Eliminate sources of disease like the Hartford incinerator. 8. Organize committees of health-professionals and workers to identify ways in which workplaces contribute to injuries and diseases, and identify measures to eliminate the causes of workplace injuries and disease that can be implemented with the authority of state law.

Daniel Piper

0 CTNewsJunkie Reader Endorsements

Party: Socialist Resurgence

CEP Status:

Website: https://votesocialist.nationbuilder.com/

Age: 38

Marital Status:

Current Residence: Hartford

Current Job: Teacher (High School English)

Previous Job: Editorial contractor

Previous Job: Community organizer

Education: BA; MAT

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