In an effort to help you make informed decisions during the General Election, ABC Action News has reached out to dozens of candidates running for office. The following statements have been submitted to ABC Action News by the candidate. Every candidate was given the same set of questions. These are their responses in his/her own words.
Name: Alan Cohn
Office: US House of Representatives, District 15
I’m a Peabody Award-winning investigative journalist who has spent over thirty years taking on powerful people and corporations, exposing corruption, and uncovering the truth. I’ve spent my career holding the powerful accountable and getting results, whether it’s taking on defense contractors making defective equipment for our troops, standing up for our veterans, or exposing corrupt politicians- Democrats and Republicans - who were abusing taxpayer trust. My work has exposed police brutality coverups, environmental scandals, and corrupt politicians abusing their power.
Why should voters vote for you?
I have spent three decades fighting corruption and getting results as an investigative journalist. I’ll be an independent voice for our community who won’t take corporate PAC money and will work with anyone to get things done. I’ll take my proven record of fighting corruption to Congress so the government works for Florida families, not greedy special interests. I’ll work with Democrats and Republicans to fight for workers and middle class families, not big corporations and the very rich. The Coronavirus has placed severe economic hardship on so many families - on our entire country. I’ll do everything I can to provide relief for families, small businesses, and individuals - focusing on tax relief for middle class and working families. We need aggressive action to rebuild our economy to work for all of us and in Congress, I’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure we deliver that for the American people and the residents of Florida’s 15th Congressional District. A big part of that will be offering tax relief for working and middle-class Floridians instead of big corporations, and for continued investment in worker wages and small businesses to rebuild a fairer economy post COVID-19.
If elected, what are your top priorities?
My number one priority is rebuilding our economy in the wake of the Coronavirus. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs, hundreds of thousands of businesses have closed their doors, and so many are struggling to find work again, feed their families, and pay rent. Most immediately, we need to pass a comprehensive Coronavirus relief package for families, small businesses, and individuals to help them weather this once in a century pandemic. We also need a long term strategy to get Americans back to work. The second priority is providing tax relief to middle class and working-class families. Third is fixing our broken healthcare system and bringing down the cost of premiums and deductibles. Fourth we must protect Social Security and Medicare so that our seniors can retire with dignity and have the healthcare they deserve.
What are three key messages of your campaign?
- I will fight for tax relief for working- and middle-class Floridians instead of big corporations, and for continued investment in worker wages and small businesses to rebuild a fairer economy post COVID-19.
- Protecting Social Security and Medicare should not be a partisan issue. These programs represent a commitment we’ve made to our seniors that they have earned. We need to protect these programs, including by making the richest among us pay their fair share.
- I will fix our broken health care system and lower costs so families aren’t bankrupted.
What areas of public policy are you personally passionate about?
I’m dedicated to doing everything I can to lift up Floridians and make their government start working for them. Even before the pandemic, the middle-class was shrinking and it was getting
harder and harder to get by, despite the fact the stock market was doing well. Florida families need affordable healthcare, they need tax relief, and they need support to weather the pandemic. In Congress, I’ll work tirelessly to accomplish those goals.
As it relates to the role you are seeking, how has that governmental body handled the Covid-19 pandemic? What would you do differently/the same in handling both the public health risk and the economic recovery?
There are more Coronavirus cases per capita in the United States than in any other country in the world and it is because our federal government has failed us in almost every way. We haven’t passed a Coronavirus relief bill in months, despite the fact that Americans everywhere are losing their jobs, getting evicted, and struggling to put food on the table. It is an indictment of how much our political leaders have failed us and how broken Washington is.
First off, we need to provide immediate relief to businesses, families, and small businesses affected by the Coronavirus. It is essential that we provide economic relief to Americans impacted by the effects of the Coronavirus. We should have mobilized the federal government to deal with Coronavirus from the very beginning, but instead, the administration ignored scientific warnings and downplayed the threat, claiming it was no worse than the flu. We should have and still need to invoke the defense production act to make enough rapid tests and Personal Protective Equipment. We need to create a robust contact tracing program, like every major country that is effectively combating the virus has done. We also need our leaders to more effectively promote social distancing and mask usage.
If I’m elected to Congress I will do everything I can to pass a comprehensive Coronavirus relief package and implement public safety measures that would help stop the spread of the virus.
In the role you are seeking, what will you do to address issues of racism and inequality?
Generations of civil rights activists have fought for and achieved sizable gains in the fight for racial justice but deep inequities remain and we must come together as a nation to address them.
In Congress, I will do everything I can to accomplish that by:
Criminal Justice System
● Focusing the criminal justice system on redemption and rehabilitation ● Banning private prisons
● Abolishing the death penalty
● Stopping the abuse of civil asset forfeiture and reform the laws surrounding it
● Dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline.
● Mandating fully equitable funding of schools
● Ending overly harsh discriminatory disciplinary practices for minor offenses
● Restoring the Voting Rights Act
● Instituting automatic voter registration
● Making election day a national holiday.
● Eliminating all voting ID laws
● Enfranchising all returning citizens who were previously convicted of a felony and served their time to society.
● Ending voter suppression and gerrymandering
What motivates you to run for public office?
I’m running for Congress, so I can speak truth to power for the people of Florida’s 15th district. I am running for Congress because prescription drug costs are out of control and people deserve to get the medications they need for a fair price. I’m running for Congress because climate change is an existential threat against our planet and bold, urgent action must be taken. I’m running for Congress because we must address the threat of Coronavirus head on and provide economic relief to families and small businesses who are affected by it.