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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Ohio--US House 16th District

Responsibilities: To represent the people of Ohio, their district, and the United States in dealing with matters of national and international importance. The general welfare should be a prime concern. Term 2 years.

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  • Aaron Paul Godfrey

  • Anthony Gonzalez

Biographical Information

Given our experience with Covid-19, what precautions would you put in place to allow for safe, secure elections whereby voters are not choosing between their health and their right to vote, especially in November? Include how you would fund any necessary precautions and changes.

Describe what you have done to work across political differences to solve problems and foster trust with the voters you represent.

Where do you stand on gun safety measures?

What solutions do you propose to address challenges, especially inequities, in the healthcare system?

Age 34
Education MSc, Physics, Miami University (2010)
Twitter @GodfreyForOH16
The Federal government should be willing to fund safe and secure elections amidst the pandemic, possibly with a very minor tax increase on the top earners in this country. Repealing Trump's tax cut for the wealthiest people in the nation would easily fund this (as well as many other social projects that would be a huge boon for the people). An election during a pandemic should encourage vote-by-mail above all else, facilitated with postage-paid ballot requests, paid postage for returning the ballot, and multiple ballot drop boxes across every state to minimize the effort needed on the part of the voter to cast their ballot. In-person voting should be done in large, well-ventilated buildings where dividers separate voters from their poll workers. Voting booths would also need the space necessary to be 6 feet apart from others at all time, with masks required for all voters (and provided for free) and PPE provided for poll workers.
Given I am not currently in a legislative office, this is a difficult question to answer. But I do have some experience trying to bridge gaps - in the 2018 election, I was elected to be on the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Central Committee, representing Westlake's ward 3-D. In that role, I have worked with the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus and the CCDP to help try to bridge the gap between the party leaders and the changes that my fellow activists within the community would like to see in the county party structure. Beyond that, I am seeking this office in order to effect positive change for the people of the 16th District. Those efforts would know no party lines. I will work with anyone, regardless of affiliation, who has a serious and honest intent to solve the problems facing our district and our country, whether it's government corruption, the cost/access of healthcare, the climate crisis, or any of the many other issues affecting our district/country.
I think that better education paired with reasonable restrictions would do a great deal to reduce gun violence in this country while avoiding the infringement of anyone's rights. To me, "reasonable restrictions" include: 1.) universal background checks, 2.) magazine limits, and 3.) assault weapon bans. Most voters agree on these issues, but they are kept from being enacted as policy due to the influence of special interest groups. Education is more wide-ranging, however. Something like this would consist of making sure new gun owners are aware of typical safety and maintenance procedures while also educating them on the availability mental health care services and how to properly store guns safely so that kids do not find and use them. Most specifically, I would vote for an assault weapon ban, closing the boyfriend loophole, and permanently extending the Violence Against Women Act.
The best thing we can do to remove the challenges of accessing and affording healthcare in this country is to enact a universal healthcare plan such as Medicare-for-All. Absent that, we need a better safety net to cover those who cannot afford healthcare. Creating a public option for Medicare is a great step in that direction and automatically enrolling anyone who loses their healthcare so that there is no gap in coverage when someone loses their job through no fault of their own - for example, due to a pandemic. The Federal government should also provide financial support for rural hospitals under threat of closure. We need to make sure, as a nation, that everyone has a hospital within a reasonable distance. As a part of normal licensure exams, doctors should undergo racial & gender bias training to raise awareness of subconscious discrimination - such as the documented bias against believing women and people of color when they self-diagnose or provide doctors with their symptoms.
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