Local resident enters the congressional race as a write-in

Published 12:05 pm Friday, June 26, 2020

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There will be another option for Congress when voting opens up to replace current Congressman Dr. Phil Roe who chose not to run for re-election in the upcoming 2020 elections.
His name will not be on the ballot but Elizabethton resident Anthony Rock is trying to get his message out to allow voters to know there is someone else to consider when the time comes to cast their ballots.
Rock, who is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, comes from a home life of living with a single mother and his grandparents. He was inspired early on in life by his grandmother who was an activist in Pittsburgh who had a strong resolve in organizing people to fight back against injustices.
He admittedly is self-educated about politics and history drawing inspiration later in life from his grandmother. Rock in his early years had some struggles with the law and spent some time in jail where he witnessed first hand injustices in the prison system.
In 2016, Rock was a supporter of Donald Trump’s presidential bid but recently met Larry Smith during a Bernie Sanders rally. Rock and his ex-girlfriend became backers of Smith as Rock became Smith’s Social Media Manager.
Due to a difference of opinion on which way Smith was taking his campaign, both Rock and his ex-girlfriend departed before Smith stopped his campaign.
With no time to get his name on the ballot, Rock decided that he wanted to run for Congress but realized he would have to do so as a write-in candidate.
Rock lists his platforms that he is touting in his campaign bid for Congress.
Use the current resources available for economic growth
“I spend a lot of time talking about American imperialism abroad,” said Rock. “Now I want to talk about imperialism in Appalachia. The most abundant natural resources in this region are the resilient, self-reliant, hard-working culture of the people and the abundant fertility of the land.
“Appalachia has been colonized by the coal industry for decades. Some of the greatest labor movements in history have sprung out of this region in response to the mistreatment of coal miners.
“For far too long, outside corporate interests have manipulated the Appalachian people on the empty promises of bringing back jobs,” Rock continued. “With our resources, we don’t need to bring back jobs because the job is already here.
“Our thriving agriculture industry comprises small family farms scattered throughout the region with support from strong community non-profit organizations in agriculture, teaming up to create a vibrant local food system.
“The people of Appalachia can take care of the people of Appalachia with our own resources and recover our damaged ecosystem in the process. When we focus on sustainable local agriculture Industries, we can defend ourselves against these corporate interests seeking to exploit our region yet again.”
Community wealth building
“Northeast, Tennessee has been controlled by Republicans for 140 years and we rank at the bottom of every category related to the quality of life. We need new, innovative economic models that give everyone in a community a voice, instead of relying on traditional economic development that exploits our labor and resources,” stated Rock.
“Imagine if people who live and work in a community were able to create a pool of capital and collectively decide how to use that fund for the betterment of everyone in that community? The Boston Ujima Project is answering that question by building an equitable, community-based local economy led by Boston’s working-class residents of color.
“Their innovative model for cooperative, community-based economic development blends grassroots organizing with finance,” continued Rock. “Ujima is a membership-based organization that brings together a wide variety of unlikely allies including residents, small business owners, activists, workers, local organizations, and impact investors (including non-accredited investors).
“Project organizers aim to make the process of economic development planning fair, equitable, and fun for everyone involved.
“The Ujima Fund, which they believe to be the first democratic investment vehicle in the United States, is financing small businesses, and real estate and infrastructure projects in Boston’s working-class Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color,” Rock added.
“They source their deals directly from the communities that the fund invests in. Every investor in the Boston Ujima Fund, whether they contributed $50 or $50,000, has an equal say in how the fund is invested.
“It’s our job to think about how to take existing models like this and apply them to working-class neighborhoods all over the country.”
Military stand
“Why do we spend more than 50% of our discretionary budget on the military? Why do we spend more on our military budget than the next ten countries combined? Why do we operate over 1,000 military bases worldwide? There is no country or coalition of countries that pose a threat to us. Why do we need to continue to spend our money this way? How does this help working Americans?” questioned Rock.
“In fact, it only makes us less safe. When you spend over a century overthrowing democratically elected leaders and supporting brutal and oppressive regimes in order to secure your own interests in obtaining cheap access to other countries’ natural resources, land, labor, etc. you are bound to create enemies along the way.”
“The human and material costs of our foreign policy since the Second World War have been staggering, leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of American soldiers and tens of millions of combatants and civilians. (This isn’t including pre-WW2, which saw dozens of military occupations leading to hundreds of thousands of deaths.)
“I look forward to the day our foreign policy doesn’t give military assistance to 73% of the world’s dictatorships so they can be used as a tool to protect the profits of fortune 500 companies but instead is used to help peasants in some civil war against a dictatorship,” Rock continued.
“I look forward to the day the USA is on the side of raising the minimum wage, opening health clinics, land reform, public education, worker co-ops, and other such measures in the 3rd world, instead of being the main culprit responsible for crushing those endeavors.
“I support an end to interventionist wars, a drastic decrease in defense spending, and a resolve to only use warfare as an instrument of foreign policy if American citizens or our allies are in imminent danger,” Rock further stated. “This is not a call to disarm, but it is a call for a reasonable foreign policy that serves the interests of humanity and not powerful elites, oil tycoons, and defense contractors.
“Smedley Butler, one of the greatest marines of all time, once said “I believe in adequate defense at the coastline and nothing else. If a nation comes over here to fight, then we’ll fight.” I support this sentiment and I hope that you will support me in my efforts for a more fair and equitable world where human needs, not corporate greed and endless for-profit war, are what drives our policy-making decisions.”
Medicare for all
Rock believes in Medicare for all which will result in the largest take-home pay raise for workers. He stated that Northeast Tennessee has the highest medical bills and amount of bankruptcy due to medical bills.
He also said that small businesses wouldn’t be overburdened with pay the high cost of insurance which would allow for more opportunities for small businesses to start-up and be successful.
“Small businesses should be the backbone of this area,” said Rock. “There needs to be more money invested in small businesses.
Rock provided a chart to show how the money would be saved under the Medicare for All plan.
Rock’s small government pledge
“I’m announcing the Anthony Rock for Congress Small Government Pledge. If you believe in a less bureaucratic government that puts human needs before corporate greed, please sign. These are ten policies to not only reduce the size of government but vastly improve the quality of people’s lives in this country.
Progressives believe in government-organized from the bottom up rather than the top down. It’s the exact opposite of the establishment and national media narrative, which paints Republicans as the party of small government.
The Establishment always works within the framework of big government though many of them proclaim the opposite. A truly democratic government will always be smaller than a plutocracy.
Our current system of exploitation cannot exist without the permanent Nanny State fueling corporate America. Sign on if you agree these policies will reduce the size of government while significantly increasing people’s standard of living.
1. Cut the military budget at least in half by ending interventionist wars and withdrawing our troops from the more than a thousand bases we have overseas. End the need for subsidies to defense contractors and weapons manufacturers.
2. Pass single-payer Medicare for all which will streamline or eliminate Other government programs such as Medicaid, VA health Care, and social security health Care. This will provide better health outcomes with substantial savings for individuals and the government, as well as reducing bureaucracy.
This would also eliminate the need for the government to pay out 3.7 trillion dollars in federal subsidies for employer-based health coverage – the amount they are expected to pay between 2019-2028.
3. Enforce or pass antitrust legislation that will break up the big banks and toxic corporations in favor of Local credit unions and small businesses. By ending the power of these corporate entities they will no longer be able to wrest huge subsidies and special projects from Congress which drastically inflates the size of our government.
4. Pass campaign finance and election reform that will streamline the election process and ensure the candidates with the best ideas, not the most money, are supported.
5. Promote worker cooperatives and worker-owned businesses. An independent workforce would lessen the need for government oversight Into management/labor relations while producing higher wages and free markets without the need for government intervention or controls.
6. Forgive student and medical debt to streamline SNAP and other welfare programs. The money put back into the economy will more than cover the cost of debt forgiveness.
7. Reform the criminal justice system by legalizing cannabis and releasing non-violent offenders from prison, slashing the prison population, and thus reducing the number of facilities needed for housing inmates.
8. End the police state by limiting the scope of the FBI and NSA to law enforcement rather than intelligence gathering on American citizens not suspected of committing a crime, and by reorganizing or eliminating the CIA.
9. Invest heavily in local independent family farming which will eliminate the need to provide subsidies to corporate mega-conglomerate agribusinesses. By supporting local food supply chains the power of food sovereignty stays with the people of our communities. We can also stop the government from commodities price-fixing.
10. Build models like the Boston Ujima Project, which is a democratic investment fund that allows everyone in a community to have Democratic say in what type of development happens in their community. When communities can provide for their own financial needs rather than relying on traditional economic structures, they are less susceptible to exploitation by outside corporate interests.”

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