Video: Complete District 39 Candidate Forum


The League of Women Voters held a candidate forum in Diamond Bar on January 24th. Unfortunately, their video was not complete, so it was not posted online. But fortunately, we had Phantasos Media there filming the event, and here it is, complete. The only cut in this video is when the camera battery had to be changed, and it's very quick.

There were 7 Democrats on stage, along with 1 Republican, and then me (the lone independent after the other independent endorsed a neoliberal and bolted). The rules were: We each got a 2-minute introduction, and a 1-minute exit speech, and we had 1 minute to answer each question. There was a lot I wanted to say, but just didn't have the time.

Full disclosure: When I began, I was very nervous. This was my first time in a debate like this. It’s downright scary to take philosophies and positions that you’ve developed over more than a decade of reading, deep philosophical thought, and relation to your core values, and then just spill them into a room full of people you don't know. These positions, in large part, are *me*, and once they're out, the people can do what they want with them. But if I couldn’t do it, I’m seeking the wrong job. After the first question, I was fine. Not nervous anymore. Just speaking what I believe is the truth. (Also, sorry I spent so much time staring at the ceiling. I was thinking, and I didn’t realize what it looked like. Again, this was my first time. It wasn't many of their first times, though...)

Below the video, I've provided time stamps so you can fast-forward to issues you care the most about, but I'd love for you all to watch all of it. The differences can be stark.

If you like what I stand for, and if you believe I'm telling you the truth, please consider donating to our campaign. Believe it or not, we don't need much money to fight these two behemoth parties, because we're fighting them with our sweat and our message rather than money, but we do need money.


Video Time Stamps:
Opening statements begin immediately. Here’s mine in text form:

Hello, everybody. Before I get into it, I want to say thank you to the League of Women Voters, who have done our community a service by inviting every candidate to this forum tonight.
Now, about me: My name’s Steve Cox, and I’m an independent. I was born and raised in this district, and I hold no allegiance to anybody but you, and to anything but truth and honesty.

And one of the greatest lies we’re told is that wealth, in and of itself, is what makes our country great. But is it? As one example, we live in the wealthiest country in the history of the planet, yet 20% of our children live in poverty. That’s 16 million kids!

I believe greatness is judged by how we treat our most vulnerable. And by that metric, we’re failing.

Here are some other lies we’re told:
“We can’t afford universal healthcare, or even to take care of our nation’s veterans, but we need this $1.5 trillion airplane.”
“The war on terrorism, like the war on drugs, is working.”
“Gun laws keep us safe from gun violence.”
“Cutting taxes for the wealthy creates jobs for the rest.”
“The press is free, and the intelligence community is trustworthy.”

You might believe some of what I just said, but they’re all lies. And probably the biggest lie of all? That we must rely on Democrats and Republicans – the people who caused the problems that we face as a nation – to fix them. No matter which party’s in charge, this system makes life harder for the many in order to maintain the privilege of a few. And it must change.

Question 1: 23:00
“What do you think is the most important domestic issue facing the United States, and how will you address it?”

Question 2: 33:30
“What do we do about illegal immigration and the issues with DACA?”

Question 3: 42:30
“This next question is about congressional accountability. What actions would you recommend to return congress to its constitutional role of openly debating laws?”

Question 4: 51:05
“What is the role of congress with threats from nations such as North Korea and Iran?”

Question 5: 59:44
“This district, like the state of the nation, contains a very diverse population of languages, ethnicities, religions, etc. What have you done to help these groups – especially the underprivileged, and under-represented – that will be included in your constituency?”

Question 6: 1:06:45
“What is your position in regards to the health of our environment and climate change?”

Question 7: 1:15:12
“What, if any, gun control should congress enact, and what would you support?”

Question 8: 1:23:40
“Technology will replace thousands of jobs in this country. What legislative actions do you advocate to assist displaced workers?”

Closing statements begin: 1:32:42

Steve Cox