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Uniting Diverse Perspectives Through Common Sense Solutions

Lee Castillo for U.S. Congress Utah District 1

We Utahns come in all shapes, sizes, ages, religions, and races, and though we have our differences, we share a common bond in that WE ARE ALL Utahns… Utahns who believe in the greater good, in our faiths, in our families, in our environment, in small businesses, and in an incredibly strong work ethic.

Unfortunately, our Utah values aren’t always represented as clearly as they need to be by our Representatives in Washington, D.C. While Utahns stand for acceptance, equality, civility, liberty, and intellect, the status quo in Washington has become uncompromising, chaotic, disrespectful, and unproductive. In the same way that we wouldn’t allow our children and those in our communities to behave in this fashion, it is past time for us to require that our representatives not only behave themselves in a manner that actually reflects our culture, but that they also lead their colleagues to behave in this same fashion as opposed to simply catering to the lobbyists and special interests who fund their campaigns.

Our Latest Flyer

Are You in District 1?


Utah District 1 includes:
Layton, Ogden, Park City, Brigham City, Logan, Kaysville, Syracuse, Clearfield, Roy, Riverdale, South Ogden, North Ogden, Sunset, Clinton, West Point, Hooper, West Haven, Taylor, Plain City, Warren, Mountain Green, Eden, Huntsville, Henefer, Echo, Coalville, Wanship, Silver Summit, Willard, Perry, Mantua, Honeyville, Elwood, Bothwell, Garland, Riverside, Plymouth, Richmond, Smithfield, Hyde Park, Providence, Hyrum, Paradise, Cach, Newton, Blue Creek, Snowville, Park Valley, Randolph, Woodruff, Laketown, Garden City, Oakley, Kamas, Vernal, Myton, Duchesne, Bonanza, & Rainbow.

 

About Lee Castillo

Now I know that I don’t fit the traditional congressional stereotype of an old, rich, white lawyer / businessman, but that’s the point: Our district isn’t made up solely of old, rich white lawyers – So why should that be a requirement for all of our representatives when our government runs best when we have representatives of all races, gender, and economic levels that ensures all voices are heard?

Like many of you, I was born and raised here in Utah. I worked in the agricultural fields, I attended the public schools, and I have been serving professionally in our communities for over fifteen years. Since receiving a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Utah, I have served our Airmen at Hill Air Force Base’s Family Practice Clinic, helped keep families together through the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, and am currently working for the Utah State Hospital, helping with the people suffering from mental illness in our county jails. Through these experiences, I have seen first hand that hard times can fall on even the best of us and that Utahns truly are compassionate and believe in second chances.

Why I’m Running for Congress

And that is why you should send me to Washington: For all of the people who have ever been bullied, discriminated against, or overlooked… I’ll be representing you. For all the people who feel they have been dismissed, passed by, or forgotten… I’ll be representing you. And for all the people who are tired of having their foundational values of humanity and compassion misrepresented by self-serving congressmen beholden to special interests… I’ll be representing you! Because Utah is for Everybody, and Everybody should have their voice represented!

Whether you’re rich or poor, old or young, married or single, gay or straight, skiier or boarder, black, brown, or white, blue collar or white collar, soldier or civilian, Mormon or not – Utah is Everybody and it is this mosaic of diversity that makes our communities so great.

That said, the time is now to Unite Our Diverse Perspectives with Common Sense Solutions.

How I will REPRESENT YOU!

Yes, it’s true that we don’t all agree on everything, but agreements do exist. Where we differ, we can and should have civil, respectful, thoughtful debates about issues that affect real people, not just ideologies and rhetoric. And when we hit a roadblock, we should all compromise as opposed to ignorantly settling for gridlock. There are so many common sense solutions that we can all agree upon if we simply attempt to work together. But our current representatives are financially incentivized to maintain the status quo… They have Super PACs and wealthy donors who are opposed to the voice of the people.

Though I don’t have a Super PAC or a Trust Fund to buy my way into office, what I do have is the audacity to believe that Utah is for Everybody and that if we all commit to Uniting Our Voices, our votes can and will actually make a difference.

The Time is Now

So I invite you to join with me and all of the other Utahns in District One who are being misrepresented in Washington… It’s time to make your voice heard! So Register To Vote, tell me what issues you care about the most, donate to our campaign, share this video with your friends and family, and most importantly Vote!

The choice is simple: You can either stay on the sidelines and allow the status quo to continue on unchecked, or you can join with your fellow District One citizens who believe that Utah is for Everybody and that all of our voices need to be represented in Washington.

I’m Lee Castillo and am running to be your Representative in Congress- for House District One.

 

Endorsements

Senator Jim Dabakis – Utah Democrat
Sim Gill Salt Lake County District Attorney

Hispanic Democratic Caucus
Education Democratic Caucus
Women’s Democratic Caucus
Rural Democratic Caucus
Native American Democratic Caucus
Asian & Pacific Islander Democratic Caucus
Disability Democratic Caucus
Stonewall Democratic Caucus
Environmental Democratic Caucus
Progressive Democratic Caucus
Senior Citizen Democratic Caucus
LDS Dems Democratic Caucus
Veteran’s Democratic Caucus
March For Our Lives SLC

 

Policy Issues

Immigration / Illegal Immigrants / Dreamers

Issue: We are a nation of immigrants.

My Policy: We need to keep the promise that we made to the Dreamers. We need to create a reasonable pathway to citizenship. We need to create worker visas and have special considerations for those who; at least one nuclear family member is a US Citizen, have been in our country for 20+ years, are a contributing member of society, have no criminal record, and agree to have an annual review.

Income Inequality

Issue: Our Teachers, Police Officers, Fire Fighters, First Responders, and Social Workers are amongst those who we trust our lives, our children, and our safety and I propose a re-evaluation of earnings for those who keep us safe. I’ve met officers and teachers that carry two jobs to support their families. This isn’t right.

In addition, the little guy; the waitress, the custodian, the bed maker, the Walmart worker, and many other employed individuals should earn livable wages. Enough with the tax breaks for large corporations that, in turn, don’t pay their workers enough to live. If you work hard you should not have to have to go to a food bank or have a store food drive for your employees. As a social worker I have seen how healing it is to a person’s spirits when they can go from homeless to having a place to sleep and food in their bellies. As a volunteer I have seen how life changing it is when someone does not have to pick between feeding their family and or buying their medication.

My Policy: Equal pay for equal work! Women deserve to be paid the same amount as their male coworkers. I support the ERA and would vote yes in its favor.

My Policy: Tax reform to benefit the lower income and middle class – NOT the top 1%. Enforce taxation on greedy corporations who make millions/billions while their workers struggle to pay for their next meal.

Healthcare for Everybody

Issue: As a social worker, I see the red tape and lack of funding that causes our mentally ill population to be warehoused in County Jails. We need a legal system and a healthcare system that focuses on prevention but also provides readliy available access to treatment. Everybody deserves medical, mental, and dental insurance despite any pre-existing conditions, demographic, or economic situation.

My Policy: Congress should establish a single-payer national health insurance program in the United States. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege. A government sponsored public option for insurance coverage would significantly lower healthcare costs1 while improving access to affordable and quality care.2 The problem with the ACA is that it did not go far enough in reigning in the abuses of insurance companies. For real health justice that ensures equitable access to high quality healthcare, we need to redefine the relationship between the medical industry, the state, and patients.3 It is time to pull the plug on the private health insurance industry that exploits our basic need for healthcare in the name of profit.

Issue: Pharmaceutical & Prescription Drug Regulations.

My Policy: Congress should establish price controls on prescription drugs sold in the United States. Compared to other high income countries, we spend the most per capita on prescription drugs.4 Government negotiated drug prices are as much as half the cost of drugs sold to private retail pharmacies.5 Centralized negotiation with the expanded purchase power of the federal government will counteract the greed of the pharmaceutical industry and bring American prescription drug costs in line with the rest of the developed world.

Congress should reform patent laws to prevent pharmaceutical companies from unfairly locking out competition and blocking innovation. In addition to the exploitative pricing strategies employed by pharmaceutical executives, these parasitical companies take advantage of loopholes in U.S. patent law to delay and prevent the manufacture of cheaper generic versions of life saving drugs.6 Patent supported research could easily be replaced by increased investment in NIH back research which would solve the only substantive argument pharmaceutical companies have made against price control and patent reform proposals.7

Government Transparency

Issue: There is too much money in politics and all to often Politicians are answering to large corporations and big donors instead of their constituents.

My Policy: Congress should pass the CLEAN Politics Act to close lobbying disclosure loopholes and restrict lobbyist fundraising. Pay-to-play politics are at the root of political corruption in the beltway. Current regulations allow lobbyists to skirt disclosure requirements and wield a disproportionate level of influence.8 The revolving door of ex-government officials turned lobbyists only benefits the bottom lines of those individuals and the interest groups that hire them9, not the American public. Forcing clearer and broader disclosure of the activity of professional political influencers is a critical first step to actually draining the swamp.

Congress should require the disclosure of dark money contributions in elections. Recent administrative rule-changes aim to exempt organizations such as the National Rifle Association and the Koch brother’s funded Americans for Prosperity from existing donor disclosure rules10 making it even easier for dark money donors to go unnoticed by the public. Dark money subverts the core principles of democracy by putting candidates up for sale to the highest wealthy corporate bidder.

Air Quality / Protection of Public Lands

Issue: The air we breathe is dangerous to our health. As a citizen of Utah, a father and Uncle I am worried and we need to ensure that the world we live in is safe for our children and future generations.

My Policy: Congress should prevent the planned rollback of current Corporate Auto Fuel Efficiency (CAFE) standards. Keeping these standards in place will prevent the emission of approximately 6 billion tons of carbon pollution and save consumers an estimated $98 billion dollars on fuel costs.19 Rolling back these standards now would stifle innovation and undermine the creation of 250,000 new jobs by 2035.20

Congress should establish a carbon tax of at least $40 per ton of carbon pollution. Revenue generated from the tax should be used to support the adoption and development of sustainable energy sources. Carbon pollution has an unpriced deleterious effect on our society, and it is past time to end this corporate subsidy by making polluters pay for the actual costs of their business.21 Carbon pricing strategies will help the U.S. meet its emissions targets under the Paris Climate Accord and spur economic growth by incentivizing technological innovation.22

My Policy: Congress should restore the original land designations of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante National Monuments. Additionally, congress should strengthen the Antiquities Act to prevent future presidents from diminishing the natural and cultural resource protection designations of their predecessors. More than just land is at stake in the fight over our precious public resources; at the root of this controversy is a debate over the fate of our environment23 and indigenous sovereignty24. Corporate greed and oil interests were at the heart of the decision to dramatically shrink these extraordinary monuments.25 We must act to reverse the Trump administration’s decision to back outdated and dirty technologies that pollute our air and threaten our planet. We must respect the traditions and rights of our Native American brethren to preserve and exercise sovereignty over their unjustly stolen sacred lands.

Common Sense Gun Control

Issue: Guns are being purchased by people who murder our children, attack our churches, and traumatize victims and grieving loved ones. As a therapist I have treated people for anxiety due to the violent murders seen on TV/phones/computers. Our families need to feel safe.

My Policy: I will work to enact common sense legislation that would protect the second amendment rights of law-abiding citizens while making sure that reason and common sense prevail when it comes to the legislation necessary to reduce gun violence.

A great place to start is with Universal Background Checks. Under current federal law, the NICS background check database is a great tool to aid Licensed Gun Dealers in preventing the sale of firearms to those with a certain criminal record – the types of people who demonstrate that they can’t exercise their second amendment rights responsibly.

NICS however, is not without its flaws. There is even legislation in the senate (Fix NICS) being sponsored by both parties and even Utah’s Orrin Hatch to strengthen this system. I do think that this is a step in the right direction, but the reality is we need more than just one step in the right direction. Besides, Fix NICS is rendered moot until there are universal background checks in place for ALL gun sales.

Under current federal law, there is a private sale loophole. For individuals who want to purchase a gun from a private seller at a gun show (some sellers at gun shows are not licensed dealers) or from a private seller advertising in a website like Armslist.com, there is nothing requiring them to conduct a background check for this private sale. This enormous loophole could easily be closed by passing federal legislation that would require Universal Background Checks for all private gun sales. This would be done by requiring that all private sale transactions be conducted at a licensed gun dealership. The dealership would receive a small fee to conduct the background check and facilitate the bill of sale, if the background check is clean. The paperwork would be filed at the gun dealership and the transaction would be done on the books between qualifying parties.
Once Universal Background Checks are in place, another step towards reduced gun violence would be to place a ban on bump stocks which allow a semi-automatic rifle to fire at a much more rapid pace. Utah politicians and even the NRA have expressed support for this legislation, but despite overwhelming public support, no federal ban exists.

This is a failure of the current and previous congresses. An IPSOS poll done for NPR found that 82% of Americans favor banning bump stocks26 and a Quinnipiac university poll27 shows 97% of Americans support background checks for all gun buyers. Even local polls like a Utahpolicy.com poll28 show that 9 out of 10 Utah residents supporting background checks on all gun sales.
On top of all this, add the collective outrage, expressed through mass protests in Utah and across the nation. The tragic American reality that the best voices of America’s youth are trying to shoulder the burden of the failures of previous generations while simultaneously dealing with their own grief is not a reality that I am willing to accept. These pleading collective voices are demanding change.

When a group can so reasonably, accurately, beautifully and tragically articulate the obvious problem and solution that is staring us all in the face and their demands are still left unfulfilled even with broad public support, that is a failure of leadership.

Those were just two ways I would be fighting to end gun violence, but I would also support legislation to raise the legal age to purchase all firearms to 21 (which many private companies are already doing on their own), Legislation placing a ban on extended magazines, Legislation placing a ban on assault style weapons because of their design and destructive nature29, and any other practical ways to make this country safer.

We will never be able to completely end gun violence, but we absolutely can reduce it. Reduce the suicides, reduce the accidents, reduce the mass shootings, reduce the homicides and reduce the stranglehold that the gun Lobby has on the American congress and reduce the burden our children have just because they want us to pass laws to keep them safe.

1https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/07/upshot/why-single-payer-health-care-saves-money.html
2http://www.pnhp.org/facts/quality.pdf
3https://www.jacobinmag.com/2017/10/single-payer-medicare-for-all-bernie-sanders
4https://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/issue-briefs/2017/oct/paying-prescription-drugs-around-world-why-us-outlier
5https://www.commonwealthfund.org/blog/2016/drug-price-control-how-some-government-programs-do-it
6https://www.forbes.com/sites/robertpearl/2017/01/19/why-patent-protection-in-the-drug-industry-is-out-of-control/#5b7a15c178ca
7https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2015/09/23/should-the-government-impose-drug-price-controls/end-patent-monopolies-on-drugs
8http://democracy21.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Reform-Groups-Urge-Members-to-Support-Lobbying-Reform-Bill-Introduced-by-Rep.-Sarbanes-and-Sen.-Bennet.pdf
9http://personal.lse.ac.uk/blanesiv/revolving.pdf
10https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/7/17/17581384/irs-dark-money-nra-maria-butina-donors
11http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/01/05/americans-support-marijuana-legalization/
12https://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/16218-support-for-legalizing-medical-marijuana-in-utah-remains-strong-as-more-than-3-4-utahns-support-the-idea
13https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/320984.php
14https://www.nap.edu/resource/24625/Cannabis_chapter_highlights.pdf
15https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272735816300939?via%3Dihub
16https://medium.com/the-jist/the-economic-and-social-benefits-of-taxing-marijuana-5e11c7877d4d
17http://www.drugpolicy.org/press-release/2018/02/city-seattle-nullify-all-misdemeanor-marijuana-possession-convictions-years
18http://www.poormagazine.org/node/5560
19https://www.nrdc.org/experts/luke-tonachel/clean-car-and-fuel-economy-standards-whats-next
20http://www.synapse-energy.com/sites/default/files/Cleaner-Cars-and%20Job-Creation-17-072.pdf
21https://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/28/the-myriad-benefits-of-a-carbon-tax/
22http://www.wri.org/our-work/project/getting-serious-about-carbon-pricing
23https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/stories/truth-bears-ears/
24https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-bears-ears-tribal-sovereignty_us_5a25b663e4b03c44072fcc02
25https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/02/climate/bears-ears-national-monument.html
26http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/355376-poll-82-support-a-ban-on-bump-stocks
27http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/374692-poll-97-percent-support-background-checks-for-all-gun-buyers
28http://utahpolicy.com/index.php/features/today-at-utah-policy/15556-most-utahns-support-background-checks-on-gun-sales-but-aren-t-convinced-more-gun-laws-would-stop-mass-shootings
29https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/02/what-i-saw-treating-the-victims-from-parkland-should-change-the-debate-on-guns/553937/
 

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Sheila Raboy
Campaign Manager
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info@utahisforeverybody.com
© Utah is for Everybody 2018