Ricky believes the working class deserves a living wage for their labor, and there is no reason the working class should have to struggle for the basic necessities of life.
Ricky believes in an America where democracy—in its truest form—exists to serve the public's needs, where elections reflect the will of the people, not oligarchs.
Ricky has been a man of faith his entire life, and values his relationship with God as one of the most important parts of his being. Be that as it may, he will not impress those beliefs on others.
The right to freely associate with a union and strike if necessary. The right to be free from retaliatory, union-busting measures devised by workplace bosses and corporations. The right to maintain employment during a strike.
The right not to be discriminated against in the workplace based on age, ancestry, citizenship status, color, disability, ethnicity, gender identity, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical ability, political persuasion, race, religion, sex[ual orientation], or veteran status.
The right to a dignified living wage, regardless of gratuity, indexed for inflation and cost-of-living; overtime pay at least 1.5x the normal salary rate after the 40th hour of work within a seven-day week; and dignified living retirement benefits.
The right to dignified monetary compensation, regardless of internship status, age, or internship duration, no less than the stated federal living wage floor for hours worked.
The right to a safe, secure, and healthy working environment, as well as adequate accommodations for teleworking where possible and necessary. The right to a one (1) hour break every eight (8) worked hours. The right to a breakfast, lunch, or dinner break.
The right to state-funded, comprehensive unemployment insurance, equaling no less than the laborer's previous salary in the event of termination, corporate liquidation, or unexpected shuttering, for up to 18 months, as well as job training and other skills-based programs.
The right to a sixty (60) day minimum of paid sick leave; thirty-five (35) day minimum of paid vacation leave; paid parental leave no less than ten (10) months; paid time off to participate in elections; and no less than seven (7) days paid bereavement leave in the event of a miscarriage or death in one's immediate family, whether through natural causes, surrogacy, or adoption.
The right to a publicly-funded National Postal Banking Service, complete with comprehensive basic checking/savings accounts, card services, direct deposit, no-fee online banking services, and small banking loans where necessary.
BANKING FOR ALL
Ricky believes in an America where we, the people, decide to take control of our government—and by extension, our economy—in a way where prosperity flows upward, rejecting the notion where power flows down to us citizens from City Hall at the behest of an outdated oligarchic system. America needs to become a place where consumer rights are prioritized over the ambitions of major corporations and financial institutions.
Ricky believes that no bank is too big to fail, and Ricky supports a modernized version of the Glass-Steagall Act that will prevent financial institutions from gambling with working class money. He believes that we must establish a National Postal Banking Service, providing low-income communities with valuable banking services, as well as a more streamlined National Credit Union Network, where credit union customers can access their accounts at any credit union in the country.
It's time for better banking in America.
A LIVING WAGE
Ricky believes in an America that demands an end to crushing wealth and income inequality as we know it. If someone can make billions as the head of a Fortune 500 company, that company can definitely afford to pay its workers—no matter how high or low on the corporate ladder they happen to be—a living wage. Basic mathematics teach us that the money is clearly there. This, Ricky believes, should be the foundational standard for income.
Ricky believes in an America that properly compensates workers for their work. The time has come to do away with the hoarding of corporate profits and capital in accordance with an inhumane capitalistic doctrine of greed. The time has come to properly distribute labor-produced revenues to the very labor keeping major companies solvent. Ricky believes the time has come to replace the standard minimum wage with a living wage, indexed for inflation.
EMPLOYEE BENEFIT REFORM
There is no reason why corporations should continue to be allowed to enrich themselves through stock market buybacks when they are not first ensuring a living wage for all workers, guaranteeing paid sick leave for up to thirty (30) days, and ensuring that CEO compensation isn't more than fifty times (50x) average worker salaries. Ricky believes that the era of big corporation bailouts must finally come to an end.
There is no reason anyone in America making minimum wage should have to struggle to afford housing, food, transport, and education. To continue this practice is inhumane, economically criminal, and a shameful exploitation of the labor that made this country a global leader in industry. No human being's labor should ever be exploited within our borders.
UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME
Anyone with clear eyes can see that our current economic system is broken and geared towards the obscenely wealthy, and neither neoconservatives or neoliberals are up to the task at solving this problem. While deemed radical by some and impossible by others, reality has shown us all that we must build up a system that ensures that all Americans have enough to eat and live, on top of the rewards reaped by their honest labor. The Global Health Crisis of 2020 has made this clear.
Like the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Ricky believes in the establishment of a transitional universal basic income for all Americans making under $100,000 a year, in order to ensure that any existing gaps for the time being are covered by a state that would not otherwise exist but for their hard labor. The time has come to eradicate poverty in America, and Ricky believes that a UBI system will bring us all closer to that goal, especially with the rise of automation.
There should be no American or taxpaying resident not earning enough to provide at least according to his/her/their need—a roof over their heads, a means by which they can work, and a means by which they can enjoy the fruits of their labor with loved ones.
Ricky believes in an America where its political leadership serves the public’s needs—not the other way around—and reflects our collective values of compassion, selflessness, and shared prosperity, not those of the privileged few among us with deep pockets. America needs to become a place where we, the people, decide our leaders and the effects of our political systems, where we, the people, decide what changes and what doesn’t.
Ricky believes in an America that does not place the fate of elections in the hands of millionaires, billionaires, and corporations. We must demand that all legitimate candidates must have an equal voice on the campaign trail, and an electoral system that reflects the will of the majority. Elections affect the public at large, therefore Ricky believes that campaigns must be bound by public funding.
Ricky believes in an America with leaders duty-bound to answer and be accountable to its people and its people alone; an America that raises up and elects only candidates deemed most fit to represent its citizens’ interests as a whole, and not the interests of large corporations or a privileged few. Corporations are not people, and never will be.
Ricky believes in an America that believes in a bright future for itself, and therefore strives to ensure that its citizens are safe, healthy, secure, educated, and engaged in its political process. The right to vote must never be abridged or restricted under any circumstances, and those among us that have paid their debt to society must have their civic voices restored at the booth. Let us guarantee early voting to all Americans and establish, once and for all, Election Day as a federal holiday.
Ricky is proposing THE VERB ACT, a bill that will completely overhaul the nation’s electoral system, establishing a national voter registration database and automatic voter registration for all Americans moving forward. The VERB ACT will also create the Corporation For Economic Democracy, a federal corporation tasked with providing publicity, training, education, and direct financing for cooperative development and democratic reforms to encourage more participatory government agencies and private associations.
Above all, Ricky believes in an America that understands that the loudest voice heard, the one true influential factor in our elections, must be the one coming from we, the people.
Ricky believes the time has come to finally put democracy in action, putting a stop to the systemic oppressions and troubles built into America's elections.
With that in mind, Ricky is proposing the passage of the VERB Act, a comprehensive plan to ensure that all voices are heard during election season and beyond.
Read more about it HERE.
Ricky has been a proud Seventh-Day Adventist Christian since birth. His personal relationship with God (יַהְוֶה | الله) is a foundational element of who he's been, is, and will become in the world. With that said, however, his personal religious beliefs are just that—personal, and he will never use his influence to impress those beliefs upon others. This cannot be stressed nearly enough.
Ricky doesn't claim to be an Islamic scholar or someone that deems himself to be an expert on the tenets of Islam, but what logic and reason tells him is that our Muslim family and friends are not the enemy. The same way many practicing Christians don’t attend church every Sabbath or Sunday, keep Kosher, pray, or even read the Bible every day to the point where it radiates from their faces, there are many within Islam that walk a similar path.
The world has both fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims. We also have extremist Christians, extremist Muslims, and extremists of various different sects. This isn’t a foreign concept, nor should it be for the learned. We have fundamentalists in all religions, as well as many different subgroups, but none of the extremists in either group are considered part of the whole.
That’s what extremism is–you take a certain teaching from within a belief system, naturally out of context, and you then proceed to conduct business in accordance with this newfound ideology, often to the rebuke, scorn, and (at times) fear of traditional adherents. Chaos ensues. There are also many socioeconomic factors that play into the influence and effects of certain extremist groups within a particular belief system or region.
Imagine, for a moment, if a group of domestic white nationalist terrorists like the Ku Klux Klan had access to a large portion of the United States’ economic power, such as foreign trade, currency, and a large portion of the region’s weapons cache. Imagine also if they were to have formed during the Reconstruction Era after the end of the American Civil War, in the midst of the sort of chaos that only arises out of a completely destabilized central government.
With the KKK suddenly in control of an enormous economic resource, weaponry, and access to international trade, they could easily take over the whole Eastern Seaboard within a matter of months, even after the Old South’s defeat at the hand of what used to be the Union States.
Due to the time period, it would be rather simple for racists living in Union states to defect to the KKK, and now, suddenly, the Union is being attacked from every perceivable angle–all on the premise of an extremist, hate-filled, anarchist idea. The idea becomes as dangerous as the weapon. We are not at war with weapons or refugees in the Middle East; we are at war with an idea, a fundamentalist idea that clouds the basic principles of one of the largest religions in the world.
Because we are not truly at war with weapons, we must combat this new enemy with something that has shifted the currents of whole civilizations since the dawn of man–we must bring forth a new idea, a new belief, a better way of doing things and interacting with our neighbors. Just as it would be unwise to bring a knife to a gunfight, we as a nation must abandon the notion that guns and bombs will solve this international conflict. We must drop not bombs, but books.
We must counter their IEDs with new ideas.
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..."
It is not the duty of a politician or political party to cater to the people's religious needs; the Constitution makes it very clear that this is the duty of the respective church, mosque, synagogue, or other worship hall to deal with matters of religious faith and practice.
The two are separate for a reason, and we must respect this. A free nation is a nation where all are free to practice their beliefs in a manner that doesn't unfairly (or unreasonably) interfere with the life, liberty, or happiness of another.
A free nation is also a nation where all are free to live independently of religious belief if that is their choice. There is no state religion, no matter what some may attempt to establish.
Religious extremism has no place in society, and Ricky is steadfastly opposed to any legislation involving anyone of a particular religion forcing his or her beliefs upon someone else in any situation.