Florida 7th

Chardo Richardson

Civil Rights/Liberty Advocate

America, the land of abundance, needs to work for all its citizens. In my career, I have worked to improve the lives of Floridians, educators, workers, and students as President of the ACLU of Central Florida chapter and as Director of the Seminole UniServ labor organization. This is my time to do more, my time to advocate for every Floridian. My only priority is the welfare of the people; no corporate donations will be accepted. Our campaign is 100% funded by individual donations.

Like all Brand New Congress candidates, my life is different from the lives of most establishment politicians. I have been on both sides of poverty. I have faced the same hardships that so many Americans go through. That’s why I will spend the rest of my life restoring and protecting the rights of every American. Together we can have an America where every person has the chance to use his or her talents and be successful. I will represent people who are mistreated for any reason, whether it’s their ethnic heritage, their religious practices, their sexual orientation, their gender, or how much money they have in their pockets.

I will represent people who are mistreated for any reason, whether it’s their ethnic heritage, their religious practices, their sexual orientation, their gender, or how much money they have in their pockets.

Strong women have surrounded and shaped me, blessing me with the determination to champion others. After my grandmother married a Vietnam Veteran, she brought her six children, including my mother, from Bermuda to Mississippi to start a new life. She put books in my hands as a child, and along with my aunts, made me thoughtful and compassionate. My mother raised me on her own for a while, and I will always appreciate how hard she worked to do that.

I was born into a rich ethnic heritage that values the quality of a person over where he or she came from or how he or she looks. I’ve seen social injustice first hand. I’ve felt the pain of it when I saw it happen to people around me. At a very young age, I pledged to safeguard the virtues of democracy that promises that all men and women are created equally and deserve the same protections under the law.

I have done my best to stand up for what is right and protect those who need it. When I was young, that meant standing up to the local schoolyard bully. Today, it means standing up to injustice in all of its forms.

I joined the military after high school so I could defend liberty and justice, and to do my part in giving back to my country. I spent nearly 12 years in the Air Force as a Boom Operator/Inflight Refueling Specialist, serving four tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. There, I saw places that were impoverished and full of human rights violations. It did not fully register then that many of these issues were happening back home in the very same country I was fighting for.

While in the military, I received an A.S. in Instructional Technology and Aviation Management, and a B.S. in Child Psychology. After my honorable separation, I decided to continue fighting for freedom and justice for the Citizens of America. I attended law school at Florida Coastal School of Law, earning my J.D. in 2014. My heart felt broken when I saw the unfair reality of our criminal justice system in what is supposed to be the land of the free.

Until recently, I served as the ACLU Central Florida chapter president. I stepped down in order to announce my candidacy. With the ACLU, I had the opportunity to work with an army of dedicated volunteers committed to equality, liberty, and justice for everyone in Central Florida. Together we have worked to protect immigrants, pursue equal rights for women, LGBTQ individuals, the disenfranchised and marginalized, and worked to reform our criminal justice system. This work is often difficult, but I love what I do. I love this country and the incredible people who call America home because I am a patriot.

Currently I am a Director of the Public Schools Educators and Education Support Professionals Union in Seminole County. I represent the individuals who shape our future generations. I’m proud to say that Seminole County is an A rated school district largely because of the individuals I serve.

I will continue to bolster our education system -- from our public schools to our public colleges. This includes students, workers, teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians, bus drivers etc. Educators and support staff are overworked and underpaid. Few are properly compensated for the incredible responsibility they carry. School should no longer be a place of tests only, but a place of inspiration and excitement so that our young people will want to learn. In large measure, our public school system is vital to our country’s success today and in the future. We must protect it and improve it.

In large measure, our public school system is vital to our country’s success today and in the future. We must protect it and improve it.

It is clear to me that the school-to-prison pipeline has a stranglehold on our youth, with ethnic communities in disproportionate numbers, and this is crippling our nation. Ending the school-to-prison pipeline will boost the economy, decrease violence, and make families whole. Everyone is affected by the failure of our criminal justice system. We are all endangered by a prison system that educates inmates on criminal behavior instead of rehabilitation. Mass incarceration is a human rights issue that impacts every part of our country.

As a veteran, I have seen how difficult life after service can be. Veterans face incredible challenges in finding employment. The solutions for our veterans are the solutions we need for all Americans. But the single most important promise for our military veterans is to provide quality healthcare in a timely manner. I am championing universal healthcare through Medicare for All. We will be investing in medical research, expanding mental health services, training more doctors, and building more healthcare facilities. With a one payer system, we can ensure all citizens have the direct services they need with no-out-of-pocket costs. Our country is breaking its promise to veterans on healthcare, and we must do better.

Our country is breaking its promise to veterans on healthcare, and we must do better.

Another area of concern is the protection of our natural resources and our planet. I believe that part of the solution lies in Renewable Energy. Currently, Renewable Energy creates three-times more jobs than fossil fuels. Yet, fossil fuels receive four times the subsidies. Instead of going backwards to the industrial age of sixty years ago, and destroying the planet, we need to move in the direction of Renewable Energy. Renewable energy is any energy derived from natural processes, such as sunlight and wind, and these energies are replenished faster than they are consumed. As an example, if taken advantage of to its fullest extent, the sunlight that beams on the earth for one hour could meet our world energy demands for an entire year. So what is slowing down the progress of using more Renewable Energy in America? Corporate greed. I will take up the gauntlet for Renewable Energy for the good of the environment and the jobs it will create.

Brand New Congress plans to invest billions in infrastructure and green energy which will create a jobs boom. This will give underpaid workers from many sectors new opportunities. This will also create employment for veterans, and offer them debt tuition to public colleges and trade schools to build on the skills they gained in their service.

My campaign is built on ensuring a fair, living wage for all workers. If workers are paid fairly, they can provide for their families and have more time with them. This has a ripple effect that will bring our next generation less crime, better education, and more stability. I will work with my fellow Brand New Congress candidates from both sides of the aisle to raise the federal minimum wage and tie it to inflation, so people working 40 hours a week don’t have to live in poverty.

Immigrants in America today live under a cloud of hostility unlike anything we have seen in recent memory. These are some of the most vulnerable people in our society, and they have few places to turn for help. I have been the voice for immigrants’ rights as an advocate. In Congress, I will work to secure a path to citizenship for honest, hard-working, undocumented immigrants, and I will reject any legislation that splits families apart.

The United States was founded on a government that’s by the people and for the people. We have been a nation that welcomed all nationalities and celebrated our diversity. We have always come together in time of crisis and shown tremendous generosity to those in need. We have to return to that. We must be heard with one united voice, so that we can stop those who are creating the wreckage of our future.

We must be heard with one united voice, so that we can stop those who are creating the wreckage of our future.

As your candidate, I will never take corporate cash. I will represent you, not a Board of Directors. This is a campaign of integrity and passion, and with your help, we will win. I am running as part of a team of devoted candidates from all over the country through Brand New Congress. We are real people running for Congress who are committed to putting our country before our own private coffers.

I’m Chardo Richardson. I’m running as your representative in Florida’s 7th District. I will steadfastly serve you, and the American people. Thank you for your vote!
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