Thursday, August 16, 2018

Martin Moulton responses for the Caribbean-American Political Action Committee 2018 Questionnaire 
for Mayoral Candidates


Office Sought: MayorCandidate’s Name: Martin MoultonCurrent Occupation: ConsultantParty: LibertarianCampaign contact information: @MRMoultonLP@gmail.com, @LiberateDC2018 on Twitter

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1. Please explain your plan or approach to improve agency responsiveness and the quality of the District’s constituent services.
Libertarians believe that most taxpayer resources are wasted on unnecessary government employee salaries. Democrats have traditionally treated many government positions as rewards for campaign support and favoritism. With a small tightly run campaign, there will be few to no jobs given away as perks for campaign support; therefore, more resources will be saved for competent and service-oriented staff and technology. Each agency has internet and telephone services, the District’s 311 service has been an effective tracking system for service requests, but it can be improved. Local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs), as the branch of government closest to residents, should be constituents’ primary resource for ensuring that common matters are addressed quickly and efficiently; if ANCs are not functional, Ward and At-Large Councilmembers should be the next line of oversight; if those, entities are not effective, then constituents should feel free to contact my staff in the Office of Constituent Services to follow up.

As Mayor, I will make my official schedule (aside from home and family matters) public, so District residents will be able to monitor and review the archive of where, with whom, and how much time I spend time serving residents’ concerns which I plan to make my top priority.

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  1. What specific actions have you initiated or will you take to support the Caribbean-American community in Washington, D.C.? 
    Having roots outside the United States gives many in the Caribbean community a broader perspective on government and community and, in my experience, greater expectations than what many in the United States and the District hold. As a Libertarian, I believe government should not provide hurdles to great ideas that originate in the community; I concur with our Libertarian Chair Nicholas Sarwark who famously states that “As long as you aren’t harming anyone or taking anyone’s stuff” you shouldn't face any interference in the activities you pursue as a United States citizen. As Libertarians, we believe the government should stay out of the bedrooms and pockets of citizens, and I would work to lower taxes for all citizens so that you will have more money at hand to pursue your goals, dreams and community activities.

  2. Unfortunately, throughout the City many Caribbean-owned businesses closed in recent years. How will you support the viability and competitiveness of the City’s small, minority, veteran, women, and especially Caribbean-owned businesses?

    Libertarians believe in equality for all. The District’s corporatist Democrats have traditionally provided perks in the form of tax incentives and other corporate welfare for some big businesses which ultimately creates imbalances that don’t provide a level playing field. Libertarians don’t believe in such welfare. Hence, no futile giveaways to sports teams or developers at taxpayers’ expense and more money left in the economy and in taxpayer’s pockets as a rightful “benefit.”

    I would like to understand reason’s why some Caribbean-owned and operated District businesses have closed at a higher rate than other recent business closures; the bustling downtown business District in Chinatown has seen recent closures that are suggestive of what is happening throughout the District and in other jurisdictions.Businesses close for myriad reasons; some internal, some external. Some Libertarian economists have suggested that many urban areas are experiencing a retail real estate bubble that is showing signs of weakening or “softening.” In part, this bubble was created by decades of local corporate welfare from Democrats that was misplaced (note: Adams Morgan’s The Line Hotel tax exemption scandal: http://intowner.com/2018/01/16/bureaucratic-fog-shrouds-46-million-tax- abatement-for-line-hotel-developers-not-yet-met-requirements-say-city-officials/) 
    *Chinatown/Downtown Business District:
 


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What policy actions would you propose or support to improve the opportunities and rights of Caribbean immigrants in the District of Columbia?

  1. No more futile give aways to sports teams or developers at taxpayers’ expense and more money left in the economy and in taxpayer’s purses and pockets as a rightful “benefit.”
  2. The City’s Caribbean Community is the only immigrant community without an Office to address and support community affairs and services. Would you support the creation of such an office?

    Libertarian economist are often too quick to point out that when tax dollars go to adding agencies and FTEs to manage government programs, there is very little trickle down that actually benefits constituents and most of the tax dollars go to making government bigger, taking money out of a vibrant economy where it is best used. Estimates suggest that at least 60% of the cost of each office or staff member managing a program goes to office infrastructure and non-salary benefits for government bureaucrats. I would reduce the number of useless government offices and staff and create more opportunities, with fewer regulations, for all citizens to do as they please.

  3. How do you plan to help strengthen the Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) program since larger business take advantage of many small businesses, including Caribbean-owned ones,
    with whom they partner under this program?
    I would dissolve the CBE office for the reasons you state and those I mention in my answer to your question, 5, above.
  4. What policies will you support to address the challenges facing DREAMers, the administration’s suspension of temporary protective status for many D.C. residents, and the threats facing sanctuary cities?
    My father, his brother, and three of his sisters emigrated from Costa Rica to the United States in order to take advantage of greater opportunities here. As long as immigrants are conducting their lives peacefully and contributing to the economy, they should not face any threats from the District Government. Libertarians believe that immigrants benefit societies they enter more than anything else. (We must always acknowledge that many Mexican and other Central American immigrants have entered the United States out of desperation because of the violence and destabilization caused by the United States’ drug war. Costa Rica has decriminalized all drugs, as the U.S. should do and as I will urge the DC Council to do, to take profits out of the hands of criminals.) Some criminal’s also exploit the United States’ horrible immigration system to enter the nation and cause harm; violent persons will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and later deported to protect District residents and communities. Many immigrants have strong family ties and I have yet to meet a loving responsible father or mother who would leave their child in a foreign country, prey to myriad social threats and ineffective government “parenting services” (eg: often jail) without their own parental pro


8. What concrete steps will you take to improve the District of Columbia’s Public School system – including facilities and equipment, teacher treatment, relationships with parents, as well as education standards and test scores in all wards of the City?
Some of my views on District of Columbia public schools have been documented recently in the Metro Weekly: 


“‘I talk to people from all over the city, from Ward 8 to Ward 1 to Ward 3, and the biggest issue right now, and the press has been all over this, is the school scandals,’ says Moulton. ‘We believe as Libertarians that these scandals have been created by too much micro-managing from government in the choices of how parents want to educate their children. And when I talk to parents, they are furious. They deal with the frustration of not being able to get their kid into a good school, and being forced to put their kid to a crappy school.’

Moulton says allowing free market forces to shape D.C.’s school system through school choice would help combat the District’s education problems by allowing parents to take control of their children’s education and hold bad schools and ineffective administrators accountable.” [emphasis added]

https://www.metroweekly.com/2018/03/gay-libertarian-candidate-will-challenge-
bowser-in-mayors-race/
 

For several years, I was a contributor to Greater Greater Education’s online DC public schools analysis. For more than five years, I was a volunteer, reading tutor/mentor, and school advisory member in the former DCPS Scott Montgomery School, across the street from my home. After Scott Montgomery transitioned to become the KIPP DC Shaw Campus, I was both a volunteer and paid community outreach liaison or KIPP DC for several years. 

My father (see attachment) and his siblings attended very strict British schools growing up in Costa Rica and were all fluent in Spanish and English when they each, in turn, came to the United States to attend college and work. My mother was a student of both Barbara Jordan and Dorothy Height when she attended Texas Southern University and from these leaders and her own family learned the value of a solid education. Hence, although they sent me to California public schools through the 8th grade — because I was an avid reader on my own and could thrive in a sub par public school environment, they put my brother in private/parochial schools from third grade through his undergraduate education. Because our in-boundary county public high school, 10 miles from our home, did not meet my parents’ standards, I was enrolled in Saint Mary’s College High School, thirty (30) miles from our home, to which I commuted back and forth daily, and later graduated from Dartmouth College.
!4. Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Aruba The Bahamas Barbados Belize British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Cuba Dominica*Dominican Republic Grenada Guadeloupe Guyana Haiti Jamaica Martinique Montserrat Netherlands Antilles Puerto Rico *St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname *Trinidad and Tobago Turks and Caicos U.S. Virgin Islands
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[Moulton] has particularly been critical of recent scandals revolving around whether District employees and other well-connected Washingtonians, including former Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson — who was later forced to resign — were able to skirt the lottery for placement at D.C. public schools and get their children enrolled in some of the District’s higher-performing and more reputable schools, many of which have long waiting lists.

All of our District students and families deserve to have the benefit of a wide variety of educational options in order for all of our students to reach their full potential, develop solid self esteem, acquire the skills they need to compete in our unique national and international job market so they can earn the incomes they need to thrive and afford to live in the District as it continues to transform from a sleepy southern hamlet into the leading international cosmopolitan area in the world on par with London, Paris, Hong Kong, Tokyo and Dubai. A truly free market of educational options can provide this without all the destructive meddling from District government bureaucrats dictating what parents and families can have from cubicles in the Wilson Building and elsewhere downtown. Parents, as mine did, must drive this market for our children to succeed.

The “gentrification” crisis so many speak about obtusely was created by District officials and their advisors — for decades — not giving District parents the myriad options they deserve to ensure that their children receive the best education in the nation — which should go without question in the Nation’s Capital, home of the US Department of Education, and in one of the most expensive (and sadly underperforming) school districts in the region. The District is the southern tip of the region (extending to New York City) where half of the wealth in the entire United States resides. We must do better

and immediately change course or condemn another generation of young people to the “prison of illiteracy,” dependency, self-hatred, and or the literal terminus of the District’s thriving “school to prison pipeline.” The status quo is a national and international scandal; especially when we consider that there are a greater number of fluent English (bi- or trilingual in Mandarin and or Cantonese) speakers in China than there are fluent English speakers in the entire United States; our students and workers will become irrelevant here and on the international stage without an immediate fix.
!5. Anguilla Antigua and Barbuda Aruba The Bahamas Barbados Belize British Virgin Islands Cayman Islands Cuba Dominica*Dominican Republic Grenada Guadeloupe Guyana Haiti Jamaica Martinique Montserrat Netherlands Antilles Puerto Rico *St. Kitts and Nevis St. Lucia St. Vincent and the Grenadines Suriname *Trinidad and Tobago Turks and Caicos U.S. Virgin Islands
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9. In Washington, D.C., many seniors seek to age in their homes and/or communities. What efforts will you take to improve access of services and the quality of programs for the City’s
senior citizens?
My recently-widowed mother will live in my childhood home until she no longer needs it. My father passed away in the comfort of his own bed where he rested for nearly fifty years. The dignity and luxury of living out one’s golden years “at home” should be a right; short of that, living in a city with a vibrant economy—serving both rich and the less fortunate—with diverse, high quality and very convenient low-cost services—from food and Rx delivery services, local health clinics, abundant safe/clean/comfortable outdoor amenities, and a multitude of safe and reliable transportation options—should be accessible to all of our seniors and everyone else. This will make it easier for all seniors to age in place.

My mother planted a small orchard in both of the homes I grew up in in California; we had more apples, oranges, grapefruits, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, lemons, limes than a family of four could consume (she now even has an avocado tree!). The District has yet to tap the benefits of planting fruit and nut trees in our public spaces which can provide solid food security and delicious super-nutritious locally grown and free produce. This might not only satisfy the District vegan and raw food fruitarians, but also be an essential source of low-cost nutrients for seniors who have been connived by our government-dependent pharmaceutical industry to pump themselves full of chemicals with dubious benefits.

10. What issues are you most concerned about in your run for political office?
 

My father was a community activist and family therapist so there are many issues I care about from his example; my mom’s myriad talents and love are something many children in the District never get an opportunity to experience because of many of the government’s family-destroying policies and laws. Pop’s native Costa Rica does not have a standing military and, thus, most taxpayer resources are reinvested in communities or simply left in tax payer’s purses and pockets. In contrast, just 3% of the United States’ aggressive military budget (which is continually over funded by our neighbors in Congress in the name of “democracy”, forcing “our values” on peoples around the world who don’t want them at gun point or under threat of bombing massacres) could provide not only every District resident with three healthy square delicious meals a day, but every human on earth. We must help all of our families grow strong, never forget our family members around the globe, bring peace to our world, and succeed in our efforts to #LiberateDC though #DCStatehood.
Thank you for all the work you do!

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