Asher D Platts, Independent Greenhttp://asherplatts.comFacebook Twitter
Office Sought: Senator - District 27
University of Southern Maine, BA in Theory
No kids, single.
Why are you running for office? We need real progressive leadership on issues like Single Payer Healthcare, forgiveness of student debt, making our public university system tuition free, and putting Mainers back to work with a Green New Deal jobs program that invests directly in the jobs we need to tackle the twin crisis of climate change and economic recession.
I currently serve as Chair of the Maine Green Independent Party.
The federal health care law has offered to pay states to expand their Medicaid programs to provide health coverage to low income Mainers. Do you support Medicaid (or MaineCare) expansion?Yes
The ACA still leaves far too many people uninsured, or paying too much for insurance that they aren't getting. Rather than advocate for more Capitalism in the medical insurance sector, I think we need less Capitalism. Healthcare is a human right, and every other industrialized nation seems to have figured that out already-- and they spend less money and get greater benefits for it. That's why I support Single Payer Healthcare.
Reform of the state’s public assistance programs has been the focus of debates in the State House and on the campaign trail. Do you believe that the state’s welfare programs are too generous?No
What, if anything, would you change about welfare?Having used our welfare system, I can tell you just getting access to the services you need can be a full time job. With the recent changes LePage has made by not renewing our waiver, you now have to be working at least 20 hours a week to get access to services that you need MOST when you can't find a job. Workfare is slavery, nobody should have to work at a job that doesn't pay the bills so that they can get access to welfare. That just drives down wages. In fact, many people using welfare are accessing because they are already working, but their wages are too low to survive on. I instead advocate for raising the minimum wage to $15/hr so that people can actually afford to survive without welfare.
Do you support raising the state’s minimum wage from $7.50 an hour?Yes
By how much?I explained previously, people like myself have had to access welfare while working full time because our wages didn't cover the cost of living. The rents are too high, and the wages are too low. People cannot survive on the minimum wage, or even several dollars higher than the minimum wage. Philosophically, I believe that the economy should exist for the benefit of humanity. Currently, humanity exists for the benefit of the economy. We've got our priorities totally backwards as a society. Immediately I would $15/hr for businesses with 250 employees or more. For small businesses, raise it $0.50 every 6 months until it reaches parity.
Would you support legalization of marijuana?Yes
Please explain your position on legalization?We need to avoid regulating it in such a way that we put small farmers out of business. It's already Maine's biggest cash crop, both on the black market and in the medicinal market. We should bring it out of the black market and then tax and regulate it in a way that makes sense for small growers.