In the May 22 primary election, residents of Georgia’s 10th Congressional District, which encompasses Athens, will have the opportunity to vote for their U.S. representative.
Incumbent Jody Hice, Bradley Griffin and Joe Hunt will be the Republican candidates on the ballot. Tabitha Johnson-Green, Chalis Montgomery and Richard Dien Winfield will be the Democratic candidates on the ballot.
Richard Dien Winfield has spent much of his life addressing societal issues and problems of justice as a philosophy professor at the University of Georgia for the past 35 years. But now, he said it’s time to address these issues in the U.S. Capitol.
Winfield, a progressive democratic candidate, was born and raised in Queens, New York. After earning his doctorate degree from Yale University, he moved to Athens to begin his career as a philosophy professor in 1982. He stepped down from his teaching position in order to run for office.
Today, he lives in Athens with his wife Sujata Gupta and their three children Kalindi, Manas and Rasik.
If elected, he hopes to enact laws that “level the playing field” between employees and employers and eliminate discrimination based on race, gender and sexual orientation.
On his campaign website, he outlines a “new social bill of rights.”
Here, Winfield outlines his plan to guarantee jobs at fair wages and increase worker empowerment and collective bargaining.
“It will shut down the school-to-prison pipeline because every young person will know they have a job waiting for them to serve the community,” Winfield said. “It will mean something to [students] coming out of college. It will mean something to our crime problem because a large part of our crime rate is because of people who can’t make an honest living.”
Additionally he wants to provide medicare, child and elder care, paid family leave, $500 child allowances and legal services for all people, which he plans to fund by establishing a wealth tax on the top 10 percent.
For immigration, Winfield hopes to provide a clear path to citizenship and residency for all undocumented immigrants who have been in the United States for over a year.
Winfield said “it’s going to be pretty impossible” to have the current president accept his platform points.
“Even if Congress were to take me up on these proposals, we still would have to face a presidential veto,” Winfield said. “If anything gets done, it will have to be a comprise. Then in 2020, hopefully, someone can take office who is willing to move forward.”
President Donald Trump stands out to Winfield as “the worst president we have ever had.”
He said Trump has moved the nation toward an oligarchy instead of promoting more equal political opportunities.
“I think that is more of a danger to this democracy than ISIS or any threat we face,” Winfield said.