Below is the full Q&A transcript for Kimberly Clark Reuter, candidate for the 10th Congressional District:
1. What are the top two reasons a voter should choose you to represent the 10th Congressional District?
1) I understand that negotiation is needed to get things done. Democracy is about negotiation, and no one side is completely right or wrong. 2) I will fight for equity. Everyone deserves to have a chance at a better life. The area of town we grew up in shouldn’t dictate our opportunities.
2. Why are you a Democrat?
I find that my political ideology is closest to that of the Democratic party. I agree with raising the minimum wage to $15. The Democrats are also the party that cares about climate change. In some ways, I appreciate the official platform, but also feel that it does not go far enough. Things like healthcare and education up to a bachelor’s degree should be publicly funded. At the end of the day, I have two choices. I am a person who believes we should have more than two choices.
3. Regarding your party’s national platform, do you agree with all of it? If not, what specifically do you not support?
For the most part, yes. I just wish they’d include universal healthcare!
4. Again, regarding your party’s national platform, what is the top-stated issue that makes you proud to be a member of that party?
The education stance of the Democratic Party makes me proud. Our public education system needs to be both modernized and expanded from pre-K to college.
5a. What do you believe is the number one issue facing Americans today?
The number one issue facing Americans today is the disparity between zip codes in education. I believe that education is the most important thing to have. Some communities do not even have access to broadband internet, which devastated children of certain areas during COVID. In Georgia, the state does not extend additional funding to areas of extreme poverty. These communities are often the communities without broadband, without proper nutrition, without reliable public transportation (the annual state funding for school transportation has dropped to around 13%) and need the additional support extra funding would provide.
5b. If you are elected, what will you specifically do to address that number one issue?
I will begin with fighting for universal healthcare so that every person has access to the care that they need. I would also strive to bolster mental health initiatives, so that everybody has access to help if they need it.
6. Who has had the greatest influence on your life? Please include details.
The two people in my life that have had the most influence on me are my Grandfather and late Grandmother. These two people were so influential in my upbringing. They taught me that being kind is paramount, and that all people deserve a fair shot.
7. Who is the person you consider to be your mentor in politics and why?
Bernie Sanders! He has always fought for human rights, and although he isn’t a direct mentor, I respect him greatly.
8. What is your opinion of the other party?
The Republican party has lost its way. Those in charge are allowing themselves to be pulled down by a failed dictator.
9. What led you to get involved in politics?
Watching how dispassionately those in Washington vote against the best interest of their respective constituencies is what spurred me to action.
10. As you see it, what is the greatest external danger facing this country today?
The rise of autocracy around the globe, and the sympathy some elected officials show to dictators.
11. Again, as you see it, what is the greatest internal danger facing the U.S. right now?
This country is plagued by disparities between the rich and the poor. The middle class is disappearing due to policies that have been enacted over decades of plutocracy.
12. Do you think the country is better off today than it was four years ago? Eight years ago? Please explain your answers.
In some ways, the country is better. In other ways, it is worse. The pandemic is an obvious reason why things are worse now. That aside, the country is more divided ideologically than ever. One is either hard right or hard left and being in the middle is frowned upon. I think, as a country, we need to remember that compromise and discussion is what this nation is built on.
13. What are your thoughts about the nation’s growing crime statistics and what should be done about it?
With COVID, I think crime will only get worse. Crime statistics had already been rising, before we all found ourselves solitude for 6 months. As people come out of their shells, I think there will be a re-learning curve because people have kind of been in their own echo chambers for so long. To combat crime as a whole, I think that the best solutions are common sense gun laws, job-training programs, and access to mental health services.
14. What do you think about efforts in some places to defund law enforcement agencies?
I do not believe in defunding the police. I feel that “defund the police” is a misnomer. It is more akin to reallocate resources. I do believe in bolstering crime prevention initiatives such as access mental health services, and job-training programs. I also appreciate the programs that have been implemented in Brookhaven and Athens-Clarke County among others, where a law enforcement official and a mental health professional are sent on non-emergency calls. I believe officers should be better trained in de-escalation and implicit bias which requires funding.
15. Certain governments are now offering a no-cash bail system? What are your thoughts about that?
I think having a no-cash bail system for nonviolent offenders is wonderful. Most of our jails are brimming with people who haven’t yet been convicted of a crime. Keeping a person who can’t afford their bail in jail and is possibly innocent of a nonviolent offense is not right.
16. Do you support Georgia's new Election Integrity Act? Please offer specifics on why or why not. Along that same line, regarding the last presidential election cycle, do you have any comments on the information brought out at the hearings or in the State Farm Arena videos? Do you 100 percent trust the upcoming election process in Georgia?
No. In the 21st century, it should be easier to vote, not harder. I realized I had never experienced a long line to vote, but then realized that this was because I was in the “right” neighborhood. For years, politicians have been limiting polling places, and then to not allow the giving out of cold water in the lines that they created? Not cool. This election was the most secure in history. The SF Arena videos showed normal processes happening. “The big lie” is just that, a lie from a sore loser who would rather cast doubt on democracy than admit he lost. I trust the results of the 2020 election wholeheartedly.
17. Do you support increasing the number of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court? Why or why not?
I believe that the number of justices should be increased simply to bring in more opinion to the decisions being made. I firmly believe that no increase will always benefit one side or the other, because the court will always fluctuate between conservative and liberal.
18. Do you think Americans should pay more in taxes? If so, how much more and why?
Government waste should be eliminated, and those funds redirected before we consider raising taxes for citizens. Current programs and initiatives should be examined to determine if they are a benefit. If not, cut it and redistribute funds!
19. Do you think U.S. businesses should pay more in taxes? If so, how much more and why?
Large businesses, yes. They use our roads, our mail services, our police. They should pay their fair share. If you make more money, your cut is a little higher. I support a 28% corporate tax.
20. Do you support the current open border immigration system? What do you think about a border wall? Please explain your answers.
The wall makes no sense. In most cases, illegal immigrants came into the U.S. legally then overstayed their visas. Our current immigration system is a disaster. We make it too hard to become a tax-paying citizen of the United States. It will take years and thousands of dollars to achieve it. Our immigration policy should be simple and straightforward. First, illegal immigrants already in the U.S. should be offered a pathway to citizenship. They should not be scared to walk into an immigrations office and start the process. DACA recipients should be given a pathway as well, so that they are not living in this weird can we stay or not limbo. We should have humane means of housing individuals who do try to come into this nation legally while they wait for their immigration trials.
21. Regarding Critical Race Theory, do you think promoting it will help or hurt efforts to improve race relations in the U.S? Please explain your answer. Also, should it be taught in America's public schools? Why or why not?
I think that history should be taught how it happened. If certain laws were built to disenfranchise a certain group, that shouldn’t be shied away from. I do think acknowledging our past will do nothing but help race relations.
22. What is your opinion on the Second Amendment and should part of it ever be changed?
If you are of the collective rights group, then I simply believe the second amendment should be enforced. However, at this point, I do not believe the individual rights reading of the second amendment will ever be changed. With that being said, loopholes on background checks should be closed, ghost guns and parts should be regulated, guns should not be sold to violent offenders, and magazine sizes should be limited.