The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Vancouver man seeks seat in US House

 

April 26, 2018

Diana Zimmerman

Congressional candidate David McDevitt met with local voters to talk about the issues that concern them at the Duck Inn on Saturday morning.

David McDevitt, a candidate for U.S. Representative for the Third Congressional District, held an informal town hall at the Duck Inn on Sunday morning. This is the second time that McDevitt has run for this office. Here are some things he had to say:

"The primary reason why we hold these gatherings is so we can have a conversation about what is important in your community," McDevitt said. "Obviously Wahkiakum is one of the smaller counties in the third congressional district but it doesn't mean it is any less important. In some ways it ought be more important because the economy suffers more so than the economy in Clark County or Cowlitz County. But all the counties are depressed in the third congressional district. It is one of the more economically depressed congressional districts in Washington state."

Health Care

"First and foremost, people have been talking to me about health care," McDevitt said. "What people are saying is that they want a single-payer-health-care-for-all kind of a system, where everyone that wants care can receive the care they need without having to worry about a deductible that is way more than they can afford or having a pile of bills arrive after they receive that care, which could have significant detriment to their monthly incomes or even drive them into bankruptcy.

"They're telling me we really need to restructure our health care system so that everybody can get care, whether they are children, working adults, or senior citizens. We're seeing a lot of problematic issues when it comes to funding health care. A lot of it is directly attributable to health insurance company greed and pharmaceutical company greed. If we can bring that back into a manageable system so that 100 percent of our population receives health care we'll be doing a lot better and we'll be preventing a lot of people from falling deeper into poverty."

Income

"The minimum wage is too low," McDevitt said. "The federal minimum wage is definitely too low. Senior citizens living on social security are living on a fixed income that is also likely too low. And there is a special circumstance for seniors in our state, because we have this law on the RCW that prevents rent control. So seniors that are renters are more likely to be subject to problems financially because of that. Suffice it to say that social security benefits are not keeping up with the changing economic circumstances. Most of that is because of benign neglect over the last 35 years and we know that 50 percent or more of working adults are working for less than $15 an hour. The cost of living is a little over $13 an hour. That's assuming people are working 40 hours a week. A lot of these jobs that are being created don't include health care and they aren't 40 hours a week. They are more like 20 hours a week.

"I'm going to fight for a $15 minimum wage, probably graduated ultimately higher than that and I'm going to fight to enhance social security. It needs to be maintained."

Climate change

and the environment

"We're continuously being barraged by the fossil fuel industry to bring in more industry," McDevitt said. "We got over the one in Vancouver with the oil terminal being halted, but we still have a couple other ones that are big. The arguments on both sides are interesting, but I side with health.

"There are negative health impacts to fossil fuel and fossil fuel related projects. I side with maintaining the health of people and maintaining the health of our rivers and our fish and our environment. When a fossil fuel project jeopardizes the health of people and averts liability for the people who are bringing those projects to us, I'm not comfortable with that. There aren't enough jobs to sacrifice people's health.

"Currently the administration is trying to degrade the ability for the EPA to do their work in enforcing environmental concerns. I will fight for appropriate funding for that."

Transportation/Infrastructure

"Where this does impact Wahkiakum County is with regard to telecommunication policies and the ability to build out internet and broadband internet facilities so that they are available to even the rural counties."

He spoke about the slide at Stella and the problems associated with a two lane road going into a rural community.

"That can be detrimental not only for regular traffic, but emergency vehicles as well," he said.

McDevitt believes there can be congressional interaction to deal with both issues.

"Primary on my list of things that I talk about are the things that directly impact people's wallet and people's pocketbook," McDevitt said. "Things that people are emotionally connected to. Like 'I can't pay my bills at the end of the month,' or 'I can't get the help I need.' Are there bigger issues? Of course. We need to get Citizens United overturned. We need to get a lot more of the corruption out of politics. We need to get the influence of campaign finance reform handled. We need to reduce the influence of lobby interests for special interest groups away from being able to influence our politicians at the expense of people.

"That's why my campaign slogan is 'Putting People First.'

"The politics will drive decision making. If there is a heavy lift, politics will say 'Well, let's not do that because it's too hard to do politically.' Getting the healthcare system turned over is a big political lift, but it is necessary for all of our people. Is it going to be hard to do? Absolutely."

Gun violence

"Getting gun policy reworked so everyone gets a fair shake, that's a heavy lift too," McDevitt said. "The reality is that it has been over slanted in one direction and the Supreme Court ruled that there is room for reasonable regulations. It's been a number of years since that ruling has been passed and there has been no reasonable regulations, not at the federal level."

Background

"I was raised in a single parent family. I joined the US Army and served three years in active duty, and three years active reserves. I have bachelor and masters degrees in business as well as a JD in law and am a licensed attorney. I worked for 15 years in the telecom industry, mostly in high level finance, worked on billion dollar budgets and business plans. I understand the appropriations kind of process.

"I understand how to write the law so it benefits people and I can read the law to ferret out the places where it doesn't benefit people.

"I've traveled all around the world and I have a great deal of respect for multiple cultures all around the world, multiple religions all around the world. I hope to bring people together and unite so we can build a better society for all people in the US, not the limited top wealthiest folks."

 

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