Arlington, VA

Last week we asked the two Democratic candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, Eighth District of Virginia, to write a sub-500 word essay on why the county’s residents should vote for them during tomorrow’s (Tuesday, June 12) primary.

Here is the unedited response from Bruce Shuttleworth:

To any of the ARLnow community who I may have “robocalled” during your dinner hour — sorry!

I’m Bruce Shuttleworth. I’m running for Congress, and I’d be honored to earn your support. I say that about a thousand times a day at Metros, Farmer’s Markets and gatherings across the 8th District. Now I say it to you — and I deeply mean it. Your vote is incredibly important and I know that you don’t cast it idly.

I think serving in Congress is incredibly important too; and I won’t ever forget that it isn’t my office — it is yours. And you will always be welcome in it.

If I am so honored to become your Congressman, I will protect the vulnerable. And fellow Arlingtonians, we are all vulnerable. If you breathe air and need healthcare, you are vulnerable.

Both my parents died of lung cancer, both as non-smokers. I see the cost of unclean air in terms of life and death — and I intend to do something about it.

If America can show the determination and grit to put man on the moon in the 1960s, then we can certainly build a National energy supergrid that will finally enable the effective use of clean, green technologies. That technology exists today. But it is drowned out by the big money of oil, gas and coal — and our Congress that takes it.

At stake is nothing but air quality, climate change, energy security, jobs, better health and more than a hundred billion dollars a year in defense department savings when we finally don’t have to protect our foreign sources of oil.

Want to do something nice for your kids? Do this. We simply must break our addiction to carbon-based fuels — it is slowly killing us.

And if you need healthcare, you are vulnerable. We are in a treatment trap where too many fee-for-service doctors over treat (which is dangerous) and too many insurance providers under treat (which is pathetic). Caught in the middle are the suffering citizens paying too much and getting too little — with 45,000 of us dying unnecessarily each year.

This is a life and death issue; this is about promoting the general welfare.

Universal Healthcare is within reach; but it is being drowned out by the big money of big insurance – and our Congress that takes it.

But I don’t blame special interests for representing their special interests. This is America and free speech is broad and deep. I blame our Congress for not keeping conflicts of interest at arm’s length. In no other organization would this be tolerated — not with our CEO’s, not with our Judges, not with our President.

For all the great things we want to accomplish — we must reform Congress. I encourage the American People to have no tolerance for this ethical tomfoolery. If we want a different result, then we will need different Congressmen. With your support, and perhaps that of your friends, I’ll be honored to lead this effort.

Thank you.

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