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March 3, 2020 — Primary Election
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United States

U.S. House of RepresentativesCandidate for District 30

Photo of Brian T. Carroll

Brian T. Carroll

Neighborhood Council Member
5,984 votes (3.5%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Guarantee housing as a human right and solve the homelessness crisis.
  • Expand public transportation options for the district and the country.
  • Protect the rights of workers and unions, including teachers.

Experience

Experience

Profession:President of the Studio City Neighborhood Council
Senior Art Director, Herzog & Company (2015–current)
Boardmember, Studio City Neighborhood Council — Elected position (2018–current)
President, Studio City Neighborhood Council — Elected position (2019–current)
Art Director, Cloudesign Inc. (2012–2015)

Education

Rochester Institute of Technology Bachelor of Science, Film and animation at first, leadership and management with a focus on local civic participation after going back. (2019)

Community Activities

Creator, Two Party Opera (2016–current)
Member, East Valley Indivisibles (2019–current)

Biography

As the world gets more complex, the importance of local community could not be more clear.

Being born in California, raised back-and-forth between Connecticut and Florida by divorced parents, and searching for that sense of belonging from town to town and year to year, Brian would find it in the San Fernando Valley, where he lives with his wife, Stephanie, and their two cats. Serving as President of the Studio City Neighborhood Council, Brian’s fundamental goal is to provide that feeling of community through local civic engagement.

He is passionate, compassionate, and has a sense of responsibility to those who often feel like the decks are stacked up against them. A strong progressive, Brian believes in the protection and expansion of civil rights, the reclaiming of our public spaces and public goods, and the building of a society that restores justice for all.

He believes that the San Fernando Valley can be the key to solving some of today’s biggest issues. If we can solve the housing crisis here, we can solve it everywhere. If we can bring real transportation options for our area, we can scale it sea to shining sea. Progressive change can only happen when it’s approached with a local focus, because it’s the only way to ensure that the people are being put first.

As an enthusiast of American history (as can be seen through his political web comic, Two Party Opera), Brian understands, contextually and practically, the ebb and flow of tyranny and the cyclical nature of our country’s past and present. In times like these, he feels that the only direction to go when faced with daily chaos and runaway injustice, is not to just return to some nonexistent “normal,” but to repair the failures of a society that led to the crisis in the first place.

With his understanding of legislative procedures both theoretically, through his academic research, and practically, through his work with the Studio City Neighborhood Council as both a board member and President, he’s able to see both the greater context of policies and legislations to be brought forth, as well as the implications on the local level for the CA-30th district.

The importance of civic engagement and the power of communities to understand the inner workings of the jobs of those who are meant to be of service to them, such as our members of Congress, is a huge driver for Brian and the work that he does.

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California (3)

What financing method(s) would you support to repair or improve roads, rails, ports, airports, the electrical grid, and other infrastructure in the U.S.?
Answer from Brian T. Carroll:

The beauty of the Green New Deal is that it's not just an aspirational wishlist to deal with the imminent threat of climate change, but that it’s also a legislative framework to how best to reframe the way we think about how to fund the infrastructure of the future and build it in a way that centers how people engage with their communities.

A successfully passed Green New Deal would mean that the United States annual budget would have to take into consideration more public transportation options to ease the wear-and-tear of new roads, building a new energy grid of renewable and natural energy sources, and cut down on airplane emissions by making air travel compete with alternate ways of getting around. This is the long term goal.

In the short term, Brian understands the need for funding a national infrastructure program, one that can be drafted with Green New Deal guidelines even without it being fully implemented.

Like education and healthcare, infrastructure is an investment for the future. The more money and organization we put into it now, the more money we’ll save down the road.

What programs or legislation, if any, would you support to help Americans of all ages to secure affordable health care?
Answer from Brian T. Carroll:

Healthcare takes up one-sixth of our economy but what do we have to show for it? For every example of someone successful in getting their insurance companies to pay for lifesaving treatment, there’s another of someone dying because they couldn’t afford to live after being denied coverage. Or because they’ve been priced out of their medication. 

For years, Brian was one of the millions of people uninsured, and knows first-hand the kinds of sacrifices one has to make, compromising one’s own health, to avoid the price of the alternative. The fact of the matter is, the only thing that got Brian through those uninsured years is luck. The same luck in which millions of people have currently staked their well-being. But luck is not a healthcare plan, and it’s one that no one should be forced to rely on.

Healthcare is too serious of an issue to be handled by such a chaotic system. Expecting people to beg before a faceless process that seemingly makes decisions arbitrarily is beneath the values that we collectively hold. To borrow from our Constitution, it’s certainly no way to “provide for the general welfare.”

With premiums rising and protections continuously being undermined, we are heading for a tipping point. If it comes to a choice between pricing out the insurance gatekeepers or pricing out the people of the San Fernando Valley, Brian will always stand on the side of the people.

The benefits of public goods tend to ripple out. By separating health insurance from employment, people can no longer feel locked out of the American dream by being trapped in a job for fear of losing their healthcare. Likewise, small businesses will no longer be burdened by worrying if they’re providing adequate healthcare for their employees.

The ACA/Obamacare got us part of the way there, but we can never mistake a first step for the end goal. Even supporting a robust plan such as Medicare-for-All only gets us so far. For women, people of color, and/or members of the LGBTQ community, the stakes are even higher, adding in the dangers that come with institutional bias and systematic undermining of basic civil rights. This is why in addition to making sure that a system like Medicare-for-All is implemented, Brian will fight for legislation that protects medical access for the most vulnerable and marginalized. This includes the fight for reproductive justice by strengthening the protections of Roe V. Wade.

 

Describe an immigration policy that you would support if presented to the House of Representatives.
Answer from Brian T. Carroll:

At a time when some are hellbent on rewriting the words on the Statue of Liberty, we have a responsibility to honoring the San Fernando Valley’s history of welcoming and fighting for the rights of immigrants. 

It says a lot about the troubling times we live in when we need to point this out: Brian is categorically opposed to locking up people, including children, in concentration camps at our borders and anywhere else. Cruelty cannot be the de facto shortcut for dealing with difficult problems. We cannot expect people to go through the legal pathways when the systems that our ancestors went through no longer exist. Broken systems can not be the dividing line between generations of immigrants that want better for themselves.

The DACA program and the Dream Act are starting points. We need to look compassionately on what it means to be a citizen. Birthright citizenship was one of the best ideas to come out of the 19th century and it’s one-sentence right is something that needs to be fiercely defended and expanded upon. Simply put, those who are born within the United States are American citizens. The ideas that came out of this era, along with the abolishment of slavery and expanding the right to vote, are considered by many to be “America’s Second Founding.”

If we were to embark on a third founding for our country, we need to do away with this gatekeeping mentality of who’s an American and who’s not. Anyone who wants to come into this country and contribute to its prosperity should have the opportunity to do so. After all, the United States is made up of indigenous populations, immigrants, and those who were brought here against their will – it’s hypocritical and counterproductive to decide now that we need to rein in our national identity. The best thing we can do is allow our diversity to be our strength and stand up to the injustice that routinely plagues our immigration policy.

 

Who gave money to this candidate?

Contributions

More information about contributions

Source: MapLight analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

Fighting for the future of our country isn’t a spectator sport.

A common refrain lately has been “we’ve been through times like this before, and we will again.” While I understand the sentiment, it’s not true. Since its founding, Americans have continuously fought for the rights that were supposed to be guaranteed by the Constitution, and although many survived, a lot of people didn’t make it through those pivotal times to take part.

We live in another such time and we cannot stand on the sidelines and watch our neighbors be targeted. The stakes are only getting higher. As a student of American history and civics, I can clearly see the disconnect between what congressional leadership is capable of and what we’re currently getting instead.

I’m running because it’s not enough to vote a certain way, or saying all the right things, but because we’ve seen in the last several years what needs to be done is all hands on deck to preserve our country from runaway injustice. We need someone who will actively fight for progressive change in the San Fernando Valley. Who will work every single day to protect civil rights, hold those in power accountable, build an economy that works for everyone, and engage with the communities to get the job done.

As President of the Studio City Neighborhood Council, I know the best way to find solutions is through engaging on the local level, and I intend to empower the neighborhood council system to help inform me in Congress. Extending the power of our experiment in civic engagement to the national stage in order to utilize the level of passion that already exists.

Right now, the country is at a crossroads, and the path we choose to go down will set the stage for the next several generations. To be sure, we can choose representatives who wish to simply return to “business as usual” without addressing the underlying causes that lead to our modern chaos in the first place. But I believe that I stand with my neighbors in recognizing this time as a unique opportunity to push for progressive change in the face of white supremacy, authoritarianism, and unchecked corporate power to rebuild our communities in a way that protects the most vulnerable and benefits the common well-being.

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