Qasim Rashid: 2024 candidate for U.S. House 11th District Representative


Party: Democrat

Office Sought: 11th District U.S. Representative

City: Naperville

Age: 41

Occupation: Human Rights Lawyer, Lorium PLLC, Doctors for Fertility

Previous offices held: PC for Lisle Township Democrats

What must be done to achieve a consistent national policy on immigration, not just in terms of what such a policy should be but also in terms of getting a policy through the Senate?

We must invest in immigration judges and lawyers to process asylum claims effectively. Asylum is a right protected by international human rights law and the US Constitution. We also need to rethink the United States' foreign policy, prioritizing human rights over purely economic gains. We also need to start discussing the climate crisis's impact on Latin America, as the number of climate refugees will increase. If Republicans are serious about decreasing the number of asylum seekers, then Democrats must work together to address the root causes of human migration and offer federal support to the states on the front lines of the migration crisis. We must also demonstrate in the Senate that a strong immigration policy enhances our national security and economy. Immigrants add trillions to our economy. If we harness that power through a worker visa program, then we will decrease undocumented crossings and increase wages and productivity for businesses.

Do you believe the nation's election system and those of the individual states are secure and fair? If not, what must be done to improve them?

Our election system is secure but unfair. We must enact decisive reforms. First, we need to eliminate the influence of corporate money in politics by passing campaign finance reform like HR 1. We must safeguard voting rights by passing legislation like the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act. We also cannot overlook the insidiousness of gerrymandering, which undermines the integrity of our elections. It is also crucial to address prison disenfranchisement, as denying individuals their right to vote even after they have served their time undermines the principles of democracy. I advocate for banning prison disenfranchisement to ensure that all citizens have the opportunity to participate in our democratic process. Lastly, discriminatory voter ID laws disproportionately disenfranchise marginalized communities, particularly low-income, Black, and brown individuals — we must ban them.

What responsibilities does the United States have toward protecting the security of our allies or other countries where democracy may be threatened? In particular, what are our responsibilities toward Israel and Ukraine?

Ukraine gave up its nuclear arsenal on the promise that the United States would defend it against Russia. The United States must continue to support Ukraine as it defends its people against Putin’s brutal military invasion, and we can do so by sending military aid and training to the Ukrainian military and non-military aid for Ukrainian citizens to rebuild their homes, infrastructure, and livelihoods.

Israel’s military response against Hamas’ attack on Israeli civilians violates international law, and the US Leahy Law prohibits the US from providing military aid to countries suspected of violating such international law. Israel’s response to Hamas’ murder of 1200 Israeli citizens has resulted in the death of almost 30,000 Palestinians. I’ve called for an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages and political prisoners, an end to the Israeli settlements and occupation of Palestine, and a right of return for Palestinian citizens with ample financial support to rebuild Gaza.

Is the world in a climate crisis? If so, what role should the federal government play in addressing it?

The world is in a climate crisis. We must invest in transitioning to high-paying green jobs like energy efficiency projects and sustainable transportation systems. This will create millions of good-paying jobs in the process. Additionally, we must prioritize federal investment in battery and hydrogen fuel cell technology to regain market share from China. We must commit to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, as advocated by climate scientists. This requires phasing out fossil fuels and transitioning to clean, renewable energy sources. It also means rejecting anti-science policies like drilling, fracking, and carbon capture. We must also prioritize supporting indigenous and other marginalized communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the climate crisis. This includes providing financial investment and job creation opportunities to communities that have borne the brunt of pollution and environmental degradation.

How would you describe the working relationships in the U.S. House today? What can be done to promote more effective government in Congress, and what will you do personally to work toward this goal?

This session of the House is on track to be the least effective session in modern history. We can ensure a more effective government by electing leaders who are funded by and accountable to people, not those who are accountable to billion-dollar corporations and special interests. As divided as Americans are today, we agree on one major thing: that we want to get corporate money out of politics. Likewise, my door is open to dialogue with people across the political spectrum. We do not need to agree on every policy to find ways to work together for the advancement of economic, social, and climate justice in our community. Finally, I would propose legislation requiring members of Congress to engage in debates and hold public in-person town halls for their constituents. It is unacceptable that multimillionaire politicians hide behind Zoom screens and excuses.

What role should the United States play in NATO?

NATO’s work to maintain peace between member states and global adversaries has protected the security of millions across Europe for three-quarters of a century, and Russia’s protest against Ukraine joining is demonstrative of the fact that the alliance is as strong a deterrent against military conflict as ever. Member states all pay a percentage of their GDP to fund NATO, which is why the United States pays such a large share of the operating expenses for the alliance. Although former President Trump rallied against this practice as unfair to the American Taxpayer, the safety, security, and reliable prices and shipping of international goods directly benefit the American taxpayer to a far higher degree. In the face of Russia’s ongoing war in Ukraine and rising geopolitical tensions, the United States must maintain its commitment to our allies and joint security to lower the global temperature and deter our allies and adversaries from engaging in military conflict.

How do you perceive the financial health of Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid? To the degree you may see problems with these programs, what should be done about them?

Our current healthcare system, with its lack of guaranteed public healthcare and the tragic consequences of delayed or denied treatment, demands immediate and transformative action. By expanding Medicare to all who wish to join, preventing medical debt reporting, negotiating comprehensive care costs, eliminating enrollment barriers, capping medical debt interest rates, advocating for paid sick leave, and ensuring inclusive coverage, I am committed to creating a healthcare system that not only saves money but also improves health outcomes and addresses the diverse needs of individuals and families. Crucial changes are necessary for Social Security. My approach involves advocating for lifting the payroll tax cap to ensure equitable contributions from higher-income earners, ultimately increasing revenue for Social Security. I also believe in adjusting cost-of-living allowances to accurately reflect retirees' real expenses.

How do you assess the state of the national economy? What should be done to make it stronger or more stable?

Currently, some 60% of Americans are still living paycheck to paycheck, one in four military families are food insecure, one in six Americans are food insecure, and one in nine children are food insecure. First, combat corporate price gouging, which makes up 60% of inflation. We do this by implementing measures to prevent unfair pricing practices by corporations.

Second, end corporate welfare. We do so by ensuring that large corporations like Walmart pay their employees a living wage. Billion-dollar corporations should be paying a much higher tax rate reflective of the needs of the community. Likewise, the super-wealthy should be paying at least a 70% marginal tax rate as was done between 1940 and 1980. Lastly, stimulate small business development by providing substantial tax subsidies for businesses generating less than $250,000 in revenue annually, which represents the vast majority of businesses.

What personal qualifications do you bring that would make you an effective congressional representative in dealing with the issues the country will face in the next two years?

I am the only Democrat who follows climate science and rejects Exxon and big oil money, rejects fracking as “environmentally beneficial,” and rejects the debunked “carbon capture” pseudo-science. I am the only Democrat who is committed to international human rights law and calling for a complete and permanent ceasefire in Gaza, the release of all hostages, and an end to the occupation and settlements to save both Israeli and Palestinian lives. I am the only Democrat who supports guaranteed universal healthcare, which aligns with 88% of Democrats in the District. I am the only Democrat who believes in protecting working people by properly regulating banks via, for example, Dodd-Frank — contrary to my opponent who voted with Trump and Republicans in 2018 to weaken bank regulations. In short, I am the only Democrat who is funded by working people, and thus aligned in my policies and values with the needs of working people — not that of special interests, lobbyists, and corporate PACs.

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