Liam at the Leatherby Libraries at Chapman University

Hi, I’m Liam O’Mara, and I’m running for Congress. I may not look like your average politician, but let me tell you who I am and what I can do for you.

I’m a working class kid from a union family. My great-grandfather helped found the ILWU and my father is retiring after fifty years on the waterfront. My mother runs a daycare and is in SEIU. I never expected to go to college, and didn’t until I was thirty years old. Before that I worked as a fry cook, a longshoreman, and a computer nerd. But I saved my money, took on student loans, and I finished a Ph.D. in history. I’ve been teaching college now for ten years, and my students have taught me a lot about where we are as a society.

My story is the American story – an up-from-the-bootstraps success. But it is much harder than it used to be, and getting harder. Wages have been stagnant for forty years even as costs have risen. Decent housing and a good job are out of reach for ever more people. Health care costs have exploded. And all while productivity climbs and corporations make record profits. The American Dream is dying, and our politicians have been killing it.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Washington used to understand how to balance sustainable growth and the interests of society. I’m running to make sure it gets back to work. I want Medicare for all, so people can move jobs without losing benefits, and millions of people can stop relying on emergency rooms to get the care they need. I want paid sick and family leave for all, like every other developed country offers, so people don’t have to choose between their health and their rent. I want a $15 an hour minimum wage, so that people working full time can afford a dignified and independent life, and so their spending can drive growth. I want tuition-free public colleges, so that our young people can pick up the skills they need for a 21st century economy.

Together we can build an America that works for all of us, not just the lucky few. My loyalty is to the American people, not the special interests, so I won’t be taking Super PAC money. Help us make real change possible. For the price of a coffee each month, you can support my campaign and other folks like me, and change the direction in Washington. The American Dream is for all of us. Help me fight to restore that promise.