Justin Miller on why he's running for office
I'm Justin Miller and I was a line cook for 13 years and left the restaurant industry after standing up for coworkers by filing a wage-theft complaint against my employer and speaking out against systemic racism in the industry. Doing so led to my being publicly called an "unemployable" "non-conformist," essentially blackballing me from the industry for speaking out. Since leaving the restaurant industry, I have worked for workers’ rights all across the state, mostly organizing fast-food workers as a part of the Fight for $15 movement.
I am running to represent the 66th District of the North Carolina House of Representatives to give working-class and poor North Carolinians a voice in the General Assembly. For decades, neither of the major corporate parties has spoken to the issues that affect the working class. This campaign is about giving the working class a voice in the legislative process.
Over the past 30 years, both parties have chipped away at our rights in the workplace. Democrats and Republicans both ignore the working class and poor, and they have their reasons: Our legislature is currently occupied by business owners and industry leaders who pass laws based on their own interests and are unwilling or too inept to serve the most marginalized in our communities.
This campaign is about lifting up the voices of North Carolina workers across the state, and in District 66. It's not just about creating jobs, but creating jobs with livable wages. If elected, I will work tirelessly to raise the minimum wage above $15/hr and to get state investment for worker-owned enterprises—jobs where the worker has ownership of the profit they create with their labor. I will work to make all levels of education accessible to the most marginalized among us and to eliminate the outrageous debt that students have taken on while ending up in low-paying jobs.
I will work to dismantle Duke Energy's monopoly over the state and keep their money out of our elected representatives’ pockets. I will protect our drinking water, soil, and air quality by working to implement corporate accountability, which would require major polluters to pay for their own mismanagement and economic disasters rather than being allowed to pass the financial burden onto struggling North Carolinians. I work to implement a moratorium on utility shut offs and to replace the monopoly with a public utility. Without the incentive to maximize profits, public utilities will be cheaper for all consumers.
I will work to abolish ICE and for profit prisons. We should end the racist and classist war on drugs,decriminalize marijuana, and expunge the records of all non-violent offenders.
I will work to expand the institution of voting, rather than restricting it. We need to abolish the Electoral College, get corporate money out of politics, and stop allowing political partisans of any party to draw district maps. I am an advocate of proportional representation to ensure that non-majority voices are included in the legislative process, and will work to eliminate ballot access laws that create unfair electoral advantages for both corporate parties by shutting out independents and alternative parties.