Gubernatorial candidate Dennis Kucinich addressed the first town hall forum of the Progressive Democrats of America Central Ohio chapter on February 5. Kucinich emphasized that he is for universal health care and when in Congress had written HR 676 a Health Care for All bill, co-sponsored by Representative John Conyers. While pitching universal health care, he also put in a plug for veganism, saying that his switch to a vegan diet in 1995 allowed him to get off of six of seven pharmaceutical medications. He told the crowd that he fights to keep community hospitals open but he warned them that closing hospitals is often a tactic to break health care unions.
Kucinich explained that his approach to politics is based on the fact that “I’m an activist at heart.” He claimed that his ultimate agenda is to “empower the people of this state to make their own decisions.” He supports the Community Bill of Rights.
The biggest laugh line of the night was when he was asked his position on gerrymandering. He pronounced: “I know about gerrymandering. I lost my seat not to nasty Republicans, but from nasty Democrats.” Kucinich’s House district was re-shaped into the infamous “snake on the lake” district that favored Democrat Marcy Kaptur in Toledo.
When asked why the Dems wanted to get rid of him, his answer produced the loudest applause of the night. He said “I raised hell against the wars. That’s why they wanted to get rid of me.” He argued that his campaign offers a chance for progressive activists to “Seize this moment and transform state government.”
He ended with a comment on the opioid epidemic in Ohio: “You don’t help addicts by sending them to jail or prison.”