Note: Ryan Watts is a client of PoliticsNC. That said, Thomas Mills fully supports this statement and Ryan’s candidacy.  

 

I’m running for Congress in North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District. After years of watching the ineptitude in Washington, I have to take a stand. Our country can’t afford the division and dysfunction that defines our politics. If we don’t fix it, my generation is going to pay the price.

Congress has passed fewer bills than at any time in history despite growing domestic and international problems. Last year, they took a full two months off with pay and they shut down the government for 16 days. In the private sector, people would have been fired. In Washington, it’s just business as usual.

We have real problems to tackle. Our national debt is now $20 trillion and nobody has offered a plan to pay it down. While Obamacare was a first step in health care reform, Congress can’t put aside petty partisan squabbles to complete the job. We have 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country and we’ve been arguing about how to fix it for more than a decade. Rising costs of education are putting college out of reach for many young Americans while too many companies complain they can’t find qualified employees.

Instead of offering solutions, Congress continues to kick the can down the road. The so-called adults in the room are settling scores with pettiness and vindictiveness. It’s my generation who will be left with the consequences of their inaction and incompetence. If we’re going have to deal with these problems, millennials need more seats at the table.

I’ve built a career finding solutions for businesses of all sizes. I’ve helped them become more energy efficient and helped retrain workers for the modern economy. We addressed these issues by finding common ground and building teams, not divisions. Those are lessons Congress should learn and ones that my generation needs to teach them.

Millennials have had to grow up fast. The country has been at war for more than half our lives. We came of age during the Great Recession and its wake. We’ve never enjoyed a sustained peace or a booming economy.

As a result, we’re careful stewards of money and hard workers because we’ve had to be. Many of us graduated from college with staggering debt and a lousy job market. We’ve worked multiple jobs to make ends meet. We hear jokes about my generation moving in with their parents, but most did it out of economic necessity, not irresponsibility.

Today, we’re ready to lead. I’m ready to lead. We want to tackle the tough problems that Congress won’t. We’ll make the hard decisions because we’ve been making them most of our lives. It’s time for new ideas and new approaches. Join me, and join us, in building the next generation of leaders.