Darrel Smith Jr.

Q: Of the Green Party's ten key values, please list the three you feel are the most important and what relevance they offer to Texas voters.
A: Grassroots Democracy- this is key to Texans taking back their government from the moneyed interests. Decentralization- Texans are always talking about "local control of schools", what better way to do that than to give power back to the people. Respect for Diversity- Texas is only getting bigger, population wise, which means it is only going to grow more diversity.


Q: Do you disagree with anything in the GPTX platform? If so, please explain why you disagree.
A: No, I do not disagree with anything in the GPTX platform.


Q: What is your experience with the consensus decision-making process?
A: Other than every day consensus building at work, not much.


Q: Do you believe Greens have relevance in the USA? Please list why you believe/don't believe a third party possesses relevance in the US electoral system.
A: I do. I believe that, slowly, the old two-party system in the United States is falling away. The internet has made information easier to get than ever and it really allows for the kind of communication between voters and elected officials and candidates that previously did not exist. I believe that as millennials and the generation after them age, you'll see a much bigger shift to people who really do believe in the values that the Greens bring to the table.


Q: Are you active with your county Green Party? Please list why if you are not. If you are active, please list your primary activities with your county party.
A: I have yet to make the jump to active party politics. I have wanted to for a long time, however, as a new father and soon to be husband, my time has been stretched. I understand that politics takes time away from other things in my life, and it is important, so I am going to be actively engaging in that in the near future.


Q: In your race, please list the top five talking points that you would cover in a debate with your opponents. With each talking point, please show how the Green Party's ten key values or platform would provide a solution.
A: 1) Grassroots Democracy- you can see it in the campaigns of several 2016 contenders now. People want authenticity; they do not want another candidate paid for by big business and billionaires. It is why Bernie Sanders and Ben Carson are doing so well, they are political outsiders (or in Sanders case, an outsider who became an insider but did not change his core values) and not beholden to the money and power of big businesses in the political arena. 2) Climate Change- Climate change is happening. There's no denying that. We have the science, we can see it happening in wild weather patterns. 3) Universal Health Care- While the Affordable Care Act was a good patch, we still need a system that works for everyone, not just those with money, or a patchwork of new rules that people can still slip through. 4) Renewable Energy- in Texas we have an abundance of wind farms in West Texas. But we need to do more. We have ample land and sun for new solar powered energy. And now just on a large scale. We should be doing more to make it easier for small scale wind, solar and geothermal to take place. We should be looking into all avenues for safe and renewable energy. 5) Raising the minimum wage- workers in this country, who work 40 hours a week, should not be living in poverty. I don't care if you're a fast food worker, an agriculture work in South Texas, or a forklift driver, you need to be able to earn a living wage. At a time with corporate profits are at or close to all-time highs, there is no reason to not support the people who work for you.


Q: List your constituency's characteristics and three ways you will reach out to them.
A: I imagine I could appeal to a diverse group including the young, the tech savvy and older Americans who are tired for the status quo. I would use 1) social media from a cost effective and "big soapbox" standpoint 2) traditional media if possible 3) reaching out to like-minded organizations and possibly forming alliances


Q: List your opponents, their strengths and weaknesses and what is needed to win against them.
A: It's going to depend on what office I seek, but, were I to take on say Joe Barton, the congressman in my district, I would highlight his big money and big energy ties, make it a point to show people that he does not have their best interests at heart but the interests of his big business donors. I would also show that as a career politician, he lives in a bubble. He has gotten away from his constituents and their problems and by doing that, he doesn't understand their needs. What is needed to win is a better message, and a better way to get our message out there. It needs to resonate with people.


Q: List the name of your treasurer and any other campaign workers you plan to have working with you.
A: At this point, I have no workers. I do have a deep group of friends I should be able to call on to help until we can get some sort of formal organization going.


Q: How do you plan to raise money for your campaign? How much money do you plan to fundraise? Please include a copy of your prospective budget(s).
A: I don't have a budget at this point. I would raise money online as well as through traditional methods. But I would also try and think outside of the box. You can't always beat Goliath with just a slingshot. Sometimes you have to be more creative. Jesse Ventura didn't have much money with his campaign and he become governor of Minnesota. I plan to fundraise as much as possible, but to also be smart about how I spend the money.


Q: Please provide a profile with background information that is not addressed by the above questions. Feel free to list alma mater, employment, family, hobbies, etc.
A: I graduated (after a long scholastic career of one or two classes a semester) in 2013 with a Bachelors Degree in Business Management from the University of Texas-Arlington. I've lived in Texas all my life. I play music, create art and focus on gardening and woodworking around my house. I am very big into DIY and Maker culture. I work full-time at Uline Shipping Supplies. I am going to be married on Jan. 8, 2015. My fiancée and I have a 17 month old daughter and she has a 9 year old daughter from a previous relationship. We bought our fixer upper home in March of 2015 and currently reside in Central Arlington.

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