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Morgan Harper Wants Faster Paced Progressive Action in District 3

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Morgan Harper Wants Faster Paced Progressive Action in District 3Photo by Lauren Sega.
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There’s a new Democratic challenger in Ohio’s District 3, and she’s looking to bring a faster pace and more progressive policies to the seat now held by US Rep. Joyce Beatty.

In a recent interview with Columbus Underground, Morgan Harper detailed her policy platform, her campaign strategies, and her intent to plot a new course for working Ohioans, offering a look inside how a newcomer candidate might unseat a party favorite.

As laid out in her biography, Harper was adopted by a Columbus City Schools teacher and immigrant. She’s lived her life in Columbus, and she believes she can reach third district voters by injecting fresh ideas into public office.

“My roots are in the third district,” Harper says. “The people, institutions, communities in the third district. My mom worked at West High School, so I spent a lot of time on the West Side. I understand these communities, and feel like I can authentically try to represent them.”

Prior to running for office, Harper could be found at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, working alongside former gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray. There, she and another adviser had a wide portfolio tackling pay day lending, prepaid cards, mortgage payments and more. She says her time there acquainted her with the reach and abilities of the federal government to affect people’s everyday lives.

Harper says her platform speaks for itself, and differentiates her from fellow Democrat Joyce Beatty in its roots in progressivism.

“This is a platform built on what I recognize as the needs here: a district that has seen increasing housing costs, a district grappling with the effects of climate change — pollution, reliance on fossil fuels, asthma, an F-rating on air quality,” Harper says. “I think people want someone who has the experience at the federal level and is willing to be very bold and direct in addressing some of these issues.”

Harper’s other platform policies include universal child care and early learning, tuition free public college, a universal income, medicare for all, reparations for African-Americans, national rent stabilization policies, affordable housing, and a green new deal.

Upon entering office, Harper says she hopes to join a coalition of democrats fighting for these exact same policies. Locally and nationally, she’s been compared to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old U.S. Representative of New York who usurped incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley in 2018. Though she maintains that she’s trying to be “the best Morgan Harper I can be in the most impactful way possible,” she has gained support from the same organization that backed Ocasio-Cortez, Justice Democrats.

Similar to Ocasio-Cortez, Harper is running a grassroots campaign. She says her focus is on getting out the Democratic vote through outreach and bridging the gap between those who register and those who turn out.

“For far too long, we have accepted that the federal government works best through incremental change. But throughout the history of our country, it has always been bold and progressive actions that have had the most positive impact on our lives,” Harper says. “It is an honor to be endorsed by Justice Democrats and to stand alongside other grassroots candidates who understand the need for ideas and solutions that are as big as our challenges. The times demand it.”

For more information, visit morganharper.org.

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