National Candidate Category: House of Representatives
From his first job in church ministry to working for a presidential campaign; from serving in the White House to advocating for small businesses; from fighting for the American worker to running for Congress; Ammar puts service first. READ MORE
Other Campaign DetailsParty Affiliation : DemocratPrimary Election Date: 6/5/2018General Election Date: 11/6/2018Vetted By:
CFPEndorsed By: Justice Democrats
Jobs and Small Business
Among District 50’s top challenges are economic growth and income inequality. Instead of excessive government spending on corporate subsidies and tax cuts that aren’t reinvested in American workers, Congress should invest in millions of American workers to help working families punch their ticket to the middle class.
The unemployment rate of CA50 is 8 percent, over double the rate of San Diego county. 1 in 3 children in El Cajon are in poverty, and over 6,000 children go to bed hungry each night. I’ve seen firsthand how lives and families are hurt when we put special interests ahead of the American worker. I know that our rural and suburban communities need a seat at the table when it comes to new workforce programs. As congressman, I will be your voice. I will do everything I can to bring quality job opportunities to California’s 50th. READ MORE
Defend the American Dream
From fair wages to security, the fate of America's citizens and aspiring citizens are inextricably bound. Like all our communities, immigrants and refugees are overwhelmingly good-natured and well-intentioned people. And like all communities, they share our security concerns. In fact, as people fleeing persecution and crime in their countries of origin, refugees and immigrants come to the United States seeking security. That is why securing our country is important for both citizens and aspiring citizens.
As the son of an immigrant parent, I will always fight for the right of good people to experience the American dream.
I will recognize the balance we need to strike between securing our borders and welcoming the huddled masses who yearn to breathe free.
And I will support sensible immigration reform that lifts rather than depresses wages, protects all communities and creates a viable pathway to citizenship, rather than forcing people to permanently live in the shadows of the law.
COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
As congressman, I would urge the House to introduce a modified version of the Senate’s 2013 bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill known as the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act. The bill is more commonly known as the “Gang of Eight Bill,” and passed in the Senate 68-32 but was never introduced in the House.
While a comprehensive solution would be ideal, I would push for legislation that meets our immediate immigration needs. For example, I’d support a bill called the Uniting and Securing America (USA) Act. This bill, introduced by Republican Congressman Hurd and Democratic Congressman Aguilar, presents a bipartisan, workable DACA-border security solution. If elected, I’d urge my colleagues to break Washington gridlock and bring this bill to a vote.
Congress should prioritize a clean DREAM Act to protect America’s promising youth, the so-called 800,000 Dreamers. They’re our nation’s doctors, scientists, teachers, and serve in our military. These young people are our children's classmates, our next door neighbors, our colleagues and families. They’re Americans in every way, except on paper.
According to a study from the Center for American Progress, America would lose $433.4 billion over the next 10 years without Dreamers. The fate and future of these Dreamers and America’s economy are inextricably bound.
As congressman, I’ll do right by the American people, these aspiring Americans, and our economy. I’ll vote for a clean DREAM Act.
Regardless of whether you're Republican, Independent, or Democrat: I don’t care about your personal politics, I care about your personal health.
I once asked a single mother from my district what keeps her up at night. Her answer: “I’m an illness away from losing my home.” Nobody should ever have to choose between paying their mortgage and their medical bills. Your healthcare will be a top priority for me in Congress.
Medicare For All
I believe the best way to offer every American healthcare security, while lowering the costs of care, would be a health care program known as Medicare for All. It is the best way to advance our society toward health justice.
I’d proudly join those supporting H.R. 676. According to Physicians for a National Health Program, 95 percent of all households would save money under Medicare for All. No more co-pays and deductibles, more free choice of doctor and hospital, and doctors would regain autonomy over patient care. It’s a win-win for patients and doctors.
Today’s costs are unjustifiably high. Americans spent $3.4 trillion on healthcare last year. Prescription drug costs today are obscene and the same surgical procedure costs thousands of dollars more at a facility across town.
A Medicare for All system would set prices for medical services and prescription drugs. It could eliminate deductibles, co-pays, premiums and caps on cost-sharing. It could also promote better care, and reduce unnecessary services, through evidence-based guidelines. Removing private insurance industry profits from the system frees billions of dollars for providing healthcare to more Americans.
If elected to Congress, I would be proud to support Medicare for All.
Call me biased, but from Jamul to Temecula, CA50 has some of the most beautiful environmental landscapes the world over.
A friend of mine put it best:
"Now more than ever, it is important that we protect our natural habitats from desecration and pollution. Keeping our forests, drinking water, and skies pure is of vital importance. There is something entirely pristine about nature. When surrounded by wilderness, there is something especially pure and cleansing about the air you breathe and the sights you see."
Preserving that purity is important. This is not just because our environment is sacred, but also because pollution in our environment inevitably contaminates us and our bodies. When we drink polluted water, live near toxic sites, or inhale dirty, smog-filled air we contaminate our bodies with chemical impurities and pathogens.
Air pollution in many cities makes the once crisp, pure blue sky a foul gray. Chemical particles end up everywhere - in our food, on our skin, and inside our lungs. Dirty, polluted air enters our bodies and becomes a part of us. When we do not recycle, it leads to mountains of trash, reeking across our natural landscapes.
Billions of tons of garbage have to be put into landfills; many of which possess toxic chemicals which seep into our water supply, making even filtered water contaminated. Deforestation turns once pristine wilderness into barren, depleted fields.
We can take action now to protect our environment so that it is pure once again. Recycling, choosing to use energy efficient appliances and improving our public transportation can make a big difference. Reducing pollution can help us preserve what is pure and beautiful about the places we live. It should be everyone's goal to cleanse the environment, so our children and our children's children can experience the uncontaminated purity and value of nature.
What We Can Do Today
✅ Let’s make historic investments in private endeavors to transition to 100% renewable energy — that includes generating, storing, and transmitting.
✅ End fossil fuel subsidies and use part of the funds to help workers who rely on these traditional industries to transition into jobs that double their pay instead of halving their lifespan.
✅ Expedited transfer of high-level radioactive waste at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) to temporary, surface storage at Arizona's Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station.
✅ Promote legislation for Community Choice Energy.
✅ Repurposing of Department of Energy research from half measures like carbon capture, clean coal, hydrogen, and natural gas toward real renewables.
✅ Permanent moratorium on offshore drilling in federal waters.
“Self-government is the underpinning of our safety, prosperity and liberty, but from different causes and from different quarters much pains will be taken... to weaken in your minds the conviction of this truth” — George Washington’s farewell address.
Our country faces many threats. But the gravest danger to our democracy is when we, citizens, take our vote for granted.
Our voices must be heard and votes must be counted.
"The overflow of big money in politics drowns out the voices of everyday people. That is part of the conundrum in America: The more money you have the more speech you have. That leaves everyday people out of the equation” — Nina Turner
“It's an issue that Democrats and Republicans seem to come together on, the over-influence of money in politics and in power.” — Andrew Gillum
It’s time to get money out of politics and overturn Citizens United. From getting big money out of politics to the way we conduct elections, we have a system that gives inordinate influence to insiders, major corporations, and the politically connected. But that's not how democracy is supposed to work. I will fight for reforms that put people first.
We need to ask ourselves whether the Democratic Party should put the interests of superdelegates above those of the American voter. We need to explore ways to eliminate the influence of Super PACs on both sides of the aisle, whether through a constitutional amendment or by preventing out-of-district special interests from overwhelming our local election. And we should be discussing issues like term limits, so that we have more representatives and fewer career politicians.
We have a great nation. We need to protect it. And that starts with the people. That's why I will advocate for reforms that help raise the voices of each and every American citizen.
“I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses” — Karl T. Frederick, President of the NRA (1939).
First, there’s nothing wrong with owning a gun for personal safety or sport; what's wrong is having it fall into the wrong hands.
We need to have an honest conversation, we owe it to the children who’ve been taken from us. We need to de-politicize the issue, and focus on common sense, common values and the common good. We owe it to those children.
What I've learned from Veterans For Ammar CA 50 is that, contrary to common belief, the military is surprisingly progressive when it comes to universal healthcare (TRICARE), equal pay based on rank, and gun safety (background checks, extensive training, mental aptitude tests, safety protocol). Why not make these proven military approaches to healthcare, equal pay, AND thorough background checks universal for all?
The military model has proven that we can protect people and the Second Amendment at the same time. Don't let fear-mongering, lying lobbyists tell you otherwise.
If you’re pro-life, then consider the lives we could have and could still save by doing the following. Here are just some common sense, common values based solutions to combating gun violence:
✅ Lifting the NRA’s CDC ban on research around gun fatalities. If independent research shows that banning certain guns would prevent fatalities and serve the common good, then we should take urgent action.
✅ Addressing the mental health issues that could have prevented many of these tragedies. If reports on mental health problems received the same scrutiny as people who are felons, fugitives, and stalkers, we could have prevented many school shootings.
✅ Banning gun sales to those on the no-fly list.
✅ Banning bump-fire stock and conversion kits.
✅ The NRA used to support background checks in response to the Black Panthers. We should have mandatory universal background checks, including for guns sold on the internet, and transactions between private individuals.
More history: The NRA assisted Roosevelt in drafting the 1934 National Firearms Act and the 1938 Gun Control Act, the first federal gun control laws. These laws placed heavy taxes and regulation requirements on firearms that were associated with crime, such as machine guns, sawed-off shotguns and silencers. Gun sellers and owners were required to register with the federal government and felons were banned from owning weapons. Not only was the legislation unanimously upheld by the Supreme Court in 1939, but Karl T. Frederick, the president of the NRA, testified before Congress stating, “I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” Shocking, right?
✅ In 2015, a bipartisan bill was passed into law to increase mental health screening for new military recruits. The military has better background checks, mental health and training requirements for recruits than we do for civilian gun owners.
Congress needs to extend more of those kinds of measures to every gun purchaser. We need to learn from our military, and propose training and qualification for civilians before they’re given a gun.
Train and qualify civilian gun owners, through mandatory weapons safety courses and tactical range qualifications from certified organizations. The purchase and sale of ammunition and reload materials must require proof of classroom training and range qualification.
❌ Oppose rolling back restrictions and fees on silencers.
❌ Oppose the rollback of the previous administration’s directive allowing designated mental health providers to report names of mentally ill patients to the federal background check system.
Education was an empowering and challenging experience growing up. I'm a proud product of a good public education from San Diego State University where I earned two degrees. But my early childhood education was far from ideal, in fact it was a nightmare at times. Like many of us, I was born in San Diego to a working class family and missed out on preschool. I really struggled as a student during my childhood, but my family couldn't identify exactly why.
Growing up in a multi-faith family, I attended both Catholic and Islamic schools as a child. It was an enriching and disorienting experience, one that would later serve me as an adult to deepen my faith while respecting the history and contributions of other faiths.
I attended four years of Catholic school in Gaza, a war torn part of the world where classrooms became bomb shelters and electricity, water, and sometimes food was cut off. I consider myself one of the lucky ones; I was able to leave and live a full life in America. Even still the experience left me with a feeling of survivor's guilt. To this day I am haunted by the sense of responsibility to live for two: for myself, and for my Palestinian and Israeli peers whose time came to soon.
I came back to a relatively stable and normal life in San Diego for high school, and yet I still struggled. I remembered intentionally sitting at the back of my English class, looking at the clock and praying that the bell would ring before Mr. Olson called me to read the next paragraph from the Grapes of Wrath. I was a terribly slow reader, couldn't make out words, and didn't know why. It was humiliating. I had my theories: Maybe it was PTS, or all those years of having to read in English left to right and Arabic right to left got my wires mixed.
This challenge, my struggle with learning had nothing to do with my external environment but an internal process. I have dyslexia.
This struggle led me on a unique educational journey, one of self-pace, self-discovery and accomplishment. I believe education truly is the greatest equalizer and should be a lifelong pursuit. That's why as congressman, I will work tirelessly to ensure every student in California's 50th and beyond has a world class education within reach.