am New York interviews Stephen Durham

am New York is handed out to subway riders across New York City.

Stephen Durham, 65, is running for president of the United States as a write-in candidate. Durham, who is on the Freedom Socialist ticket with vice-presidential candidate Christina Lopez, lives in Harlem with his wife,  gastroenterologist Susan Williams, and their two dogs.

What would you most like to see changed in NYC?
An effective, elected civilian review board for the NYPD. It really needs to be elected. The Federal Elections Commission shows 430 registered presidential candidates, but that includes primary contenders.

How many people like you are hoping to win as a write-in candidate?
I think there’s 82. The Freedom Socialist Party isn’t on the ballot anywhere. One of our issues is electoral reform and dismantling super PACs. Our slogan is “vote for
the greater good instead of the lesser evil.”

Would you make the federal government kick in more to our under-funded MTA to stop the fare hike?
Oh, the MTA would be FREE. We need higher subsidies for public transportation through the whole country! We’d get the money from corporations. After all, the main purpose of
public transit is moving people to and from work.

What else?
We want a not-forprofit economic system that meets the human needs of all and maintains the health of the planet — and free universal health care! You could do it if you stopped bailing out the banks for $4.5 trillion and giving them $16 trillion in no-interest loans. We’d dismantle the Pentagon, bring the troops home and give them jobs at union wages working on our infrastructure. The national minimum wage would be $20 an hour. But there would be tax credits for the mom and pops.

What scandal from your past will surface in the waning days of this vicious campaign?
No scandal! But I am a gay man married to a woman. We married in 1993 so I could get health care. No individual should have to marry to obtain the rights of a married person.

Originally published in am New York 
By Sheila Anne Feener, sheila.feeney@am-ny.com
November 5, 2012