Tuesday, August 7, 2018
A3PR Exclusive Interview With Kat Martin, Libertarian Candidate For Congress
by Adam Seaman
Over the coming weeks and months leading up to the 2018 mid-term elections in November I will be doing a series of interviews with third party candidates from several different parties. It is my sincere hope to highlight these candidates and parties and heighten awareness of them so that voters out there are aware of them and will hopefully consider voting for them. The first interview is with Kat Martin, Libertarian candidate for Colorado's congressional 6th District.
A3PR - The Libertarian Party has a long history of seeking the congressional seat your running for and 2016 was their best showing ever. How can you, Kat Martin, improve on it?
Kat Martin – I don't really expect to improve on our previous runs for this seat. I have made it my goal to try and get millennials to get involved and to also inform them that there are more options out there then just red and blue. I've been getting positive responses so far and also helped some register to vote.
A3PR - You stick up for men when it is not popular to do so in the age of political correctness, why?
Kat Martin – I have noticed that in this age of “political correctness” that men are being used as a scapegoat for a system that until a few decades ago worked against women. If we want true equality we need to recognize that we can't attack groups as a whole. I was raised by a single father and I had parents of friends that would not let them come over and play because it was a single man with his only daughter.
Statistically men are not succeding the same way that women do. They're less likely to get a college degree and twice as likely to commit suicide. I want to promote mental health and this section is vastly overlooked. Men are less likely to report sexual abuse as well. We need to fight for this portion of the population, especially in these times when everyone seems to be wanting to bring them down.
A3PR - Colorado's Marijuana legalization has, from outside point of views, been very successful. What are your thoughts on this? Has your district benefited from it and if not, how can you change that?
Kat Martin – I believe it has been successful. It's a great example that people don't want to feel like criminals to obtain their intoxicants.
I do believe that my district has benefited from the cannabis industry. We are replacing needed materials in schools, providing Narcan to local enforcement offices to help prevent overdose deaths, and other things that I believe we should have funding for and the cannabis industry is providing it.
A3PR - If elected, what sort of legislation would you propose to reform our prison system?
Kat Martin - I would fight to decriminalize of all victim-less crime to start. Prostitution, personal drug use, etc. I would then fight for legislation that would give relief to student debt loans for criminal defenders and psychological/medical students who volunteered to work in the prisons/jails to help the people who have committed actual crime.
I would also fight for legislation that would end minimum sentencing laws. I don't feel that they do what they were intended and that case by case is a better system. This would allow us to be able to release the people who have been reformed and give more resources to those who may have a mental health disorders and those who have behavioral issues.
A3PR - Opioid deaths are skyrocketing across the nation and many parents of children who have died from it are asking, what are you doing to stop this? (the question would be, what would you do to address what has happened to them)
Kat Martin – The opioid epidemic is heartbreaking. As a child of an addict I can empathize with their pain. My answer to this question is to at the very least decriminalize all illicit drugs.
If we look at Portugal, who decriminalized all drugs about a decade ago, this approach seems to work. Teen use has dropped over 50%. Opioid deaths dropped from 80 a year to 16 in 2012. HIV rates plummeted along with relapse rates. What this says to me is that if we treat this as a health issue and not a criminal one we may see a change for the better.
If the world just worked to my whim if I get elected I would legalize all drugs for recreational use. The biggest problem with heroin today is that dealers are putting Fentanyl in with the heroin and users are dying from the same amount that they are accustomed to using. If we legalized and regulated these drugs, people who are addicted or choose to use could safely use the same amount and know they are not going to die from what they're accustomed to.
A3PR - Where do you stand on the 2nd Amendment?
Kat Martin - I'm for it. It's an important part of our constitution that we need to ensure that we keep our individual freedoms. Many people I know are sick and tired of the divided politics of the day, how does the Libertarian Party say, "We are here, you do not have to vote for Democrats or Republicans"?
I have found that each Libertarian has their own way of saying “There are other options”. As I stated previously I am working to educate millennials that there are more than 2 options. My favorite ways to put it are “We want as little government as we can possibly get away with” and “We want the Democrats out of your wallet and the Republicans out of your bedroom”.
A3PR - Mental health is an issue all too ignored in this country and a source for a lot of terrible things that have happened. How can Kat Martin fix this?
Kat Martin – There is a large stigma against mental health in this country, which is understandable if you look at the history of psychology and mental health treatment. We haven't really understood mental health disorders until we developed imaging technology and there's still plenty that is shrouded in mystery.
I was diagnosed with PTSD in the 90's due to a sexual assault that happened when I was little. I am so thankful that my father had a healthy view of mental health and got me into talk therapy immediately. His mother, my grandmother, had a masters in psychology and I feel I was raised with a different view of mental health then my peers from the time I was in grade school.
I now deal with depression and anxiety from my childhood and, on the occasion, I go back into therapy if I feel they're getting worse, much like anyone would do with a chronic physical illness. I will always work to educate society about the importance of mental health and that asking for help is the strongest thing you can do if you're struggling. This is one of my main issues and I would love to see the stigma go away and understanding to take it's place.
A3PR - Your cat looks like a nice guy/lady but does he/she get into any mischief?
Kat Martin – His name is Goober so that should tell you something right there. He does get into mischief but it's never anything too ridiculous. The worst incident was when he took my skein of yarn when I was crocheting and ran all the way through the house with it and tried to hide it. The string went from my bedroom in the back all the way to behind his cat tree in the living room.
A3PR - What's next for Kat Martin?
Kat Martin – No events at this time.
"Thank you for the opportunity to get my views on the issues out there." Your very welcome Ms. Martin, thank you for the interview. You can visit her Facebook page to learn more about Kat and her views. Good luck in November!