Candidate Name: Kojo Asamoa-Caesar
Candidate’s Preferred Pronouns
What office are you running for?
US House of Representatives, OK’s 1st District
With which party are you running for office?
November 3, 2020
Why are you running for office?
In my career as an educator, nonprofit leader, and community-builder, I have seen how so many of our neighbors are cut off from opportunity, from well-being, from justice. I am running to champion solutions that meet the urgency of our problems.
What is the biggest issue facing your community and how do you propose helping?
Oklahoma is currently facing crises in education, housing, healthcare, and criminal justice, and many of these issues are exacerbated by a Republican-controlled state government that blocks process on the local level while also refusing federal assistance. One reason I am running for the US House is to go above the heads of a state government that is hostile to the people of Oklahoma and fight for nation-wide change at the federal level.
How do we fix the partisan divide in our country and start working together again?
We often think of the most significant divide in America as being between Democrats and Republicans, but potentially even more significant is the divide between voters and non-voters. Time and time again, polling shows the American people overwhelming support what we think of as Democratic or progressive policies – universal healthcare, a woman’s right to choose, and an end to mass incarceration and the failed War on Drugs, just to name a few. So when we talk about getting to work to address the real issues, it isn’t necessarily about persuading a group of voters who disagree, its about engaging a group of potential voters who agree with the policies but for any number of reasons have not been brought into the process.
Who is your hero?
My hero is Nelson Mandela. He was a selfless leader who was willing to sacrifice his freedom and even his life in pursuit of his ideals of equality, freedom and justice for all. He spent 27 years in prison for protesting against a racist and oppressive government, and yet he did not become bitter. When he was released and became his country’s first black president, he preached a message of forgiveness, truth and reconciliation. He was the embodiment of servant leadership, integrity and character. I aspire to be that kind of leader.
What are your hobbies?
My hobbies are reading, spending time with my wife and our dogs, binge watching Netflix series, and playing basketball and golf.
What is the most recent book you read?
I am currently reading a book called The Laws of Human Nature by Robert Greene. I believe the best leaders understand human beings, most of all themselves, and always strive to be better and help others to be better, and so I enjoy books that help me gain more self-awareness as well as help me reflect on how to influence others and change hearts and minds in service to positive change.
Do you have any kids/pets/talking houseplants?
My wife, Onikah, and I are expecting our daughter (and first child), Hadassah, in April. We also have two rescue dogs named Simba and Zazu.
How can our readers get involved in your campaign?
Please sign up to volunteer at kojoforcongress.com/volunteer, contribute at kojoforcongress.com/donate, and follow @kojoforcongress on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok.
What question do you wish we’d asked, and what is your answer?
Who is the most important person in your life?
And my answer would’ve been my wife, Onikah. Being married to her for the past 3 and a half years has transformed my life. I truly believe the most important decision I’ve made in my life was deciding to marry her. She makes me a better man and inspires me to continue to grow. Loving someone deeply forces you to confront yourself and your shortcomings and be willing to be vulnerable and all this makes you a better person. Also, when you are able to honor the commitment you’ve made to this one person, it sets the stage for you to honor your commitments to others.
Post created from answers submitted by candidate to our Meet the Candidate survey.
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