WASHINGTON — Mark Charles, a tribal citizen of the Navajo Nation, announced he is running for president of the United States in 2020 on Tuesday, May 28, 2019.
A news release issued by his campaign says Charles’ campaign for the office of President of the United States as an Independent candidate is a historical moment for Native Americans and comes on the heels of two recent victories for Native Americans in the US Congress.
After the luanch of his campaign, Charles talked with Native News Online to discuss his candidacy. Here is his interview:
Mark Charles thinks it is time for America to have a national dialouge about race, gender and class.
Native News Online: Your announcement was a big hit on Native American media. What are your feelings as you move forward in your campaign?
Mark Charles: I have been very pleased with the way the announcement has been rolled out. It is how we envisioned it. I wanted to show honor and respect to Indigenous peoples. I wanted to bring it to the Native media first.
We would like mainstream news to run the announcement during this week.
I feel humbled by the response to the video.
Native News Online: Your announcement YouTube video placed a lot of emphasis on “We the People.” Beyond this announcement video, what are your three top campaign platform issues?
Mark Charles: One of the primary things is framed as an 18-month dialogue. The many problems facing this country are far too often simplified. I like to use the analogy for this nation is like a house with a broken foundation.
Today we have two political parties that want to debate about paint colors of the house when the problem is the foundation. At some point you have to go to the basement to really fix the problem. There is far too little bipartisanship to really fix what is wrong with this country.
As the journey continues, I plan to roll out policies ideas on immigration, climate change, gun control, as we teach the true history of this country.
My goal is to reframe the foundation of this country so we can actually solve the real problems.
Native News Online: Why are you running as in independent versus running as a Democrat or Republican?
Neither party is really concerned with solving the problem. Neither party is about fixing the foundation.
Native News Online: How many states will you attempt to visit during the next 18-months?
Mark Charles: My goal is visit all 50 states and our territories, such as Puerto Rico, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, as well as reservations in Indian Country. I want to visit the states with multiple reservations or numerous tribes.
I think anyone who wants to be president should be respectful to first visit Native nations of Turtle Island. I plan to go to the Navajo Nation to hold a campaign event.
Native News Online: How can people contribute to your campaign?
Mark Charles: They can contribute time or money. Volunteers are needed so that I can get the required number of signatures so that I can get on ballots in every state. Those interested in contributing money can go to Mark Charles 2020.
If you want to assist the Mark Charles campaign, here are the links:
Levi Rickert, a tribal citizen of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, is the publisher and editor of Native News Online. Previously, he served as editor of the Native News Network. He is a resident of Grand Rapids, Michigan.