I'm Mike Scala, and I'm running for Congress because I believe we need stronger leaders fighting for everyday Americans. I support President Obama and recognize that he needs more support from his own party. When Republicans are unwilling to budge, we as Democrats cannot come to the table with compromised positions. I believe in compromise, but not for its own sake. I believe in compromise, but not when the other side gets everything they want and the American public suffers. There’s too much at stake. We deserve better from our legislators. We deserve representatives with the passion and conviction of our counterparts, but whose ideals are more in line with our needs.
I was born and raised in Rosedale, Queens, where I lived most of my life. I attended PS 195, and received my First Communion at St. Pius X Church. I’m proud to call myself a product of Queens public schools. While riding the dollar van to school, I fell in love with Hip Hop and eventually began recording music. That journey took me around the country, where I witnessed how the power of words can bring people together. One of my projects was released by Rawkus Records, the label that also released classics like Mos Def’s Black on Both Sides and the Lyricist Lounge series.
Neither of my parents went to college. My mother was a secretary who worked hard to obtain her insurance license. My father was an actor in Martin Scorsese’s first movie, Who’s That Knocking at My Door. Though he was a good man, he made some bad decisions and ultimately passed away from Hepatitis C. For much of my childhood, I lived in a single-parent home. I was determined to make a better way for myself, and I enrolled in what’s now the Polytechnic Institute of New York University. I graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.
After doing some freelance work, I joined the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (NHPCO) in Alexandria, Virginia. NHPCO is the largest nonprofit membership organization representing hospice and palliative care programs and professionals in the United States. It advocates for patients’ rights at the end of their lives. Aside from handling Web duties, I edited and published the organization’s weekly newsletter to its members. I additionally worked with the Foundation for Hospices in Sub-Sarahan Africa (FHSSA), which promotes comprehensive care in 15 African countries.
While in Virginia, I volunteered for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Our efforts included helping college students vote early in the week before the election via in-person absentee ballot. Thanks in part to these efforts, that state voted for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1964. Inspired by the campaign, I took the LSAT and was admitted to Brooklyn Law School. I have completed my final year of study for a Juris Doctor degree. During school I worked for the legal department of New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), where I helped defend teachers facing discrimination. Most recently I founded the Solid Ground movement, which demands that government focus on the needs of everyday Americans. It has already received support from people throughout the country.
I hope to represent my home district of the 5th and make the community proud as a member of the United States Congress.