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Cyrus announces candidacy for U.S. Congress


Contact: Yale Wiesberg
Campaign Manager
Tel: 301/670-0720

December 22, 1999, Rockville, MD -- Cyrus Homayounpour, a longtime County resident, active in New Democrats of Montgomery County and the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC), has announced his run for Congress to challenge Republican Congresswoman Connie Morella in the 8th Congressional District.

Espousing the centrist New Democratic platform, Cyrus' three basic campaign principles comprise Opportunity, Responsibility and Community. "I believe in opportunity for all and special privilege for none; an ethic of mutual responsibility where rights come with responsibilities; and an understanding that it all comes together in a community where values shared by most Americans are respected: work, family, education, individual liberty, and faith," says the candidate.

He adds, "A crucial question facing individual citizens and the nation at large is how the surplus pie will be divided and what areas will receive priority in terms of funding in the next ten years. Assuming the amount of the surplus to be approximately $3 trillion, two-thirds or $2 trillion will go to Social Security and Medicare, leaving about $1 trillion for discretionary spending. Career politicians sometimes forget to point out this two-thirds, one-third division."

Based on the above principles and surplus realities, Cyrus will focus his efforts on four policy areas: education reform, healthcare reform, Social Security reform and tax reform.

* On education, Cyrus supports the "Three R's" initiative proposed by Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut which moves beyond the conventional left-right debate and its false choice between more federal spending and more local control, and advocates adding a third component: high standards and real accountability for results. Cyrus believes Senator Lieberman's character, philosophy and legislative record make him a role model for the modern legislator.

* On healthcare, Cyrus proposes adopting a "Patients' Bill of Rights" that would emphasize quality of healthcare (competency of providers, customer service and health outcomes), give patients the right to sue their HMO's if critical care is denied solely based on cost, and establish "healthmarts" (cooperative supermarkets for buying health insurance) that would increase choice and access.

* To Cyrus, Social Security reform means "keeping the Social Security Trust Fund healthy so that it will not dry up in twenty, thirty or fifty years- or ever!" To achieve this goal, he believes in putting a stop to the siphoning off of the Social Security surplus by Congress that goes on even today. He notes, "We must keep the economy healthy and growing so contributions to the Fund keep increasing." Cyrus plans to fight against the scare tactics of career politicians who suggest raising the eligibility age or the Social Security tax rate or both.

* Cyrus' Tax reform plan has two main components: a set of targeted tax cuts to return part of the surplus to the people, and a tax simplification plan where every section of the Internal Revenue Code is simplified over 5 years. Chief among these targeted tax cuts will be an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit to help the working poor and the millions of Americans who have left the welfare rolls for the job market.

Cyrus will be a leader and an advocate for Federal Government employees and their rights, making the passage of the increase in thrift savings plan contributions for CSRS employees, which Mrs. Morella cannot even get passed in the Republican controlled Congress, a priority of his. He will also work to close the 'locality pay' gap which leads to a 'brain-drain' of experienced government workers.

On foreign policy, Cyrus ranks the Middle East peace process and our commitment to Israel's security and wellbeing as the number one priority, and believes in the continued U.S. involvement in the process until a comprehensive peace agreement is signed between Israel and all her neighbors.

For the past 14 years, Cyrus has been on the staff of University Continuing Education Association in Washington, DC. He currently serves as UCEA Director of Membership and International Relations. UCEA is a non-profit, higher education association that promotes excellence in the programs of accredited colleges and universities that serve the needs of some 6.5 million adult, part-time students. During his tenure at UCEA, Cyrus has gained valuable experience and insight into the nation's educational system.

He has been instrumental in the Association's growth in many areas such as customer service, product and service development, project and financial management, and international relations. Prior to joining UCEA, Cyrus worked in the private sector as controller for a retail corporation with branches in 5 states.

Cyrus and his wife Shohreh have been married for 26 years and have lived in Montgomery County for 23 of those years. Their daughter, Neda, is a graduate of Richard Montgomery High School.

Cyrus holds an M.A. in International Relations from Georgetown University and an M.A. in Area Studies (Near & Middle East) from the University of London.


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