Cyrus announces candidacy for U.S. Congress
Contact: Yale Wiesberg
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