All posts by Anthony Woods for Congress

CA 10: National Service to College, Sign the Petition

The road to lasting security and economic prosperity runs through America’s universities, state colleges, community colleges and technical training schools.

Yet for an increasing number of Americans, the dream of the quality education they need to compete in the global economy of the 21st Century is out of reach.

That’s why I am asking you to help me remove barriers to college right now by signing the Service to College petition.

For decades, politicians have used cuts to public schools and financial aid programs, as well as tuition hikes at universities as a means for closing state budget gaps.

We now know that these short-sighted decisions have come at an immense long-term cost to America’s economy, the competitiveness of our workforce and our security.  

But together, we can reverse these wrong-headed policies- starting with stable and adequate funding at the K-12 level, rolling back recent tuition increases, and by rewarding national service with a year of college tuition for every year served in the military, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps or other recognized full-time service programs.

Growing up in Fairfield, California as the son of a single mother, my family couldn’t afford health care, much less think about college tuition.

But I was lucky. I was accepted to West Point, where I received an excellent four-year college education our family would never have been able to afford alone. I went on to serve my country, including two tours of duty in Iraq.

This kind of college for service should be available to more Americans. It is a win/win bargain that will make our country stronger right now as we harness the public service spirit of a new generation and it will make our country richer in the long-run as we train more Americans for the high-skill and high-wage jobs that will keep us economically competitive.

I have been honored to serve not just in Iraq – but to work as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity rebuilding homes in New Orleans after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. I’ve seen first hand the tremendous energy and effectiveness of Americans serving other Americans. It does more than transform once-devastated communities; it helps transform the people performing the service. This kind of community engagement helps build a model of citizenship and life-long service that is America at its best.

History has always been my passion. At West Point, and later at the Kennedy School of Government, we frequently talked about the sacrifices of the “Greatest Generation” that protected our nation in WWII.

It is a deserved title for these Americans, because they did more than serve our country in the military. They came home and used the GI Bill to help unlock nearly 25 years of economic growth and prosperity. They opened the door to opportunity for tens of millions of Americans. And they served, and continue to serve, their communities at home.

As a member of what’s being called the Millennial Generation, the largest generation in our nation’s history, I want plans like Service to College to unlock a new and great wave of service. I hope you will help me make this Service to College plan a reality.

If you agree that we need to break down the barriers to college by promoting national service, please sign our petition today.

And I hope you will learn more about me and my campaign for Congress in the California’s 10th Congressional district by visiting my website, or joining more than 3,000 supporters at Facebook or


Thanks for all you do,

Anthony Woods

Democrat for Congress, CA 10

CLICK HERE to Contribute to our Campaign

CA 10: Memorial Day and “The Ultimate Sacrifice”

(Some thoughts for Memorial Day from CA-10 Candidate Anthony Woods… – promoted by Brian Leubitz)

Woods1The willingness to make the “ultimate sacrifice” in defense of our country stands as the enduring value which binds every active duty serviceman, servicewoman, and every veteran of the United States military.

Each Memorial Day we are reminded—and rightly so—of the courageous Americans who have given their lives in defense of our nation–between 1 million and 1.3 million since the American Revolution, depending on whose numbers you read.

Indeed the willingness to make that sacrifice is the pre-requisite-along with adherence to a strict code of conduct and respect for the chain of command—to joining an impenetrable fellowship as diverse as the nation every veteran has pledged their lives to defending.

As the son of a veteran, a West Point Graduate and Iraq War Veteran, Memorial Day will always be a day of gratitude, of solemn reflection, and remembrance for me.  

Gratitude for the courage and untiring loyalty of the 81 soldiers I was proud to command during my two combat tours in Iraq.  And a special appreciation for the fact that I was able to bring every one of them home alive.

Solemn reflection upon the near misses that are impossible to forget–like the roadside bomb attack 4 members of my unit narrowly survived during my first tour, the intensity of urban combat in Tal Afar, and the carnage of suicide bomb attacks on civilians in Baghdad.  

And remembrance of the friends I came to know at West Point, during officer training, or on the sands of Iraq—those who made the “ultimate sacrifice,” the families they left behind, and those who may have left Iraq, but are still a long way from really “coming home.”

At parades and ceremonies across our country this weekend, we will read names, recite stories of battlefield heroism, and recommit ourselves to the cause of keeping our nation’s promise to honor and care for all veterans, past, present and future.  And we must.

If we watch and listen closely this weekend, we’ll see that the capability to serve, and the willingness to make the “ultimate sacrifice” for America is not limited by era, branch, rank, age, gender, or the popularity of the mission they were called to serve.  The reading of the names of the fallen will make no mention of race, ethnicity, marital status, the number of children left behind, religion, political affiliation, or sexual orientation.

And why?

Because what matters in defending America has never been our differences, but the common cause, common values, common bonds and the shared sacrifices that unite all who serve.

That said, and in light of ongoing policy debates about who gets to serve in our military, it is important to remember, that among those who have given their lives for America, and among those who have stepped forward with a willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice in defending America today, are large numbers of every conceivable demographic group…

…including members of the LGBT community.

For example, the Urban Institute estimates that of the 27.5 million living American Veterans, about 3%, or 1 million, are gay or lesbian.  

If we apply this trend over history, that means that at least 35,000 of the 1-1.3 million Americans that have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our country since the American Revolution were gay or lesbian.  That’s more than the total number of Americans Killed in Action during Iraq, Afghanistan, Desert Storm, Pearl Harbor, the War of 1812 and the American Revolution COMBINED.

Military leaders have reported that approximately 65,000 members of the LGBT community are currently serving in the Armed Forces —substantially more than the total number of U.S. troops currently fighting Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.  

And every day, at great cost, two more servicemen and women who have volunteered to give their lives if necessary in defense of our country are forcibly discharged for reasons with no relation whatsoever to their capacity to fight for the freedom of others.

I would know.  I was one of them.

So as we honor our fallen heroes this weekend, and recommit ourselves to all who wear the proud uniform of our nation, I hope we can remember that for more than two centuries, protection of the land of the free has never been the responsibility of a narrow ideology, or a singular demographic—but by the willingness of brave Americans, from every walk of life, to step forward and if necessary, to make “the ultimate sacrifice.”

May God protect every single one of our troops.

Anthony Woods

Democrat for Congress, CA 10

Visit my Website

Contribute to our Campaign

Join our Facebook Page

Follow Us on Twitter

CA 10–Sign the Petition-“No on Props 1A-1F” on May 19th

If there’s one thing I learned from my leadership training at West Point and my service in Iraq, it’s that you can’t hide from your problems. Challenges must be met head-on -and with a true understanding of the costs and the consequences of your actions.

It is precisely this lesson that informs my decision to implore my friends, family, supporters and all Californians to vote NO on Propositions 1A-1F.

Make Your Voice Heard–Sign Our Petition

California’s budget is a mess – year in and year out, our leaders in Sacramento have been unable to pass a balanced budget on time. Because of it, our state is being bankrupted, teachers are being laid off and funds are being taken away from our kids and our most vulnerable, including returning veterans.

We don’t need more stopgap measures and backroom political deals to solve this problem – real budget reform will require a comprehensive approach and a wide-ranging set of real, substantive solutions to set us back on the right course.

Right now special interests like Chevron, and other corporations that benefit from the midnight deals cut in Sacramento, are spending millions of dollars on slick media campaigns in a desperate attempt to scare voters into accepting a bad solution.

It’s up to us to remind the Sacramento politicians that they work for us.

That’s why I have set up a people’s petition on my web site, opposing each of these flawed measures and calling on our state’s elected leaders to get back to work and create a real budget solution based on sound principles, not backroom politics.


Propositions 1A-1F won’t solve California’s problems because they don’t address the most fundamental problems with our state budget-a broken process, a failure to set clear priorities, and retreating from tough choices.  At best, they are temporary fixes – classic “Sacramento Solutions,” crafted in the middle of the night for political purposes.

Now, the same Sacramento politicians that created this mess are “spinning” their backroom deals as real solutions that will help solve our budget crisis and protect our most important services.

In Sacramento, political “spin” is just about all we see these days. Propositions 1A-1F are a classic example of politicians calling what is clearly a defeat, a victory.  

On the battlefield there is no “spin.” You are successful or you are defeated. And the consequences of defeat are very real.

If eight years of George Bush, a global financial meltdown, a worsening healthcare crisis, and $4.00/gallon gasoline have taught us anything, it’s that the longer we wait to address our problems head on, the more expensive and more complicated those problems become.  

California truly can’t afford more temporary political fixes and we surely can’t hide from our problems.

I hope you’ll join me in voting NO on Propositions 1A-1F – and I hope you’ll work with me in demanding California’s elected leaders get back to work, and craft real, lasting solutions to California’s budget crisis.

Anthony Woods

Democrat for Congress, CA 10

Visit our Website

Join our Facebook Page

Make a Contribution

CA 10: Summoning The Courage of Our Convictions

All my life, I’ve heard politicians in Sacramento and Washington promise to change the way they do business, and to take action to solve our most pressing problems.

When I was born almost thirty years ago, millions of Americans lacked access to health insurance, millions of families couldn’t afford to send their kids to college, and the scourge of discrimination kept even more Americans from realizing their dreams.

Thirty years ago, tens of thousands of veterans who answered their country’s call in Vietnam were already calling the streets their home, and thousands more would soon follow.

Thirty years ago, the United States was coming out of an unprecedented energy crisis, vowing to change the way we powered our nation.

And thirty years later, despite year after year of politicians promising change, these problems haven’t just gone unsolved–just about all of them have gotten worse.

For me, like most Americans who live and work far from the halls of government, these are not issues that live in the political abstract or as talking points used to sell hastily crafted budgets.  They’re very real, very consequential, and very personal.

As the son of a single mother from Fairfield, I’ve lived the fight for a quality education (earning a Congressional Appointment to West Point), while facing the uncertainty of being without health insurance for most of my life.  I served two tours as a combat platoon leader in Iraq, led recovery missions to help rebuild the lives of fellow citizens abandoned by their government in New Orleans and challenged the military’s failed “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” policy here at home-even when it meant my career.  

Ultimately, I’ve seen too many Americans pay a big price for the convenient choices of politicians.   And I believe the only way to break this vicious cycle is to elect leaders who are willing to make the courageous ones.    

That’s why I have come home to begin the process of forming a campaign to become the next Congressman from California’s 10th Congressional District.

In the weeks and months to come, I am looking forward to sharing my values, my vision, and my priorities for moving our district, our country, and our politics in a new direction.

And while standing up to an unjust policy cost me my dream of serving the country I love in the military just six months ago, that experience has only strengthened my resolve to fight for the solutions we all deserve—and with the real world sense of urgency that is too often missing from public debate on issues like universal healthcare, expanding economic opportunity, keeping faith with America’s veterans, and eliminating the cancer of inequality from the world’s greatest democracy once and for all.

I consider myself a proud member of the “Millenial Generation,” and though some will call me young, I have spent more time on the front lines of battles than most politicians do in a lifetime.  

Like the “Greatest Generation’s” battles against economic depression, segregation, and World War, the Millenial Generation also finds itself at the crossroads of history.  

I believe that we too have greatness within our grasp.  But to seize it, we must be willing to forego the convenient politics of the past, to hold one another accountable for the difficult choices that lie ahead, and most importantly, to summon the courage of our convictions.

Together, I know we can.

Anthony Woods

Visit My Website

Visit My Facebook Page

Help Jumpstart our Campaign via ActBlue