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Michael Hepburn

U.S. Congress District 27

https://www.michaelhepburn.com

Political newcomer, but founded the Allapattah Neighborhood Association and volunteers as a "citizen on patrol" with the City of Miami police department.

This post is part of our voter guide for the Aug. 28 local and primary elections. Head to the main landing page for a guide to the key races and decisions being made this election.

Last year, Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen announced she wouldn’t run for re-election in the 27th congressional district, opening up the seat for the first time since 1989.

Based on the questions you said you had for the candidates, we recapped their stances on the following issues: guns, immigration, climate change and the environment, and criminal justice. The winners of the Republican and Democratic primaries for this seat will face off in the November general election.

Michael Hepburn hasn’t held any prominent local, state, or national political positions, but he he sells himself as someone who can “take back Congress” for the people and says he’s “not the manufactured candidate who normally gets recruited.” The young Bahamian African-American candidate worked in the private and higher education sectors, and been an active community member in Miami for years. He co-founded the Allapattah Neighbors Association and volunteers as a “citizen on patrol” with the City of Miami police department.

Editor’s note: This profile was updated after publication to remove outdated professional information.

Guns

NRA grade: F

Hepburn wants to ban assault weapons, increase taxes on ammunition “by 10,000 percent,” require universial background checks, raise the age to buy a gun to 21, close loopholes in the background check system, implement “extreme risk protection order” laws (aka laws that will allow police to temporarily seize guns from a gun owner deemed to be a risk by a court), allow federal agencies to research gun violence as a public health issue, require that lost and stolen firearms by reported and ban politicians from taking money from gun manufacturers and lobbyists tied to the industry.

Immigration

Hepburn wants to create a “swift and secure roadmap to citizenship” for undocumented immigrants. He also supports providing a safer way to reach the United States in order to undercut illicit trafficking of people and narcotics.

On ICE: Hepburn wants to abolish ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

Environment

Hepburn calls for protection of and support for funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, a 40 percent cut in U.S. carbon pollution in the next 15 years, a push toward a clean energy system, and mitigation and adaptation initiatives for sea level rise. However, he does not lay out any clear policies or proposals for doing so.

Criminal justice issues

Hepburn called for an end to private prisons, the demilitarization of police, the promotion of community policing, an end to zero-tolerance policies in schools (a component of the school-to-prison pipeline), sentencing reform (including the elimination of mandatory minimum sentences), and decriminalization of marijuana.