Aarika Rhodes, an elementary school teacher-turned congressional candidate, recently featured in the Bitcoin Day Sacramento 2023 event to discuss the impact of Bitcoin (BTC) in local politics.
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Rhodes highlighted the difficulty for grassroots candidates like herself to compete against established members of the US Congress.
Our campaign has officially adopted Lighting for campaign contributions.⚡️
This revolutionary technology creates accessibility and looks towards the future. I am excited to provide this option to our supporters across all 50 states. #Bitcoin
— Aarika for CA-32 (@AarikaRhodes) November 30, 2023
“If it wasn’t for Bitcoin and the Lightning Network, a grassroots campaign like ours wouldn’t have made it this far with the amount of cash on hand at this stage in the race, especially as a full-time elementary school teacher,” she explained. Speaking about her campaign specifically, Rhodes added:
“It [BTC] has made us viable in our effort to unseat at 20+ year incumbent.”
It was such a honor to speak at #Bitcoin Day to discuss campaign finance reform and the need for financial literacy to be taught in our schools. We also discussed the importance of reminding lawmakers that they’re public servants first.
— Aarika for CA-32 (@AarikaRhodes) February 19, 2023
Rhodes also believes that the role of local businesses in expediting BTC’s mainstream adoption is “a simple matter of economics.” By allowing small and medium businesses to accept BTC payments, the community refrains from making Bitcoin purchases elsewhere, and according to the congressional candidate, is a means to revitalize the local economies.
It’s ok to hold elected officials accountable. They should lead by example. If we’re really serious about making things better, integrity and accountability are important.
— Aarika for CA-32 (@AarikaRhodes) February 20, 2023
As a full-time elementary school teacher, Rhodes is a front-row witness to the financial and societal struggles faced by students, families and educators:
“As a teacher who lives paycheck to paycheck with no family money, I’m risking everything to unseat an incumbent who currently has a little less than $4 million cash on hand. We don’t need millions of dollars to win.”
Rhodes also highlighted a lack of understanding among politicians who currently oppose and fear Bitcoin adoption. “Those who are taking the time to learn, are starting to understand that it’s the future,” she added. Moreover, Rhodes believes that an integrated Bitcoin Lightning network could mitigate the cashflow shortage and market saturation faced at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Politicians who oppose Bitcoin are of the same brand as those who opposed the Internet. It’s also an indicator of where they’re getting their money.”
Rhodes further reiterated that the traditional system, coupled with the out-of-touch mindset of American politicians, is designed to keep people impoverished, concluding:
“I want us to remember who we work for: the American people. I’m committed to putting all good ideas on the table and risking everything to make a difference. I’m excited to see others doing the same.”
Just two days back, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) approved a ruling that bans senior officials at the Federal Reserve from purchasing and holding cryptocurrencies and other investments.
FOMC formally adopts comprehensive new rules for investment and trading activity: https://t.co/NOPJbWwCdn
— Federal Reserve (@federalreserve) February 18, 2023
As Cointelegraph reported, FOMC announced that, starting May 1, senior Federal Reserve officials above the age of 18 are “prohibited from purchasing individual stocks or sector funds; holding investments in individual bonds, agency securities, cryptocurrencies, commodities, or foreign currencies; entering into derivatives contracts; and engaging in short sales or purchasing securities on margin.”