FEDERAL RENT CONTROL
Over ⅓ of American households rent their homes. The 2008 crash devastated American workers in permanent ways;. Millennial home ownership rates are dismal, and housing insecurity/homelessness are on the rise. On any given night in the United States, there are more than half a million people sleeping on the streets, over 20,000 of them in Washington State alone. This is a crisis that will not be solved by providing tax breaks for developers. We tried that, and real estate investors made billions in profits while the crisis worsened. When their economic gambling led to a crash, they got bailed out, while we ended up in foreclosure or had our homes sold out from beneath us. The leading cause of homelessness today? Medical bankruptcy.
We need federal rent control, with zero exceptions, and 15 million new units of social housing, and we need to start now. Every winter that homelessness is allowed to continue in the US, people freeze to death in our streets. Real wages are flat for the working class, while rents in major cities climb at increasing rates. We cannot allow the people of our country to live paycheck-to-paycheck, one medical emergency from homelessness. That means wages need to be higher, but it also means that we must recognize a simple truth: basic human needs are human rights, and that includes a safe, warm home.
THE GREEN NEW DEAL
The climate crisis is the greatest engineering challenge in human history. We must transition our economy to emit zero carbon & actively sequester it in the next decade; this means becoming carbon-neutral by 2025. To do this, we will create millions of good-paying, union jobs overhauling transportation systems, rapidly replacing internal combustion vehicles with zero-carbon alternatives, rebuilding our energy grid, redesigning cities, and finding new ways to produce food.
We must pursue a bold, ecosocialist Green New Deal in the same way we deployed the Marshall Plan or competed in the Space Race: with grave urgency and unwavering focus. The only way to avert the global climate crisis is to lead the world toward a future worth building, and to do that we must lead by example. We have a tremendous amount of work to do to save our planet, and it’s time to start.
THE ROOTS OF RACISM
The working class is more diverse than America at large and every branch of our government. Racism has been embedded in the fabric of American society since before our nation was founded. The wealthy and powerful, nearly all of them white men, have maintained their positions of power by dividing us up using race, religion, and nationality. Our country remains segregated in education, policing, housing, healthcare, infrastructure, and environmental safety, despite decades of attempts to close the gap.
This is because racism is a system. Racism is enforced not just socially, but economically as well. The gap in quality of all these essential, basic social needs for communities of color has been reinforced and justified by a system that values profit over progress and money over human lives. Capitalism is the Atlantic slave trade. Capitalism is an entire continent stolen from Indigenous peoples. Anyone who is serious about addressing racism must both advocate for the end of our inhumane economic system, and for direct public investment in our nation’s historically marginalized communities.