Derek Kilmer is the head of the Wall Street-owned and operated New Dems, part of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. But Kilmer’s district– WA-06, the northwest corner of the state Tacoma north through Bremerton to Port Angeles to Neah Bay and down to Copalis Beach and Aberdeen– is nice and blue. Trump didn’t even manage to score 40% there. The PVI is D+6 but ProgressivePunch has rated Kilmer an “F” for his lifetime crucial vote score (70.14%), the worst voting record of any Democrat from Washington.
Rebecca is a Tacoma Area Disabilities Commissioner, tenants’ rights organizer, small business owner, and member of the Democratic Socialists of America. Parson has served as a human rights observer in Mexico and as an AmeriCorps volunteer. She also worked for several years with the International Association of Genocide Scholars and as a substitute teacher.
Her experiences have informed her strong commitment to human dignity, equal rights, and building a home for everyone– not just the wealthiest few.
Rebecca is the most recent Blue America-endorsed candidate and we hope you’ll take a look at her guest post below, at the video below, then contribute to her campaign by clicking on the 2020 congressional thermometer, above on the right.
Time For A Moral Economy
-by Rebecca Parson
Tacoma was recently declared the “hottest” housing market in America.
The hottest market for who?
Not for the two people who have died since being evicted from the Tiki Apartments in Tacoma, so a developer could renovate and raise rents.
Not for the senior who spent three days and three nights sleeping in her wheelchair in a bus station because she had nowhere else to go.
Not for the people who died of fentanyl overdoses in the parking lot outside a shelter.
Not for the Kenyan immigrant who died in a field last winter, alone and freezing in the snow.
The market is “hot” for developers and the wealthy. It’s deathly cold for the poor.
Yet the governmental response across my district, Washington’s 6th Congressional District, is to criminalize poverty and homelessness, enacting “sit-stand-lie” bans, tent bans, and constant sweeps of homeless encampments. It’s to give tax breaks to developers to build unaffordable housing. I’s to form commissions to study the data, look for market-based solutions to the problem, and “bring all stakeholders to the table.” (Interesting that they never seem to bring poor people to the table.)
Well, you know what? The market created the problem. The market will not solve it.
What we need is not more market-based, tiny, incremental “fixes” that take wealth from the public to line the pockets of developers and corporations.
What we need is a bold, comprehensive housing program that eradicates homelessness and guarantees housing as a human right.
That’s why in Congress I will fight for a Homes Guarantee that will:
- Enact national, universal rent control
- Build 12 million social housing units
- Reinvest in existing public housing
- Pay reparations for centuries of racist housing policies
- Protect renters and bank tenants
- End land/real estate speculation and de-commodify housing
- Further the Green New Deal through the construction of green homes
- Abolish private ownership of public housing
- Perform deep energy retrofits of all public housing units by 2030
- Create millions of new, living-wage, union jobs for green construction and retrofitting
Housing is for housing people, not creating profit. That’s what all these policies are about. They’re about telling people: you matter. You deserve a home.
They’re about creating a home for all of us– not just the wealthiest few. For that to happen, corporate rule of our housing market– in my district and across the nation– has to end. It’s time for public money to be used for the public good.
It’s time for a moral economy.
Thanks for always doing what you can to make a better world,
Howie, for the entire Blue America team