This morning San Fernando Valley’s progressive congressional candidate, Shervin Aazami, released a new announcement video (above), following up on his new campaign website. I was impressed hearing him explain how on “January 6, a violent mob of white supremacists stormed the Capitol as if it was theirs for the taking. The insurrectionists waved the flag of slavery and treason, erected gallows… as they desecrated Congress and shamelessly claimed that they were the persecuted ones… We live in two Americas– one that envisions a proudly multi-racial, progressive and equitable democracy and the other that maintains its grip on power through hate and propaganda.”
I asked Shervin to go a little further into tying the thoughts in this video into his own campaign. Please read the guest post below and you’ll see why Blue America has endorsed him against middle-of-the road corporate careerist Brad Sherman.
Please consider helping him get his campaign off the ground by contributing, something you can do by clicking on the Blue America 2020 congressional thermometer on the right.
Electing and reelecting pointless establishment Democrats beholden to the same corrupting corporate interests Republicans are beholden to will get us nowhere as a society and will never make this a more equitable country. These donors pay off corrupted Congress members like Sherman to make sure that needle never moves much.
A Democracy Of The Working Class
-by Shervin Aazami
Inevitably, crises expose injustices. Crises also worsen injustices. The COVID-19 pandemic should be a crisis of conscience for our elected officials for their failures to pass structural reforms that abolish economic and racial injustices– injustices which have always existed in America, and have been laid bare by the devastation reaped by this pandemic. Hospitalization rates among Indigenous, Black, and Latinx people are 4x, 3.7x, and 4.1x, respectively, higher than for White people. Death rates are 2.2x, 2.3x, and 2.5x, respectively, higher than White Americans. Nearly 1 in 5 renters nationwide do not have enough savings to keep a roof over their heads, and are up to $6,000 behind on rent and utility payments. But among Black renters, it’s 30%; and among Latinx renters, it’s 24%. Roughly a quarter of Black households have experienced food insecurity as a result of job and wage losses during the pandemic, compared to 10% of White households. In Los Angeles, Black Americans are under 8% of the population, but represent 34% of our unhoused. COVID-19 death rates in our city are 1.6 times higher for Black Angelenos, and 2.7 times higher for Latinx Angelenos.
Crises expose economic and racial injustices. Millions have lost their jobs, their wages, and their healthcare coverage in 2020– the same year we minted 56 new billionaires. American billionaires increased their wealth by a whopping $931 billion in 2020– billions larger than the stimulus package Congress passed in December, which outlined a disgracefully paltry $600 direct payment to struggling Americans. In Black and Brown communities, we divested from housing, education, healthcare, and job creation, and invested in state-sponsored militarism, incarceration, and police terror. Meanwhile, we have showered deregulation, tax cuts, and government bailouts on the wealthy and on corporations.
Joe Biden may be President, but these problems have not disappeared, nor have they diminished. We are at a political crossroads in America. Dismantling white supremacy requires abolishing corporate welfare– for they work hand in glove. We need fresh, bold leadership in Congress that will advocate everyday for the structural reforms that uplift and empower the working class. Thousands of gig workers losing their jobs for attempting to unionize and fight for basic protections during a raging pandemic should be a clarion call for a new economic system that bails out workers, not corporations. Millions of people losing their employer-based healthcare coverage should be a clarion call for the necessity of a single-payer healthcare system under Medicare for All, and billions towards rebuilding our public health infrastructure. Millions of people losing their wages and their jobs should be a clarion call to guarantee housing for all, and enact a transformative Green New Deal that provides a federal jobs guarantee, strengthens workers’ rights, and ensures a living wage. Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants and incarcerated Americans– 1 in 5 of whom have been diagnosed with COVID-19– facing state-sponsored police brutality, neglect, and pain should be a clarion call for abolition of carceral punishment, and investment in healing, and community-based restorative justice.
The era of small ideas is over. The era of incremental change is over. We either fight to pass institutional change to our systems of government, or we’ve failed to rise to the gravity of this crisis. This is our moment– together as a movement– to establish a democracy of the working class.