fresh voices from the front lines of change








Linda Armitage

What A Homes Guarantee Means To Me

I lost everything during the financial crisis. The government decided that the perpetrators of the crisis were “too big to fail” and bailed them out with our money. I was not bailed out. Today, a decade after the crisis, I’m part of a grassroots-led effort to ensure every person in the United States has safe, accessible, sustainable, and permanently affordable housing. I don’t want anyone to have to go through what I’ve gone through. Our vision for a Homes Guarantee is simple: in the wealthiest country in world’s history, we can and we must guarantee that everyone has a home. Fully realized, our proposal will guarantee homes for all. Rents will be set based on our needs and real costs to local government, rather than speculative market prices. Land will be stewarded by and on behalf of everyday people like me instead of developers and landlords out to make the biggest profit. Our vision for a Homes Guarantee is radical. It is also necessary. I can’t wait anymore—and neither can my neighbors.

Linda Armitage is a board member of the Jane Addams Senior Caucus in Chicago. She is one of the People's Action grassroots leaders who will ask questions of presidential candidates at the People's Presidential Forum in Des Moines this Saturday, September 21 from noon to 5 p.m. CST. Click here to watch our free livestream.

Real Estate Matters More Than Homeless, Trump Says

Trump Condemned After Showing More Concern for Real Estate Than Human Beings in Remarks on Homelessness. Common Dreams: "President Donald Trump on Tuesday complained that California's homelessness crisis is harming the "prestige" of major cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, remarks that housing advocates said displayed more sympathy for wealthy real estate investors and property than the human beings suffering from soaring rent and lack of affordable homes. Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One while on his way to Silicon Valley for a two-day California trip, Trump said homeless people are living in 'our best highways, our best streets, our best entrances to buildings.' 'People in those buildings pay tremendous taxes, where they went to those locations because of the prestige," the president said. 'In many cases they came from other countries and they moved to Los Angeles or they moved to San Francisco because of the prestige of the city, and all of a sudden they have tents,' Trump continued. "Hundreds and hundreds of tents and people living at the entrance to their office building. And they want to leave. And the people of San Francisco are fed up, and the people of Los Angeles are fed up. And we're looking at it, and we'll be doing something about it.'"

GM Cuts Health Benefits For Striking Workers

Outrage as General Motors Cuts Off Healthcare for 50,000 Striking Workers. Common Dreams: "In a move critics said exposes both the particular cruelty of General Motors executives and the systemic inhumanity of the American healthcare system, GM on Tuesday stopped covering health insurance premiums for the nearly 50,000 auto workers striking for fair wages and decent benefits. The move shifts healthcare costs to the United Auto Workers (UAW), which will be forced to reach into its strike fund to pay the bills. As HuffPost reported, UAW negotiators on Monday sought to confirm with GM that workers' benefits would be covered through the end of the month. Hours later, GM said the benefits have been terminated. 'GM's decision to yank healthcare coverage away from their dedicated employees with no warning is heartless and unconscionable,' said Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). 'GM's actions could put people's lives at risk, from the factory worker who needs treatment for their asthma to the child who relies on their parents' insurance for chemotherapy.'"

Lewandowski Stonewalls Impeachment Inquiry

Former Trump campaign manager confirms the president had once asked him to help gut the Mueller investigation. NYT: "Corey Lewandowski, one of President Trump’s most loyal political confidants, confirmed in congressional testimony on Tuesday that the president had once asked him to help curtail the scope of the Russia investigation, possibly obstructing justice. But under sharp questioning from Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee conducting an impeachment inquiry, Mr. Lewandowski refused to provide new details about his encounters with Mr. Trump beyond what the special counsel documented. And a combative Mr. Lewandowski, the president’s first campaign manager, insisted that Mr. Trump’s request did not amount to 'anything illegal.' The first in a series of hearings to determine whether the committee should recommend impeachment, the five-hour session brimmed with bitterness and drama. Democrats secured statements they needed from Mr. Lewandowski both confirming his role in Mr. Trump’s attempts to impede the Russia inquiry and vivifying investigators’ accounts with a witness on live television."

NC GOP Caught Gerrymandering

NC Senator retires after he's Ccught gerrymandering his district. Crooks and Liars: "North Carolina Republican state Sen. John Alexander has announced that he will not seek re-election after he was caught trying to gerrymander his own district. Alexander made the announcement on Thursday after he was seen on video Wednesday making changes that would have made his district a safe Republican seat while representing many Democrats in the Raleigh area. The changes were pointed out on Twitter by John Bisognano, executive director of National Democratic Redistricting Committee."

Electoral College Favors Republicans

Electoral College really does give Republicans a massive advantage in close elections, a new paper finds. Slate: "Democrats are not fond of the Electoral College these days, for obvious reasons. Two Republicans, George W. Bush and Donald Trump, have won the presidency in the past 20 years, and both of them galumphed into the Oval Office after losing the popular vote. In this era of tight national races, the system has clearly given Republicans a built-in advantage that allows them to govern with a minority of the public’s support. And now, a new working paper by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin has quantified just how big that edge might have been in recent decades. In a photo finish where the two parties split the vote about 50-50, a Republican would have had a 65 percent chance of spending the next four years in office."

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