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By John Furman

WE BELIEVE THAT PEOPLE ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN CORPORATIONS

People often ask what, exactly, do progressives believe?  People’s Action – a national coalition of progressive groups including Citizen Action of New York – has laid out our 2019 platform, which we hope will stimulate discussion of new ideas during the next presidential election.  These are the issues we will be working on a local, state, and national basis.  We are convinced that the majority of American support our basic principles of justice, equity, fairness, shared prosperity, and human values.

HEALTH CARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT

All people should get the health care they need.

We believe the right to health care is fundamental. A society that puts people first makes health care available to every person as a public good – not as an engine of profit for corporations and the rich.

Here’s how we can put our country on the path toward this vision:

• Open Medicare to everyone.

• Negotiate lower prices with drug corporations.

• Protect and expand Medicaid.

• Fully fund the Indian Health Service and Native Hawaiian health system.

• Support community health centers and public health institutions that people trust.

The right wants to put us on a different path, pushing legislation that will make health care more expensive and less accessible to millions, while putting more wealth and power in the hands of insurance and pharmaceutical corporations. Their policies would create a country that is ever more divided and unequal. We are promoting a bold vision in which people are free of worry about their ability to get the care they need.

WE MUST ACT ON CLIMATE JUSTICE NOW

The climate crisis has already arrived. It arrived in many of our communities long ago — in Black neighborhoods surrounded by waste incinerators. In uranium mines on Native lands, and in smog fouling the air in Latino communities. This crisis is the product of an economic and political system that extracts from communities instead of putting people and planet first.

We can make a just transition to a new economy that benefits workers, communities of color, and low-income people. We can make sure every community enjoys clean air, safe drinking water, and good jobs in a clean-energy economy.

  Fighting resource extraction

  Preparing for climate impacts

  Building energy solutions

LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING HAS REACHED A CRISIS

Our housing crisis is not new but it is becoming more acute. A person working full time, paid minimum wage, cannot afford a two-bedroom apartment in any county in the United States.

The Trump administration has threatened budget cuts, undermined fair housing laws, and proposed tripled rents for public housing residents. Public disinvestment leaves most of the nation’s poor to rent from private landlords. A decade since the financial crash, Wall Street maintains a chokehold over the politics of housing.

More people are forced to choose between putting food on the table and keeping a roof over their head than ever before, and most poor folks and communities of color simply don’t have any place safe or affordable to live.

We demand:

• A HOUSING GUARANTEE:

Housing is a human right, not a commodity. In the richest country in the history of the world, we can and we must guarantee safe, truly affordable, and accessible housing for all.

• REIMAGINE HUD:

Impacted communities across the country must re-envision the role of government in providing housing and regulating the private market, advance a vision for a People’s HUD, and then win a massive reinvestment in a HUD that meets the real need. 

WE NEED A NEW FINANCIAL SYSTEM

We’re fighting for a new set of rules for Wall Street.

As our wages stagnate, more and more of us have to borrow to make ends meet. When we borrow, Wall Street is there to profit off our need. But Wall Street is doing more than lining its pockets. It’s also distorting our entire economy. We need a financial system that works for people and communities, not the other way around.

Take predatory payday lending, which traps people in cycles of debt. Our financial struggles are predatory lenders’ profits — and that needs to stop. That’s why we’re fighting for strong rules to rein in the payday lending industry.

We can replace a financial system that extracts from families and communities with one that invests. We’re fighting to keep students from having to mortgage their futures for a college education. Debt-free higher education — including immediate debt relief — must be part of our education promise.

FAMILY ECONOMIC SECURITY

Food that’s nutritious and affordable. A place to call home. Health care that’s affordable, high-quality, and available to all. Jobs that pay a living wage and provide dignity in the workplace.

All families should have what we need to thrive. Instead, our society is becoming more and more unequal. Corporate profits soar while families worry and struggle to meet day-to-day needs. We can do better for all our families.

t’s time to rebalance and prioritize our public budgets. Let’s make sure that corporations pay their fair share and that public dollars support thriving families and communities.  It is time now for a four-day workweek and protection for workers who lose their jobs to robots and automation.

IT IS TIME FOR JUSTICE AND DECRIMINALIZATION

Our criminal justice system is not just. It relegates one-third of Black men to prison. It separates families and compounds poverty. It subjects communities of color to aggressive, abusive policing. It encourages profiteering by prison corporations and divides our country. And it impedes our ability to build a world where all of us can flourish.

We can replace the criminal justice and immigration systems we have now with investments in people and communities, alternatives to incarceration, and family unity instead of mass deportations and detention.

Replacing abusive policing with community-driven restorative justice

Investing in people’s futures instead of in prisons and detention centers

Welcoming people back into communities, jobs, and political life

HOW YOU CAN HELP FIGHT FOR A BETTER AMERICA?

Citizen Action of New York is our area’s largest progressive grassroots citizen group.  For more information on how you can become involved, call 315-725-0974 or email cnycitizenaction@gmail.com,

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