Recent Events

AFFORDABLE HOUSING NETWORK NEWSLETTER JUNE 2020

AFFORDABLE HOUSING NETWORK MEETING WED JUNE 3 AT 5:30 PM

The Affordable Housing Network will hold its monthly meeting on Wednesday, June 3, at 5:30 PM by ZOOM CONFERENCE CALL. We will send out the call information to all of our regular attenders. If you are not a regular attender and wish to participate, please respond to this email and we will send you the call information.
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La Red de Vivienda Asequible tendra su reunión mensual el miércoles 3 de junio a las 5:30 PM por ZOOM CONFERENCE CALL. Enviaremos la información de la llamada a todos nuestros asistentes regulares. Si no es un asistente habitual y desea participar, responda a este correo electrónico y le enviaremos la información de la llamada.

JUSTICE FOR GEORGE FLOYD

The whole history of the housing movement is that it cannot move forward without addressing discrimination and violence against African Americans and other people of color. In the 1930s, housing movement leaders made fateful, wrong-headed decisions to accept racial segregation in federally assisted housing, and our movement has been crippled ever since by housing segregation and inequality that continues to the present day. Our housing movement cannot win our present battles for rent cancellation, eviction protections, and social ownership without addressing past and present discrimination and proposing real remedies to resolve it.

During this time of social upheaval, all Americans need to stand up and be heard speaking out against the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd. We need to support our young people protesting out in the streets, and oppose Police Departments who use these protests against brutality to inflict even more brutality on our communities. We need to use our unity and participation in these protests to build and strengthen the unity we need to win our housing battles right now and in the future.
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Toda la historia del movimiento de vivienda es que no puede avanzar sin responder a la discriminación y la violencia contra los afroamericanos y otras personas de color. En la década de 1930, los líderes del movimiento de vivienda tomaron decisiones fatídicas y equivocadas para aceptar la segregación racial en viviendas con asistencia federal, y nuestro movimiento fue debilitado desde entonces por la segregación y la desigualdad de la vivienda que continúa hasta nuestros días. Nuestro movimiento de vivienda no puede ganar nuestras batallas actuales por la cancelación del alquiler, las protecciones de desalojo, y la propiedad social sin terminar la discriminación pasada y presente y proponer soluciones reales para resolverla.

Durante este tiempo de agitación social, todos los estadounidenses deben ponerse de pie y ser escuchados hablando en contra del asesinato a sangre fría de George Floyd. Necesitamos apoyar a nuestros jóvenes que protestan en las calles y oponerse a los departamentos de policía que usan estas protestas contra la brutalidad para infligir aún más brutalidad en nuestras comunidades. Necesitamos usar nuestra unidad y participación en estas protestas para construir y fortalecer la unidad que necesitamos para ganar nuestras batallas de vivienda ahora y en el futuro.

RENT STRIKE UPDATE

If you cannot afford to pay the rent because of COVID-19, don’t pay it! Join the rent strike!

People who participate in the rent strike because they cannot afford to pay rent are protected by the Santa Clara County eviction moratorium. The eviction moratorium was extended by the Board of Supervisors at their meeting on Tuesday, May 26.

They extended the residential eviction moratorium to July 31.
They extended the period that tenants will have to pay back rent that became due during the moratorium from 120 days to 12 months, potentially with requirements for quarterly rent payments.
They had the County Counsel prepare an analysis on the County’s authority to prohibit or limit eviction cases or other civil actions that landlords may use to seek repayment of any back rent owed.

Due to the eviction moratorium, tenants in Santa Clara County CANNOT BE EVICTED if they cannot pay rent due to lost income or increased expenses because of COVID-19.

All that is required is that 1) you tell your landlord you cannot pay rent before the rent is due, and 2) provide documentation that you either lost income or had increased expenses due to COVID-19.

Documentation can include:

· letters, emails, texts, or pay stubs from employers showing a layoff or reduced hours,
· an application for unemployment,
· documents of cancelled or reduced orders for services you provide,
· documents of increased childcare expenses due to school closures,
· documents of medical bills due to coronavirus.

If you cannot pay the rent and you have this documentation, the Santa Clara County moratorium protects you against eviction until July 31.

Many landlords are demanding that tenants either 1) sign an installment plan or other contract requiring them to pay back rent by a certain date, or 2) provide personal financial data to “prove” that they cannot afford to pay rent.

The County eviction moratorium DOES NOT require tenants to sign repayment plans. You do not need to sign a repayment plan, and we do not recommend it, because none of us knows for sure how long this crisis is going to last and when we will have enough income to pay back rent, if ever.

The County eviction moratorium also DOES NOT require tenants to prove they cannot pay. All you need is proof of reduced income or increased expenses due to COVID-19. You DO NOT have to show proof that you cannot pay rent, and the landlord has no right to pry into your personal finances. Tenants have the right to determine what bills they can and cannot afford to pay and a landlord does not have the right to tell tenants that their families should go hungry just so the landlord can collect the rent.

Finally, the County eviction moratorium DOES NOT require you to make a partial rent payment, and a landlord has no right to demand that you pay a partial rent payment. Landlords can ask for partial rent payment if they want to, and tenants can pay if they want to, but tenants are not required to pay them. Even if tenants choose to pay no rent at all, they still cannot be evicted under the eviction moratorium, as long as they document COVID loss of income or increased expenses.

It is important to join the rent strike movement, even if you feel you have to pay your rent. Our movement needs you whether you pay rent or not. The main objective of the rent strike is to demand for local, state, and federal officials to enact rent cancellation or rent forgiveness, and everyone can help. Rent cancellation is the only equitable solution to the COVID-19 rent crisis. It is the only way to avoid mass evictions, homelessness, and economic depression after the shelter in place is over. Please join us.

For more information, go to www.sjtenants.org.

The Federal Affairs Advocacy Taskforce of the Board of Supervisors is an opportunity to give public testimony in support of rent cancellation. Please join us at 10 am sharp on this Wednesday, June 3 to speak out during public testimony at this meeting. If you cannot pay rent, and will not be able to pay back rent, your story is important!

Please join the meeting by Zoom at: https://sccgov-org.zoom.us/j/93055882643. Enter your email address and name. When the Chairperson calls “Public Comment”, click on “raise hand.” The Clerk will call your name and unmute you when it is your turn.
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Si no puede pagar la renta debido a COVID-19, ¡no lo pague! ¡Únete a la huelga de renta! Las personas que participan en la huelga de renta porque no pueden pagarlo están protegidas por la moratoria de desalojo del Condado de Santa Clara. La moratoria de desalojo fue extendida por la Junta de Supervisores en su reunión del martes 26 de mayo.
1. Extendieron la moratoria de desalojo residencial hasta el 31 de julio.
2. Extendieron el tiempo en que los inquilinos tendrán que pagar la renta de atras de 120 días a 12 meses, posiblemente con requisitos para pagos trimestrales.
3. Pidieron al Consejo del Condado que preparara un análisis sobre la autoridad del Condado para prohibir o limitar los casos de desalojo o otras acciones civiles que los propietarios pueden usar para colectar cualquier renta atrasada.

Debido a la moratoria de desalojo, los inquilinos en el condado de Santa Clara NO PUEDEN SER DESALOJADOS si no pueden pagar la renta debido a la pérdida de ingresos o al aumento de los gastos debido a COVID-19.

Todo lo que se requiere es que 1) le diga al dueño que no puede pagar la renta antes que debe pagarlo, y 2) muestre documentación de perdida de ingresos o aumentó los gastos debido a COVID-19.

La documentación puede incluir:

· cartas, correos electrónicos, mensajes de texto o recibos de pago de empleadores que muestren un despido o un horario reducido,
· una solicitud de desempleo,
· documentos de pedidos cancelados o reducidos por los servicios que presta,
· documentos de mayores gastos de cuidado de niños debido al cierre de escuelas,
· documentos de facturas médicas debido a coronavirus.

Si no puede pagar la renta y tiene esta documentación, la moratoria del condado de Santa Clara lo protege contra el desalojo hasta el 31 de julio.

Muchos propietarios exigen que los inquilinos 1) firmen un plan de pagos o otro contrato que les exija que paguen la renta antes de cierta fecha, o 2) demuestran datos financieros personales para “probar” que no pueden pagar la renta.

La moratoria de desalojo del condado NO REQUIERE que los inquilinos firmen planes de pago. No es necesario que firme un plan de pago, y no lo recomendamos, porque ninguno de nosotros sabe cuánto tiempo durará la crisis y cuándo tendremos suficientes fondos para pagar la renta.

La moratoria de desalojo del condado NO REQUIERE que los inquilinos demuestren que no pueden pagar. Todo lo que necesita es una prueba de ingresos reducidos o gastos aumentados debido a COVID-19. NO tiene que mostrar prueba de que no puede pagar la renta, y el propietario no tiene derecho a inquirir en sus finanzas personales. Los inquilinos tienen el derecho de determinar qué facturas pueden y no pueden pagar y el propietario no tiene el derecho de decirle a los inquilinos que sus familias deben pasar hambre para que el propietario pueda colectar la renta.

Finalmente, la moratoria de desalojo del Condado NO REQUIERE que realice un pago de renta parcial, y el propietario no tiene derecho a exigirle que pague un pago de renta parcial. Los propietarios pueden solicitar el pago parcial de renta si lo desean, y los inquilinos pueden pagarlo si quieren, pero los inquilinos no están obligados a pagarlos. Incluso si los inquilinos eligen no pagar ningún alquiler, aún no pueden ser desalojados bajo la moratoria de desalojo, siempre que documenten la pérdida COVID de ingresos o el aumento de gastos.

Es importante unirse al movimiento de huelga de renta, incluso si siente que tiene que pagar la renta. Nuestro movimiento lo necesita, ya sea que pague el alquiler o no. El objetivo principal de la huelga de rentas es exigir que los oficiales locales, estatales y federales promulguen la cancelación o condonación de la renta, y todos pueden ayudar. La cancelación de la renta es la única solución equitativa a la crisis de renta de COVID-19. Es la única forma de evitar los desalojos masivos, la falta de vivienda y la depresión económica después de que termine el refugio. Por favor únete a nosotros.

Para más información, visite www.sjtenants.org.

El Grupo Sobre Asuntos Federales de la Junta de Supervisores es una oportunidad para dar testimonio público en apoyo de la cancelación de la renta. Únase a nosotros a las 10 am en punto este miércoles 3 de junio para hablar durante el testimonio público en esta reunión. Si no puede pagar el alquiler y no podrá pagar el alquiler, ¡su historia es importante!

Únase a la reunión de Zoom en: https://sccgov-org.zoom.us/j/93055882643. Ingrese su dirección de correo electrónico y nombre. Cuando el presidente llame “Comentario público”, haga clic en “levantar la mano”. El secretario lo llamará cuando sea su turno.

OPEN HOTEL ROOMS FOR HOMELESS PEOPLE DURING PANDEMIC

Currently and formerly unhoused people, advocates, and volunteers held a “social distance” protest on May 13 near the site of the 90 shelter trailers that were sitting empty for almost two months near Happy Hollow.

The protestors supported the decision by City Council on May 12 to finally open the trailers to unhoused people, but call it “too little, too late”.

On April 15, Gov. Newsom announced that the state had leased over 16,000 hotel rooms to house the homeless, but that over 11,000 are still left empty, even though paid for. On May 6, the County reported that it had 681 hotel rooms available, but had only allowed 296 homeless individuals to actually move into them. Some of the rest have been referred to shelters that the CDC recently called coronavirus “tinderboxes” – but even these are operating at less than half capacity, and people on the streets have found them almost impossible to access.

Before Silicon Valley starts making Teslas again, it needs to take action to save the lives of the thousands of houseless people still abandoned in encampments and on sidewalks with inadequate food, water, services, and medical care. Failing to house the houseless during COVID-19 puts the whole community at risk.

Participating groups were Sunnyvale Clients Collaborative, Affordable Housing Network, CHAM Deliverance Ministry, and Second Street Voices.

ABRAN CUARTOS EN HOTELES PARA PERSONAS SIN HOGAR DURANTE LA PANDEMIA

Gente sin casa y voluntarios realizaron una protesta de “distancia social” el 13 de mayo cerca del sitio de los 90 coches-habitacion que estuvieron vacíos durante casi dos meses cerca de Happy Hollow.

Los manifestantes apoyaron la decisión del Ayuntamiento el 12 de mayo de abrir finalmente los tráileres a las personas sin casa, pero lo llamaron de “demasiado poco, demasiado tarde”.

El 15 de abril, el gobernador Newsom anunció que el estado había reservado más de 16,000 cuartos de hotel para las personas sin hogar, pero que más de 11,000 aún quedan vacías, aunque pagadas. El 6 de mayo, el Condado informó que tenía 681 cuartos de hotel disponibles, pero solo había permitido que 296 personas sin hogar viven en ellos. Otros han sido remitidos a refugios a los que los CDC llamaron recientemente “cajas de yesca” de coronavirus, pero incluso estos operan a menos de la mitad de su capacidad, y la gente en las calles los ha encontrado casi imposibles de acceder.

Antes de que Silicon Valley comience a fabricar Teslas nuevamente, debe tomar medidas para salvar la vida de las miles de personas sin hogar, que aún están abandonadas en campamentos y en las calles, con alimentos, agua, servicios y atención médica inadecuados. No alojar a las personas sin hogar durante COVID-19 pone en riesgo a toda la comunidad.
Los grupos participantes fueron Sunnyvale Clients Collaborative, Affordable Housing Network, CHAM Deliverance Ministry y Second Street Voices.


oakland-rent-strike.png

Oakland rent strike

Oakland tenants on rent strike to see the video. As calls to organize rent strikes emerge, we want to help build out the necessary infrastructure to win universal housing for all bolstered by various tactics that will yield short and long-term wins for our base(s). We are reaching out to organizations who truly want to throw down to change this current housing paradigm! Can you be on the call on Wednesday?


Berkeley Planning Meeting Dec. 14 to Free Marissa Alexander

Marissa AlexanderFacebook photo

In yet another example of the U.S. justice system’s inability to protect African Americans and battered women, the Florida “Stand Your Ground” law that protected George Zimmerman when he murdered Trayvon Martin did not protect Marissa Alexander.

Ms. Alexander, a battered woman threatened with a 60-year sentence for defending her life, has chosen to accept a plea deal with Florida. It will keep her in jail until Jan. 27, 2015, on top of the 1,030 days she has already served. Another 2 years of probation with a surveillance monitor will follow. However, forcing her to spend even a day in prison is an egregious act on the part of our justice system. It constitutes a “profound and systemic attack on a black woman’s right to exist and all women’s right to self defense.”

We must act. Please visit http://www.freemarissanow.org/ to learn how you can play a part in finding justice for Marissa and reforming our deeply flawed justice system.

Also in Berkeley, CA

Free Marissa Teach-In & Direct Action Planning

When: Sunday, December 14

Time: 1pm-4pm

Where: Berkeley Public Library, 3rd Fl, 2090 Kittredge St.

In May 2012, Florida resident Marissa Alexander received a 20-year sentence for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon because she fired a warning shot as her abusive husband threatened to kill her. She appealed and a judge ordered a new trial. Prosecutor Angela Corey, who could not get a conviction against Zimmerman, said she would seek a 60-year sentence at a second trial. Ms. Alexander is a licensed gun owner and a mother of 3 who had never been arrested before. She fired one warning shot into a wall, was not intending to hurt her husband or anyone else, and no one was injured. Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law says any person who is “presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death of great bodily harm” has the right to use deadly force to defend him or herself. Marissa Alexander was threatened by her abusive husband, and acted to defend herself.

Women’s Economic Agenda Project Hosted

AUSTERITY TEACH-IN
9-21-2013, Laney College

Saying NO to austerity, NO to disaster capitalism, YES to workers’ rights, YES to Economic Democracy

What will it take to stop the current no-holds-barred economic attack on working people, beat back the calls for austerity and achieve a sustainable economic democracy that works for everyone? That was the main question tackled by nearly 100 people at the latest teach-in and dialogue hosted by the Women’s Economic Agenda Project at Laney College in Oakland, CA.

The questions discussed at the meeting cut across race and gender lines and affect everyone who isn’t rich: Why are our national and local leaders preaching austerity to the 99 percent when global corporate profits are at an all time high?

Why are they starving the public services that hold communities together? Why are public workers coming under such sharp attacks?

Isn’t privatization just a devious way to divert public funds into private profits? What are we going to do about the growing movements to deprive citizens of democracy by taking away their rights to govern themselves?

The goal was for activists in a variety of single-issue struggles to find new ways to help each other confront the concerted attacks. WEAP Executive Director Ethel Long-Scott set the tone with a passionate speech on the meaning of the austerity being preached by both major political parties.

She said the smart microchips of the electronic revolution have produced “disaster capitalism,” where “the class that owns the means of production is profiting by forcing the human workers they no longer need out of the economic system.”

“They are forcing them out by squeezing them,” she said, “cutting wages, cutting pensions, health care and other benefits, taking as much money as possible out of public services – education, health clinics, transportation, public workers, municipal services of all kinds, sequesters.”

Disaster capitalism, she said, is “…deliberately designed to make the rich richer and workers poorer . . . The global super rich, billionaires and millionaires, are working hard to convince the American people that big bad unions and workers struggling to do right by their families are to blame for the death of cities like Detroit.”

Other participants were just as graphic in attacking the direction in which global corporations and the Wall St. banks are pushing the country. “The role of Wall Street is to get rid of the public sector,” said Chris Finn, a BART negotiator and train operator.“They want us out of the way,” said Dominic Ware, a fired Walmart worker active in the “Our Walmart” protest group. There’s a big push to move municipal workers to part time, said Alysabeth Alexander with SEIU Local 1021. Asantewaa Jordan of ONYX said policing and incarceration are being used to deal with economic and social problems. “Get money out of politics,” said Richard Hobbs of Move To Amend.

After video presentations on the impact of austerity on low-wage workers and Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow,” the meeting broke into small groups to discuss solutions. There were 5 subject areas, each corresponding to one of the five Resolutions of Action that came out of the U.S. Courts of Women on Poverty: Jobs, Poverty & Immigration; Foreclosures, Homelessness and Property Rights; Health Care for the 99%; Education; and Environment and the Justice System.

The discussions produced visions of a new society based not on the competition of scarcity, but on the cooperation made possible by abundance. Recommendations from the groups included everything from repealing Prop. 13 and ending corporate personhood to reaching out to other activists and community groups for support, pass the Robin Hood tax and make education free. Four of the five Resolutions of Action and suggested amendments to them included:

JOBS, POVERTY & IMMIGRATION:

  • We need an annual date and national rallies to proclaim the workers’ agenda.
    Build solidarity with workers throughout the world.
    More annual actions that bring out everyone’s issues.

HEALTH CARE FOR THE 99%:

  • Health care is not accessible, not affordable, someone else gets to determine what you deserve, what you get is tied to your job performance, the more you might need the less you get.

FORECLOSURES, HOMELESSNESS, AND PROPERTY RIGHTS:

  • Need to work in conjunction with groups like ACCE and WEAP.
    Reach out for emotional support.
    Be Proactive.  Don’t be hesitant, ashamed.
    Get the information you need, reach out to organizations.
    You have to know your rights. Lots of times hey are not in a position to foreclose, but they do it anyway because they can get away with it.
    Need an information center people can talk to.
    Need to talk more to each other.

ORGANIZING FOR A QUALITY EDUCATION:

  • Fund education with a Robin Hood Tax.
    Education should be free from kindergarten to Ph.D.
    Teach what our kids really need
    Massive Open Online Courses or MOOCS need to be strictly controlled or not done at all.

ENVIRONMENT AND THE JUSTICE SYSTEM:

  • Eliminate private prisons and privatization
    Eliminate GMOs, fight back against criminalization of the public food movement

The group discussions raised the issue of class consciousness, because the problems being discussed affect everyone who earns a living by working for someone else, no matter what their level of income. “One person’s fight is all of our fight,” said one participant. “Class consciousness, its not just something we do, it’s something we are . . . “

“We have got to build a movement to change what is coming at us,” said Carolyn Milligan of WEAP. “What is coming at us is the destruction of human beings.”

At a follow-up meeting to plan for the next teach-in and dialogue, BART  & other public sector workers laid out a gripping explanation of why their fight to maintain safe working conditions and benefits is important to workers nationally. “The reason they want to break our union is that we’re the line in the sand right now for organized labor,” said Chris Finn. “The private sector unions have already been destroyed,” down to around 7% of the private work force, “so public sector unions are the only ones left upholding fair wages and working conditions. If you kill public sector unions you kill organized labor.”

The Bay Area is known for its strong support of unions, another said. We are one of the few strong labor areas left in the country. If they can bring us down, I don’t think there’s anything they won’t do.”  . . . We are Michigan, right here, she added, referring to that state’s successful effort to void union contracts and strip people of their elected officials by appointing Emergency Managers to run financially troubled public agencies.

Over half of Oakland’s city workers are part time, no benefits,” said Gabriel Haaland. “Other wages and benefits follow. If that continues you’ll end up with Detroit and Walmart.”

“I really can’t afford to go on strike, but I really can’t afford not to go on strike,” said Alan Hollie.

WEAP Round Table Discussion and Teach In:
Healthcare, the ACA and Improved Medicare for All: Know Your Rights
 and how the New Law affects YOU

On July 27th 2013 the Women’s Economic Agenda Project hosted the first in a series of monthly community dialogues on critical issues eroding the well-being of working families. This past year we have seen more stripping away of our democracy, more attacks on the already shredded safety net, and more use of public money to privatize education, housing and healthcare. Schools are closing, workers are fighting for fair wages, cities are declaring fiscal emergency and healthcare is undergoing a massive transition focused more on profits than on health.  Austerity measures are slashing programs for the poor and eliminating jobs, pushing more people into destitution. Meanwhile, corporations are raking in record profits. Now more than ever, there is an urgent need to build the leadership and awareness among our community to fight for our rights. WEAP’s community dialogues, called “Teach Ins,” take a critical look at all these issues facing our communities.

WEAP’s teach-in entitled “Healthcare, the ACA and Improved Medicare for All: Know Your Rights” was a special opportunity to emphasize how linking the struggles of local residents with the struggles of labor, health and social justice workers makes everyone stronger. More than 30 people attended from organizations including Our Walmart, California Nurses Association, Tapestry Ministry, Just Cause and Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner’s office. The discussion focused on unpacking the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly referred to “Obamacare.” The Teach-in aimed to help community members understand the politics of healthcare in this country and the real goals and impact of the new legislation. People engaged in the discussion and became empowered with new tools and resources.

WEAP began with one of its training tools, a slideshow presented by Joyce Mills and Austin Long-Scott highlighting the history and significant moments of healthcare in the US. It showed how for more than 100 years, the nation’s powerful corporations have always fought the kind of universal health care established in other industrialized countries, where more people get better health care for less money. The timeline documented the development of the Social Contract in the1900s, the creation of Medicare in 1965, the fight for healthcare as an economic human right in the 1990s. This history showed how better health care for workers has always been opposed by powerful companies – unless they felt it would contribute to their profits. It explained why the ACA is essentially the corporate takeover of the government’s role in ensuring public access to health care. This takeover developed over many stages including the struggle for single payer (Medicare for all), the defeat of a public option, adoption of the individual mandate and then finally the ACA.

The discussion turned to an in-depth look at the ACA and the changes it will bring. Guest speaker Rose Auguste, Northern Regional Organizer of Health Access California, provided an overview of the 900+ page ACA law and how it will impact those currently on MediCare, those currently insured and those that are uninsured. She outlined the key components of the ACA as:

✴Individual Mandate: Every legal resident will be required to obtain qualified health insurance. Residents who earn between $15-55 thousand per year will be eligible for subsidies. Cost of insurance will range between 3 and 9.8 percent of income, an estimated $39- $395 per month in premiums.
✴MediCal/MediCaid Expansion: Roughly 55 thousand new individuals will become eligible for Medical in Alameda County, 1.7 million individuals in CA.
✴New Requirements: Healthcare providers can’t deny service based on pre-existing conditions, most employers will be required to offer benefits, coverage continues under parents insurance up to age 26.
✴Subsidies: will only be available through Covered California during the 6-month open enrollment period from October 1st 2013- March 31st 2014. The call center is located at 401 Broadway and they will be taking applications and income verifications in person and over the phone at 510-271-9103.

The ACA is an evolving health reorganization touching all aspects of health care except cost control, and it’s important for women, workers and our community in general to consider all of its implications as we think about securing health care for ourselves and our families. There is a new class of dispossessed being left out of the healthcare debate and as costs of healthcare soar much faster than wages, most of us will not be able to afford medical coverage, even with subsidies. Undocumented immigrants who are not covered under the ACA combined with other uninsured residents will leave nearly 100,000 people without healthcare in Alameda County. As far as the quality of care under the ACA, experts argue that the bill doesn’t do enough to reform service delivery and the system of providers is not ready for increased caseloads of up to 700 people per doctor.

While WEAP believes that the expansion of MediCare/MediCaid under the ACA is a step in the right direction, we know that the “individual mandate” is not the answer. As part of WEAP’s proposed solution to health justice, the Teach-In turned to a discussion on “Improved Medicare for All.” WEAP Executive Director, Ethel Long-Scott and DeAnn McEwen, RN Nursing Practice Specialist, CA Nurses Association, National Nurses laid out the framing for “Improved Medicare for All” (HR 676) which is simple and accurate, single payer, universal health care that would save money in a time of fiscal crisis for all levels of governments. The fact that the US government bailed out Wall Street to the tune of $700 billion in a matter of weeks proves that we can have single payer, universal healthcare NOW if we are willing to fight for it.

The topics covered by WEAP’s Teach-In generated important dialogue and in closing, WEAP encouraged attendees to continue to become empowered to know their rights and be engaged in the decision making process. WEAP is always striving to elevate the discussion about collective solutions to move this struggle forward in the interest of the 99 percent. As an organization supporting women and their families, we seek to raise awareness of how the growing use of laborless production is creating a new class of workers being thrown under the bus, deprived of economic rights, political rights, human rights, and any realistic chance of building a better future for themselves and their families. To avoid the increasingly repressive future that automation and globalization are pushing us into, we must build  a broad Social Movement based on a vision of a better future for everyone except the greedy. This requires unity across struggles, across cultural and racial differences, and fighting for all our Economic Human Rights. Our message also emphasizes that privatization is dangerous for many reasons. Among them, hard fought battles for things like education, health care, democracy and safety are placed in the hands of private, individual interests and companies that only have one thing in mind: profit.

The Teach-In illuminated the connections between the struggles of different sections of the new class. The struggle for workers rights, health care, police accountability, the safety net all collide in the world of the everyday worker. Last year WEAP hosted the U.S. Courts of Women on Poverty (WCW), a grassroots, working class, women-led initiative that offered a platform to advance new visions for justice as well as transformative initiatives for healing and change. As a result, WEAP and a host of community partners drafted Resolutions of Actions (ROA) outlining strategies towards of our vision of transformation. WEAP’s education and leadership trainings proceed from the testimony and proposed initiatives referred to in the ROAs. We invite you to review WEAP’s ROA’s, short film documentation and other training and empowerment tools on our website and we urge you to join the fight and attend WEAP’s upcoming Teach-In on Saturday September 21st from 1-4pm entitled, “The State of Democracy: How Our Rights are Being Violated.” For more information or to RSVP, contact WEAP at  weap@weap.org

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