Black people are not suffering from higher death rates by COVID-19 because we are “lazy” or “unhealthy.” We are not dying at the hands of police officers because we are inherently “bad” or “criminal.” Our suffering is a direct result of 500 years of surviving white supremacy.
For the past 500 years - from slavery, theft of indigenous land, sharecropping, redlining, mass incarceration and wide-scale predatory lending - Black people have been looted and denied their basic humanity. Wall Street and big corporations have rigged the rules of our democracy to exploit Black people and get rich off of our oppression.
Violence against Black people is also not relegated to police brutality and murder. Violence against Black people is carried out through our unequal and predatory housing, healthcare, and education systems. It is baked into every facet of our government and economy.
Yes, audit the budgets of militarized law enforcement agencies to fund public services, housing and homelessness solutions and healthcare and public education. And lets acknowledge that we cannot end racism and prevent another state sponsored murder of an unarmed black person without addressing all the places racism rears its ugly head in our society. If we fail to address racism across all arenas - from housing to education to healthcare - we will find ourselves here again. We need holistic solutions.
We need a Black New Deal.
The original New Deal was won by a mass movement moment not dissimilar from the moment we are in today, but it was never meant for Black people. The Black New Deal will center Black prosperity, opportunity and liberation. And when we lift up “the least of these” we are able to restore humanity for everyone.
In this moment of turmoil, we can no longer settle for lip service from our elected officials. We need concrete policy action and systemic change. Join us in calling on all our elected officials to rectify the harm on the black community through a Black New Deal - an overarching platform that includes policy solutions across the broader arenas that determine black people’s lives: investment, housing, education, healthcare, jobs and criminal justice.
THE CALIFORNIA BLACK NEW DEAL PLATFORM:
Tax the Wealthy and Corporate Class:
- Pass Schools and Communities First: close the loophole that allows wealthy corporations to exploit a benefit that was designed for working class homeowners.
- Establish a Billionaire Wealth Tax. Rough initial calculation is that a 2% tax on the 157 California billionaires on the Forbes 400 list would yield over thirteen billion dollars a year.
- Enact a variant on New York’s “mansion tax,” by placing a tax on existing single-family, owner occupied homes over a certain dollar value, focusing on impacting the top 1% of Californians.
Forgive All Debts
- A total forgiveness of debts would be a large investment in repairing the economic harm done to black communities.
2. CRIMINAL JUSTICE
- Implement restorative, community based policy solutions for public safety and accountability
- Eliminate the punitive, for-profit carceral state
- House everyone by opening up hotel rooms and vacant units for all unhoused residents who want them now
- Cancel Unpaid Rent and Mortgages During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Pass Universal Rent Control, including repealing Costa Hawkins
- Regulate speculation and corporate landlords - restore land and homeownership to community members and out of the hands of the corporate elite
- Free and fully funded high quality education through college for everyone with culturally competent curricula and staff
5. JOBS / LABOR / INCOME
- With 40 million people out of work, and impacted workers disproportionately black, now more than ever we need Universal Basic Income
- Expand the right to collectively bargain
- Quality Jobs: $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave, maternity leave, fair scheduling, etc for everyone
- Medicare for All, which includes physical and mental health care for all people