Five Campaign Commitments to Raleigh
Housing Justice – Housing is a human right. This is an international principle, agreed upon by the US in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights treaty of 1966. Fifty-five years later, this right is not recognized in much of the US, and remains unfulfilled in Raleigh, NC. As a member of the City Council, Josh will address the problems and issues underpinning the lack of housing. A very few of these issues are:
- Housing Affordability
- Low cost housing should be the first priority in any city planning
- Affordable housing should cost no more than one-third of a person’s or family’s income, including utilities
- Stop speculative and inflationary development (Gentrification)
- Halt all rezoning that does not include low cost housing.
- Pass a progressive property tax, with additional revenue used to build low cost housing.
- Restore the Citizens Advisory Councils (CACs) and encourage Tenants Unions
- Reverse the decision eliminating the CACs
- Tenants and homeowners should have equal say in the CACs
- Raleigh should provide space and support for tenants to form representative bodies to the city and to landlords.
- Stop selling city property to developers. Use it to build affordable housing.
Racial Justice and Racial Equity – Racial injustice and economic inequality are real. Historically and in the present, development (gentrification), economic conditions and policing practices all impact black and brown communities negatively when compared to white communities. Transportation, public health, access to food, safe law enforcement and economic opportunity are less available in communities of color, and the lack of these services create an economic negative feedback mechanism in those communities. As a city council member, Josh will propose structures and actions for:
- Community Controlled Policing
- Emphasis on de-escalation instead of confrontation
- Non-lethal responses as a first reaction
- Training in dealing with mental health issues, autism and drug-related incidents
- No dangerous pursuit for non-lethal crimes, such as drug possession
- Free public transport at point of use
- Food security through elimination of food deserts
- Real reparations for black, brown and indigenous peoples, to be determined by those affected.
- Expanded public health services
Worker’s Rights – The world is made by workers, not financiers, landlords and development moguls. The people that build the houses and high-end luxury condominiums, drive the delivery trucks, repair the streets, and work in the grocery stores and other services, and whose labor makes Raleigh attractive to the upscale and well-to-do immigrants from other parts of the US, should be seen as equals in the life of the city, not just a faceless underclass in service of making money for bankers and developers. To make certain the inclusion of an economically equal working class in governance and future development, Josh will propose that Raleigh change its attitude toward labor. Among other things, Josh will support:
- A Chamber of Labor to counter the anti-tax, anti-labor and wage suppression rhetoric that emanates from Chambers of Commerce
- Support living wages and increased benefits, starting with city workers
- Initiate public banking that serves people and the city, not the moneyed interests
Environmental Justice and Awareness – Man-made global climate change is real, and no longer a topic of reasonable debate. In the face of global warming, history shows that its impacts will fall disproportionately on the working class and the poor. The federal and state governments have relegated response to climate change to preparedness planning instead of mitigation. Josh believes Raleigh, along with other municipalities, should lead in mitigation of the city’s impact on carbon and greenhouse gas production, and on the reduction of harm to already marginalized communities. To achieve this, Josh will propose that:
- Raleigh will achieve carbon net zero emissions by 2030
- Reduce reliance on individual transportation and increase public transport
- Address flooding and flood control infrastructure in areas most affected by it
Non-discrimination – Discrimination among people due to race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation and religious preference has not been eliminated. The City of Raleigh cannot be a partner, even by omission, in contributing to the continuation of bias and bigotry. As a city council member, Josh will propose that the following actions be taken to eject bias and bigotry of all types, both in city actions and in the regulation of our shared public spaces:
- Strengthen the cities weaker language in the Non-discrimination Ordinance.
- Create a safe, affirming environment for LGBTQ+ and other marginalized people
- Create buffer zones around reproductive health clinics, and other actions that enable safe and non-discriminatory access to reproductive health care.