The Freedom Socialist Party is proud to be an endorser of the Community Housing Act. We are the first socialist feminist party, founded as such in 1966. We work to build a society where the working class, the vast majority who work to survive, is in control, to ensure that the wealth we create through our labor is publicly owned and directed to meet human needs. That is, a socialist society.
Basic necessities such as food, healthcare, education, and housing should be guaranteed to all. They should not be rationed by a tiny elite class for their own enrichment to the detriment of everyone else. We fight for the day when the fundamental needs are freely available to everyone.
At the same time we stand up for ideas and measures, like the Community Housing Act, that will relieve the pain and stress borne by working people, in particular, those who’ve suffered the most severe blows of the profit system: the Black, Latino, LGBT, Asian American and immigrant folks, the people with disabilities, the workers facing growing impoverishment from the outrageous rents and cost of living in San Francisco.
For us, the Community Housing Act is particularly refreshing in a number of ways:
- It taxes the revenues of the rich to provide affordable housing. So many other ballot measures that provide needed services are funded through regressive taxes or general obligation bonds, but not the CHA. For years, companies like Twitter, Levi Strauss, Wells Fargo, Facebook, and Blue Shield have depended on the public infrastructure to reap billions in profits. On top of that they’ve benefited from tax breaks. Public schools and colleges have gone broke while the corporations avoided paying what they should.
- The housing built and acquired will be 100% affordable, publicly owned and publicly controlled. There will be no profit motive to evict tenants or push rents sky-high. Rents will be capped at 25% of income. Workers who cook and serve the city’s food, teach the children, staff and clean the offices, fix and drive the buses and trains, all who make San Francisco what it is, deserve and need homes they can afford in the same city where they work.
- The 500 additional affordable homes per year will begin to reverse the exodus of so many people of color from San Francisco. Renters on the verge of homelessness will find a place to live, as will folks who are currently houseless.
We see the CHA as a measure that can turn around the dire situation of exorbitant rents by taxing those who can easily afford it. It’s a step toward reversing the decades-long trend of wealth redistribution from the working class to the rich. We look forward to working with community groups and individuals to put it on the November ballot. We urge others to join the effort!