A brand new Congress

A lot of things are happening now in our country and communities. Our brothers and sisters who are living unhoused, are being criminalized for having no home. Our black and brown sisters are being murdered by our own police without being able to receive any justice. Our own family members, friends and neighbors are being detained and/or sent back to their countries to face death and hunger, the very reasons that compelled them to flee and seek refuge here. Our youth are trapped in a school-to-prison pipeline with no one caring enough to take them out, and put an end to the systemic issues and the institutionalized war against race and poverty. And our people and communities are suffering in deep financial distress, with no light at the end of the tunnel and bootstraps to pull themselves up with.

Yet, our current elected officials vow that they’re fighting for the people, that they’re fighting for change. But do we see any change happening?

How much further will we continue re-electing the same elected officials while expecting different results, and big change to happen? Isn’t the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

In a congressional district as poor as ours, things must radically change. Now. And we can’t afford to re-elect an elected official and wait another 2 years for nothing to happen.

How do people live in a district where the per capita income is $12K-$15K in many parts and the average rent for a 1 br apt is $2K+/month? They can’t. That’s why it’s normal for a couple families to live together in a 1 br apt in our district, and that’s why it’s become the norm for one to work 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet. But is life supposed to be like this? Is it supposed to be this hard? Are we supposed to toil and work like ants till the day that we die and have our last breath?

What’s clear is that something’s not working in our country and government, and if we don’t stand up, speak up and make change ourselves, it’s inevitable that things will continue to get worse as our elected officials continue to ignore our 35+ year wage stagnation and ever increasing widening wealth gap disparity, and as they continue to pocket corporate PAC money, and prioritize bailing out corporate interests and their corporate donors, over and at the expense of the peoples’ interests and lives.

We need a brand new Congress where our representatives are required to hold weekly office hours for their constituents, and meet and talk with them before legislating in DC, and not the other way around, where our representatives are legislating in DC first, and then coming back to report to the constituents, in their hard-to-find-and-access Tele-Town Halls, about they managed to secure some crumbs for them. We need a brand new Congress of representatives who aren’t afraid to stand up for their constituents, and go against the grain and against party leadership. We need a brand new Congress of people who actually connect with, love and care for the people, and make it their utmost priority to do so, over anything. For when we elect new leaders who aren’t afraid to fight for the people and push for big, bold legislation and change in our community and country, that’s when we can start to see change happening. And it’s already begun. We are in a time of revolution right now, where Congress is about to change and our people are about to replace its career politicians with people who aren’t afraid to fight for and prioritize the people, above anything else. We just need to wake up the sleeping giant, the American people.

In our district, there are nearly 700,000 constituents, and of those, 300,000~ who are are registered voters. With the highest voter turnout in our district being the Nov 2018 General Election, in which we had 150,000~ constituents vote, less than 1/4 of the people in our district decide who our federal representative will be. Imagine what it would be like if at least half of the people in our district voted and had a say in deciding who our federal representative would be. Imagine what it would be like if all of us cared enough to study the candidates and issues that we’re voting on. We could bring so much change to Washington, and to our communities. It’s time to active the sleeping giant, the American people and the people in our district. We can’t afford to re-elect a career politician whose corporate donors outnumber his individual human donors by several folds, and who has failed to address the financial distress, poverty and lack of affordable housing for the constituents in our district, both housed and unhoused.

It’s time for change, and a brand new Congress.