ORMA’s 2019 Priority Issues
Here is the list of ORMA state and federal issue priorities selected by the ORMA general membership, from a list of potential issues originally put forward by ORMA local affiliates in early 2019. ORMA affiliates and ORMA members are currently working on and advancing these priorities, and we are always looking for active participation from other progressives interested in legislative lobbying, issues advocacy, and building relationships with allies regarding these priorities. Please visit the individual priorities pages linked below and join with others who share your interests in creating positive social change.
- Climate Change / Green New Deal – see summary or page
- Medicare for All – see summary or page
- Money out of Politics / End Citizens United – see summary or page
- Affordable Housing – see summary or page
- Voting Reform – see summary or page
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON OUR PRIORITY ISSUES
(DRAWN FROM THE NATIONAL OUR REVOLUTION WEBSITE):
Climate Change / Green New Deal – visit page
Climate change is the single greatest threat facing our planet. The debate is over, and the scientific jury is in: global climate change is real, it is caused mainly by emissions released from burning fossil fuels and it poses a catastrophic threat to the long-term longevity of our planet. If we do nothing, the planet will heat up five to ten degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century. That would cause enough sea level rise from melting glaciers to put cities like New York and Miami underwater – along with more frequent asthma attacks, higher food prices, insufficient drinking water and more infectious diseases.
But this isn’t just a problem for the future – the impacts of climate change are apparent here and now. Whether it’s more intense forest fires on the West Coast, or more frequent hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, or damaging flash floods in California, climate change is here and it’s already causing devastating human suffering. The worst part is this: people who live in low-income and minority communities will bear the most severe consequences of society’s addiction to fossil fuels.
This is every kind of issue all at once: the financial cost of climate change makes it an economic issue, its effect on clean air and water quality make it a public health problem, its role in exacerbating global conflict and terrorism makes it a national security challenge and its disproportionate impacts on vulnerable communities and on our children and grandchildren make acting on climate change a moral obligation. We have got to solve this problem before it’s too late.
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Medicare for All – visit page
The U.S. spends more on health care per person, and as a percentage of gross domestic product, than any other advanced nation in the world, including Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. But all that money has not made Americans healthier than the rest of the world. Quite simply, in our high-priced health care system that leaves millions overlooked, we spend more yet end up with less.
Other industrialized nations are making the morally principled and financially responsible decision to provide universal health care to all of their people—and they do so while saving money by keeping people healthier. Those who say this goal is unachievable are selling the American people short.
Americans need a health care system that works for patients and providers. We need to ensure a strong health care workforce in all communities now and in the future. We need a system where all people can get the care they need to maintain and improve their health when they need it regardless of income, age or socioeconomic status. We need a system that works not just for millionaires and billionaires, but for all of us.
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Money out of Politics / End Citizens United – visit page
The need for real campaign finance reform is not a progressive issue. It is not a conservative issue. It is an American issue. It is an issue that should concern all Americans, regardless of their political point of view, who wish to preserve the essence of the longest standing democracy in the world, a government that represents all of the people and not a handful of powerful and wealthy special interests.
Real campaign finance reform must happen as soon as possible. That is why we must overturn, through a constitutional amendment, the disastrous Citizens United v. FEC and other related anti-democratic Supreme Court decisions. That is why we need to pass legislation to require wealthy individuals and corporations who make large campaign contributions to disclose where their money is going. More importantly, it is why we need to move toward the public funding of elections.
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Affordable Housing – visit page
It is no secret that millions of families are struggling economically. Meanwhile, decent and affordable rental apartments are hard to come by, and millions of households are spending 50 percent or more of their income on housing. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, 7.1 million American households cannot find affordable housing. That is unacceptable.
Owning a home remains one of the best ways for families to build wealth and enter the middle class. However, for decades, wages have not kept up with the median costs of homes, putting homeownership out of reach for millions of families. The housing crisis that began in 2007 wiped-out the entire household wealth of millions of families, particularly African-American and Latino families who were disproportionately targeted with subprime mortgages and had most of their wealth in their homes – the net worth of African-American households fell by more than 50 percent and Latino families by more than 65 percent. We must take aggressive steps to make homeownership more attainable for first time homebuyers, as well as for the millions of families across the country who lost their homes to foreclosure.
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Voting Reform – visit page
America’s electoral system is broken, error-strewn, and prone to partisan manipulation. Furthermore, since 2008, states across the country have passed measures — including strict photo ID requirements, registration restrictions, cuts to early voting, and purges of voter rolls — to make it harder to vote, particularly for people of color, the elderly, students, and people with disabilities. We must turn the tide by passing commonsense reforms.
Our vision for American democracy is of a nation in which all people, regardless of their income, can participate in the political process and run for office without begging for contributions from the wealthy and the powerful.
Our vision for the future of this country is that every voter gets easy access to the ballot box, including automatic and same day registration, a recognized federal holiday on election day, and implementing ranked choice voting to promote positive campaigning and encourage the participation of more candidates and parties, ultimately ensuring outcomes that more accurately reflect the will of the people.
Our vision for democracy is one in which candidates speak to the vast majority of our people – working people, the middle class, low-income people, the elderly, the children, the sick, and the poor – to discuss their ideas about how we can improve life for all of the people in this country – and that those same people feel empowered to get out and vote.
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All OR members in Massachusetts are encouraged to join our online Discussion Group: email@example.com and/or join the #affiliates channel on ourrevolutionma.slack.com. You can find our online forum guidelines here and scheduled meetings and events here.
Thank you. Without YOU the ORMA Priorities will not be achieved!
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