Sunrise Silicon Valley’s Open Letter to Ro Khanna
Dear Representative Khanna,
We are the Silicon Valley Chapter of the nationwide Sunrise Movement. As climate justice organizers, we understand the need for urgent action to address the climate crises that are already devastating our communities. We believe in environmental, economic, and social justice — not just because they are morally imperative, but because we believe the pursuit of these ideals both strengthens our democracy and the Democratic Party’s ability to deliver positive results to the American public. We have no more time to lose. In the spirit of President Biden’s Build Back Better Plan, we are strongly encouraging support on the following five bills: S.2876, H.R.6906, H.R.6553, H.R.4278, and S.672.
Your recent actions have demonstrated a clear commitment to principles reflected in the following legislation, from outspoken support of $2000 stimulus checks to fighting for housing-insecure Californians, steadfast backing of the Affordable Care Act to unyielding determination in the fight for the Federal Jobs Guarantee Act of 2018 and numerous efforts to expand educational and professional opportunities for Americans from all walks of life. We call on you and other empowered figures to meet this moment of unparalleled importance with appropriate decisiveness.
S.2876, The Green New Deal For Public Housing Act, will retrofit over 1 million public housing units, augment living conditions for over 2 million residents, and create 240,000 jobs per year. While materially improving the quality of life for millions of Americans, this act will cut 5.6 million tons of annual carbon emissions.
H.R. 6906, the Health Care Emergency Guarantee Act, will enable every American to seek necessary treatment during this pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, over 45,000 people died every year because they did not have health insurance. During this pandemic, over 15 million Americans have lost their employer-based healthcare, due to no fault of their own. Healthcare for all has over 88% support among Democratic voters and over 50% support among Republican voters. This is a policy with bipartisan popular support that will save lives.
H.R. 6553, The Automatic Boost To Communities Act, will give every American a pre-loaded debit-card with $2,000 that will be recharged monthly with $1,000 until one year after the end of the coronavirus crisis. The pandemic has forced over 8 million Americans into poverty, 29 million adults have reported not having enough to eat, and recurring checks have over 65% support among Americans. This is another policy with bipartisan popular support that will save lives.
H.R. 4278, Federal Jobs Guarantee Development Act Of 2019, will provide a job, with a living wage, to all citizens (above the age of 18) seeking employment. The federal jobs guarantee will create full employment and maintain price stability. According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, America’s Infrastructure score is a D+. This program will enable us to build our crumbling infrastructure to an A, while providing millions of Americans with dignified jobs. More than 70% of voters support the federal job guarantee, as it will alleviate economic anxiety and create a stable/sustainable economy for future generations.
S.672, the Debt-Free College Act of 2019, will make public universities free, enabling all Americans to pursue the American Dream no matter their socioeconomic status. FAFSA applications have decreased by 18% this year, indicating that millions of students are no longer applying for college. Making public universities free will enable millions of Americans to pursue their dreams without fear of inescapable debt. Logistically, free college will ensure we have a sufficient supply of doctors, technicians, and essential workers.
All of these policies have bipartisan popular support, will materially benefit Americans, and will help to ensure that we have a habitable planet that can sustain stable economies and democratic political systems. As FDR said, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” We are calling upon you to be courageous and hold floor votes on the five listed policies because you have the power to alleviate the pain of millions of Americans. Your legacy depends on it.
Sunrise Movement Silicon Valley