About Neighborhood Solidarity
A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly half a million people have lost their lives and millions have lost their livelihoods across the country. In L.A. County, tens of thousands of renters face a wave of evictions and accumulating rent debt. Poor workers—disproportionately Black, Latino and young—have borne the heaviest losses, while entering the pandemic without savings, and with heavy rent and debt burdens.
Meanwhile, corporations, banks and landlords still expect us to pay rent and utilities like it’s business as usual. And at this point, we know that our elected officials are not coming to save us. We’ve seen federal and local government responses prioritize private profit and business interests while outbreaks have surged at workplaces and renters accumulate debt.
For many, the disposability of low-paid ‘essential’ workers has laid bare the contradictions of capitalism for the first time. Amidst this crisis and the accompanying loss of state legitimacy, organized socialists have the responsibility to build a powerful working class movement — one that can wage a coherent, militant fight to cancel rent and expand much needed economic relief.
In this decisive moment, we know that we can only build the foundation for a new society by uniting together. Together, we can refuse to go back to a world with insurmountable debt, insecure and unsafe jobs, homelessness, incarceration, and housing instability. Together, we can imagine, demand, and build a socialist future organized on the basis of human need and well-being — not the accumulation of private profit.
DSA Los Angeles’s Neighborhood Solidarity Program is a campaign to strengthen and grow socialist organization by uniting with our neighbors through tenant organizing, mutual aid work, and political study. As organizers, we will connect these hyperlocal organizing efforts to the ambitious political demands outlined here, while popularizing a socialist politics.
We know that bizarre housing voucher lotteries, short-term eviction moratoriums, and temporary increases to unemployment insurance that exclude many immigrant families are not enough. That’s why we are organizing alongside our neighbors to fight for a robust social safety net that guarantees the lives and livelihoods of the entire working class.
We demand stable housing. We call on municipal, state, and federal officials, corporate landlords, and banks to cancel all rent payments and ensure no new rent debt during this crisis.
We demand a future where our livelihoods are valued and protected. We call on government to increase & extend unemployment payments, increase social security payments, and guarantee universal social services like single-payer healthcare and childcare to all people, regardless of employment. Economic relief must be available to all people who need it, regardless of employment or immigration status. All essential workers must have access to hazard pay, a living wage, and access to protective equipment.
We demand a future with safe, dignified shelter and homes for all. We call on government to halt evictions, foreclosures, and sweeps and to turn vacant units into housing that ensures freedom and dignity for all people experiencing homelessness.
We want a future where utilities vital to our personal and collective health are guaranteed. We must prohibit all utilities shut offs, rate increases and restore essential services to all households. We must guarantee all Angelenos water, electricity, gas, phone and internet essential to our health and well-being.