Things That Matter

Julián Castro Is Promising To Confront The Growing Housing Crisis In The US With An Ambitious Housing Plan

Presidential hopeful Julián Castro has just unveiled a plan that will address housing discrimination, homelessness and increase homeownership. The plan, part of his “People First” policy, is an area that Castro is quite familiar with as he served as secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under President Obama. He is now using some of that experience to push forward with a plan to tackle increasingly difficult housing issues in the U.S.

Castro wants to expand housing assistance programs for the poor and give renters a tax credit.

Credit: @NBCLatino/Twitter

In unveiling the first installment of his three-part housing plan, Castro voiced the concerns that many renters and potential home buyers are feeling across the country. As home and rent prices have risen to historic numbers, many are a bad bounce or missed paycheck from living on the streets.

His housing proposal focuses on expanding federally funded vouchers to help at-risk Americans pay their rent, creating a refundable tax credit for Americans whose rent exceeds 30 percent of their income and bolster the supply of affordable housing units.

“People are experiencing an affordable housing crisis, whether they live in a red or blue community, whether they are white or black. This rental affordability touches the lives of so many,” Castro said.

Castro’s plan includes improving Section 8, a housing assistance program, which subsidizes the housing of almost 5.3 million Americans in low-income households. The program is currently only helping 25 percent of eligible families. Castro wants to expand that number and transform the program to “a fully-funded entitlement program” similar to food stamps or Social Security.

A person making the federal minimum wage ($7.25/hour) is unable to afford a two-bedroom rental in any state. Castro wants to change this.

Credit: @kylegriffin/Twitter

Housing affordability is an issue that Castro has heard time and time again on the campaign trail. He wants to change this by increasing the number of affordable housing units. This will include putting money towards the construction of additional public housing and through the expansion of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.

Another issue he wants to address is reducing America’s homelessness epidemic. Castro says he will create new government housing targets, increase assistance grants and invest in a variety of programs designed to help individuals who are homeless or at risk. His plan would also decriminalize homelessness and put an end to laws that discriminate against those without homes.

“Those experiencing homelessness are our most vulnerable citizens. They are single adults, veterans, families with young children, and kids on their own,” Castro said. “I know that when the public sector invests effort and money into ending homelessness — as we did during the Obama administration — we make a difference.”

According to HUD’s 2018 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, there were about 553,000 people experiencing homelessness every night in 2018. Castro predicts that his new initiative would end homelessness for veterans and children by the end of 2024 and put a stop to chronic homelessness by the end of 2028.

Castro has also included plans for environmentally sustainable housing.

Credit:@fairweatherphd

Castro’s second part of his plan describes investing in “climate-driven” initiatives as part of an effort to achieve net-zero global greenhouse emissions by 2050 and “meet the promise of the Green New Deal.” The Green New Deal, which was introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), is a plan that calls to make the U.S. carbon neutral by 2030.

Castro’s environmental plan would establish a $200 billion Green Infrastructure Fund that would fund local and national natural energy projects. This includes increasing and steadily improving public transportation, make buildings more energy efficient, and add more public electric vehicle charging stations.

While many support the plan or ones similar to Castro’s, it begs the question of how will this all be paid for?

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According to his campaign, Castro’s housing initiatives would cost at least $970 billion over the span of 10 years, which includes $410 billion to expand the rent voucher program. While Castro’s plans for solving the U.S. housing crisis are definitely lofty, research and numbers show that the situation is only getting worse.

“I’m committed to working toward prosperity for every single American no matter their background,” Castro told NBC News. “The fact is in our nation’s history, poverty and racism have been so intertwined that we need to address both at the same time.”

READ: Julian Castro Is Running For President On A Platform Of Giving A Pathway To Citizenship For 11 Million People

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Julián Castro Calls Out Republican Officials And Base For Enabling Trump Inciting Violence At Capitol

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Julián Castro Calls Out Republican Officials And Base For Enabling Trump Inciting Violence At Capitol

Americans are still trying to wrap their heads around the violence at the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Julián Castro is putting the blame for what happened directly on the Republican elected officials and base that emboldened President Donald Trump to speak the way he did.

Julián Castro is not mincing words about the language that led to the storm of the Capitol building.

Castro, the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for the Obama Administration, is speaking out against Republicans. Castro has been in politics with his twin brother Joaquin for years and understands the impact President Trump’s words have had. He is also not shying away from placing blame on those who enabled the president.

“I think they have different reasons [for not speaking against Trump],” Castro told Alicia Menendez, the host of “American Voices.” “For some of them, they are still trying to curry favor with Trump’s base. I put folks like Josh Hawley [R-Mo.] and Ted Cruz [R-Texas] and the other senators who continued to object to the certification of the election in that camp. Some of them also know that it would indict them. [Also] people like Mick Mulvaney, who stood by while Donald Trump was inciting hate and in some cases violence against immigrants, against other groups. So, they don’t want to face that themselves. Others truly hold the beliefs that Donald Trump holds, which are bigoted and racist.”

Castro has been raising the alarm about President Trump’s rhetoric.

In 2019, a man drove to El Paso, Texas with the sole purpose of shooting and killing as many Mexicans and Mexican-Americans as possible. The shooter, Patrick Crusius, killed 23 people and injured 23 more. A manifesto written by the shooter included a lot of the language pushed by President Trump.

According to the manifesto, the El Paso shooter wanted to stop the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” President Trump had spent months telling supporters at rallies that there was an invasion of immigrants along the southern border.

“You referred to countries as shitholes. You urged American Congresswomen to ‘go back’ to where they came from. You called immigrants rapists,” Castro said in the ad. “As we saw in El Paso, Americans were killed because you stoked the fire of racists. Innocent people were shot down because they look different from you. Because they look like me. They look like my family. Words have consequences. Ya basta.”

The riot really puts the video of Trump supporters trying to run a Biden bus off the road in another light.

During the 2020 campaign cycle, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris was going to an event in Texas. While on the freeway, a cluster of Trump supporters started to try to run the campaign bus off of the road. One of the campaign workers car was sideswiped during the incident that drew criticism from some.

Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., celebrated the caravan of aggressive Trump supporters. During a rally in Opa-locka, Florida, Sen. Rubio could barely contain his excitement over the video.

“I saw yesterday a video of these people in Texas,” Rubio told a largely maskless rally in Florida. “Did you see it? All the cars on the road, we love what they did.”

After the attack on the Capitol, Sen. Rubio quickly changed his tune about the mob President Trump has incited to violence. Though, he still made excuses for some as only Sen. Rubio can do when it comes to hedging his bets to protect his political career.

“It’s something else as well to see that for some of these politicians, they had to feel personally in danger, personally in danger themselves, before they could see clearly,” Castro said in the interview. “You expect more from people in a position of public trust than that. I guess, at the end of the day, it’s better late than never. It’s also still clear that a lot of those Republicans, both elected officials and the Republican base, still will not hold Donald Trump to account for everything that he has done. To me, what that means, is that the Republican Party as we know it should not exist as a party. It needs a fundamental transformation or a different party.”

READ: Julián Castro Is Bringing Back His ‘Adiós Trump’ Shirts To Raise Money For Dreamers

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Georgia Prosecutors Are Opening A Criminal Investigation Into The Infamous Trump Call Asking For More Votes

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Georgia Prosecutors Are Opening A Criminal Investigation Into The Infamous Trump Call Asking For More Votes

Update January 10, 2020

Former President Donald Trump called Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in December begging for him to overturn the election results. He asked for the secretary of state to find 11,780 votes to flip the results of the state. Prosecutors have officially opened a criminal investigation into the phone call.

Fulton County prosecutor Fani Willis is leading a criminal probe into Trump’s desperate Georgia call.

Trump was recorded in a call desperately begging for Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to overturn the election. Newly elected Democratic prosecutor for Fulton County Fani Willis sent a letter asking that all documents about the call be preserved. The letter is seeking the information for “an investigation into attempts to influence” the election in Georgia.

“It has come to our attention via media reports that contacts were made by subjects of the investigation with other agencies that could be investigating this matter, including the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the United States Attorney’s office for the Northern District of Georgia. As such, this office is the one agency with jurisdiction that is not a witness to the conduct that is the subject of the investigation,” reads the letter. “This agency has jurisdiction over this matter because this judicial circuit is where the Georgia government entities that were contacted are headquartered including the Office of the Governor, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, and the General Assembly.”

Original: President Donald Trump continues on his campaign to overturn the election results after losing to President-elect Joe Biden. In recently leaked audio, President Trump was recorded begging the Georgia secretary of state to change the results to give him the presidency.

President Donald Trump is still begging states to overturn election results.

President Trump lost the 2020 presidential election after President-elect Joe Biden managed to flip Michigan, Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia, and Pennsylvania. For two months, President Trump has done everything possible to invalidate votes and change the election results.

“The people of Georgia are angry, the people of the country are angry,” President Trump said during his hour-long call with Georgia’s Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “And there’s nothing wrong with saying, you know, that you’ve recalculated.”

Legislators are calling the phone call a clear impeachable offense.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has unequivocally called President Trump’s call an impeachable offense. It is similar to the phone call with Ukrainian officials that led to President Trump’s impeachment earlier in his terms. President Trump’s Ukraine call caused problems because he was begging Ukrainian officials to dig up dirt on his political opponent.

“I absolutely think it’s an impeachable offense, and if it was up to me, there would be articles on the floor quite quickly, but he, I mean, he is trying to — he is attacking our very election. He’s attacking our very election,” Rep. AOC told reporters at the start of Congress’ new session.

Politicians are calling the phone call an abuse of power.

Vice Preisdent-elect Kamala Harris called the phone call a “bald-faced, bold abuse of power by the President of the United States.” President Trump lost Georgia by 11,779 votes and he asked Secretary Raffensperger to claim he recalculated and give him 11,780 votes to flip Georgia.

An intern monitoring the phone lines for Secretary Raffensperger first thought that the phone calls were pranks calls. The White House attempted to contact Secretary Raffensperger 18 times before the call was finally patched through.

A coalition of representatives is joining together to censure President Trump because of the call.

Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat representing Georgia, has filed a resolution censuring President Trump because of his call attempting to overturn the Georgia election results.

GOP leadership and politicians are torn over the issue. Some GOP senators are looking to vote against the certification of votes in the Senate. Others are calling on their colleagues to do the right thing and uphold our democracy.

“I plan on honoring that oath by supporting the state certifications and the will of the people. I will vote to certify in accordance with my duty under the Constitution,” Ohio GOP Sen. Rob Portman, who faces reelection in 2022, said in a statement. “I cannot support allowing Congress to thwart the will of the voters.”

READ: Here’s What You Can Expect Now That President Trump Has Been Impeached By The House Of Representatives

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