Written by Kendra Allman, Community Organizing Fellow
More than two weeks after November 2nd, almost all the votes in Washington have been counted and the Action Fund has a clear idea of which of our endorsed candidates have won their local elections. This year, we endorsed 49 candidates for local office and 36 won their elections!
There have been a handful of important milestones when it comes to City Council elections this year. To highlight a few:
Diana Perez was elected the first woman of color to serve on Vancouver City Council. With decades of experience advocating for civil rights and leadership through the League of United Latin American Citizens, and 30 years working with the U.S. Forest Service, we’re deeply excited to see how Diana’s input will influence policy in Vancouver. Meanwhile, Carmen Rivera, another woman of color, will be the first openly queer person to serve on Renton’s City Council, giving the City Council a seven to two majority of BIPOC members. For more on Carmen Rivera, look our for Melanie's Carter deep dive into her success to be posted in two weeks!
In King County, Sarah Perry has been elected to the County Council, replacing two-decade council member Kathy Lambert. Lambert, who has been often opposed progressive housing policy has recently faced a great deal of backlash for racist campaigning tactics, is out of office for the first time since she was elected in 2001. Sarah Perry, meanwhile, has proved herself a seasoned and passionate advocate for housing rights and we are beyond excited to see her taking Lambert’s place.
This is just an overview: Click here to find our complete list of endorsed candidates and see who won their elections.
While local elections may not always garner the same attention that state and federal elections do, those elected to local office have absolutely critical roles in implementing and influencing state and federal policy that will directly affect community members facing housing insecurity. We’re hopeful that these wonderful candidates will help us advocate for progressive housing policies in the upcoming legislative session and will continue to fight for housing justice throughout their terms.
From the National Low Income Housing Coalition
The House of Representatives voted today to approve the “Build Back Better Act, a $1.75 trillion economic recovery package that includes more than $150 billion in affordable housing investments!
With today’s vote, Congress is one step closer to enacting this historic legislation, which includes robust funding for the HoUSed campaign’s top priorities: $25 billion to expand rental assistance to over 300,000 households; $65 billion to preserve the nation’s deteriorating public housing infrastructure; and $15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to build and preserve over 150,000 affordable, accessible homes for households with the lowest incomes.
Your advocacy is still needed! The bill is now slated for a vote in the Senate, where further changes to the bill are expected. Once approved by the Senate, the House will have to vote a second time to enact the legislation before it can go to the president for his signature.
Email and call your senators and urge them to support the Build Back Better Act and its historic investments in rental assistance, public housing, and the Housing Trust Fund!
The House of Representatives voted today to approve the Build Back Better Act, a historic economic recovery package that includes significant investments in the HoUSed campaign’s top priorities:
$25 billion to expand rental assistance to more than 300,000 households. See how many vouchers your state would receive here.
$65 billion to preserve public housing for its 2.5 million residents; and
$15 billion for the national Housing Trust Fund to build and preserve over 150,000 affordable, accessible homes for households with the lowest incomes. See NLIHC’s breakdown of how much each state would receive through the Housing Trust Fund here.
Thanks to your sustained and effective advocacy, and to the leadership and dedication of Chairwoman Maxine Waters, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chairman Sherrod Brown, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other congressional leaders, Congress is one step closer to enacting critically needed housing investments for America’s lowest-income and most marginalized households.
This is an extraordinary milestone – but more work is needed. Before the Senate can vote on the economic recovery package, President Biden, Senate Leader Schumer, centrist Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Krysten Sinema (D-AZ), and other senators will need to reach an agreement over the size and scope of the Build Back Better Act. Any further cuts to the overall size of the Build Back Better Act could put the bill’s affordable housing investments at risk.
Senate Leader Schumer has stated that a vote on the economic recovery package will take place in December. Because changes are expected when the bill goes to the Senate floor, the House will have to vote again to approve the updated legislation before it can go to the president’s desk for his signature. Congressional leaders hope to finish the process of passing the bill into law before Congress adjourns at the end of the year.
To enact this ambitious legislation, however, President Biden and congressional leaders will need the support of every single Democratic senator and nearly all Democratic representatives. Congress needs to hear from you about why investments in rental assistance, public housing, and the Housing Trust Fund are critical to your community.
Please email and call your representatives and urge them to support the Build Back Better Act and its historic investments in affordable housing, including rental assistance, public housing and the Housing Trust Fund.
Thank you for your advocacy!