Housing

We Must Do Better

  

Like many of you I am still trying to recover from the Great Recession. My family lost almost everything and we are still battling the bank for our home. My husband and I were the middle class. We were the golden buyers with over 800 credit score, 20% down payment, and appropriate reserves. One day out of the blue our credit limits were cut more than half to their current balances leaving us with a mountain of debt. We did not declare bankruptcy, instead we made many settlements and was foreclosed on three properties even though we tried to rent them or short sale causing our credit score to plummet.

I have personally seen firsthand the devastation to families and I am here to tell you that it is still going on. The banks have had many of us in a paper chase for the past 8 years, especially if you had a Countrywide Loan. California’s former Attorney General Kamala Harris sued Countrywide and supposedly settled for over 40 billion dollars. My question is when and how will that money be used in SoCal for those who did not qualify for Obama’s HAMP/HARP programs because the house’s value is too high. If your house is worth over $730k you do not qualify. Most homes have a media value of over $750k.

I know quite a few people, including myself who were told by their banks to stop making payments, so they could qualify them for a modification, only to be declined and eventually lose their home. For many banks would not negotiate with them and instead give a good deal to pariahs. For example, one family asked for a reduction in principle to stay in their home. They got declined and the bank auctioned off their home for even less than what they were asking for and now they live in a rental with their five children. They had to pay much more in rent because of their credit scores and foreclosure.

The banks have destroyed millions of lives. We are still in a housing crisis. Housing prices are being manipulated again by banks giving out shady sub-prime loans. Rents are out of control causing a growing homeless population. The shelters are full and people are camped out along the river beds and if we don’t do something that population will only grow.

That’s why I believe you should send me to Sacramento so I can work on legislation to protect us from, God-forbid another huge housing crisis that will wipe us all out. We need more affordable housing, more consumer protection from the banks, and work on our homeless problem.

I promise I will make so much noise in Sacramento that you will hear me all the way down here. 

Health Care

Health Care is a Right

  

I have Kaiser Permanente because of ACA. I enrolled back in 1997 with Kaiser as an individual for $100 a month. Seemed decent enough at the time. Sure, enough the rates kept climbing almost 15% per year. With my husband and 3 sons we were paying $1,100 a month. Eventually we lost our insurance during the Great Recession. I was able to get my children on a DHS Family First program, but it wasn’t until Obamacare started that my husband and I got our Kaiser insurance back.

Co-pays and deductibles are still too high and prescription prices are way too high. Health care is a right and should never be a choice between living or dying by the measure of your bank account.

Immigration

There Needs to be a better Pathway to Citizenship

  

My husband and my in-laws emigrated from Pakistan to LA in the 80’s. All of them are American citizens. They were dreamers. My father-in-law is a hero to us because he had the bravery to leave his home country and make a new life for himself and his family. It’s because of him that I have my family.

I’ve seen firsthand what it takes for an immigrant to become a citizen and it’s not easy. In California we have a huge population of undocumented immigrants. Many of them clean our homes, mow our laws, watch our children, pick our food, and construct our buildings. They also come and become our engineers, doctors, nurses, firefighters, police, and military. So, don’t tell me they are lazy, and they just want handouts. Most of them are hardworking, law abiding, tax paying members of our society and should be treated as such. Instead of treating them like criminals, we should be thanking them with a path forward to citizenship.