Case Study: Right to Recovery and the fight for an Emergency Bill

Our first teachable moment with Electeds

Recently, the coalition encountered its first crossroads. State Representative Delia Ramirez introduced a bill to the IL House of Representatives. The bill introduced a number of things, but principally it provided:

  • An eviction moratorium 180 days
  • A rent and mortgage freeze for 180 days
  • A fund to recoup canceled residential rent and delinquent mortgage
    payments and for tenants to secure funds to move (aka: The Fund).
  • Compromising on parts of the initial legislation
  • Leveraging any dirt or overdue favors from politicians
  • Promising some kind of political and/or financial incentives for the support

A clue

In the spirit of openly discussing what we did right, what we did wrong, and how to improve outcomes for the future: I’d like to provide some thoughts on this. We’re a coalition and we need open discussion and debate for our coalition to succeed, as well as to prepare all of its participants with political lessons for after the coalition is over. I hope more coalition members provide thoughts of their own so we can have a comradely debate.

Politicians that resisted Ramirez’s bill.

Scenarios and strategies

If we send our comrades into political office, we have to have two different scenarios in mind.

Scenario 1: Our politicians are in the majority position

Assuming we have gotten enough of our trusted comrades into political office, they are in a position to move legislation on their own or are in a position to twist the arms of the enemy politicians and get them into line.

Scenario 2: Our politicians are in the minority position (or alone)

If we only have one comrade in office, or only a few, we don’t have the muscle to sway or strong-arm other politicians.

  • Organizing phone banks to get our members and supporters to call state representatives to pressure them to support the bill
  • Organizing a digital push to have our members and supporters fill out online “witness slips” in favor of the bill
  • Using social media (via graphics like the one above) to help mobilize our base, identify our enemies, and continue building pressure on our enemies

Worker’s approach to electoral power

If an elected comrade is alone or in the minority, and they have an organization and/or coalition to support them, then they only have the choice to use their legislation as opportunities to publicly identify and shame the capitalist politicians that stand in the way of progress.

  • Raised Ramirez’s profile as a fighter that won’t compromise against corrupt and uncaring politicians
  • Brought the names of the obstructionist politicians into everyone’s household, to help mobilize against them now and in the future
  • Raised the profile of the coalition to help it recruit organizations and individuals

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Ken Barrios

Ken Barrios

Born and raised in Chicago to immigrant parents. A member of the ISO from 2006–2010. DSA member since 2018. Revolutionary abolitionist socialist for life.