My name is Claire White, and I am an educator in South Sacramento and an actively engaged community member. I’ve attended many local city council and board of supervisors’ meetings advocating for our unhomed community members and demanding more funding for youth programs, mental health support, and medical care, preventative solutions, in response to elected officials’ interest in expanding jail infrastructure and continuing to overfund the carceral system. I am invested in tenant rights and believe that housing our community members is integral to a healthy, safe community. I see my role as a community member committed to advocating for my neighbors as a crucial duty.

It is high time that community members with a vested interest in a more humane society have their voices heard and their needs met. We need Medicare for All. No person in our country should rely on GoFundMe in order to receive medical care. We need to ensure the Earth is habitable for historically oppressed groups, especially people living in poverty. We need a Green New Deal. We need to make housing a human right and get fossil fuel and law enforcement money out of politics. We need a budget that reflects community needs. What good is it to spend billions on military while children and families in our country continue to scrape by day to day under fear of eviction and homelessness?

We must use resources to serve the people and invest in youth and education. We need to cancel student debt and invest in our children and families through funding childcare. If we want our constituents to thrive and for students to excel in our educational institutions, we must create a robust net of social services and conditions that ensure their basic needs are met.

We must listen to epidemiologists and community leaders and stop funneling individuals into the carceral system rather than pairing individuals with targeted programs which address factors that have influenced community members to commit crimes. We must invest in humane reentry programs. In education, we have a tiered intervention system for children who struggle. What true and universally accessible, long term, structured interventions do we have in place for individuals who need mentoring and resources as adults? Our constituents deserve to be a priority, and I will fight for justice on their behalf.