Ending the Foreclosure Crisis and Ensuring Affordable Housing

 

In Michigan’s 4th Congressional District, there are currently over 10,000 foreclosures in process.  In the fourth quarter of 2013, the national rate of new foreclosures was at “pre-crisis levels… but Michigan stood out as having the highest ‘foreclosure starts’ among all other states.”[30] Warren understands that sometimes the best way to approach a problem is with bold ideas. A potential remedy to the foreclosure crisis is to introduce legislation to allow homeowners that would otherwise be foreclosed upon, to rent their homes at the going market rate, during pending foreclosure.  In other words, the banks would act as landlords. If the tenants make all of their payments and do not break the conditions of a lease, then the tenants would be allowed to buy their homes again from the bank after a period of three years.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in 2012, about 33 percent of all Michigan’s households were renters [38]. With hard-working individuals and families struggling to make ends meet, seniors in need of safe and stable housing, and high rates of veteran homelessness, an advocate who will fight for access to affordable housing dollars for all is vitally important. Warren also understands that our seniors need to have access to rental assistance to ensure that they can live in dignity. With a recent University of North Carolina study [39] showing that it may be less expensive to house the homeless than to allow them to remain without a place to live, Warren understands that increasing access to affordable housing is fundamental to a successful state and country.

Finally, Warren supports investigating ways to implement a targeted moratorium on foreclosures to apply to the nation. Warren will implement a robust constituent services program, partnering with a team of the best and brightest professionals to address foreclosures in the 4th Congressional District during the moratorium process.

Senior Citizens are the Backbone of Society

Warren’s Vision for Seniors

Social Security, Medicare and the Social Contract

The sustainability of Social Security is important to Warren. Warren will collaborate with members of Congress to find ways to prolong the life of Social Security and make sure it is on sound footing. Warren will always protect Social Security from Republican attacks to privatize this program. Warren believes that this program helps to keep millions of seniors out of poverty and he will be an advocate for our seniors.

Medicare must also be protected from Republican attacks. Senior citizens in the State of Maryland and around this great country have worked hard to protect us, and afford us opportunity. Now it is our moral obligation to fulfill the social contract with our seniors and protect these sacred institutions.

Enhanced Programs for our Seniors

Warren will be an ardent advocate for enhanced programs and services for our seniors. Warren’s mission is to bring attention to the need for affordable and stabilized housing costs. He believes that we must invest in facilities to assist in the care of those living with Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Warren will also partner with federal, state and local leaders to invest in programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, complimentary legal and transportation support services. Finally, Warren will collaborate to invest in quality affordable housing, activity-based programs in dedicated Assisted Living Communities, home-bound and caregiver support services and self-help assistance programs. Warren will fight to increase the quality of life for our seniors living in the 4th Congressional District. Additionally, Warren will assign a dedicated team to work with all constituents, with a special emphasis on seniors and citizens with disabilities, to obtain services they need and deserve.

Retiring With Dignity

Seniors must be afforded the opportunity to retire with dignity. The Congressional Budget Office explained that as a result of the Affordable Care Act, people will no longer have to work just to retain their health coverage.  Speaking of the Affordable Care Act, Warren believes that it is imperative that we continue to support our President and persevere through the implementation challenges of the Affordable Care Act. Warren believes we must build on the success of the Affordable Care Act to ensure that all of our residents are covered. The Affordable Care Act has had many positive health outcomes. We must, however, continue to ensure our seniors are protected and obtain the services they have earned.

Veteran’s Affairs

Warren’s Vision for Veterans

Veteran Employment

Veterans’ issues are personal to Warren. Not only because he is a retired Lieutenant Colonel, but because in the 4th Congressional District, there are over 50,000 veterans [45]. Warren knows we must find ways to better the lives of our veterans and their families. It is unacceptable that the Gulf Era II War Veterans have an unemployment rate higher than the national average (21.4% in 2013) [12].  Warren knows that we have to find ways for the federal government and corporate America to hire veterans to serve our nation once again.

Veteran Homelessness

In 2009, in the State of Maryland according to the Long March Home organization, more than 3,000 veterans were homeless [46].  Nationally, according to the BBC in 2012, approximately 1 in 5 of America’s homeless adults were veterans [14]. Although the President and cities around this country are having success, Warren has said, “if one veteran in this country is chronically homeless, that is one veteran too many; this is unacceptable.” Warren will work with members of Congress to increase access to affordable housing and will fight to deliver on that promise. As your Congressional Representative, Warren will work with colleagues to make sure that veterans get the benefits they have earned for serving our country.  He will work diligently to be assigned to the House Armed Services Committee, House Committee on Veterans Affairs or the House Committee on Homeland Security to ensure the federal government continues to assist veterans and resources are brought back to the 4th Congressional District.

Veteran Education

We must do better for those who have served on freedom’s frontier and together we will do better for our troops. Warren wants to ensure all veterans exit the military with a degree or technical certification from an accredited institution of higher learning and access, to ensure career pathways in corporate America [15].  In addition, Warren will work tirelessly for our veterans’ spouses to deliver expanded priority placement employment opportunities, educational benefits and survivor benefits.

Addressing Our Issues

Warren understands that veterans need continued access to responsive medical treatment–whether it is treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Military Sexual Trauma (MST), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or other types of injuries–veterans’ needs must be addressed and Warren will be an advocate for them once elected to Congress.

On Education

STEM

According to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, the United States now lags behind other nations in STEM education [9]. Warren knows the way to begin resolving this problem is by ensuring technology is in every classroom. We must, however, not lose sight of the arts. Whether that means liberal arts education or music and visual arts, Warren understands we need STEAM to power through the next decade.

Many of our children lack the Global Awareness necessary to be successful when interacting with their counterparts in diverse cultures.  The world is shrinking through technology, while  economies are now interconnected. Warren is a leader who understands the “Big Picture.” He is a tested and experienced visionary who will partner with state and local leaders to deliver federal resources to enhance problem based learning, collaboration, financial literacy, and critical thinking skills.

Higher Education

Warren will also fight to make higher education more affordable. Currently, American graduates such as those coming from the University of Maryland, Bowie State University and universities across the nation, are drowning in over 1 trillion dollars in debt [10]. At a minimum, Warren wants to find ways to ease the heavy burden on college students by cutting interest rates on college loans.

Like many parents in the 4th Congressional District, Warren is the parent of a college student currently attending an HBCU. Therefore, Warren understands that more must be done to sustain the viability of HBCUs and MSIs. These institutions are fundamental to the continued economic growth and advancement of men and women of all ethnic and racial backgrounds–especially African-Americans and Latinos. Warren will fight for federal resources, private-public partnerships and private-sector initiatives to support the continued growth of HBCUs and MSIs.

Warren also supports President Obama’s recent initiative which would allow students to attend community college free of charge. This is vital to the success of minorities in this country. With only about 50 percent of our students graduating from college and university within 6 years, minority students are left behind. The president’s plan points out that “while more than half of college students graduate within six years, the completion rate for low-income students is around 25 percent [43].”  Warren believes that we must act and act now to increase opportunity for all of our students.

Work-Force Development

Speaking of higher education, Warren wants to strengthen workforce development and career and technical education programs. He believes partnering with community colleges creates the opportunity for a highly skilled workforce to meet the needs and demands of industry. Warren believes the Community Colleges in the 4th Congressional District can continue to build partnerships with businesses and create career pathways. Warren knows colleges have the flexibility to work closely with local actors, increasing the likelihood of local employment [11] in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties. Additionally, community colleges provide access to preparatory classes and could allow seniors, returning citizens, veterans and their families and individuals in need of further assistance, to have access to courses such as computer and financial literacy.

School Construction and Modernization

School construction must be high on our list of priorities. We must invest in our schools if we are going to support student success. This means constructing new schools, rebuilding older schools and modernizing our school infrastructure.

These actions not only benefit our students but the community overall. When our students feel safe they learn better and get better grades. This increases their opportunities as they get older. Additionally, this action will create good paying jobs for trades people, among others and will create a ripple effect throughout the economy.

Preschool and My Brother’s Keeper

Warren will show bold leadership in helping President Obama implement his My Brother’s Keeper initiative. As a longtime mentor, Warren will continue to help keep kids out of trouble and on a successful path.  Additionally, Warren knows increasing access to preschool education will produce significant dividends. We must do better for our youth and together we will.  Investing in our youth, especially those in impoverished communities is the first risk mitigation measure we can use to reduce crime.

On the Issues- Jobs

Although the national unemployment rate appears to be moving in a positive direction, for African Americans Latinos, and other people of color, the unemployment rate remains disproportionately high. To effectively address this trend, we must find ways to create and keep jobs here in the 4th Congressional District. Warren knows the best way to create good paying jobs is through innovation. To Warren, innovation is the idea that our future can be built on goods and services that have not yet been created. It is the idea that investing in our future creates equality through economic development. We can create new jobs with new ideas. We can then help those ideas germinate by clustering bright and talented people– like those that can be found in our community– to compete and cooperate to create opportunity for all. Then, by advocating for public and private cooperation, we can incubate those ideas and by investing in career and technical education we can bring those ideas back to the community as concrete commodities.  These clusters could be easily implemented in areas such as Fort Washington and Odenton and should be designed to meet the demands of industry – such as cyber security, e-commerce, clean energy, healthcare IT infrastructure and hospitality.

Infrastructure Bank: Rebuilding America

In March of 2013, the US received a D+ [1] for our infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers [2]. Meanwhile, in March of 2015, approximately 11 percent of Americans remain unemployed, underemployed or have simply given up looking for work [3]. Let us put the people of the 4th Congressional District back to work upgrading our nation’s infrastructure. To accomplish this goal, Warren supports Infrastructure Bank legislation [4] – this private-public partnership will allow businesses to leverage very low interest rates from the federal government to build infrastructure projects and put Marylanders back to work. With that said, Warren also knows that we must not forget the importance of Labor Unions and their deserved place at the table in these future negotiations.

Raising the Minimum Wage

In March 2015, African Americans across this country had an unemployment rate almost twice the national average (March 2015 10.1%), and Latino Americans had an unemployment rate almost 1.5 percentage points higher than the national average [5]. These are also the groups who are disproportionately affected by the minimum wage [6]. Women, as a subset of the groups listed above are even more disproportionately affected, as they are the largest subgroup earning minimum wage [7]. Warren will lead in Congress and fight to raise wages to help our local communities and Americans across this country. Because Warren is a single dad of two daughters, he knows when women do, better our communities do better.  Warren will pay special attention to the needs of women and increase wages to create income parity.

Warren also knows people are working harder and more efficiently for less money [8]. In order to address this trend, Warren will work to raise the federal minimum wage to at least $10.10 an hour with the ultimate goal of eventually creating living wage standards. Now that Maryland’s state and local minimum wage legislation is law, Warren will be a vocal supporter and bring Maryland’s experience on this issue to the House of Representatives.  Equally, Warren will remain sensitive to the challenges of our small business owners.  Warren’s vision is to build upon strong relationships and partnerships to attract opportunities and allow our families to live with dignity and respect.

Labor Unions

Speaking of Labor Unions, Warren recently said, “We must strengthen labor unions, and in so doing, we fight for both middle and working class families. To me, this means increasing the minimum wage to a livable wage and combating so called �?right to work’ legislation. I will be a bold and unapologetic advocate when it comes to supporting unions because I understand as union membership grows so does the middle class.”

We can accomplish this task of supporting unions through the following actions:

  • Work with members of Congress to make it easier to form a union through a simple yes or no, up or down vote. This way working women and men can gain a larger share of the economy’s gains.
  • Find solutions at the federal level to reverse the �?right to work’ legislation because labor unions both raise wages and improve working conditions.
  • Fight for stiff penalties against those that violate labor laws.
  • On TPA and TPP: Until someone can demonstrate that these agreements won’t hurt the middle class and working people more broadly, Warren cannot support it.

Small Business

Warren knows that small businesses are the backbone of the American workforce. To that end, Warren supports a Legacy Business Mentoring Program to ensure that businesses will be successful and sustainable in the global economy. As your Congressional Representative, Warren will also serve as a leader–ensuring minority representation goals are met. A Wall Street Journal article explained that African Americans have been missed by the rebound in Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans [40]. Although there has been increasing focus on this issue recently and some progress has been made, Warren will fight to increase access to SBA low interest loans for Small Business owners, and will work to establish a Small Business Competition Advisory Council to support businesses in the 4th Congressional District. Recommendations from this group will shed light on how to best invest in our small business.  For our minority and veteran owned businesses to remain viable, Warren will be a strong advocate for small businesses by working to ensure prime government contract opportunities are delivered to the 4th Congressional District.

In order to compete in the 21st century, Warren believes that we must rework our tax code. This means lowering the corporate tax rate. We cannot, however lose federal revenue in order to accomplish this task. This means removing special interest loopholes, so our small business in Maryland’s 4th Congressional District can be more competitive both domestically and internationally

On The Issues: Small Business

Warren knows small businesses are the backbone of both the American workforce and the middle class. As Congressman, he will work to ensure our small businesses have access to capital and prime government contracts, make the tax code fair and stable, and ensure the playing field is level. Warren will work hard to remove barriers to market entry and make it easier for entrepreneurs to innovate. As a former small business owner, Warren understands the needs of small businesses, and will be sensitive to the difficulties associated with the implementation of federal programs. As a Member of Congress, he will always advocate on their behalf in the House of Representatives.

Leveling the Playing Field

Eliminate Unfair Loopholes: In order for our small businesses
to better compete, we have to eliminate unfair tax loopholes. These tax breaks create winners and losers because they favor some, while making it more difficult for our small businesses to compete in the global marketplace.

Tax Fairness and Stability: We must implement targeted tax relief to help our small businesses compete. While it is true, when it comes to our largest corporations, we do not want to use the tax code to give away the proverbial store, it is also true that some corporations are paying an effective tax rate less than many of our small businesses. Warren will work to ensure the gap is narrowed and our small businesses are not overburdened by the tax code.

Tax Relief and the Minimum Wage: Warren will tie the actions associated with changing the tax code to a raise in the minimum wage. This is important because when we increase the minimum wage to a livable wage, and reduce the tax burden on small businesses, we will give small businesses more money in their pockets, while increasing the purchasing power of our residents so they can buy more goods and services.

These actions are important because they will also reduce the likelihood small businesses will have to increase costs to the consumer or eliminate jobs to cover the cost of the increase in the minimum wage.

Access and Opportunity:

Prime Government Contracts: As a former Chief of Staff at the Department of the Interior’s Business Enterprise Center, Warren knows how the federal government works. This knowledge is vitally important to ensuring our businesses gain access to government contracts. Warren and his staff will work to ensure federal dollars are returned to this district in the form of government contracts and public-private partnerships.

Access to Capital: We must make it easier for our businesses to access the capital necessary to be successful. This has not always been the case. As an example, a Wall Street Journal article explained African Americans have been missed by the rebound in Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans [40] since the Great Recession. Although some progress has been made, Warren will fight to increase access to low interest loans for Small Business owners across the District in both Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties.

Advisory Council: Warren will also work to establish a Small Business Competition Advisory Council to support businesses in the 4th Congressional District. Recommendations from this group will shed light on how to best invest in our small business.

Mentorship: Warren supports a Legacy Business Mentoring Program to ensure that businesses will be successful and sustainable in the global economy. As your Congressional Representative, Warren will serve as a leader–ensuring minority representation goals are met.