This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by socialist congressional candidate and political organizer Imani Oakley, formerly legislative director for New Jersey Working Families, deputy chief of staff in the New Jersey State Assembly, and constituent advocate in the US Senate. She is also the first Dean of Movement Building at the Movement School and recently declared her candidacy in New Jersey’s 10th congressional district, challenging four-term incumbent Donald Payne Jr. in the June 2022 Democratic primary.
Imani describes the experiences that galvanized her to get involved in policy making at the highest levels of government while pushing her further and further to the left, from witnessing police brutality in her neighborhood to working in the district office of Senator Cory Booker. Imani also talks about her work at Working Families, where she took on New Jersey’s wildly corrupt ballot design, protesting the Biden administration’s eviction inaction with Cori Bush on the Capitol steps, her vision for housing policy, her opponent’s warm relations with ICE, and how she’s taking on the notoriously entrenched New Jersey political machine.
This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by Shanti Singh and René Christian Moya. Shanti is the Legislative and Communications Director for the statewide tenants rights organization Tenants Together. René is an organizer with the L.A. Tenants Union and campaign coordinator for ACCE, the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment.
Shanti and René join us to discuss the consequences of evictions in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, and how the eviction moratorium has played out for renters. We examine the impact of the moratorium, the lack of tenancy protections, and the displacement of the homelessness in California.
The crew also discusses the nefarious ties between members of the real estate industry and property owners and their efforts to further criminalize the unhoused communities in California.
Follow René on Twitter @rcmoya84 and you can also visit the LA Tenants Union’s website at join.latenentsunion.org to become a member. You can follow Shanti on Twitter @uhshanti and Tenants Together @tenantstogether and learn more about how you can support their work at tenantstogether.org.
This week, Roqayah and Kumars are joined by labor and tech reporter extraordinaire Edward Ongweso Jr., a staff writer at Vice’s Motherboard and cohost of This Machine Kills, a podcast about the political economy of tech.
Ed shares a bit about his own history as an organizer, which saw him involved in the successful campaign to pass the country's first ride-hail vehicle license cap for drivers in New York City, before expanding on his reporting about the nationwide strike of Uber and Lyft drivers on July 21. The gang discusses the package of antitrust legislation targeting the tech sector currently waiting for a floor vote in the House of Representatives, the provisions of the PRO Act reportedly included in Democrats’ Senate infrastructure bill and how they would impact labor struggles in the gig economy. Ed explains why Uber’s business model is not what it seems and that it is unprofitable by design, situating the company’s practices in the context of the possibility of a tech bubble in the stock market and its implications for the broader economy. The gang rounds out the conversation by zooming in on US-based tech entrepreneurs’ predatory and increasingly devastating push for the adoption of cryptocurrencies by vulnerable populations worldwide.
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