Welcome to the People’s Platform.
In the wake of the 2020 election, Guilford for All members and volunteers interviewed and surveyed nearly 600 residents across Guilford County. A majority of people we talked to reported making under $35,000 a year and a majority of people were Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and people of color.
People in our community are struggling, worried, and angry. They’re frustrated. While addressing the coronavirus pandemic is important to people, what’s on the top of their minds is making sure regular people have the things they need to survive and thrive: Can we pay the bills this month? Will we be able to stay in our homes? Our neighborhood feels unsafe, can we stay here?
The truth is, even if the pandemic were to disappear tomorrow, most of the problems we need to fix wouldn’t. Guilford County residents need and want education, healthcare, housing policies and programs that work for all of us. We are longing to live in a place that ensures safety and justice for everybody and our loved ones aren’t taken from us from interpersonal or police violence. We want to participate in an economy that leaves no one behind and ensures a planet for those of us alive now and for future generations.
We envision a future where we get to know the joy of living in a Guilford County with a resourced and responsive government that ensures a thriving economy and environment for everybody who calls this place home. We are ready for a governing agenda that actively ensures people’s human rights to education, healthcare, safety, housing, and clean air and water.
DEMOCRACY FOR ALL OF US
We need to be able to decide our own futures by practicing democracy. If people are barred from voting on the issues that affect them the most – through voter suppression or making the workings of government so unclear we cannot provide meaningful input – elected officials will continue to create rig the game to support a wealthy few while making the lives of regular folks harder.
AN ECONOMY FOR ALL OF US
We can tell if our economy is doing well when all of our people are doing well. A good local economy is one that offers all of us what we need to thrive. Good local governance focuses on building a strong foundation for our economy by prioritizing getting living wage jobs and supporting local business owners and workers. It is critical that local governments do what they can to prioritize building our economy from the ground up instead of investing in trickle-down economics. This will require focusing economic development efforts on the people our economy leaves out the most: low-income, poor and working class people, and Black and Brown people.
EDUCATION FOR ALL OF US
We believe in equitable access to education for every child in Guilford County. The foundation for our future is a strong education. Our country and our county have suffered because of systemic race and class-based inequities in our education systems that have been made worse by elected officials who have taken money out of public schooling year after year, and who have weakened our ability to use our government to care for people. We think education is one of the most important resources our government provides, and we want our schools to have what we need to nurture our kids, and where every child has an equal opportunity to succeed. We owe our children a diverse and modern curriculum in safe and clean facilities where students and our school staff can thrive.
HOMES FOR ALL OF US
Everyone deserves a home, and we envision a Guilford County where local elected officials understand that housing is a human right. We envision a country where everyone has a home, and until we get there, we need elected leaders who honor their responsibility to keep as many of our people from falling through the cracks left by the federal and state government as possible. While the housing crisis cannot be solved entirely at the local level, we must prioritize it. We need stable housing because it touches so many areas of our lives: education, health, safety, and overall quality of life. This crisis existed prior to Covid-19, but since the pandemic, the truth of this crisis was made overwhelmingly clear. Because so many of our elected leaders in Guilford County (and across the state, and nationally) are realtors, landlords, and developers, we believe it is time to have real and perhaps difficult conversations around housing and what it means when people in power control who has access to housing, and who doesn’t.
SAFETY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL OF US
We believe that in order for Guilford County to flourish, we must have real safety and justice for all of us who call this place home. Guilford County can become a place where we can get our basic and fundamental needs met safely in a legal economy that makes room for everyone. We must end to violence in our communities and have skillful solutions to interrupt harm outside of the police force. We want everyone in the Greensboro and High Point police departments and the Guilford County Sheriff’s offices to treat all of us like human beings, no matter if we’re Black, an immigrant, experiencing homelessness, or trans. We need a court system that proactively works for regular people just trying to survive, not just the wealthy few.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS FOR ALL OF US
Everyone deserves the care and resources we need to live healthy lives, and to make the most of our time alive. Being Black or Brown, or low-income, or living in East Greensboro or South High Point shouldn’t mean that you live a shorter life, or are more likely to get sick. Being mentally ill shouldn’t make you more likely to go to prison. We must prioritize transparent and accessible solutions that take care of people’s basic needs on the local, statewide, and national level. Expanding health care access for the uninsured and access to Medicaid can ensure we take care of our most vulnerable people. Empowering independent Behavioral Response Teams to work with community members in crisis and being intentional with the ways we ensure Guilford residents are healthy, safe, and have the materials needed to survive is how we build a healthy Guilford County.
TRANSPORTATION FOR ALL OF US
Everyone deserves to be able to get around this city in ways that allows equitable access to housing, food, and jobs through a transportation system that cares for people and the planet. We can do this through expanding our public transportation system, helping people get around in cars, and taking steps to usher in the future of transportation.
THE PLANET FOR ALL OF US
We want Guilford County to be a place we can live, love, play, and enjoy for generations to come. We want to support elected leaders who believe that access to clean water and air is a basic human right. The effects of climate change are inequitable as polluted air, water, and land have been distributed unequally. As our communities continue to experience the effects of climate change have led to worsening tornadoes and flash floods, the decisions to let corporations do what they want allowing industrial cancer-causing chemicals that poison our water, we must create policies that care for our well-being and the well-being of the planet.