There’s a groundswell of new volunteers at the Democratic Party. Candidates are talking about healthcare, gay rights, and Planned Parenthood. This plays great with progressive voters. But we are all talking to ourselves inside a bubble.
What are we doing for all the white and Latino working class people who voted for Trump? Are we going to totally blow it in 2018 because we ignored the victims of bad housing because we didn’t knock on doors in trailer parks? These are the people who elected Trump, and they are losing confidence in him.
- 44,000 people live in mobile home parks in Tucson. They are Trump voters if they voted.
- There are 430 mobile home parks where tenants are living in a housing nightmare, being abused and taken advantage of by park landlords. They live at the whim of the landlord.
- 10% of housing stock in Tucson is mobile home parks.
- There is no regulation of mobile home parks in Arizona.
It is Dickensian and it’s right here in town. In my Precinct, #238, I knocked on doors and made phone calls to people who live in beautiful condos and grand houses sitting on enormous lots. As Tamar Rala Kreiswirth pointed out, 25% of these Democrats in Tucson didn’t vote in 2016.
You know that lily-white Republicans would never leave their country clubs to dirty their hands by going into a trailer park.
Are we going to let it happen again?
Are we afraid to see poverty in person? Do we lack the guts to meet housing victims face-to-face? Are we too prissy and effete to actually go to the homes of people who need our help?
Or are we Democrats people with cojones, guts and heart?
The National Low Income Housing Coalition shows that a typical Arizona renter needs to work 70 hours a week just to pay rent.
A person working in zip code 85705 makes $13.27 per hour or $520 per month. The Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom home is $690 per month.
Read some of the headlines:
Two weeks without water for mobile home park residents
Tucson’s aging mobile homes: Problems run deep, but solutions do exist
Goal: Hold irresponsible trailer-park landlords accountable in Tucson
So put on your camo baseball cap, change out of your sandals and get into some shoes from Walmart. Put on a shirt from Bass Pro Shops. Leave your jewelry behind and stop reading The New Yorker and read Hillbilly Elegy.
We may be able to win seats in the 2018 mid-term election, but not if we sit in our comfortable houses and ignore voters who are being viciously mistreated. Get out there and be real Democrats, dammit.