Economic and Housing Justice

From workers’ rights to monthly payments in people’s pockets, Rashida fights for economic & housing justice for all.

Throughout the pandemic, Rashida has led the fight to get stimulus payments directly into people’s pockets every month. One-time relief payments are not enough. She’s also been calling to end student loan debt and to make college free for all.

Her visionary economic legislation includes plans for a near-universal basic income without increasing public debt. Her proposal also includes creating jobs in a new Emergency Response Corps to check in on unhoused people and others in need. 

Serving on the U.S. House of Representatives’ Financial Services Committee, Rashida holds big banks accountable, levels the playing field for credit reporting (which affect people’s ability to get housing, jobs, auto insurance, and more), and keeps pushing for ways to make banking more accessible—especially when it comes to increasing homeownership. 

Throughout Rashida’s life she has joined striking workers and has supported workers’ rights, from the perspective of someone who truly understands what it’s like to struggle financially. When Rashida’s father joined a union, her family was able to get healthcare for the first time. She believes that supporting our workers is at the core of fighting against corporate greed. We all deserve to feel safe at work and make a wage that truly values the work we put in for ourselves and our families.

Rashida is also addressing Michigan’s and the nation’s decline in Black homeownership, which is at the lowest rate in nearly 50 years. Rashida has focused on housing justice and investing in home repair—one of the top issues our campaign has encountered from residents as we checked in about their top priorities in 2021. Homeownership is a vital part of economic stability for families across the nation.

Rashida is also an unwavering advocate for tenants, fighting predatory landlords and lenders side-by-side with grassroots housing justice groups, as well as expanding banking opportunities and access to credit. She’s also challenging Detroit’s discriminatory property tax system that taxes the least expensive homes at six times the rate of the most expensive homes.

Here are some of the ways Rashida has fought for economic and housing justice since serving in Congress.

Housing justice

  • Passed a bill to expand homeownership opportunities by pushing for more support for small-dollar mortgages: the Improving FHA Support for Small Dollar Mortgages Act of 2021.
  • Secured $3 billion for the Restoring Communities Left Behind Act, which funds home repairs and neighborhood revitalization, as well as homeownership and financing assistance to low-income households. It passed the U.S. House through the Build Back Better Act package.
  • Introduced the Tenant Empowerment Act, bold legislation to strengthen HUD tenant protections and provide them with the tools necessary to improve the quality of their homes.
  • Pushed not only for a national eviction moratorium, but to cancel mortgage and rent payments during the pandemic, including debt forgiveness and protecting people’s credit ratings and rental history.
  • Held hearings in the House Committee on Financial Services for her bill the No Biometric Barriers Act, which would prohibit dangerous and potentially unconstitutional biometric technology, such as facial recognition technology, from being used in federal public housing. 
  • Held a housing justice congressional hearing in her district, as well as a neighborhood housing tour with the chairman and members of the House Financial Services Committee. Local community experts spoke about the institutionalized discrimination that’s caused our housing affordability crisis and how we must address the crisis by expanding civil rights protections and investment in affordable housing.
  • Created a local legislative working group to address housing access.
  • Rashida has helped ensure that her district was included in the latest CDC eviction moratorium, even explicitly thanked by a district court judge for clarifying the law and keeping Detroit families in their homes.

Credit scores, banking, and auto industry accountability

  • Passed a bill that would remove medically necessary debt from credit reports. Medical debt is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy in our country, but undergoing a medically necessary procedure should never haunt someone financially. That’s why Rashida also passed the Restoring Unfairly Impaired Credit & Protecting Consumers Act, which reduces time negative credit stays on a credit report from 7 years to 4 years. The bill also protects people’s credit reports from predatory activity, fraud, and medically necessary debt—all things that can lower credit scores and can thus lead to being denied housing, employment, transportation, and other necessities. Rashida also secured an amendment in the National Defense Authorization Act to protect veterans from medically necessary debt on their credit reports.
  • Introduced three bills to prohibit the use of non-driving factors in auto insurance rates, such as education, employment status, credit score, zip code, and homeownership status. Right now, people with higher credit scores but DUIs pay less than people with good driving records but lower credit scores. That’s unacceptable discrimination and redlining, which punishes people just for being poor, and disproportionately punishes communities of color.
  • Successfully pushed the federal government to send people COVID stimulus money via prepaid debit cards rather than checks—ensuring accessibility for the 25% of Americans who are unbanked or underbanked.
  • Introduced the Public Banking Act to open doors for marginalized people who have been systematically shut out of our nation’s private banks.
  • Held two congressional hearings in Washington D.C. on discriminatory practices by the auto insurance industry. 

Workers’ rights

  • Signed into law the Payee Fraud Prevention Act, putting an end to fraudulent activity that targets vulnerable retirees and their pensions.
  • Passed an amendment to the Protecting Older Workers Against Discrimination Act, to protect federal employees from age discrimination.
  • Secured amendment #16 in the House-passed PRO (Protecting the Right to Organize) Act to ensure that people get timely notice for union elections.
  • Introduced the Tax Excessive CEO Pay Act, which takes on corporate greed by raising taxes on companies that pay their top executives at least 50 times more than the pay of a median worker. The pandemic has especially highlighted the gross income inequality and pay gap between CEOs and their employees. This bill would address that, and taxes on corporations would fund critical services for working families. 
  • Pushed for investigations into workplace safety in Amazon facilities, as workers protest unsafe conditions during the pandemic.
  • Supports workers striking for better conditions—locally and in communities across the country.

Lifting people up out of poverty

  • Introduced the BOOST Act, a bill that would uplift 45% of people living in poverty instantly by providing refundable tax credits to individuals and families.
  • Introduced the End Childhood Poverty Act, which would create a universal, monthly child allowance of nearly $400 per child—including the lowest-wealth families who are traditionally left out of the tax credit system. The People’s Policy Project estimates that this bill would cut child poverty by 64% and cut deep child poverty by 70%.
  • Continues to lead the fight in Congress for ongoing COVID-19 direct relief, including introducing the Automatic BOOST to Communities (ABC) Act to send $2,000 monthly payments on debit cards to every person in the United States—including undocumented immigrants, who’ve been left out of COVID relief.
  • Calls for the cancellation of federal student loan debt and to make college free for all.

Supporting local governments and public services

  • Led the fight in Congress for state and local financial COVID relief and secured more than $10 billion for states and local municipalities in the House-passed Heroes Act.
  • Successfully pushed the Federal Reserve to adjust its lending programs to financially support more local governments.
  • Led 111 House colleagues in a historic $305 billion funding push for K-12 schools in the wake of the pandemic.
  • Introduced a bill to repeal opportunity zone tax breaks for billionaire Dan Gilbert, overturning tax break allocations in unqualified communities.

Supporting her community

  • Created four Neighborhood Service Centers throughout the district, bringing critical services to residents that continue to make an immediate impact in people’s lives. Through these centers, our team has assisted thousands of residents with constituent services, including supporting residents with utility and water payments, ensuring residents applied for FEMA assistance after 2021’s flooding, advocacy on landlord tenant issues, legal services, and assistance with various everyday challenges. 
  • Returned more than $4.4 million back to district residents in the form of social security and disability benefits, veteran benefits, debt reduction, tax returns, securing back pay, and helping people navigate government services.
  • Used her office and resources to check on nearly 200,000 people throughout her district—connecting residents to the resources needed during the pandemic and listening to people’s concerns.
  • Rashida and her team created an e-newsletter and host webinars on how organizations can apply for federal grants.
  • Helped raise over $360,000 for grassroots organizations, many based in Rashida’s district, including:
    • Raised over $21,000 dollars to help bail out Michigan mothers in jail on Mother’s Day. 
    • Raised over $17,000 for local organizations supporting seniors and families who faced displacement during 2021’s catastrophic flooding. 
    • Raised and donated over $34,000 for food banks and food distribution services in the district. 
    • Raised over $87,000 for local Black-led, Indigenous-led, Latine-led, and undocumented-led groups.
    • Raised thousands of dollars for local abortion care.

Priorities

  1. Racial and Immigration Justice
  2. Economic and Housing Justice
  3. Healthcare For All
  4. Human Rights Around the World
  5. Environmental Justice
  6. LGBTQ+ and Gender Justice