Audio by artist maximize_kindness

Morgan Harper, for US Congress District Three

5:57 minutes (5.61 MB)

Morgan Harper said it is important to elect people to Congress who support the Green New Deal and who will work with a sense of urgency to ensure a habitable planet.

Harper said her early experiences in Columbus inspired her to run.

"I got a lot of lucky breaks here and I want to make sure that every kid no matter the circumstances of their birth gets that same opportunity, and we haven't achieved that vision yet. I've done a lot of things so far to get to the realization of that vision. But I think what we need now is bolder federal action to make sure everyone has housing, healthcare, and that we're doing something about the climate and jobs that pay enough to live."

Harper's completely grassroots-funded campaign had raised more than $550,000 at the time we spoke on Jan 22.

"We've had over 4500 individuals from all 50 states, 90 percent of the zip codes in the 3rd District have supported our campaign, and the most donations we have received from any state have been from Ohio. Our race is an indication that grassroots movenents are possible. You can run on a very progressive platform in Ohio and get traction and be successful. We're going to win on March 17."

Harper said her campaign is in every neighborhood of the 3rd Congressional District.

"We hold community events every Saturday after the week we've been canvassing in an area, to invite people we've met at their doors, to ask me questions or to meet their neighbors...We're really trying to use the campaign to also build community because that is the basis of true grassroots movements, and ultimately what makes us all happy : living together. So we're trying to facilitate that even while we're campaigning."

I asked Harper about methods for processing what voters tell her and canvassers.

Economist Fadhel Kaboub on the Green New Deal and Democratic Socialism

14:19 minutes (13.77 MB)

Fadhel Kaboub:
"What we have right now is a Green New Deal resolution, which is essentially an invitation for the country to come together and think about our priorities and the issues we care about the most. The issues we face today is that we have a climate economic inequality crisis, a social justice crisis...Just like we did in the 1930s to sort of reboot the system and address mass unemployment and poverty and starvation issues, we're going to do the same today except it's not just going to be about unemployment and inequality. It's also going to be about the climate crisis. The good news is that we live in a democratic system and a democratic system is supposed to be participatory, which means a government for the people, by the people, of the people, except right now it's not because we've abdicated that responsibility to corporate elites. What we need to do is elect 535 lawmakers into office who actually answer to the needs of the people...It's not going to happen by accident. It's going to happen thru organizing at the local level, which means be vigilant. Who are your representatives? What do they stand for ? Who do they represent? If they take SuperPAC money, Wall Street money, Big Pharma or fracking money, chances are they are not representing you. So what do we do? We come up with candidates who ...don't take corporate money, who are funded by the power of the people and when they're in office, they're going to be unbought, unbossed and they're going to represent the needs of the people. All it takes 535 of those lawmakers. It's not a big number for a country like the United States. But it takes a lot of hard work at the local level to educate the local community about the needs, about the possibilities, and to organize to unseat anybody who is not representing the democratic process and not representing their people."