Winfield, Candidate in Georgia Run for U.S. Senate Envisions $900 Monthly Child Allowance And Zero Unemployment

Federal Job Guarantee,eviction, foreclosure, utility turnoffs ,Cathy Marszalik,U.S. Senate ,Richard Dien ,Legal Care for All ,So
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Winfield makes case for a Social Bill of Rights to a voter on the pre-COVID campaign trail. Photo credit: Cathy Marszalik

 

What would your community be like if there was no unemployment? If every child brought into the world could be cared for by parents on paid leave and supported by a direct $900 monthly child allowance covering the costs of child rearing? If no one ever faced the threat of eviction, foreclosure, and utility turnoffs and all housing was affordable and in excellent condition? 

 

How would your life change if you were paid a fair minimum wage of $20 an hour no matter what, and be treated with respect on the job thanks to being a member of a union? 

 

In the ongoing special U.S. Senate race in Georgia, Richard Dien Winfield has been posing these questions and providing bold policy solutions. Winfield, a Philosophy professor and union member at the University of Georgia, is running on a platform unlike any in the country. Like many progressives, he supports a Green New Deal, a comprehensive single payer healthcare program he refers to as Super Medicare for All, comprehensive immigration reform, and raising taxes on the super rich.

 

He centers his campaign, however, around a Federal Job Guarantee tied to a fair minimum wage starting at $20 an hour—a bold policy that would eradicate unemployment and poverty income by putting people to work providing public goods and services that the free market does not reliably supply. 

 

Winfield is also the only candidate—in the country—who advocates a policy for public Legal Care for All: modeled after Medicare for All, free Legal Care for All would stop wealth from tilting our justice system by giving every person fair access to quality representation in civil and criminal cases thanks to a public legal insurance system covering all personal legal expenses.

 

His campaign also recently launched #RightToArt, an artists initiative to highlight his Arts and Culture policy, which calls for the federal government to fund creative professions. He refers to many of these reform policies as part of a "Social Bill of Rights", as he understands the solutions to our social and economic problems must be as interconnected and systemic as their causes.

 

Winfield’s candidacy seeks to show that political campaigns can and should be valuable exercises in a healthy democracy, worthwhile for the emancipatory energy they can generate in the public sphere. Winfield hosts a podcast, America Unchained, an in-depth exploration of many of his policy points, where he discusses at greater length than on the campaign trail such topics as reparations, worker rights, and how to make guaranteed housing a reality. High school teens make memes and Tik Toks with their friends about his platform, blending their political commitments and personal interests. The campaign staff displays the intersection of gender, age, and racial identities: the small staff is largely composed of women— predominantly young women and women of color. The #RightToArt project hosts virtual discussions about art, fostering artistic discussion and collaboration in the name of a more beautiful political world.

 

This way of thinking about politics breaks the mold. Winfield’s campaign has exposed how divisions amongst employees have been fabricated by Republicans and upheld by the Democratic party establishment, and how pernicious divisions by race, gender, sexuality, and nationality can be overcome with a rights-based policy benefitting everyone.  

 

His approach counters the assumption that Georgia, or the Deep South, is doomed to be a barren ground for emancipatory politics: where else can the calls for Medicare for All be heard more clearly than in a state that's seen dozens of hospitals shutter, the number of uninsured soar, and health outcomes worsen?

 

Where else are paid maternal and paternal leave, free childcare, and child allowances more urgent than in the state with the highest Black maternity mortality rate? Where else is the need for a fair minimum wage and the right to unionize more salient than in a state whose largest industry depends on the exploitation of migrant farmworkers and low-income processing plant workers? Where else do these calls seem most at home, than in the state and amongst a people with a rich history of leadership and activism in the Civil Rights Movement? 

 

There are radical roots here, and Winfield’s campaign stubbornly, optimistically sprouts from the clay. 

 

More info. can be found on our website (https://www.winfieldforsenate.com/), Instagram (@winfield_for_senate), and Twitter (@WinfieldForUS). 

 

You can reach the staff at lorna.chitty@winfieldforsenate.com or at 229.740.3441. 

 

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