Stanley Chang: "I Would Be Honored To Join The Congressional Progressive Caucus"-- A Guest Post
by Stanley Chang
I am a lifelong Democrat and a proud progressive, and in my time in public service, I’ve built a strongly progressive record. If elected to Congress, I would be honored to join the Congressional Progressive Caucus to continue fighting for the values I’ve built my public service record around.
From the beginning of my time in public service, I was one of the first elected officials in Hawaii who publicly and consistently supported marriage equality. I will continue to fight for equal rights for the LGBT community, because while marriage equality is now reality in Hawaii, the battles against discrimination in employment and school bullying, among other issues, are far from complete.
I care deeply about Honolulu’s homeless population and have dramatically increased support for those who need it the most. I voted to appropriate a record amount for compassionate services for the homeless, including theHousing First initiative to give the most vulnerable homeless safe places to live and $10 million for homeless service centers that will provide hygiene, drug and alcohol counseling, and other comprehensive services. I advocated for a pu’uhonua initiative modeled after ancient Hawaiian cities of refuge for the homeless to live safely. And the version of Bill 59 that I proposed actually specified that its prohibition against blocking sidewalks did not apply to the homeless.
I’ve fought to stop the escalating burdens on the middle class in Honolulu. I voted against Bill 42, which increased taxes on residential properties valued at over $1 million regardless of the owner’s income. Our city’s median home price is already approaching $1 million, and most million-dollar homes here are modest family homes, far from luxury mansions. While the value of those homes has increased significantly in recent years, family incomes have not, and balancing the budget on the backs of working families is just bad policy.
The battle to advance the progressive agenda is not easy, and I’ve welcomed help from all sides to join the fight. The Hawaii Future Caucus, which I co-founded, brings together a bipartisan coalition focusing on two very specific issues: government transparency and voter participation. These issues lie at the very core of the progressive agenda in this country. I’m happy that they are now common ground for a new generation of bipartisan leaders.
These issues only scratch the surface of the progressive movement, and I’ve vocally advocated for many more issues across the spectrum of progressive values. For example, while on the Honolulu City Council I introduced resolutions in support of President Obama’s climate change plan as well as the President’s national plan to prevent gun violence. Comprehensive immigration reform, protecting Social Security and Medicare, women’s rights, and many more are part of my core beliefs. My life’s work is to bring this strong, progressive voice to our community and our country, and that’s why I’m running for Congress.