About Kelley

After serving in the Peace Corps in Guatemala, Kelley has returned home to the U.S. and is now working on Arsenal for Democracy as a co-host and contributor.

Oct 12, 2016 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 155

Posted by Bill on behalf of the team.

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Topics: What broad lessons on direct democracy and foreign policy should be drawn from the Colombia peace deal referendum failure? People: Bill, Jonathan, Kelley, and Greg. Produced: Oct 10th, 2016.

Episode 155 (55 min):
AFD 155

Discussion Points:

– Why did Colombia’s peace deal referendum fall apart?
– When is it appropriate to use direct democracy referenda and when is it better to use representatives to make decisions?
– When achieving justice and reaching peace are conflicting goals, which gets sacrificed?

Related links:

The Nation: “Did Human Rights Watch Sabotage Colombia’s Peace Agreement?”
Chapo Trap House episode on Colombia
July 2015 AFD report on Colombia negotiations

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Sept 28, 2016 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 153

Posted by Bill on behalf of the team.

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We are back on the air for the first time since December 2015!

Topics: Partial 2016 major themes recap. People: Bill, Kelley, Greg, Sarah. Produced: Sept 21st, 2016.

Episode 153 (56 min):
AFD 153

Discussion Points:

– Millennial voting patterns in 2016
– The return of Bush Administration officials
– Brexit and the failed response to right-wing populism

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December 2, 2015 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 152

Posted by Bill on behalf of the team. End notes written by Kelley.

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Topics: Big Ideas for Reforming American Governance — Criminal Justice and Prison Reform. People: Bill, Kelley, Nate. Produced: November 29th, 2015.

NOTE: Our show is now officially on hiatus until September 2016; details at the end of the episode. Thank you all for listening.

Episode 152 (51 min):
AFD 152

Discussion Points:

– Overburdened courts and public defenders
– Systemic, compounding racial bias in the criminal justice system: Arrest, representation, pleas, juries, sentencing, parole
– Mandatory minimums: What went wrong?
– The purpose of prisons: Inmate storage or rehabilitation?
– The economics of prisons: Let’s build local economies not dependent on prisons
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Proposed: A Constitutional Right to Housing for All

In this Arsenal For Democracy mini-series, we propose new, progressive Constitutional rights. Part I: A right to housing, by Kelley.

Participating in the American dream requires a roof over one’s head. It does not have to be a fancy roof, but it does have to provide a little space to get yourself ready for work in the morning and a safe place to tuck your children in at night.

What if the American people and their government decided that having a home was not a privilege, but a right? Imagine a constitutional amendment to that effect:

“Every person has the right to adequate housing regardless of means. The legislature [or Congress] shall make such laws as are necessary to secure this right to all residents.”

The moral case for an absolute right to housing should be clear. All people deserve a little corner of the world to help them feel safe and stay healthy. They just do. A lack of housing can prevent progress in any other aspect of one’s life – from finding stable employment to keeping your children in school. Without stable housing, it is difficult, if not impossible, for people to break out of the oppressive cycle of poverty.

The economic case for a right to housing is also clear. Helping individuals and families to secure a place to live allows them to focus on finding employment, addressing health problems, or whatever other roadblocks may exist in their life. This allows them to contribute to the US economy and reduces their dependence on other government aid programs.

The history of housing policy in America is one tainted with efforts to help potential White homeowners, while making it nearly impossible for people of color to purchase a home. From Jim Crow laws to redlining loan policies to deed restrictions to the creation of ghettos, there is no doubt that the United States has an ugly and racist history when it comes to housing.

In recent years, states and cities have taken two distinct approaches to homelessness. The first approach is to criminalize homelessness, allowing individuals to be arrested for being outside at night or even adding active deterrence measures in public spaces. The second approach is to create long-term solutions for the homeless, particularly for homeless veterans.

What if the American people went farther? What if we no longer waited for cities and states to provide housing for their citizens but told our government that housing was a human right and demanded that they act accordingly, providing housing for all of America’s citizens?

We wouldn’t be the first country to do so. The EU has included the right to adequate housing as a part of its human rights charter. Many member states have taken significant steps in making this right a reality for their citizens. Notably, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden have enshrined the right to housing in their constitution.

The moral and economic imperative to make housing a right in the United States exists. The only question is – will anybody act?

November 18, 2015 – Arsenal For Democracy 151

Posted by Bill on behalf of the team.

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Topics: Big Ideas for Reforming American Governance — A Better Education Reform Movement and Right to Housing. People: Bill, Kelley, Nate. Produced: November 15th, 2015.

NOTE: No show next Wednesday due to the Thanksgiving break. Don’t miss our December 2nd episode.

Episode 151 (52 min):
AFD 151

Discussion Points:

– What might a better, less top-down version of an education reform movement look like?
– How can we fund public schools more effectively and fairly?
– Should there be a constitutional right to housing?

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And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video game blog of our announcer, Justin.

November 11, 2015 – Arsenal For Democracy 150

Posted by Bill on behalf of the team.

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Topics: Big Ideas for Reforming American and Global Governance — Health Care Reform and Economic Orthodoxy. People: Bill, Kelley, Nate, Greg. Produced: November 8th, 2015.

Episode 150 (56 min):
AFD 150

Discussion Points:

– What’s next in U.S. health reform?
– Are the orthodoxies of mid-century economics trapping us on 21st century problems?

Related Links

Last week’s episode on state single-payer campaigns
AFD, July 2014: Wall Street wants to make money off “urgent care”
Compare Your Country Health Care Spending
“Kaiser Report finds state budget savings in some Medicaid expansion states”
Washington Post: “US once again has most expensive, least effective health care system in survey”
Naked Capitalism: “Wait: Maybe Europeans are as Rich as Americans”

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And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video game blog of our announcer, Justin.

Oct 28, 2015 – Arsenal For Democracy Ep. 148

Posted by Bill on behalf of the team.

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Guest: Heather R. Andrews. Topics: RushCard malfunctions harm vulnerable, low-income consumers; why the post office should offer some banking services; what we can learn from a 1945 speech by President Truman. People: Bill, Kelley. Produced: October 25th, 2015.

Episode 148 (48 min):
AFD 148

Discussion Points:

– Broken promises as a prepaid debit card pitched, with hip-hop cred, to poor consumers breaks down.
– Should the post office offer limited banking services for low-income people in the U.S.?
– In a Sept 1945 address to Congress, Pres. Truman outlined what the country must do after the war. What can we learn from that today?

Related Links

Guest essay by Heather R. Andrews: “Russell Simmons’ RushCard leaves vulnerable flat broke”
AFD: “Should USPS be empowered again to offer banking services?”
AFD: “13 of Truman’s 21 policy points from 1945 are relevant today”

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RSS Feed: Arsenal for Democracy Feedburner
iTunes Store Link: “Arsenal for Democracy by Bill Humphrey”

And don’t forget to check out The Digitized Ramblings of an 8-Bit Animal, the video game blog of our announcer, Justin.