Washington Democratic congressional contender Rebecca Parson has a solution to soaring housing prices: break into empty houses.
Parson fantasized about the prospects of over a million people across the United States occupying empty houses to compel Congress to pass a Housing for All bill in an ad featuring the congressional hopeful cutting through a chain-linked fence to invade a foreclosed home.
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"You should be angry and hopeful. Imagine I proposed a Housing for All bill in Congress. Then, imagine you, me, and a million of our friends took action and occupied empty houses nationwide. They couldn't ignore us," Parson said in the ad, as music by the band Rage Against the Machine roared in the background.
Her home invasion protest proposal appears to be illegal, likely breaching state laws against trespassing, but Parson seemed unfazed.
"We're on the edge of collapse. The corporate elite tell us not to worry, but what has doing what they told us ever gotten us," she asked. "Billionaires tell us, 'You'll own nothing, and you'll be happy.' Well, f*** that."
Parson recalled she ended up living in her car after doing "what they told me" by obtaining a master's degree. She then crowed about how she rebelled and occupied empty buildings with her compatriots to secure 200 shelter beds for her town.
A full moon lit the sky as she breezed past a "private property" sign to enter a foreclosed house, as shown in her ad.
Parson took note of the scale of her proposal.
"No one has ever done anything like this," Parson said in the ad. "That's why it's going to work."
$30 is the bare minimum in every county in the US for an adult with a kid to afford housing, food, healthcare, basic necessities. No vacations, no eating out. Those are the facts and no amount of praying to Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman will change that.— Rebecca Parson for Congress, WA-06 (@RebeccaforWA) May 20, 2022
Parson later appeared to backpedal on some of her claims in the ad.
"First off, I don't advocate for anyone to break the law," Parson told the Washington Examiner. "This was a call to use the millions of empty homes in this country for what they're intended for: to house people instead of sitting empty, while 600,000 people are homeless, including veterans and working families with kids. There are 13 million empty homes in the U.S., and roughly two-thirds of them are empty year-round."
The candidate said she was specifically referencing bank and corporate-owned homes in her calls for housing occupation, explaining the ad intended to further a housing policy agenda that guarantees housing as a human right.
"I'm not calling on people to randomly break into buildings. I am proposing national rent control for all and a $30 minimum wage that ends this war on the poor," she explained.
"I'm happy to see this advertisement was thought-provoking and getting people talking. It's a visual to get us all thinking about this gigantic and national homelessness problem and to get us, as a group, thinking of solutions. Just think of how we could use these empty houses to end homelessness. This video is not an instruction manual," she continued.
Two years ago, Parson served as a spokeswoman for Tacoma Housing Now, which put people experiencing homelessness into 16 hotel rooms, occupying the facility and demanding the government foot the bill, KING5 reported. The group backed off after the police intervened.
Details of this striking housing protest plan were not immediately clear. The Washington Examiner reached out to her campaign for further explanation.
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Her platform calls for several reforms to housing policy, including national rent control and increased restrictions for evictions.
Parson is running in the Democratic primary for Washington's 6th Congressional District, which is set to take place in August. She previously lost a bid for that party's nod for a congressional seat in 2020.