5/17 Cash Home Buying Scam & Oakland Teachers Strike Win w/ Anjeanette Damon & Byard Duncan; Vilma Serrano

May 17, 2023

It’s Hump Day! Sam hosts Anjeanette Damon, government accountability reporter in ProPublica‘s Southwest Office, and Byard Duncan, engagement reporter also at ProPublica, to discuss their recent piece entitled “The Ugly Truth Behind “We Buy Ugly Houses”. Then, Sam is joined by Vilma Serrano of the Oakland Education Association (OEA), to discuss the recent agreement struck between striking teachers and the school district. First, Sam runs through updates on Democrats’ victories in yesterday’s special elections, debt ceiling discussions, a potential expulsion of George Santos, the continuing abuse of Dianne Feinstein, North Carolina’s abortion ban, and Missouri’s reversal of a trans healthcare ban, before diving into the alleged sale of pardons by Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump. Anjeanette Damon and Byard Duncan then join as they dive right into “We Buy Houses” and the franchises of the house wholesale industry, with individuals buying into the branding and advertising system that the national company offers to jumpstart their legitimacy, before looking to their practice of targeting homeowners that simultaneously find themselves in an insecure situation while also maintaining a higher home equity rate, allowing these seemingly “legitimate” (though largely unlicensed and unregulated) brokers to frame the sale around their debts and expenses rather than the actual worth of the house. Stepping back, Damon and Duncan explore the lack of regulation and licensing requirements in the cash-focused house wholesaler industry, as well as the actual practice of wholesaling, before wrapping up by tackling the massive information asymmetry on housing data and how the housing flipping industry aims to keep it that way. Vilma Serrano jumps right into the recent 7-day strike by the Oakland Education Association, walking through the need for the wholesale rebuilding of the Oakland public school system, and the 7 months of fruitless negotiations on the matter, also touching on the major issues at hand, and how the union hopes to address them. Expanding on this, Serrano and Sam tackle the rise of Social Unionism, and the importance of fighting for broader community needs, before wrapping up the interview by parsing through the destructive effect of Bill Gates’ education reform movement.

And in the Fun Half: Sam dives into the Right’s ridiculous attempts to keep the Durham investigation drama alive, from Tommy Tuberville’s “don’t ask don’t tell” tactic to Tim Pool’s bank heist analogy, and touches on the North Carolina abortion ban. August from the Finger Lakes brings up the supposed redemption of George W. Bush, Liam from Portland explores class’ role in intersectionality, and Austin from Georgia discusses Cop City, and police “justice.” Mike from Philly brings Marianne Williamson into the mix, and the MR Crew dives into Elon Musk’s “White Supremacy’s violence is a psyop, actually” take, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Anjeanette and Byard’s work here: https://www.propublica.org/article/ugly-truth-behind-we-buy-ugly-houses

Get more info about the OEA here: https://oaklandea.org/

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