Rebuilding our Economy
Our communities were built through hard work, honest labor, and innovation. We are a network of shopkeepers, farmers, construction workers, teachers, engineers, innovators. Despite government policy that has stacked the deck against working men and women for decades, Americans remain committed to supporting our neighbors and building our communities. We’ve seen small businesses lost to national corporations, and we've seen careers that support families replaced by low-wage jobs, and we know in our hearts that this is wrong. This is not the America we want to live in. These days, it is impossible for average, hardworking people to get ahead, because all the wealth in our country is going to the top. In an age of automation, off-shoring, and short-sighted trade deals, we need a new economy strengthened from the ground up. I commit to work tirelessly on solutions that will strengthen our foundations and build local economies that are sustainable into the future.
Invest in Comprehensive Infrastructure
We must commit to an estimated $4.5 trillion in public investment over the next 10 years to rebuild our communities and nation. An underfunded, half-baked, privatized model will fall short.
Our bridges, drinking water supplies, wastewater systems, schools, airports and shipping ports, all require significant rebuilding.
Our rural communities and farms need broadband access, and our grid needs modernizing to accept renewable and decentralized energy storage. It’s estimated that fully investing in this priority could bring at least 3,000 new jobs to District 23.
Invest in Workers and Manufacturers
Our District and families continue to be hit hard by losses in our manufacturing sector. These jobs represent some of the highest-paying opportunities and employ our most skilled workforce.
Voting on legislation to encourage manufacturing alone is not sufficient — we must also protect the workers employed in this sector and help them to proactively embrace changing markets. We cannot allow our workers and factories to be left behind in a world moving toward renewables and in the face of increased automation and efficiencies.
We must ensure that our youth and adults both have the pathways for the training needed to develop new skills and meet new market demands.
Invest in Manufacturing and Local Partnerships
We cannot sit back and hope that the next round of layoffs won't affect the manufacturers and workers in our district whose employment is associated with the fossil fuel industry. These manufacturers provide some of our best paying jobs, and the workers are some of the most skilled in our district.
We must invest in our skilled workforce and facilities by providing them the training and retrofitting needed to get ahead on a world increasingly moving to renewable energy. Doing so has the potential to unlock and provide more new career pathways than even the strongest years in the fossil fuel sector.
Investment in Innovation and Technology
We must support investment in research and technology to maintain an edge over international advancement and drive new economic opportunities.
Investing in Local Networks and Resources
We can empower our existing local economic networks and provide new opportunities by supporting and creating more pathways for our industries to connect and innovate.
Federal Job Guarantee
Increased automation, artificial intelligence, and labor productivity are projected to threaten up to 45 percent of American jobs in the coming decades, hitting lower-wage job sectors harder. Millions could face unemployment with societal collapse unless we begin planning accordingly.
It is also the reality that certain areas of our nation and district are unable to generate enough economic opportunities to sustain all communities. Two potential solutions include a universal basic income or a federal job guarantee.
At present I feel that a federal job guarantee is a more advantageous path.