Access to 21st Century Jobs for a 21st Century Economy
Record high unemployment numbers, erratic job growth — we are struggling to recover from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. The traditional manufacturing economy that built the middle class has all but evaporated, many white collar jobs have also been outsourced. Now more than ever, we must support emerging technologies and industries that will keep jobs here in this country. We must do more to promote small businesses, entrepreneurial ventures and create green manufacturing businesses and jobs. One of my first priorities in Congress will be fighting for legislation to create 21st century jobs and business opportunities that support our middle-class.
Time for a New Direction in Public Education
No Child Left Behind has been a major disappointment that badly needs reform. It produces a “report card” to penalize our teachers and failing schools, but doesn’t provide real solutions to turn struggling schools around. As the law comes up for re-authorization, we need to look at models that are working; we also need input from educators, parents and the community so we get it right this time. Any reform should include new options that have successfully transformed public schools nationwide, including in our district. I’m a firm believer that if something is broken, either fix it or throw it out. I will be on the front line of this debate in Congress.
Rebuilding our Communities One Block at Time
As a community leader for over three decades, I know that every block is an important part of the fabric of our district — a richly diverse, vibrant community. We need to honor and preserve that diversity. As Congresswoman, I will work to help provide a healthy infrastructure for the district — modern schools, affordable housing, and more green space for play and leisure. Beyond that, I believe everyone should be able to invest in the place they live, work and play. I will push for legislation and credit programs that make it easier for women and minorities to start small businesses here and offer tax incentives to encourage hiring from within our district.
Equal Pay for Equal Work:
The Only Fair Way
Lifting women is key to the success of any economic growth in our country. Currently, women make on average .78 to the dollar that a man makes for the same work. For minority women, the numbers are more dire: for African-American women it’s .63 to the dollar, and Hispanic women bring home only .52 to the dollar that a man makes for a comparable job. It’s unconscionable. We are a decade into the 21st century; equal pay for equal work is long overdue. The Paycheck Fairness Act (which has passed the House, but not the Senate) would be a good start. But we need to ensure that equal pay becomes standard practice in the workplace. In Congress, I’ll fight to make that a reality. I will always support laws safeguarding our most vulnerable citizens — women, children and the elderly—from family and domestic violence. I will strongly oppose any attempt to strip away a woman’s right to choose.
Women make up the majority of single heads-of-household in this country — their issues directly affect our health as a nation on every level. In Congress, I will make sure their concerns are always on the table.
A Jigsaw Puzzle that Needs to be Made Whole
Immigration can’t be treated like a jigsaw puzzle with individual states passing contradictory laws. We need comprehensive immigration reform on the national level now. Reform should recognize our history and how generations before us became Americans. Any legislation passed must include provisions that secure our borders in a humane way, provide incentives that improve people’s lives and advance our economic competitiveness in the world. Congress and the federal government need to step up and act swiftly, before more states pass irresponsible laws that are biased and unfair.