Now is the time for us to value hard work, prioritize wage growth and support working families. I have spent my career working alongside Midwest manufacturing companies large and small. We must get serious about the cost of living and earnings. I support increasing the minimum wage and encouraging larger businesses to support the $15 minimum wage. In an age when corporate executives make up to 300 times more than the average worker, we need to encourage wage growth through equal access to opportunity, where every child can live up to their full potential to succeed.
We need to reorient our policies so that people, not corporations, are at the forefront. Public private partnerships are critical to growing our economy and are something I believe in, having spent a career working at the intersection of industry and government.
I was at the table when the Economic Development Administration invested in the Detroit Regional Chamber to create a supplier diversification program. I have managed and created job training programs focused on advanced manufacturing and believe Michigan’s future of automation and innovation will continue to unlock incredible job opportunities, as long as we have policy makers advocating for the value of technical talent and hard work.
Manufacturing is the backbone of the economy in Southeast Michigan, and I am running as a woman in manufacturing with the economic development experience that will bring industry and government leaders together to produce outcomes for our district.
I support collective bargaining rights and value the service labor unions provide to our workers. I am a staunch supporter of the Davis-Bacon Act (1931) that established a prevailing wage for public works, and I have been an outspoken critic of Lansing’s attempt to repeal Michigan’s prevailing wage law on the state level.
We must address the Michigan teacher shortage by investing in public education at pre-K through grade 12. Public education dollars must be fully allocated, and our educators should receive the respect and dignity they deserve. We can address income disparities by providing access to affordable higher education for all. The average student loan debt in Michigan is nearly $30,000 and I will take on predatory lenders and corrupt, for-profit institutions of higher education. We need to protect interest rates, support our borrowers with fair repayment options and make secondary education accessible. That means free community college options and fair costs for in-state schools.
For the burgeoning and existing workforce, I believe in a 21st century labor movement that protects workers, supports training programs, and pays a livable wage. We need a federal government that strategically invests in research and development that supports the great innovation taking place in southeastern Michigan. My background has been tied to innovation programs and job creation efforts, and that is where I will be focused in Congress.
We need to support trade deals that prioritize the American worker and keep profits within our borders, while also holding China accountable. I would like to see a negotiation of trade agreements to level the playing field of wages and with new leadership, we can get these deals done.
Finally, I believe we must once and for all end the gender pay gap and support paid family leave for all Americans.