Economic Justice & Development

Throughout our district, there exists an amazing entrepreneurial spirit. When I see neighbors coming together to bring community gardens to food deserts and young leaders starting their own nonprofits and businesses, I am reminded of the potential that we have to be the solution to our communities’ most pressing issues. Through my work in social innovation, I have seen what can happen when community leaders and stakeholders come together to bring the change we all know is needed.

Due to a long history of community disinvestment, corporate misconduct, predatory lending practices, and a range of other economic injustices, our community’s ability to prosper has been hampered by those in power. In order to achieve economic justice and reach our full potential, let’s put the power back in the hands of the people.

We need to:

  • Protect our right to organize and unionize. Unions have been the backbone of many progressive reforms and they are the first line of defense for protecting the most vulnerable of our society. Protecting workers and their right to unionize at the federal level is vital to economic development and economic justice. Without the ability to organize, our country will continue to protect the interests of corporations instead of working class communities.

  • Raise the federal minimum wage to a living wage. Working people should not have to sell their labor at below the cost of living. Everybody has a right to live and until people are compensated fairly, this right cannot be realized.

  • Ensure public transportation for all. Affordable and accessible public transportation is crucial to our country’s future. People need a reliable, cost-efficient, and energy-efficient way to get to school and work. Our urban, suburban, and rural communities are far too disconnected. We need to invest heavily in public transportation infrastructure in an effort to reduce and eliminate transit deserts. We also believe in making public transit free for students, as well as low and middle income people.

  • Create development without displacement. Despite what is told to us, we do not have to choose between development and being able to afford to live in the neighborhoods we call home. We can have both. We can do this by revamping federal housing policy with a focus on creating and maintaining affordable housing. At the same time, we’ll promote home ownership for low-income and historically marginalized communities by providing assistance with their down payments. With strong housing protections and assistance, we can improve local economies without displacing our neighbors.

  • Study and enact reparations for descendants of slaves and indigenous peoples. We cannot truly end racism in this country without acknowledging, studying, and addressing the immense harm caused by slavery, as well as the genocide of indigenous peoples. One does not have to look beyond the racial wealth gap, life expectancy gap, and the devastating poverty on native reservations to see the lingering impacts of our nation’s history. Congress needs to start by studying what reparations could look like. We believe that credit revitalization, debt forgiveness, and loan refinancing could play key roles in this important policy.

  • Invest in wealth-creating financial instruments for low-middle income young people. If we want to give our children a shot at upward mobility, our government must give our young people the resources to compete. By increasing access to bonds, educational funds, or subsidized home loans, new generations will receive a shot at wealth creation on a more level playing field.

  • Create jobs by investing in our crumbling infrastructure. Our district’s roads, bridges, and other public works are in desperate need of repair. Investing in the district’s infrastructure will improve economic efficiency, public safety, and create many jobs in the process.

  • Invest in community programs that work. Programs designed to help our entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, and problem solvers are crucial to ensuring the growth of their operations and fulfillment of their missions. We need to strategically provide resources in a way that is backed-up by evidence.

  • End predatory credit-marketing practices in low income communities. For decades, corporations have preyed on low income people through astronomically high interest rates, driving local economies into debt. It’s time to incorporate harsher penalties for discriminatory lending practices and update our regulations around credit-marketing schemes to reflect 21st century practices.

  • Break-up large tech corporations. Due to a lack of oversight, a few select major players have obtained control of our technology sector. This has led to widespread privacy violations, successful misinformation campaigns, and foreign influence in our elections. It is time to crack down on these failures and abuses and look to break their control on a vital sector of our economy.

  • Regulate multinational conglomerate banks. It is crucial that we ensure financial institutions are playing their part in equitable investment and credit-lending procedures. Many have too much sway in credit markets, putting our economy at great risk. We need to restore and expand regulations to eliminate conflicts of interest and ensure that banks are making decisions in the best interest of the public, not the paychecks of wealthy executives.