Enacting legislation that would produce a fair economic deal for workers and businesses is incredibly important to fix some of the institutional issues faced by families. With a poverty level between 10-12 percent in the 2 counties, too many of our citizens cannot even provide the basics of living for their families. The first step in addressing these issues is taking the same steps that all surrounding states have taken and advocating for an increase in the minimum wage. $7.25/hour is simply not enough to support a family, even in places where housing costs are relatively lower than in other parts of the state. If elected, I will work towards a living wage that will stimulate our local economy, pull families out of poverty, and contribute to a more equal society.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must also recognize that some people in our district have lost jobs that they probably will not be able to return to, either because their business has closed or is no longer hiring. We need to provide re-training for displaced workers, attract businesses that have good-paying jobs so our families have food and housing security. Recent legislation providing funds for broadband expansion should help to attract those kinds of businesses.