While Glenn Thompson is fixated on deflecting blame for the government shutdown, I thought it would be nice to channel some of the hope and enthusiasm we all feel from this weekend of action to talk about my campaign’s priorities: jobs, healthcare, and education.
Jobs: I’m proud to support the fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage. Two-thirds of waiter and bartender jobs are held by women, and their minimum wage before tips ($2.83) hasn’t gone up in 20 years. More and more of their pay is dependent on tips. Women in the restaurant industry describe having to endure constant sexual harassment so as not to jeopardize their tips, because without them they can’t pay the bills or put food on the table. We must take every step we can to combat sexual harassment in every workplace in America. Guaranteeing every woman working in the restaurant industry a fair, living wage for a hard day’s work is a no-brainer first step.
Healthcare: Glenn and his buddies in Congress worked around the clock through the holidays to ram through their massive tax cut for the ultra-wealthy. But when it comes to renewing CHIP, which one-third of the kids in #PA05 depend upon for their healthcare coverage, they can only offer lame excuses for watching this disaster unfold over a period of months. Funding in Pennsylvania will run out within weeks unless Congress acts. For all moms and dads, there is literally nothing more important than keeping their children safe and healthy. We should all be embarrassed that Congress doesn’t act accordingly.
Education: Our kids’ education shouldn’t be for sale. Charter school corporations and their champion Betsy Devos in the Department of Education are dying to carve up your school districts, choose their own students, and get rich on your tax dollars without caring what happens to the kids who get left behind. It’s immoral and it’s shameful. We need to invest in our public schools to attract more teachers and to give every child the resources she needs to succeed. Especially in rural areas, we have not invested in our school districts, and the result is consolidation, longer bus trips, fewer teachers, and poorer performance.