Fighting for working families is my life’s work. It is what I’ve dedicated my entire career to. For too long, working families in Central and Southern Illinois haven’t had a true advocate in Congress. I want to be that advocate and fight for them. That is the reason I am running for Congress.
Working families, especially in Central and Southern Illinois, are struggling. I believe our recovery from the pandemic should leave no one behind. We should be prioritizing working families and communities of color that have been left behind and disproportionately impacted by COVID19. A fact the COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare and made all the more urgent to address. This would be a top priority in Congress for me.
When I worked for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, I toured meatpacking facilities and saw union workers—many of them immigrants—working dangerous jobs to provide us with the food we need. In addition to improving safety and working conditions, our union advocated at the state and federal level for access to paid sick leave for workers.
I was proud to work on behalf of fire fighters and first responders to ensure they have the equipment and protections they needed to have safe working conditions.
I strongly believe that when workers can collectively bargain, they not only earn better wages and benefits, but can ensure safer working conditions. I will also be an advocate to make sure workers have a steady and reliable income in retirement after a lifetime of work by protecting hard-earned pensions.
Working with Gov. J. B. Pritzker, legislative leaders, labor and business, I helped lead the fight to pass a $15 minimum wage, making sure nobody who works full time in Illinois remains in poverty. We need to do the same at the federal level.
This is a unique moment in our nation’s history. Long before the pandemic, the gaps between rich and poor in America were an enormous divide. As we work to get our economy back on track and address economic and social injustice that have been part of our economy since long before March 2020, I believe we need a bold agenda to directly benefit working people, especially those who have been hit the hardest by stagnating wages and skyrocketing costs, especially in child care and health care. So many essential workers across Illinois and across the country – from nurses and other health care workers to grocery store workers and fire fighters – have sacrificed so much, and we owe it to them to provide the support they need.
Putting Money in Workers’ Pockets
- Invest in working families, child care, public education, affordable housing, health care, and more while cutting taxes on the middle class, paid for by making those earning more than $400,000 kick in their fair share
- Raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour at the federal level
- Extend the child tax cut and make child care less expensive
- Make health care more affordable by strengthening the ACA and creating a public option
- Create job training programs that give hard-working kids and adults the tools to get a better job or a raise
- Lowering the cost of prescription drugs
Strengthening Workers’ Rights
- Leading the charge to pass the PRO Act
- Pass mandatory paid sick and medical leave
- Guarantee the fundamental right to collectively bargain for better pay, safety conditions, and other job factors
The fact is, too many politicians today have lost sight of the people they were elected to represent in Washington. We need elected leaders who are in it for the right reasons, and are drawn to public service because they truly care about workers. In Congress, I will continue my life’s work of fighting tirelessly for working families, so that all Illinoisans can live dignified lives and earn a living wage.