The people of the Fourth Congressional District are experiencing sweeping and systemic economic challenges that are still leaving far too many behind.
While our district is home to world class hospitals, excellent schools, and picturesque New England neighborhoods, it also provides a jarring example of America’s dramatic and widening wealth gap. Median household incomes for some communities are among the highest in Massachusetts while neighbors just a few miles away struggle to keep up. The problems that come with and exacerbate these income disparities are pronounced and, sadly, all too familiar.
Crushing health care costs. Crumbling infrastructure and unbearable commute times. Seemingly intractable racial inequalities. Massive student loan debt. Layoffs by giant corporations. Eroded worker protections and stagnated wages. An outrageous housing market out of reach for far too many. These issues affect all of us but they disproportionately affect the working poor and people of color.
We will never have a truly fair economy until we address these stark inequalities.
We need bold solutions to address these problems and we need them now. Congress must make economic insecurity a priority – and fight for the working single parent who doesn’t know how she’ll pay next month’s daycare bill, the union worker staring at retirement and a shrinking pension fund, and the daily commuter late to work or to pick up the kids again while in traffic or stuck on the T platform.
They need a Congresswoman who embraces bold ideas and has experience on the front lines making them happen.
Jesse’s vision to build an economy that works for everyone:
- Invest in Transportation, Housing, and Infrastructure. Jesse will fight to increase incentives – including tax credits and federal grant funds – for communities to build safe and affordable housing. She will fight for robust federal investment in transportation and work to ensure that the South Coast Rail becomes a reality for residents – all the way to Taunton from day one. She supports the Green New Deal and will advocate that the final version of the bill includes high-quality and environmentally friendly projects that address our most pressing infrastructure needs in the region. Jesse will work to ensure that these efforts include project labor agreements for the skilled workers we need to make these infrastructure projects a reality.
- Equal Pay. Jesse is proud to have been a part of the fight in Massachusetts to make equal pay the law of the land in 2016. As leader of the state’s progressive business community, she made the business and economic case for equal pay – and we won. She will take that same fight to Congress to get the results we need for working women, particularly women of color who face the largest wage gaps.
- Empower SouthCoast Communities. While the unemployment rate has improved in recent years, multinational corporations continue to benefit from hearty tax breaks while laying off workers in Fall River, Attleboro, and Taunton. Jesse will fight to ensure that a strong economy reaches all parts of our district, in particular the SouthCoast. She will support legislation that provides funding for job training programs in the burgeoning offshore wind industry and advances the creation of good-paying “Green Tech” jobs. At the same time, she will work to ensure that our local fishing industry and coastal communities have their voices heard – and benefit from – the implementation of offshore wind projects including providing real mitigation measures. She will continue to champion the creation of a Southern New England Regional Commission, as Congressman Joe Kennedy has, that would provide grants to communities to help develop regional economic priorities such as advanced manufacturing, healthcare technology, and boat and ship building and repair industries.
- A National Paid Family and Medical Leave Act. Jesse is proud to have helped lead the fight to pass the strongest state-level paid family and medical leave act in the nation. Together, they crafted groundbreaking legislation that protects workers while they bond with a newborn child or care for a seriously ill loved one. It is the first state law in the nation to allow for job-protected paid time off for personal health and additional paid time for military caregivers. As your Congresswoman, Jesse will bring that same determination to get paid leave done at the federal level so all Americans can benefit.
- A $15 Federal Minimum Wage. We can’t rely on corporations to increase wages on their own. Congress must act to raise the national minimum wage to $15 an hour. Jesse will advocate for a minimum wage hike at the national level and push for the national minimum wage to be tied to inflation in an effort to build a more equitable economy.
- Strengthen Labor Protections. As a former member of AFSCME, Jesse knows first-hand the importance of unions. In Congress, she will lead the fight for working people, never waver in protecting the rights of organized labor, and protect and advocate for project labor agreements. She will fight to close loopholes in federal wage law that protect corporations above working people, and seek to address the misclassification of workers as independent contractors. Jesse will advocate for an increase in funding to ensure the Department of Labor better monitors corporate violations. She will be a strong supporter of the PRO Act so that unions can more easily organize. And she will be an advocate for multiemployer pension reforms, such as the Butch Lewis Act, which would provide low-interest loans to help fund declining pension plans. In Congress, she will be more than a reliable vote for working people and labor rights. Jesse will do what she’s always done when it comes to the fights that matter for workers: she will lead.