Socioeconomic Justice

Economic justice is intersectional with racial justice, feminism, and environmental protection. You cannot truly protect a vulnerable population without providing them the means to financial independence and to have their basic needs met.
— Molly Sheehan

I’m worried about the radically regressive policies being pushed from the right as well as the inability of our Democratic party to counter these policies both in Washington and the ballot box. Making a way for the many working class people of the 7th district will involve empowering families instead of crippling them. In today’s America, we often set families up to struggle from day one. Our families struggle to find adequate daycare while it’s a challenge for providers in homes to access the education they would need in order to adjust to the shifting needs of the job market.

Economic justice is intersectional with racial justice, feminism, and environmental protection. You cannot truly protect a vulnerable population without providing them the means to financial independence. Congress needs to address human rights through the perspective of maintaining the stability of the working class family:

 

 

Economic Solutions

A vastly growing economy requires an evolving perspective when it comes to solutions that will best suit the needs of the 7th. Jobs are the cornerstone of all policy as all Americans need the ability to have a career and provide for their families.This requires a wealth of quality jobs, not just quantity. I propose that we obtain quality jobs by enabling the district to adapt to the changing economy. Some sectors are losing jobs to automation and globalization while others are desperate to hire people but have trouble finding those with the correct training. We need to promote systems that allow people to pivot in their careers and to adapt. First, in regions with declining employment, I will commit to increasing incentives for new appropriate companies to fill the void. Second, I will commit to making it easier for people to grow their career without leaving the workforce. Pell Grants should be opened up to those taking one class per semester and apprenticeship programs expanded to allow hard working Americans to gain new skills while working full time in companies of all sizes. This allows for a more feasible transition into a new job as opposed to being frozen into a low-paying job with little or no upward mobility. It also allows one to continue their education while supporting their family.

 

Gender Equality

 

Women deserve agency over their own lives. Conservative opinion has brought about legislation that takes our voice out of conversations, often times during conception as well as implementation, that determine what we can and cannot do with our bodies. As a result, we have teetered over the line that the Fourteenth Amendment clearly designates as a protection of our rights. It is my goal to persist as a voice for women and to advocate for our right to equal pay for equal work and policies that prevent maternity from interfering with women’s careers.

Paid family leave for everybody is essential to shrinking the wage and career gaps between women and men and promoting healthy families with both mothers and fathers as involved parents. Children benefit when both parents have caregiving responsibilities and are enabled to serve as reliable caregivers. When we prevent both parents from taking paid leave, women are forced to take unpaid leave, harming their careers and often leaving the workforce and discriminated against in hiring. Men are forced to increase hours and spend more time away from their children. As a result of this paradigm, families suffer and women lose economic agency.

I believe that women also deserve unfettered access to birth control and the right to choose so that they can make decisions about their own bodies and families. These decisions should be made in the clinic between a woman and her provider, not the legislature by suited men with no knowledge of women’s health.

Tragically, laws and protections for women in cases of domestic violence and human trafficking also fall short of acceptable in my view. It’s imperative that Congress sets the standard of prosecuting these horrendous acts as serious crimes in which the victims, in both cases, are protected from prosecution and provided with the support services crucial to enabling their long and difficult road to recovery.

 

 

LGBTQ Equality

I am also committed to equal protections under the law and prevention of discrimination of members of the LGBTQ community. Our nation’s constitution bounds us to the idea that we are all created equal. As such, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is as un-American as discrimination on the basis of race or religion. I will be sure to serve the needs of this population among the 7th district because the lives of so many young people, who grow to become the future leaders of our communities, struggle with acceptance and understanding. Invalidation of their identity will lead to the detriment of their well being including increased instances of mental health issues and suicide, a far worse consequence than the alternative.

 

Racial Equality:

 

Racial inequality has become inextricably intertwined with economic inequality. Poverty, as experienced by racial minorities, persists in communities because of challenges that affect the entire family. It begins with a lack of access to adequate early education. My efforts as congresswoman will involve leveling the playing field so that access will be provided to families who seek the right to provide their kids with quality pre-k and equitable education for students all the way through to college. Just as important are the resources for the household providers to pursue job skills that meet the demands of an evolving economy. Enabling families to experience the privilege of opportunity assures a future in which our America cares for all based on the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

In addition to improving access to economic opportunity for racial minorities, I also take responsibility in addressing the way we as Americans treat crimes of intolerance for any individual on the basis of race, religion or culture. Certain pockets of conservatism champion an ‘America first’ policy that both oppresses and ostracizes the “other” they determine aren’t worthy of the civil rights bestowed upon us as citizens of this great country. We cannot tolerate this perspective and I will do everything I can to enact legislation that holds perpetrators of hate and intolerance accountable for their actions.

Finally, we have a broken criminal justice system that applies different standards to different populations and locks up nonviolent offenders who are not a risk to society. At the crux of the problem is our for-profit prison system. Nobody should profit off of the imprisonment of Americans. Our system imprisons our most vulnerable populations. Nobody should spend time in jail without being convicted of a crime and without being a flight risk because they cannot make cash bail. We should eliminate the cash-bail system and all for-profit prisons. Additionally, we need to hold our justice system accountable for differential treatment of populations and stop imprisoning low-level drug offenders. Once somebody has served their time, they should also regain their right to vote. Unfair treatment of our poor should not be an excuse for disenfranchising them from our political system.

 

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