We’ve been out talking and listening to folks in the 6th district. Here are some issues that unite us, and we can fix with the right policies:
Representation and accountability of elected officials. Our district is primarily working and middle class people, our representative should be passionate about making policies that increase the well-being of our communities and decrease the suffering of families and individuals that have been marginalized. We need to stop electing career politicians, and instead position each other to be the voices for our communities in Washington. Regardless of the candidate that voters choose, that person should be held accountable for their work as a representative. The system of phone calls to the office staff and the occasional town hall is not enough. We are working on an innovative idea that holds representatives accountable to the voters. We will release the details of our plan early in 2020.
Universal Childcare and PreK. The cost of childcare is outrageous. It has negative impacts across the district in working and middle class families. Many parents want to work, build their family’s wealth, and move beyond just scraping by, but are not able to find affordable, high-quality childcare. In addition to the cost, there are waiting lists at nearly every center in the district. Universal childcare will include expanding the amount of high- quality options available, as well as provide care at no cost to families at or below 200% of the federal poverty line (and a greatly reduced cost for those above it). Our communities will experience many benefits from universal childcare including increased stability in families, a more robust and equitable workforce, and a level playing field for children entering kindergarten. I support Senator Warren’s plan, you can read it here: https://www.warren.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Universal_Child_Care_Policy_Brief_2019.pdf
K-12 Education Reform. Schools are trying to treat the whole child without adequate resources. Often, schools end up spending precious resources on the symptoms of the problems, leaving nothing to address the root of the problems. For example, schools are spending billions of dollars on security, a symptom. This does not leave resources for social services that address the root of the problems. Many of our children are arriving to school hungry and with trauma. We need to invest in our children and put more social services in schools. In addition, trauma-informed care needs to be a part of teacher preparation programs. We also need to revitalize the teaching profession. This includes increased compensation, a reduced focus on standardized test scores, and recruiting people of color to the profession. When we shift away from teaching students they must follow a predetermined path, and instead focus on developing critical thinkers that question themselves, their peers and our society, we are tapping into the full potential of our youth that our communities will benefit from.