I stand for a just economy where every family can thrive and every person has the opportunity to succeed. I believe that we can support a strong economy that provides jobs for our workers while also upholding workers’ rights, healthy communities, and sustainable practices. An inclusive economy ensures that our workers are supported by fair wages and benefits, and that no person is economically punished for being sick, for caring for a loved one, for serving our country, or for attending college. As State Representative, I will invest in an economy that serves every person, including those most at-risk. I will advocate for fair taxation to ensure that we have the resources to support our Commonwealth. Together, I know that we can build a strong and fair economy.
We must close the gap on economic inequality for our state to move toward a vibrant, equitable future. Massachusetts currently has the sixth highest rate of income inequality in the country, meaning that more and more Massachusetts residents are struggling to make ends meet, while others are able to accrue excess without paying their fair share to support a thriving Commonwealth. The cost of healthcare, lack of affordable housing, unaffordable child care, union busting, suppressed wages, and tax policies that unfairly burden the working class while rewarding corporations and the wealthy all contribute to the ever widening income gap in our state. As State Representative, I will tackle these issues head-on.
Investing in Jobs and in Our Communities
I believe that investing in renewable energy, public transit, health care, and higher education are some of the most critical methods to expanding job growth in our state, while also supporting every resident and our natural environment. Clean energy initiatives have already added over 100,000 jobs to our state economy -- that’s double the number of coal miners in the entire U.S. Reducing pollution also has clear benefits on health and in reducing healthcare costs. When our air, water, and consumer products are safe from toxins, children and families are less likely to experience illness and the costs associated with caring or curing their disease.
Every hardworking person deserves wages that allow them to provide for their family. That is why I supported the Fight for $15 Minimum Wage for all workers. Raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021 will raise the wages of nearly 950,000 people -- 29% of our state’s workforce and a quarter of the state’s working parents. However, it is critical that our efforts to raise wages include all families and individuals in our Commonwealth, including independent contractors (such as child care providers and health aides), state employees, and tipped workers. These workers, who are often women and people of color, have for too long been political bargaining chips to pass rudimentary workers’ rights legislation. As State Representative, I will fight for every worker to have the compensation they deserve.
1.2 million Massachusetts workers risk losing their jobs when taking leave to care for a new child or handle a medical emergency. Rather than punishing workers for taking necessary leave, we should be protecting them from losing the jobs they need to support themselves and their families. I supported Paid Family and Medical Leave so all Massachusetts residents can take the time they need to care for a loved one, welcome a new child, or heal from illness without worrying how they will put food on the table or pay rent.
Millionaires’ Tax and Revenue Sources
I was deeply disappointed by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision to strike down the Fair Share Amendment, or Millionaires’ Tax, that would have made sure our state has enough tax revenue to invest in our kids, our communities, and future generations.
However, there are still ways that we can ask those who have enough to give more and make sure that those who don’t have enough are not being asked to give more than is fair. As State Representative, I will pursue creative tax strategies to increase revenue for critical services, including taxing disruptive technologies, closing corporate loopholes in our state, and taxing our greatest polluters.
Funding quality public education, maintenance of roads, affordable housing, overdue improvements to public transportation, and affordable public colleges are long-term investments that will make our economy and state stronger. We need everyone to pay their fair share to make this happen.