West Tennesseans know how to work hard, but for too long we’ve seen jobs leave our district. To bring those jobs back, we need to invest in education and infrastructure and stabilize our healthcare system; we can’t expect companies to set up shop here if the community isn’t vibrant and healthy. We also need to support local businesses, develop public/private partnerships so government dollars are spent at home where they belong, and ensure that everyone who wants to work can find a job that will pay them a living wage.
America is one of four countries on earth without paid maternity leave. How is that possible? Families deserve the peace of mind of knowing that they will not lose their jobs as a result of an new baby or an illness. That means developing a permanent system of paid family sick leave and paternal and maternal leave.
It’s simple: equal pay for equal work. Anything less is discrimination by other means.
We should strive for deeper regional integration to make sure that opportunity is not simply a byproduct of living in or near metropolitan areas.
We need to work on rehabilitating and re-educating folks who have been involved with the justice system so they can enter the workforce and contribute to our communities in a positive way.
We must end petty trade squabbles and work more closely with our neighbors to the north and south to develop continent-wide economic cohesion that will dramatically increase employment opportunities for West Tennesseans and create certainty in the marketplace.