Improving the lives of working families
For decades, the state of Mississippi has had the highest poverty rate in our country. This is simply unacceptable. There are too many working families in our state that struggle to make ends meet. We have to look at new ways to help ourselves and our neighbors. We can no longer back away from having the tough conversations about the poverty that Mississippians face. It's time to make life better for everyone, regardless of race, gender and class.
- Increase Economic Security
Our political leaders must work together to find a solution that will help Mississippians that are unable to find a source of stable income. Everyone deserves to have access to a worry-free future. We need to use our political power to enact laws that will help Mississippians that are being weighed down by insufficient income and debt, and give our working-class men and women the chance to experience the best quality of life.
- Access to good, quality jobs
Lawmakers must reach across the aisle to forge relationships that will help constituents. We have to locate resources that will supply training for our young people, and provide them with the skills to fill available jobs in their communities. Let's focus on workforce development programs to meet our shortages and provide benefits that protect workers and expand opportunities for advancement. This includes creating pathways for women to enter non-traditional jobs usually held by men (such as construction) to help their families be economically secure.
- Protection of women's wages
We have to fight to maintain the progress that has been made with fair wage legislation, and we must also look toward the future. We should support and reward businesses and companies that seek to add women to the workforce and provide them pay that is equal to their male counterparts. The gender wage gap must finally be closed. Our mothers, sisters and daughters are deserving of a fair wage for a hard day's work. It's time for women to be given equal opportunities so that they can provide for their families.
- Protect and invest in safety net programs
Our safety net programs are facing a crisis. There are many Mississippi families that depend on programs such as SNAP, TANF, Medicaid and childcare assistance to make ends meet. These lifelines for Mississippians must be protected at all costs. It's time to invest in our social safety nets, to ensure that they remain accessible to families who need them most.
Investing in infrastructure
When we have a stable and viable infrastructure, it makes us attractive to corporations that are looking for locations to build factories and create jobs. We have to be willing to invest in ourselves before we ask others to bring opportunities to our communities.
- Fund the improvement of Mississippi roads
There are many roads and bridges in our district that are crumbling and falling apart, and state leaders are not doing enough to fix this problem. Our streets are littered with potholes, and it's simply impossible to expect corporations to want to relocate to a place where they cannot safely drive. Our road conditions are a financial burden to the Mississippi drivers. We cannot let our infrastructure continue to go downhill. It's time to craft a long-term funding program that will fix Mississippi streets and provide continued maintenance to keep them repaired.
Giving Mississippians access to healthcare
It's no secret that racial disparities exist in healthcare. In low-income African American communities, health risks are greater and treatment is not always an option. We can no longer allow racial lines to dictate one's access to healthcare. We are better than this. Mississippi is better than this. Everyone deserves the right to affordable medicine, and good, quality healthcare.
- Medicaid Expansion
There are so many people in Mississippi that do not have healthcare simply because our state's political leaders refuse to support Medicaid expansion. This is outrageous and unacceptable. Rural hospitals are facing the possibility of closure, which will further place the uninsured at risk. The people deserve the right to good health, and it's time for lawmakers to do the right thing.
- Funding for mental health
Let's improve mental health services for our people. District 68 has a significant population of homeless people who suffer from mental illnesses. We have to be willing to provide treatment, housing and other options for those that need mental health treatment. We must be willing to accept the seriousness of this disease, and also be compassionate to mental health patients. Let’s devote funding to treatment and the research of innovative models so that we can work towards providing the best quality of life for the people of District 68, and all Mississippians.
- Maternal mortality
Lawmakers must introduce bills to address maternal and infant mortality rates. We have to ensure that mothers are able to see a medical professional in the event of a crisis. Immediate access to medical care can often mean the difference between life and death. There is an obvious link between lack of health insurance and maternal deaths. If we want to save mothers and babies, we must act now.
Improving the educational system in Mississippi
Mississippi teachers are among the lowest-paid educators nationwide. Our teachers are paid too little to do the large job of educating young people for the future. We have to stand with our teachers and demand that this grave error is fixed. Let's give our educators the pay raise that they deserve.
- Funding for public schools
Mississippi public schools were consistently defunded from 2002 to 2018, ever since the Mississippi Adequate Education Program was signed into law. Constant defunding of schools perpetuates inequity, does not allow our children to meet the highest level of academic achievement to compete globally, and opens the door to school choice—which leads to permanent dismantling of public schools. Constant defunding of our schools can only lead to disaster. The children that attend public schools are the future workforce that we will depend on in this highly technological century. We cannot afford to give them less education that will disqualify them from future industry jobs.
- Increase Teacher Retention
Our state is facing a teacher shortage because many of our educators move to another state to find better and fairer job opportunities. We should seek our best and brightest minds to teach the next generation, and we should offer incentives to certified and qualified educators. The educational system is broken in Mississippi, and we must do all that we can to solve this problem.
- Increased funding for children with disabilities
Special education funding is a requirement to help students with disabilities across our state. We must support programs that are aimed to meet the learning needs of children who are abled differently. Let's prepare these children for the future, and support those that want to pursue higher education. The only ceiling to a students' potential is an imagined one. Let's give these students the support they need to become progressive and forward members of society.