An economy that works for the rest of us

Community Investment

A healthy state economy requires an earnest commitment to public education. This includes strong K-12 schools, well-funded colleges and universities, modern workforce training, and high-quality early-childhood education, and affordable housing for families. These measures all help bolster our economy, not only by preparing our kids to create the future we all deserve, but by making North Carolina a place where everyone feels like they can learn, work, and live any life they envision for themselves.

A pro-worker economy

If we want to nurture our economy, we should be empowering the folks whose hard work keeps it running. We need to raise the statewide minimum wage to ensure a living wage for everyone and lift the preemption laws that prevent municipalities from raising their minimum wages above the state minimum. No one who works 40 hours a week should have to live in poverty. We should protect workers rights at the state level with bans on forced arbitration in employment agreements for things like wage theft and sexual harassment. But we should also lift the ban on collective bargaining by public sector employees and roll back our right-to-work laws so that people can work together to improve their jobs. No one should have to go it alone.

Ecologically Wise and Economically Sound Policy

Our state has fallen prey to damaging, greed-driven policies too many times in recent years. Likewise, we have numerous opportunities to create laws that reflect the interdependence of our economy and our ecosystem. For instance, lifting the ban on third-party energy sales for renewable energy producers would not only help small businesses break up Duke Energy’s monopoly in our state, it would also help our state make the transition to clean, renewable energy faster. We need to be crafting policies with our eyes toward the future not the past. Our laws define not only who we are, but who we strive to be.

limiting corporate power and influence

It’s time to stop catering to big business and start focusing on empowering our citizens. That means rolling back tax cuts for corporations and wealthy folks so we can fund important state investments that we’ve neglected, such as our public school system. It also means standing up to the real estate development industry and telling them to do their part to make sure there is enough affordable housing for our most vulnerable citizens. Instead of trying to lure big corporations to our state with tax breaks, we should be helping folks who already live and work here by providing support and resources that help them cultivate their own success by working together. This includes things like grants for employee-owned local businesses, worker cooperatives, and other efforts that promote power-balanced workplaces.

Local Autonomy

The state legislature has demonstrated a distressing pattern of micromanaging local matters for political reasons. If we want our economy to flourish, our lawmakers should focus on statewide policies that serve the common good and leave our cities and townships to govern themselves. If our local communities want to pass ordinances to prevent discrimination, guarantee all citizens a living wage, or even use inclusionary zoning to bring affordable housing to people who need it most, our state laws shouldn’t stand in the way.

Are you registered to vote?

Election day is Tuesday, November 6, 2018. You can find more information on registration and voting by visiting the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections.

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