A Living Wage
We have all witnessed prices for basic necessities rising year after year, but the federal minimum wage has only increased twice since 1997. It is wrong for corporations to grow at the expense of workers being made to live in poverty. If you are willing to work you should be paid a living wage that will allow you to afford the basic necessities of life. I will fight for a $15 per hour minimum wage, and to advance the rights of workers to organize to improve their working conditions. We need a more balanced approach to economic growth that benefits everyone, workers as well as businesses. Working people are the majority in this country and it’s long past time that economic policies reflect our priorities.
Healthcare is a basic human right. America’s uninsured rate is steadily rising and the majority of Americans are finding it harder and harder to keep up with healthcare costs. More than 1 million Georgians have no insurance whatsoever, and our uninsured rate is the 5th worst in the country. Georgia needs to immediately expand Medicaid and begin working to create a public option that ensures that all Georgians have access to healthcare, regardless of income.
Criminal Justice Reform
We have a problem with mass incarceration in Georgia. Like many states there is one system of justice if you are white or rich and a more punitive system if you are black/brown or poor. Georgia leads the nation in states with the highest incarceration, and black and brown people are being disproportionately locked up and with longer sentences. Georgia places many productive residents on probation, not because they need supervision, but because they simply need time to pay off traffic fines. The overall cost of an offense often doubles once probation fees are added and many end up in jail over the original inability to pay a $200 speeding ticket on demand. Impractical policies like these cost millions to the state, taxpayers foot the bill and the those incarcerated come out even further behind economically then from where they started. I will work to change our criminal justice system to put an end the systemic racial and economic bias built into many of the policies that govern us today.
Police officers have a tough job but systems work best when accountability is present, and our criminal justice system is no different. There too many examples of neither police policies or the constitution being adhered to during police encounters. The police, are taxpayer funded, and are supposed to be a resource for the community but much trust has been broken through direct police misconduct. We need a system of real checks and balances of accountability for the police. Communities of color need to know that everyone will be treated equally and fairly by police and that their civil rights will remain in tact during police interactions. I will fight for real accountability for how police officers operate and for justice in situations of police abuse. A working relationship between the community and officers means increased safety for both police officers and the citizens they serve.
It’s time we end legal discrimination in housing and employment for LGBTQ+ Georgians. Georgia law does not protect against employee discrimination, based on sexual orientation or gender identity. In most of Georgia’s cities there is zero protection from housing discrimination based on gender or sexuality, which many LGBTQ+ Georgians face. A person’s gender or sexuality should never be the reason you lose employment or housing.
The freedom to control your own body is a basic human right. Only people with a uterus are ever challenged on this basic human right. Women are fully capable on their own to decide whether or not to, when to, or how they want to give birth. I speak publicly about my own reproductive choices including my abortion story, because I know that fighting to ensure access to the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare is an issue of equality and justice.
Women deserve equal pay for equal work. Women are twice as likely to retire in poverty than men. This is largely due to women being paid less to do the same jobs as men, and being forced to leave the labor force due to daycare costs. I will fight to end policies that perpetuate the gender wage gap, and fight for policies that help women reach their full economic potential.