Among District 50’s top challenges are economic growth and income inequality. Instead of excessive government spending on corporate subsidies and tax cuts that aren’t reinvested in American workers, Congress should invest in millions of American workers to help working families punch their ticket to the middle class.
The unemployment rate of CA50 is 8 percent, over double the rate of San Diego county. 1 in 3 children in El Cajon are in poverty, and over 6,000 children go to bed hungry each night. I’ve seen firsthand how lives and families are hurt when we put special interests ahead of the American worker. I know that our rural and suburban communities need a seat at the table when it comes to new workforce programs. As congressman, I will be your voice. I will do everything I can to bring quality job opportunities to California’s 50th.
There are 6 million job vacancies in America, including 360,000 in manufacturing, 200,000 in construction and millions more in healthcare, financial services, IT, clean energy and other high growth sectors. We can fill these vacancies by investing in childcare and innovative programs like “Registered Apprenticeships” that connect job seekers with employers who are in search of skilled workers.
While working at the US Department of Labor, I learned that the average registered apprentice earns $70,000 a year — double the median individual income in America. Apprenticeships have employed half-a-million workers who are ready to learn and earn on their first day on the job. That gives apprentices the financial freedom to pursue either higher education or higher positions in their industries.
If elected, I will propose a major expansion of the current federal investment in apprenticeships to provide opportunity to eligible American workers willing to work hard. Workers should be able to advance to the middle class without accumulating the debt of a four-year university degree.
It’s also good for business. For every $1 employers invest in apprenticeships, they average a $1.47 return on investment.
If elected, I'll work with unions and colleges on legislation that brings job training programs to our district in traditional sectors, as well as in high growth-sectors including healthcare, financial services, high-tech and green service jobs. Federal investment must also target communities with the highest unemployment rates and increase training for low-paying industries such as home health care, hospital care, child care, cleaning and other service work.
I will continue to support collective bargaining and a seat at the table for America’s unions that play such a vital role in protecting the American worker. I support prevailing wages for all government contracts, as well as grants, small business tax breaks and other investments to pull more workers out of poverty. I support gender equity in wages and access to paid sick leave for all workers.
I opposed the Trans-Pacific Partnership and support adjustments to NAFTA that redress its deficiencies for workers in both developed and developing countries. I pledge to support trade agreements that advance domestic manufacturing and enforce equitable labor and environmental protections. I will also work to expand federal investment in training and services for workers displaced by unfair trade agreements, such as the Trade Adjustment Assistance program that I helped to further while working at the US Department of Labor.
I commit to work to bring federal infrastructure projects to our district and region. We must modernize our utility pathways and grid lines to increase their efficiency and reduce hazards as average temperatures continue to rise. Improving our mass transit, airports, roads, bridges and tunnels will not only create good jobs, it will also facilitate and enhance both commerce and workers’ access to employment.
Investing in Small Business
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our American economy and way of life, creating two-thirds of all new jobs. To keep the economy roaring and jobs growing, we have to invest in actual job creators.
In congress, I’ll help local businesses gain more access to credit, capital, and compete for contracts both through the SBA and industry supply chains.
Ending Corporate Welfare
We can create a 21st century economy that works for everyone. But first, we need to end the most burdensome and expensive welfare program in the United States: Corporate welfare.
Today, hundreds of billions of middle class taxpayers dollars are going to large companies that aren’t being reinvested into working people. Instead, middle class taxes are being spent by major corporations to ship jobs abroad, replace American workers with automation, and provide an advantage over small local business owners struggling to compete in a global economy.
Rather than these massive corporate giveaways, I’ll push to provide tax breaks and invest in small businesses to create more jobs, spur homegrown innovation, and increase local consumer confidence that allows economic activity to circulate throughout our district.
CA50’s Unique Business Advantages
District 50 has a unique advantage to attract businesses -- both big and small -- to our rural and suburban areas alike. Research shows IT companies are saving costs by relocating to rural areas with lower costs of living and higher employee retention.
The 50th is also home to 14 reservations, all of which are tax exempt. Rather than watch good jobs go to Nevada, Arizona and Texas due to more business friendly tax codes, the 50th should compete and bring jobs to our skilled middle class and to our most impoverished rural and Native American neighbors. In my discussions with tribal leaders, the idea of attracting industry to their lands to create more jobs for their population and surrounding communities is welcomed. CA50 is open for business!