For too long, our district has remained the poorest in the state of Minnesota. I don't believe that this is the result of some deficiency among our residents; I know that we are plagued by the same inequalities that plague our nation at large. However, our district doesn't have the luxury of being able to ignore them.
It is unconscionable that the median income in our district is so low, -- even worse that the median income for a black family is half that of a white family. The best way to remedy inequality is the simplest: we have to pay people more. To that end, I will be a strong supporter of increasing the minimum wage to at least 15 dollars an hour as soon as possible. 15 Now Minnesota is right when they say we shouldn't wait until July 2024, which is the current plan. Seven years is a long time. Someone who is a middle schooler now would be an adult by the time this plan is implemented. We have a chance to make a difference in so many lives right now. It is unacceptable for any resident to work 40 hours a week, often more, and still struggle to make ends meet. I will work to provide a livable wage for all, and ensure that every individual will be able to sufficiently support themselves and their families.
Additionally, I will fight to bridge the gender pay gap, and make sure women finally receive the same pay as their male counterparts. That women are paid less than men is a moral issue. Period. There's absolutely no reason for it. It is cruel that, among women of color especially, we ask so much and pay so little. In our African-American community, roughly 70% of households are headed by a single mother. I've seen single mothers struggle in my own building, trying to maintain balancing a family and sometimes more than one job, all while trying to make sure their kids are doing well in school. How can we expect them to provide for their children with a low wage that is below that of their male peers?
I promise I will fight to provide fair wages for all, and ensure new wages are tied to inflation so our children won't have to keep fighting this fight in the future.