With the 2016 election growing closer, everyday Americans need to focus on finding a viable path forward that empowers them to have a voice in government so they can help shape pro-worker and pro-family policies that reward their hard work with fair wages and benefits.
Late last week, House Democrats took a step towards fulfilling that need when it rolled out its new “Stronger America” platform, one that stresses improving the economy for workers and well as expanding the involvement of the millions of Americans who have become increasingly disenfranchised as part of the process.
“My parents worked hard to get into the middle class and it helped that they could make a living wage, afford to send their kids to college, and count on their Social Security and their pensions at retirement,” said Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-Calif.), who is chairman of the House Democratic Caucus. “That’s the sort of security that today’s construction and clerical workers – like my parents – should be able to count on, and we need a Congress that those Americans can count on as well.”
As part of the Stronger America agenda, House Democrats want to invest in upgrading roads, bridges, transit, water systems, power and broadband, which it notes will create new U.S. jobs. They also called on increased worker training, as well as reducing student debt and strengthening Social Security. The Teamsters put forward a similar platform last fall.
But that’s not all. It also has a component that calls for the overturning of Citizens United, as well as ending voter suppression in states around the country. And it puts forward a “By the People” legislative package that seeks to level the playing field so hard-working Americans have as great an input in Washington as corporate fat cats.
This nation has increasingly lost its way when it comes to taking care of its own. Income inequality is up and the voting rights of minorities and the poor have been challenged. That needs to stop. But it only will if the people themselves stand up in November and demand to be a greater part of the process.
Stronger America can be a start. Workers will decide if it gets a chance.