Quotes on the Issues
The fundamental premise of a public safety system is that people get the help they need when they ask for it. Though crime rates in our communities have dropped, police budgets have expanded and funding for mental health and social services has declined. Recent, highly publicized instances of police misconduct have called into question for whom the current system is working, and what better alternatives could be put in place. Communities of color, poor communities, and victims of violence have long been demanding reform. It is past time that we reorient our violence prevention, mental health, and social service systems to more effectively support people in crisis.
Access to healthcare provides the freedom that lets entrepreneurs take big leaps and innovators chase their dreams. It lets seniors enjoy their retirement without the daily stress of wondering how they’ll pay their medical bills. It lets families budget for college or a new home without fearing spikes in rates or medical bankruptcy. An America with affordable healthcare for all is a more dynamic, more vibrant America. Small businesses would have more opportunities to weather the storm or expand. People would have more freedom to take the risks necessary to move this country forward.
Racism is a prominent thread in our country’s past and present; it is inscribed in the policies and practices that founded this country and currently power it. The deep racial wounds experienced by Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color, were formed long ago and are constantly reopened through racism in our education, criminal justice, and economic systems. However, systems and policies are created by people and can be fixed by people. With a willingness to reckon with our history and a commitment to undertake systemic action, we can solve this challenge head on.
In the twelve years I’ve spent in the classroom, I have been fortunate to teach and learn from a great number of students, families, and fellow educators. Each child that I’ve had the opportunity to work with has immense potential, and we owe it to them to fully fund a robust educational system that elevates their brilliance from birth through post-secondary schooling. When policy is made by economists rather than educators, education becomes a private commodity rather than a public good.
Whether or not our economy is working should be decided by everyday people, not by the payouts received by millionaires or the profit statements of corporations. Today, there is virtually no city or town in Louisiana where a person working a full-time minimum wage job can afford a decent, two-bedroom apartment. Small businesses are declining both in their numbers and in their ability to compete. And the failures of our economy disproportionately impact communities of color and low-income communities. We need a fundamental shift in the way that we view the issues of our economy and to prioritize reform that leads to real change for the workers and the entrepreneurs that built this country.