“Injustice isn’t new. What is new is that so many have woken up to the fact that the status quo needs fixing; that the old ways of doing things don’t work; that it doesn’t matter how much money you make if everyone around you is hungry and sick; that our society, and our democracy, only works when we think not just about ourselves, but about each other.”

Barack Obama

Post-COVID Recovery Plan

Affordable Housing: We had a housing crisis before the pandemic, and it is now only worse; we must promote and protect homeownership and foster the development of more housing units; we must protect both tenants and landlords from future pay disruption. Finally, we must do more to combat homelessness, which is both a social ill and a public health threat.

Affordable Medicine: No one should ever have to split or share their medicine, or decide to avoid getting treatment because they can’t afford it. We need to lower prescription drug prices and include dental and mental health coverage.

Jobs and Businesses: We must support locally-owned businesses and incentivize others to bring jobs and commerce to underserved communities like ours.

Job Training and Career Readiness: This is an ever-changing world, and we should invest in preparing our workers for the most in-demand jobs.

Raise Minimum Wage: No one can live off of $7.25 an hour, but far too many are told to try. Every job should pay a living wage so that no one who works full-time lives in poverty.

Pay Equality: It’s long overdue that we take action and guarantee equal pay for equal work.

Paid Sick Leave: Whether someone is salaried, hourly, or an independent contractor, they become a risk to everyone if they are forced to work while they are sick because they can’t afford to stay home.

Affordable Childcare: The high cost of childcare should no longer be a barrier to returning to work. Every child deserves quality care, and every parent deserves the opportunity of gainful employment.

Education: Every student has the right to a quality education regardless of background or family income. School districts should supply all the technology students need to succeed and thrive, whether studying in school or distance learning.

Safer Streets: Parents should not be afraid for their children’s safety every time they leave the house. We must address the root causes of crime: poverty, drug addiction, and lack of opportunity. The opioid epidemic, human sex trafficking, and violent crime are at crisis levels. However, more police, without serious reform, is not a solution. It’s time we professionalize, not militarize, law enforcement, provide greater implicit bias training, and develop a community-oriented police force.

Protect Essential Workers: Our frontline workers deserve hazard pay, childcare, sufficient personal protective equipment, and enforceable health and safety protections. It’s time we don’t just call them essential; it’s time we treat them that way.

Pandemic Preparedness: There will most likely be other waves of COVID-19, and there will certainly be future pandemics. We now know we can’t rely on the federal government or the Republicans in Frankfort to help us, so we must prepare by stockpiling medical gear and protective equipment, developing a system for mass testing and contact tracing, and regularly practicing readiness drills.