By Alex Lasry
This week, I announced my new plan to help put more money in working peoples’ pockets. The people of Wisconsin want to see real change and real results that will help impact their lives. That starts through the right mix of job training, investing in American manufacturing, buying American and strengthening our unions to raise wages and bring more jobs and investment back to Wisconsin.
Politics is the only profession I have seen where people get credit for talking about something, or being on a commission, instead of being judged on delivering results.
I have a proven track record of delivering for Wisconsinites – whether it’s creating good union jobs, paying our in-arena workers at least a $15-dollar minimum wage, or investing in and helping grow Wisconsin’s economy.
I don’t just talk about the issues, I deliver on them.
We didn’t just talk about a $15 minimum wage, we turned our promise into action. We know that paying our employees fairly is not only the right thing to do, but also translates to higher productivity.
By raising the minimum wage for everyone and helping ensure that all Wisconsinites are paid family-sustaining wages, we will help lift up more working families into the middle class. We can do this through empowering unions again and giving power back to the workers. When people have good benefits, a good paying job and job security, Wisconsin will grow as a hub of economic activity and people.
We have shown that progressive values are good for business and the economy.
In building the Bucks’ arena and the surrounding Deer District, we brought together a public/ private partnership that emphasized workforce development. At least 43% of workers on the arena project consisted of Milwaukee residents that were underemployed or unemployed over the past five years. Additionally, 30% of service contracts were awarded to minority and disadvantaged businesses. We set very high goals on equity and inclusion, ones that no other arena in the U.S. has ever met, and then we beat those goals.
We also ensured 80% of the materials and services for building Fiserv Forum were sourced from right here in Wisconsin, which helped create more jobs in our state. We created a great business, brought economic opportunity to the area, and showed that progressive values are good for business.
While we know that short term changes won’t fundamentally fix the problems facing all working families, it’s also important that we do all that we can now to provide opportunities and relief to families as soon as possible.
Rethinking our tax policy is a great start to achieving even larger gains. Instead of our government just giving corporate handouts, let’s incentivize companies to pay a family supporting wage, build their supply chain and manufacturing operations right here in the United States, and be active partners that invest in the communities that they do business in by withholding tax breaks until those goals are met.
We need to create a workers’ Bill of Rights to safeguard workers’ right to fair working hours, safe working conditions and humane treatment. Workers’ well-being should not be dependent on which political party holds power. We need to safeguard unions and protect workers for generations to come.
Making the first two years of community college or technical college free and increasing participation in apprenticeships are also great ways to empower students and open new pathways to a career and higher salaries. We also need to treat the care economy as part of vital human infrastructure in this country.
We need to expand the child tax credit, help create affordable child care, and extend paid family and medical leave to everyone as great ways to help put more money back in the pockets of hardworking people.
We know that quality child care improves long term educational outcomes for all children by providing a secure, nurturing community for children’s early lives that will provide a basis for future growth. But we also know that we need more quality child care and we need to ensure every family can afford it.
Extending paid family and medical leave would impact nearly 32 million private sector workers, disproportionately women and people of color. It will help ensure that getting sick or having to care for a sick loved one won’t lead to the choice between losing a paycheck or going to work sick and potentially infecting your co-workers and the community.
Putting these plans into law would have a direct impact on millions of working Americans and all of them can and should be done now. In the Senate, I will be a partner with Tammy Baldwin to fight for working Wisconsinites every day and get real results for working Wisconsites.