Jobs and the Economy Manufacturing North Carolina was once proudly known as a leader in the manufacturing sector. Sadly, with disastrous free trade agreements, many of those businesses and jobs are no longer here. Rebuilding a new 21st Century economy is possible with policies that value American industry and its workers. Jenny will fight to bring jobs home and build things in America again. She will push for:
Trade agreements that work for American businesses and their employees. Jenny opposes any trade deal that opens up the opportunity to ship jobs overseas and outsource them to countries who pay extremely low wages.
Expansion of education programs aimed to train skilled workers to meet the demand of the manufacturing industry.
An end to currency manipulation which places U.S. exports at an extreme disadvantage costing millions of jobs.
Small businesses Independent small businesses have generated 65% of the net new jobs since 1995 and approximately 543,000 businesses are started each month across the country, but more than half of all new businesses close within five years. She will push for:
Access to affordable credit is critical for businesses. We must demand that banks serve the independent businesses that provide stability in our communities.
Ensuring regulations that are helpful, not harmful to our small business and an end to the unfair special treatment big companies receive. Small businesses must navigate through mountains of paperwork and red tape which bogs down job creation and success, while lobbyists carve out loopholes and special backroom deals for large corporations.
Expanded access to the Small Business Association to support independent business owners in a way that promotes longevity, profitability and expansion.
Making Work Pay Many people across North Carolina are struggling to pay their bills simply because wages are too low. Our federal minimum wage, $7.25, has not come close to matching inflation. Basics like food and housing have become more expensive, but comparatively, the buying power of the minimum wage has decreased. She will push for:
Raising the minimum wage to $15 which would mean a raise for hundreds of thousands and help to close the gender wage gap.
Ensure that people get the pay they have earned and not comp time which can be controlled by the employer.
Raise wages of service workers that rely on tips.
Social Security and Medicare After working all your life, the last thing you need to do is worry about how you will pay your bills, put food on the table and still afford to go to the Dr or get your prescriptions filled. Jenny is committed to fighting the privatization of Medicare and cutting of Social Security. Instead we should be preserving and expanding the safety net that cares for those most in need.
Education Since America’s inception, our people and our leaders have held high the belief that a system of free and public education is essential for our whole society to prosper and remain democratic. Jenny is a fierce advocate for public education and the treatment of teachers as professional experts in their classrooms. As a teacher, she has seen first-hand the ugly experiment of forced standardization of education, unfunded federal mandates, developmentally inappropriate standards and the sustained and prolonged testing of students throughout their learning years. Education is also being privatized at all levels, reducing local control of schools, and eroding a cornerstone of our nation. She will push for:
Elimination of Value Added Measures for educators.
Increase in funding for public education
Significant reduction in testing especially in elementary education classrooms.
Model the need for teacher's voices in the decision making process.
Reduction of the amount of standardized tests tied to federal dollars.
For those who pursue post secondary education, we see that most college students are forced to carry unconscionable levels of debt or simply placing an advanced degree out of the economic reach of low income families. It leaves graduates working for decades just to pay off their student loans. She will push for:
Refinancing of current student loan debt at lower interest rates.
Making public colleges and universities tuition free.
Farms and Rural North Carolina Improving the lives of rural North Carolinians is a top priority for Jenny. Family farms are an integral part of our communities and economy. They are also stalwart defenders of our land and water. She will push for:
Support farm-to-school programs by encouraging schools to buy local.
Expand support for small and medium farms.
Expand services for new or underserved farmers.
Enlist farmers as partners in our efforts to conserve our bountiful natural resources.
Support agricultural programs in k-12 schools and post secondary education institutions.
Legalization of Marijuana and ending the War on Drugs Millions of lives have been destroyed because people are in jail for nonviolent crimes. For decades, we have been engaged in a failed “War on Drugs” with mandatory minimums that punish people of color unfairly.
We need to invest in drug courts as well as medical and mental health interventions for people with substance abuse problems, so that people struggling with addiction do not end up in prison, they end up in treatment. For people who have committed crimes that have landed them in jail, there needs to be a path back from prison. We need real education and real skills training for the incarcerated.
Because of budget cuts, departments are bringing in large sums of revenue by seizing the property of people who are suspected of criminal activity. Civil asset forfeiture laws allow law enforcement to take property from people even before they are charged with a crime. Then the system makes it very difficult and expensive for an innocent person to get their property back.
She will push for
Ban for profit prison systems, which lobby for laws to arrest, jail and detain in order to keep prison beds full.
Repeal the failed “War on Drugs” and eliminate mandatory minimums which produce disparities between the sentences of black and white people.
Move to take marijuana off the federal government’s list of outlawed drugs.
Invest in drug courts that work with medical and mental health interventions for people with substance abuse problems.
Boost investments for education and job training programs that help people who have gone to jail.
Stop programs that rely on fines, fees or asset forfeitures as a steady source of revenue.
Women's Rights It is time to put women and families first. This means guaranteeing equal pay for equal work, protecting women's rights to make decisions over their own bodies and ensuring paid sick and maternity leave. Progress has been made, but much more needs to be done to address the challenges and diminished opportunities women face. We need a representative who will reflect the growing momentum to move these policies over the finish line once and for all.
LGBTQ Equality and opportunity is a fundamental right of all citizens of our country. Unfortunately, many states are sanctioning discrimination against the LGBTQ community. We must ensure that these citizens are not unfairly fired, refused service or access because of their LGBTQ identity. The government should uphold and enforce the rights of all citizens to marry and create policies that would guarantee equal benefits, rights, and responsibilities to married LGBTQ couples. Jenny will fight for all people to enjoy the same rights under our Constitution. She will push for:
policies that ban discrimination against LGBTQ persons by credit lenders and financial institutions.
reducing suicides in our LGBTQ youth and promote programs that reduce bullying and harassment in schools.
including LGBTQ classification in the federally protected classes.
Infrastructure Our nation’s infrastructure problems are solvable if commit to making good ideas a reality. Fixing our infrastructure will require that we seek and adopt a wide range of solutions that include sustainability, resiliency, and ongoing maintenance. Improving the nation’s roads, bridges, mass transit, airports and sea ports are integral to driving our growth, maintaining our safety and competitiveness. While infrastructure investment must be increased at all levels, it must also be prioritized and executed according to plans that meet both current and future challenges. Not only is fixing our infrastructure just good sense it will create millions of good paying jobs along the way.
Environment We only have one earth and we must take care of it. This means investing in clean renewable energy sources, increasing sustainable building and clean air, soil and water protections. She will push for a
ban on fracking and eliminating the EPA fracking loophole for oil and gas companies.
reinstate the superfund tax structure so that the cleanup of such sites does not burden the citizens, but the industry who created it.
the passing of a renewable electricity standard (RES) setting binding targets for renewable energy in the near- and long-term to diversify the U.S. electricity generation mix, save consumers money, and reduce pollution.
Healthcare While the Affordable Care Act was a step towards covering more Americans who needed health insurance, many issues remain including rising out of pocket costs and high copayments/deductibles. The most troubling of all is that 27 million Americans are still uninsured. Access to healthcare is a human right that all Americans should enjoy. Our present healthcare system is organized by and for the benefit of big insurance and pharmaceutical companies and not the American people. This must change. We must implement a single payer healthcare system including dental and vision coverage that empowers the government to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies to lower the prices of prescription drugs.
Military If we are going to send our brothers and sisters off to war then we must be willing to take care of their needs when they get home and that includes both physical and mental health. The suicide rate is unacceptable. We cannot continue to ignore the pleas of our veterans for help. She will push for
Expand VA Hospital benefits and include comprehensive dental.
Provide excellent mental health counseling, family assistance, and transition assistance.
Increase military pensions and housing benefits.
Money, Politics and the Electoral Process Our political system has been corrupted by corporate interests and ultra wealthy donors who abuse the system for their gain. The Citizens United ruling that states that money is speech, corporations are people, and giving huge amounts of undisclosed money to politicians in exchange for access and influence constitutes corruption. Campaign finance reform must be accompanied by efforts to strengthen voting rights – restoring the full protections of the Voting Rights Act, expanding early voting, and vote-by-mail, implementing automatic voter registration and same day registration, moving to ranked voting, ending gerrymandering and ensuring open primaries, among others. She will push for
publicly financed, transparent system of campaign financing.
complete transparency regarding the funding of campaigns, including thorough disclosure of contributions.
a ban on the revolving door between congress and lobbyists
Racial Justice The United States continues to suffer from a legacy of racist policies and practices that hurt communities of color. In order to provide liberty and justice for all citizens, we must address the specific needs of communities of color who are overwhelmingly affected by police violence, political and legal disenfranchisement, and environmental injustice. Jenny is committed to collaborating with communities of color to enforce solutions that will contribute to a more equal and just society. She will push for:
Mandatory racial bias training for police departments to address unjust racial profiling and police brutality targeting people of color.
Demilitarizing police forces and mandating body cameras to hold police accountable for their actions.
Re-enfranchising the more than two million African-Americans who have had their right to vote taken away by a felony conviction.
Ensuring equal pay for people of color.
Putting an end to the unequal exposure of people of color to harmful chemicals, pesticides and other toxins in homes, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces.
Immigration The United States of America is a nation of immigrants. Like all of us, immigrants to the United States hope for a better future for themselves, their families, and their communities. Although the American people have called for comprehensive immigration reform, the GOP has reduced their calls to fix our employment, labor, and naturalization laws as “amnesty.” This divisive rhetoric distracts from the real, human problems that millions of immigrants face. Jenny believes that we should reform our immigration policies to ensure that all of the people living in our country are given a fair chance and treated with dignity and respect. She will push for:
A Clean Dream Act, which would provide a permanent solution for 2.1 million immigrant youth and young adults who came the U.S. as children but currently have no pathway to citizenship.
Allowing immigrants to purchase health insurance through the Affordable Care Act and issuing whistleblower visas for immigrants who report abuse in the workplace.
Redirecting border security resources to modernize our border and ensure proper oversight that protects border communities.
Making sure that undocumented immigrants who have no criminal history have a way of obtaining legal status in an efficient and just manner.
Regulating future flows by requiring immigrants to obtain legal status and pay taxes by filing with the government, submitting to a background check and participating in a new employer verification system.
Reducing the severe visa backlog and removing roadblocks for family members of permanent residents.
Wall Street Reform Wall Street’s corruptible and irresponsible business practices almost collapsed the economy in 2008. Wall Street was responsible for the loss of people's life savings, housing, and jobs. Furthermore, the Chief Executive Officers of our financial institutions were not punished because they were deemed, ‘too big to fail’. Jenny understands the failure to hold Wall Street accountable for almost destroying our economy must be prevented in the future. She will push for:
Supporting regulations for Wall Street with a modern version of the Glass-Steagall Act and regulating credit default swaps.
Protecting the Consumer Protection Financial Bureau and introducing a tax on Wall Street speculation.
Implementing harsher penalties on white-collar crime including jail time for financial executives.
Closing the loophole on tax deductions for large banks when they are fined for committing irresponsible financial decisions.
Regulating corporate accountability and business ethics standards to prevent Wall Street from making the same mistakes in the future.