Our kids are our future. They deserve good schools and the chance to build a better life. For decades our schools have not had enough money to give a good education. It's time to change that. We need to pay our teachers and help our kids be ready for the ever changing world.
As I watch my kids head out the door Monday morning, I worry just like every other parent. Our kids spend over 30 hours each week in schools that are critically underfunded and ranked 48th in the US. Investing now in education will make sure each child has the opportunity to be a strong, contributing member of our community in the future. I will vote to bring schools back to 2008 levels of funding and then work to continue investing in education so that Arizona is nationally competitive in teacher pay, class size, and special ed support.
Right now our classrooms are struggling to hire and keep qualified teachers. We need to bring teacher pay in line with national standards. The US average is $55,000 per year. I would vote to make sure all qualified teachers are making that at a minimum. We should also make sure our bus drivers, aides, and other support staff are making at least $15/hr.
As a business owner and Economics major, I spend a lot of time thinking about the way money moves. I've heard over and over about business rights and protecting capitalism, but rarely is there a deep dive on what that really looks like. As we face the largest wealth gap in decades, it's time to redefine our capitalist society.
I agree with entrepreneur Andrew Yang, "Capitalism as an economic system has led to unparalleled innovation and improvement in the human condition. Many consider it to have “won” the war of ideas against socialism, but that simplistic view ignores that there is no such thing as a pure Capitalist system. And our current version of institutional capitalism and corporatism is a relatively recent development.
Our current emphasis on corporate profits isn’t working for the vast majority of Americans. This will only be made worse by the development of automation technology and AI.
We need to move to a new form of capitalism – Human Capitalism – that’s geared towards maximizing human well-being and fulfillment. The central tenets of Human Capitalism are:
Humans are more important than money
The unit of a Human Capitalism economy is each person, not each dollar
Markets exist to serve our common goals and values
The focus of our economy should be to maximize human welfare. Sometimes this aligns with a purely capitalist approach, where different entities compete for the best ideas. But there are plenty of times when a capitalist system leads to suboptimal outcomes. Think of an airline refusing to honor your ticket because they can get more money from a customer who purchases last-minute, or a pharmaceutical company charging extortionate rates for a life-saving drug because the customers are desperate."
Corporations and the wealthy have enough advantages without being able to put up millions of dollars to bending the ear of every officeholder. In the wake of the Citizens United ruling, money has flooded our political system. A few of wealthy individuals can now raise their voices louder than millions of ordinary Americans put together. The flood of money in politics has led to increased mistrust in our government, and rightly so. Big money in politics is far more likely to support candidates who will protect the interest of the wealthy that elected these candidates in the first place, like our current Rep Bowers. The majority of his money is from out of state PACs.
We must return to the essence of democracy – where each person’s vote is heard and treated equally. I support the Outlaw Dirty Money movement and return the American government to its people.
Arizona teachers marched to win higher wages for themselves and better conditions for their students in 2018. In many states they had unions to bargain for those rights, but Arizona isn’t one of those. We see it in many industries, as corporations continue to put profits first and people last. Those people are our neighbors, friends, family and sometimes even ourselves.
As unions fight to get workers their fair share, the GOP-led government is making that fight harder. By restricting organizing rights and adding protections for predatory corporations, we are moving our country in the wrong direction. Policies are needed to encourage the formation of unions and expand their negotiating power, so they can represent workers and negotiate fair contracts and protections with employers.
This fight will not be easy, and it will take working families who are willing to sacrifice, like those currently on strike in southern Arizona. I support a federal universal basic income, which among many benefits, would also act as a permanent strike fund. This will help workers gain leverage during the design and deployment of technologies that are the future of work in Arizona.
I also support expansion of vocational and apprenticeship programs that will train Arizona’s workers to install, maintain, and repair sustainable infrastructure. This is key to stabilizing the middle class as we transition to a sustainable economy.