Jobs and the Economy
I’m running to be your Governor to bring back hope that if you work hard you’ll have access to a good job that pays a fair wage.
I want Georgia to be the best place to work, live, and raise a family. Right now, it isn’t. Georgia is 40th in income inequality, 40th in high school graduation, and has the lowest minimum wage in the country.
I lived in 16 homes while I was growing up. I was a waitress, cashier, and phone operator. I paid for gasoline in quarters. And I cried in college when the dry cleaners lost my only good pair of pants. Anyone who ever had their lights turned off, was evicted, or worried about their next meal knows that the experience never leaves you. It defines you.
When I was growing up, there was a path to success: go to school, work hard, pay your dues. That path is vanishing. Georgians are working harder than ever, yet they are falling behind. We should not have to work two and three jobs just to cover basic human rights like food, shelter, and healthcare. This is simply immoral.
Jobs that pay a meaningful wage
As Governor, I will fight for all Georgians to create the same opportunities that I had to get ahead despite facing struggles. And it starts with jobs. Not just any jobs. Jobs with a meaningful wage, jobs with benefits, jobs that allow hard-working parents to spend quality time with their children, not just see them between shifts.
We must work to increase the minimum wage because everybody deserves a fair day’s pay for a hard day’s work. And no one who works full-time should live in poverty. Putting more money in the hands of the families that need it most will lift the whole state.
I will fight for equal pay, affordable childcare, worker’s rights, and tax credits for working people, such as a state Earned Income Tax Credit.
Opening the door for more education, job training and apprentice opportunities
To attract these jobs, we must invest in education – from early childhood education to K-12 to technical colleges and four-year institutions. Our high schools and technical colleges can be especially valuable in providing vocational and skills training to those who will build our plants, service our roads, and maintain our power lines. That’s why I fought against the cuts to the HOPE Grant that forced thousands of students to drop out of technical colleges. And that’s why I will continue to fight to make technical education tuition-free for all Georgians and to ensure that higher education is affordable for anyone willing to put in the work. Apprentice programs also provide an amazing opportunity for Georgians to train while they earn a living, so we need to promote them and make them accessible. And we need career counselors in our middle and high schools who are trained and ready to educate students on all the pathways available to them.
Infrastructure to support a strong and growing economy
We must invest in infrastructure, including a coordinated, regional mass transit system and updated roads and bridges throughout the state. And we must re-commit to rural Georgia by expanding broadband and building a commuter rail system that connects our state.
Government contract opportunities that aren’t limited to favorite sons
We must focus on small businesses. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and so many of our communities. Georgia grants billions of dollars each year in state contracts for construction, technology, and food services. These opportunities must be open to all, not just elites and friends of the powerful. Georgia-based small businesses, not out-of-state corporations, should always get first crack at state contracts. We must reduce the taxes on small businesses while also providing access to the capital necessary to grow.
And any tax incentives to recruit new jobs to our state must go through a strict cost-benefit analysis to ensure that our tax dollars are being spent in a responsible way and that businesses that receive incentives are living up to their end of the bargain to create good-paying Georgia jobs.
Investing in people
We must pay teachers, police, firefighters, and other service providers a fair wage in line with their contribution to the prosperity and safety of our state. And state jobs should not all find themselves headquartered in Atlanta. We should spread out opportunities, and save on expensive overhead where possible.
As your Governor, I will continue to invest in Georgia’s future—in agriculture, technology and green jobs. And I will work to help the entire state prosper. Georgia deserves a Governor that looks out for all of us.