The Economic Development Center of the 3rd District
The 3rd District faces a number of economic hurdles which make it increasingly difficult for working-class people to make a living. Far too many studies have shown that income inequality, stagnant wages, and a lack of access to good paying jobs contribute to the issues these people face every day. Rep. Lipinski has made special interests in Washington his top priority, while leaving the people of his district behind. 3rd District residents bear the brunt of this lack of leadership. To fix this, we need to create a jobs and opportunities engine that the 3rd District can trust.
I am proposing the Economic Development Center of the 3rd District – EDC3 for short – which would function as a central hub for economic constituent services and as a place for local stakeholders to work together to expand small-business opportunities and union membership in the district. The goal is to start a single, centrally located EDC3, with the plan to have more satellite locations to follow. EDC3 would provide the following services:
Streamlining Job Placement
There are a lot of good-paying jobs that go unfilled because people simply don’t hear about them. The EDC3 will partner with small businesses, business groups, and unions, to put people on a career path that will provide them with a real living wage.
Diversifying and Expanding Union Membership
One of my top priorities as your Representative would be to diversify and expand union membership to more underserved communities to create the middle-class of tomorrow. Even if we are successful in enacting a $15 federal minimum wage, we need to make sure that people receive the training necessary to get jobs that pay $20/hour and up. At EDC3, 3rd District residents could apply for training and apprenticeships that will funnel them into middle-class jobs.
Promoting Small Business and Entrepreneurship
The EDC3 would assist 3rd District residents in navigating legal and permitting matters when opening their own business. Entrepreneurs would also receive guidance on opening business in select opportunity zones to ensure equity in business generation.
Ensuring Fair Workplaces
Too many Americans face discrimination and unfair treatment in the workplace. Many of these instances of workplace mistreatment go unresolved. EDC3 will address this by assisting workers who have been mistreated at work and have not received a fair resolution from their employer. At EDC3, 3rd District residents can bring any complaint about unethical, abusive, or dangerous workplace conduct to caseworkers who will assist in getting workplace complaints fairly processed and to ensure that businesses in the 3rd District treat all their employees with respect.
How Would We Promote EDC3?
EDC3 would be promoted through the staging of a public awareness campaign and digital advertisements targeted to underserved and disenfranchised communities across the district. We would also work with unions and business leaders from across the district in getting the word out to as many district residents as possible.
Many issues working-class families deal with stem from a lack of economic opportunity. I believe a program like EDC3 can help alleviate many of the unfair practices and policies which make it harder for people to make it into the middle-class.
How Do We Pay for It?
Illinois consistently ranks among the bottom when it comes to states getting back in federal funding what their residents contribute in federal taxes. We need to bring back money to the 3rd District that is specifically designated for economic development and job creation. As your next Congressman, I will make sure that we are receiving proportional funding to what we are putting in, a small percentage of which would go to fund EDC3. Additionally, we would require that unions and big businesses chip in a small amount to ensure that stakeholders are committed to the goals and mission of the EDC3.