The federal minimum wage is currently an unacceptable, unlivable $7.25 an hour. The earnings at this wage are well below the cost of living in every part of the country, forcing many people to take a second, or even third job to make ends meet.
- ● Making the Raise the Wage Act law and raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour over five years.
- ● Ending the practice of subminimum wage pay to people with disabilities if their employer possesses a 14(c) certificate.
White women earn 80 cents, Black women earn 63 cents, Indigenous women earn 58 cents, and Latina women earn 54 cents for every dollar a white man earns. Even though the Equal Pay Act has been law since the Kennedy administration, the disparity in pay between men and women in the workplace is still present. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Making the Paycheck Fairness Act federal law.
- ● Authorizing the Department of Justice and Department of Commerce to penalize and fine companies that commit wage discrimination.
Unions and union workers are essential to American economic success. From an eight-hour workday to humane work conditions, unions have been on the front lines protecting employees for years. Friends of Intelligent Democracy is an organization committed to the success and support of unions and their members. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Protecting workers who try to start new unions whose employers threaten retaliation.
- ● Preventing companies from dissolving pension funds and leaving retirees without an earned livelihood.
- ● Repealing the Taft-Hartley Act that allows anti-union states to try and dissolve unions using falsely named “right to work” laws.
- ● Protecting and increasing prevailing wages for union workers on public projects.
In 2020, it is time for the United States of America to recognize and repair our country’s dark beginnings. The enslavement of Africans brought here against their will and the genocide of Native Americans on their ancestral land has led to centuries of physical, social, legal, and economic abuse. Sovereign Native American tribes have had treaties violated and forced off their lands leading to a present-day poor quality of life. African Americans have remained victim to the legacy of slavery through Jim Crow laws, mass incarceration and government mistreatment. Reparations are not the solution to the United States’ racist past and present, but the start to reconciliation. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● The creation of a Reparations Task Force led by the Attorney General, Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Commerce that takes public comment on the issue and seeks the advice of academics and economists.
- ● A reparations package that invests $5 trillion over 10 years in African American and Native American communities targeting the growth of small businesses, government home loans, bolstering HBCUs and encouraging secondary education, improving public schools, upgrading public transportation, improving public health outcomes, and working directly with community leaders to determine the best way for funds to be spent.
Our teachers are some of the most valuable members of our workforce as they are trusted with training students for their future as engaged members of society. Unfortunately, Republicans in numerous state legislatures and in Congress do not understand the value of our teachers and therefore create an economic environment that discourages individuals from entering the profession. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Creating a tax credit for all school supplies purchased by teachers in schools that are not otherwise provided for.
- ● Forgiving existing student debt by an increasing amount each year that a graduate teaches in order to encourage qualified graduates to teach.
- ● Drastically raising the income of teachers in order to reflect how important teachers are to American society.
- ● Protecting the labor rights and bargaining power of teachers’ unions.
Supporting Veteran-Owned Enterprise
The brave individuals who protect and serve our country should be treated with the utmost respect upon their return to the civilian world. There should be an adequate amount of resources available for those who then start a business after service. There is a large portion of small businesses that are veteran owned, and these businesses can generate more than $1.2 trillion dollars in sales per year. Now vets are seeing a decline in business creation after service, which leads to fewer jobs available for veterans returning to normality making it incredibly difficult to make such a drastic transition. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Adding low to zero interest business loans to the current G.I. Bill.
- ● Expanding education grants to the current G.I. Bill.
- ● Further incentivizing the creation of veteran-owned businesses and the hiring of veterans.
Universal Broadband Access
In order to provide equal economic and educational opportunities to all there needs to be an equal access to internet connectivity in groups that do not have it. The lack of internet access widens inequality for those of older age, lower income, less education, and for those of specific ethnicities. In today's age, access to the internet is crucial and for the 33 million Americans living without it, access could drastically change their quality of life to have the same opportunities as someone else. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports:
- ● Appropriating $100-$140 billion to build the necessary infrastructure to bring high-speed internet access to every American.
- ● Forming public-private partnerships to subsidize internet access and devices for customers that have the infrastructure, but not the financial means to access existing internet services.
- ● Developing 5G networks across the country to bring American business and residential customers into the 21st century digital environment.
Supporting the Working Class
The increasing wealth gap in America has resulted in larger economic disparities for the working class, making it harder and harder for families to deal with unexpected events in the economy, such as the crisis we are facing now. The amount of financial support that teachers are given does not adequately represent what they contribute to society. Friends of Intelligent Democracy supports Senator Kamala Harris’ plan to create an annual tax credit of $6,000 for those with household earnings under $100,000 and $3,000 for single filers earning $50,000 a year.