How we'll create a rural jobs revival
The president of the United States promised that his election would mean that the "forgotten man and woman would be forgotten no longer."
On behalf of the too many Tennesseeans in rural communities who are still looking for opportunity and jobs, I'm here to collect.
I want to work with the President to execute the biggest investment in rural Tennessee in nearly a century.
We will begin to bring new, high-paying jobs to the area, educate and train our workers to fill those jobs, and take care of those whose jobs and industries are being disrupted by a transforming economy. We will focus on rapid training for technology jobs in farming, manufacturing, infrastructure, transportation, and digital coding with the hope of making Middle and East Tennessee a new center of technological innovation in the United States.
We won't leave one person or one community behind in this new rural jobs revival. We'll be straight with people about the way forward and work to ensure our citizens have a pathway to economic security and prosperity.
Along with my colleagues, I will:
Repurpose the Tennessee Valley Authority to give world-class broadband access to every rural community in the state. Like the TVA lit up the sky, jumpstarted our economy, and drastically reduced poverty during the 20th century, the new TVA will ensure rural Tennesseans and their small businesses have the tools to thrive in today's economy.
Launch the biggest investment in the
Tennessee infrastructure since the interstate highway system in the 1950s. While that program focused on connecting cities, this one will focus on connecting rural communities with each other and the wider transportation network. Tennessee's roads and bridges used to be the envy of the nation. They will soon be again.
Increase the minimum wage. The 70,000 Tennesseans in our district who have a $7.25 per hour minimum wage haven't received a pay raise in over a decade. During the campaign, the President said the minimum wage should at least be $10 per hour. He's absolutely right, but we should work towards $15 per hour.
Ensure equal pay for women and paid parental and sick leave for all. Women and mothers are increasingly becoming the cornerstone of Tennessee's economy. To defend women's paychecks is to defend Tennessee families. I will work to pass legislation to give women the tools they need to fight discrimination and harassment in the workforce. I will also work to pass paid parental and sick leave. No woman or man should have to choose between keeping their job or caring for either a new baby or an ailing family member.
Cut red tape, provide tax relief, and expand access to capital for companies and small businesses that relocate and invest in rural areas throughout the state. We will work with business owners throughout the region to identify which regulations to cut, focusing on those that slow digital and physical infrastructure development.