My goal as your Representative is to advocate for ALL of my constituents, especially those who have been historically oppressed. I’m well aware that I’ve personally been very privileged, a white man born to an educated and well supported family. Many of the people I aim to represent have had very different life experiences, and I want to hear your stories. What issues are important to you, how does the federal government, by action or inaction, affect your daily life?
People from underrepresented groups, like people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQIA+ community, people with disabilities, and people at the intersection of those groups especially deserve to have their voices heard and respected by their leaders, and I’m committed to listening to & supporting you. I intend to make sure that my congressional office staff is diverse to ensure that your perspectives are “in the room where it happens.”
Some of these issues have been suddenly thrown into very sharp contrast, with almost 60% of people killed by COVID-19 being African American, even though they make up less than 15% of our population. There are many factors conspiring to that outcome, such as historic legacies of redlining pushing them into denser neighborhoods, higher rates of poverty, less access to health care, and others. Implementing universal nonprofit health care should be a big help there.
It’s not enough for White People to “not be prejudiced,” it’s on us with the resources & power to use that to be actively anti-prejudiced. I recommend that every bill proposed should require a section explaining how it will work to reverse the legacy of privilege for white men. One thought would be with the recent virus emergency relief funding for payroll relief (most of which actually went to companies that didn’t really need it), to allocate a substantial portion of the funding to businesses that can prove that more than half dollars they paid out in total of payroll, bonuses, increased equity value, and dividends in the last year ended up in the hands of people other than cis-gendered heterosexual white men, and not allow the rest of the money to be sent out until after the reserved funds are received.
We’d need to work with the LGBTQIA+ community on how to be fair to them and not have every white guy suddenly certify that they’re bisexual *wink* in order to qualify, without actually changing anything in their lives or suffering any of the disadvantages that this is intended to correct for, while not overburdening the people we’re trying to help in terms of “proving” themselves. I don’t have a perfect solution, but it’s a starting point for discussion that needs more input from the people affected.