We have been asking some questions on social media and at our events on the campaign trail. It is important to me that we take the time to listen to the concerns that most affect our district and out state. Here was a recent question we asked:
What are the biggest issues your parents are facing in terms of having enough to live and healthcare?
And here was a heartbreaking answer:
Healthcare – my dad recently lost his job of 18 years- as a machinist. Finding a new job is tough because they are all using temp services to hire these type of positions now, at least in this area. He will do this of course, it is work. The problem is there are no benefits with a temp service, no sick time, no health insurance. So he hopes they will hire him on full time after a few months and in the meantime hopes nothing happens.
This is a very difficult situation – and one I can relate to directly. My father was a union painter who lost his job during an economic downturn. The factory where he worked for 15 years closed and those jobs were sent elsewhere for cheaper labor. I watched him struggle to find work given that the blue collar factory jobs had all but vanished. He swallowed his pride and took a massive pay cut to keep working, finding jobs as he could and piecing things together as long as possible. I know it was tough for him then and it is equally, if not more difficult, in today’s period of inflationary healthcare costs and rapid technological advances.
We simply cannot afford to let folks fall through the cracks without offering all the tools available to help them. They don’t want to be underemployed — they want to contribute and take pride in their work, but just expect to make a decent living doing it. We must address the wealth gap in this country and all the accompanying problems that come with it. I will be fighting for people like your dad and mine- trust me on that.