Letter: ‘The state of America’s working families’

To the editor:

One year ago, President Donald Trump stood before the American people and gave us his word. He promised to invest in infrastructure. He pledged to bring millions of offshored jobs back to this country. He told Hoosiers at the Carrier plant in Indianapolis that our livelihoods would be safe with him. He said he’d be “the greatest jobs president God ever created.”

What a difference a year makes.

Those Carrier jobs? Six hundred of them are gone. That tax plan? Its fine print lets companies save money by moving their factories offshore. Unemployment may be low in Indiana, but our wages have barely budged in almost a decade. Close to a million Hoosiers live in poverty, and more than 1 in 10 of us struggled last year just to put food on the table. That’s the real state of our Union.

These problems don’t just happen on their own. Since that January day, President Trump and his allies in Congress — like Trey Hollingsworth — have made things worse for working families at every turn. They’ve moved to scrap overtime protections that would’ve allowed nearly 5 million more Americans to earn time-and-a-half pay. They’ve attacked rules protecting retirement savers from risky financial speculation, costing working families more than $10 billion. They’ve stripped away protections that keep people from being injured or killed at work. Hollingsworth introduced a bill to deny consumer protections to Hoosiers who are preyed on by unscrupulous payday lenders, and cosponsored right-to-work-for-less legislation. These men gave us their word and they broke it.

That’s why we need new leadership in Congress: representatives with the will to listen to working families, the courage to fight for us, and the know-how to win. When I worked in Congress as staff for some of the most progressive members, I led the team that drafted legislation to raise the minimum wage, protect working people from being cheated out of their pay, make it easier to come together with your coworkers to join a union, and help Americans juggle work and family life. These policies would make a real difference for hardworking Hoosiers — and every member of Congress should fight for them. But Hollingsworth and his friends answer only to their corporate donors — instead of answering to ordinary people.

If you send me to Congress, I will keep my word. I will listen to Hoosiers, and I will never stop fighting for us.

Liz Watson, 9th District congressional candidate

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