A Fair Economy
When Annie and I made the decision to start our family, Connecticut was where everyone wanted to be. The right mix of cities, close to Boston and New York, good schools, great neighborhoods, but most importantly Connecticut was full of opportunity. That’s what a strong and vibrant economy is: opportunity. Today, a strong economy is a fair economy. An economy that pays a living wage, supports women and people of color in the workplace, and provides everyone with a second chance.
Why I support a $15 minimum wage
Creating a $15 minimum wage is an important step in improving the quality of life for working families across Connecticut, and I believe it will boost wages across the board. In this modern economy, workers have never been more productive, yet wages are stagnant. As cost of living rises and our economy continues to transition, I believe a $15 minimum wage will ensure that working families can thrive in our state. Building up our middle class is good for our families and good for our economy.
Increasing the minimum wage to $15 is also a tool that will help close the wage gap between men and women in our state. More than 60% of minimum wage workers in Connecticut are women, and a significant population of those women are women of color. In our state Latinas and black women make 47¢ and 58¢ respectively for every $1.00 paid to white, non-Hispanic men. This disparity is even more troubling when coupled with the reminder that more than 170,000 households in Connecticut are headed by women. Median annual income for single female-headed households in Connecticut with children under eighteen is $30,795, while the same for single male-headed households with children under eighteen is $45,986. That’s a difference that puts single mothers behind single fathers in their ability to pay for child care, cover tuition fees, put food on the table, pay the mortgage or cover their rent.
Why I support equal pay for equal work
I have spent most of my career starting up and running small businesses. I know that paying workers fairly is important to the culture of a company. When someone is treated unfairly that impacts morale across the workplace and reduces productivity.
Equal pay for equal work can contribute to ending Connecticut’s fiscal woes. Annually, women who are employed full time in Connecticut lose a combined total of $15 billion to the wage gap.
This is why I support passing legislation that will prevent employers from salary questions, including the legislation currently raised before the Connecticut legislature.
Why I support Paid Family and Medical Leave
I know how important it is to a workplace that you do not lose a great member of the team because they are faced with a personal crisis. Her leaving the workplace is bad for her, and it's bad for business. Paid family and medical leave is the right thing to do, and the smart thing to do. Workers in Connecticut should not have to choose between spending the first days with their child, the last days with their parent, or paying their mortgage.
We need to increase the number of workers in our state who will have access to paid family and medical leave. This will make us a more attractive state to modern workers. According to a study done by the Connecticut Campaign for Paid Family Leave “more than 38% of millennial workers said that they would not only move state’s but move to another country for better parental benefits.”
We need to protect against harassment in the workplace
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said “It may true that the law cannot change the heart but it can restrain the heartless.” The power of the #MeToo movement and the courage of women everywhere who have stood up and spoken out about sexual harassment has begun to change hearts, it is our responsibility to make sure that we restrain the heartless.
A second chance
Connecticut is leading the Nation on Criminal Justice reform. I am so proud to live in a state that is working to fight back against the impacts of institutionalized racism. Making sure that all of our returning citizens have access to a second chance and a good career is an essential part of the fair economy. Expanding partnerships with Labor and with our community colleges and four year universities, like the ones that I have seen at Asnuntuck and Goodwin College, will be a priority for my administration.
A Strong Labor Movement
The Republicans here in Connecticut and Nationally are working to dismantle the key protections that labor movement helped our country put in place to build the middle class. Pushing for a fair wage, advocating for safe and dignified working conditions, and building a path to a secure retirement are things that all American workers have a right to. That’s what labor fights for, and that’s why I will fight for labor. The outcome of Janus vs. AFSCME will have profound impacts on labor and working families across the nation. As Governor I will protect workers rights and keep labor at the table.
I would love to hear your thoughts about this and other issues. Shoot me a note below! - Ned