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Rick Larsen for Congress

 

Opportunities & Jobs for the Middle Class

I approach each day guided by what I hear from local families and small businesses. They want a champion to help them face their challenges and create opportunities to grow the middle class.

A strong and vibrant middle class is the foundation of the American dream. I’m committed not just to making that dream more accessible to anyone who’s willing to work hard and play by the rules, but to protecting people from the forces in Washington, D.C. that are trying to pull the middle class apart.

This means I'm working build an economy that creates jobs by investing in infrastructure. I helped champion an infrastructure bill that will put people to work in union-wage jobs building, repairing and maintaining our roads, bridges, and highways. And I'm working to help small businesses grow by increasing opportunities to export their products.

Northwest Washington is already a leader when it comes to renewable energy, and I am working to strengthen our region’s role as a center of excellence. Our country needs a rational, national energy policy that creates and keeps clean energy jobs within the United States.

And we need to raise the minimum wage. I support efforts to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour and tie future adjustments to the median hourly wage. I also support Washington Initiative 1433, a proposal that would increase Washington State’s minimum wage to $13.50 an hour by 2020, and establish paid sick and safe leave benefits for all workers.

But we can’t stop there. To rebuild the middle class people need more opportunities to succeed.

We need to increase access to education, including apprenticeships, to help people gain new skills. That is why I introduced a bill that connects students to training in STEM skills. I want to create a pathway that takes students from their junior year in high school through community college and into an apprenticeship.

And knowing the strong correlation between higher education and higher wages earned over a lifetime, we need to make it easier for people to invest in their future. I want students to be able to refinance their federal student loans to take advantage of lower interest rates. I am fighting to protect and expand Pell Grants. And I support free community college tuition to students who meet specific criteria.

Finally, our economy will be stronger when women get equal pay for equal work, which is why I support efforts to make pay disparities based on gender illegal, and increase opportunities to provide equal pay for equal work.

 

Connect with Rick

 
Rick Larsen

Meet Rick Larsen

Rick Larsen represents Washington state's 2nd Congressional District. Rick was born and raised in Arlington and his family has called Northwest Washington home for over a century. Learn more.