Reverend Warnock knows the global pandemic has fundamentally impacted the daily lives and economic security of Georgians and that in many cases the pain is being felt most by families who were already struggling to get by.
With tens of millions of Americans having lost work or totally unemployed, it’s clear our leaders have failed not only in their response to the health impacts of the virus, but also in answering its financial toll.
In Georgia, we’ve experienced failed leadership from our state department of labor’s delayed payments to citizens for weeks, while nationally leaders have fallen down on the job getting support to small businesses, entrepreneurs, and keeping needed programs for everyday families in place.
Reverend Warnock is committed to putting politics aside and listening to the experts making sure we’re containing the virus and standing up for struggling families that have been treated as political pawns throughout this crisis.
While Reverend Warnock has felt Georgian’s pains from the pandemic, his perspective on economic fairness and the dignity of work is rooted in his upbringing.
Growing up in Savannah’s Kayton Homes public housing, Reverend Warnock had eleven brothers and sisters and learned the value of hard work from his mother, who spent summers picking tobacco and cotton, and his father, who sold junk cars before standing up on Sunday mornings and preaching to poor, ordinary working-class people who themselves felt discarded.
That upbringing shaped his understanding of work, the need for good paying jobs, and the importance of fair wages for all Americans. But Reverend Warnock recognizes that things have gotten harder for families like his, and for many in Georgia, historic unemployment and a global pandemic mean the American dream has never felt more out of reach.
From Columbus to Cuthbert, Atlanta to Lavonia, workers are being laid off from jobs they’ve held for years and new employees are entering a workforce that no longer has a place for them. And even when the economy is expanding, its benefits are not being shared equally. For the employed, gender pay gaps and unfair labor practices show that our economy is designed for the wealthiest one percent, not the working class. And in rural communities, an exodus of jobs and employers has left our state vulnerable to economic shocks and exploitation.
Reverend Warnock believes that we need to rebuild an economy that works for everyone. He understands that we need to protect the dignity of work and fight for fair wages and equitable employment practices in the workplace. He knows that instead of continuing to disinvest in public education and assistance, we need to focus on investing in our children’s education and offer multiple paths for folks to attain the American dream, including:
- Listening to the experts to take steps to get the coronavirus under control, including supporting robust testing, contact tracing, and basic preventive safety like the use of face masks;
- Better supporting those who have been hit hardest by the pandemic, and working to fund unemployment and other systems that have been neglected by Washington.
- Working to support transparency around economic development programs and ensuring the small businesses that are drivers of our economy are not ignored from programs like the Paycheck Protection Program in favor of wealthy corporations that are politically well-connected.
- Protecting the dignity of work, including honest wages, protected retirement, and fair overtime compensation;
- Encouraging technical and vocational training, and apprenticeships to meet the needs of an evolving economy;
- Revoking tax breaks for companies that outsource jobs and supporting made-in-America incentives;
- Helping small business owners, especially entrepreneurs of color and women, attain capital and support;
- Supporting pay equity across the board for all Georgians;
- Fighting against burdensome regulations on small businesses;
- Protecting Georgia’s film industry from political extremism; and
- Advocating for a livable wage to ensure the dignity of working people.
Fighting for workers also means he will oppose Washington tax breaks that benefit the richest of the rich while leaving behind the poor and working families that need help the most.