With our country experiencing slow economic recovery, a stagnant jobs picture, and the worst poverty and income inequality since the 1920's, Jared believes Congress' most urgent priority must be getting people back into the workforce and accelerating economic recovery. Toward that end, Jared has been meeting and working collaboratively with leading economic development professionals, business leaders and key stakeholders to identify the best strategies and solutions to invigorate our regional, state and national economies.
Jared's plan includes immediate, short-term strategies to spur economic recovery, coupled with a long-range vision to create and retain quality middle class jobs by fostering innovation, clean energy, domestic manufacturing and sustainable resource management. Here are the key elements:
Pass the American Jobs Act, but don't stop there: Jared supports President Obama's plan to spur job growth among middle class families and small businesses -- where it is needed most. It's a good first step, but we must do more --including greater investments in education and research, and much greater investments in critical infrastructure such as roads and bridges, public transportation systems including light rail and high speed rail, building retrofits to dramatically improve energy efficiency, expanded broadband in rural and underserved areas, renewable energy generation and transmission, and water and wastewater treatment systems.
Broadband is 21st Century Infrastructure: Ubiquitous affordable high-speed Internet is an essential requirement to provide high quality health care, education, public health and safety and economic development services. National broadband implementation should be a priority, using models such as those underway in California, which has set up regional broadband consortia to coordinate broadband hub activity, such as the California Telehealth Network prototype. The regional consortia are developing a more accurate picture of broadband coverage and capacity to identify investment priorities.
Support and secure funding for regional economic priorities like SMART: One of the most important things our next member of Congress can do for jobs in this district is to deliver federal funding for key regional priorities like the SMART rail and trail project. Jared is the only candidate who actively supported and campaigned for the SMART project and he is committed to securing more federal funding to enable its completion -- all the way from Cloverdale to a seamless rail-ferry transit connection in Larkspur.
Bold action to prevent foreclosures: Ending the foreclosure crisis is critical to getting our economy back on track. Since the real estate bubble burst in 2008, nearly 6 million Americans have lost their homes to foreclosure, and there are 3.5 million pending foreclosure proceedings. Worse, more than 14 million Americans are still underwater in their mortgages and some experts predict 10.4 million mortgages will slip into default unless Congress takes bold action. Jared has consistently supported state legislation to avoid foreclosures and will continue to do so in Congress. That starts with supporting President Obama's plan to help millions of struggling homeowners refinance at very low interest rates. But Jared will go further by working to pass so-called "cram down" legislation, which authorizes Bankruptcy Courts to reduce the principal down to fair market value and modify interest and amortization rates on residential mortgages. At no cost to taxpayers, this bankruptcy reform could help millions of struggling families stay in their homes.
Help small businesses create jobs: Jared understands that small businesses are America's most powerful jobs engine. But in the wake of the global financial crisis, and with many business owners unable to use their homes as collateral due to the real estate collapse and sub-prime mortgage crisis, small businesses are struggling to get the working capital they need to create jobs. President Obama's job creation tax credits for small business and additional tax credits for hiring veterans and wounded warriors are a good start, but Jared supports a stronger federal role in ensuring access to capital by small businesses, including microlending loan guarantees and passing legislation to allow credit unions to do business lending. Jared has a strong track record of listening to and working with the small business community, which is why he consistently receives high legislative rankings from California Small Business Association and California Small Business Roundtable.
Win-Win Solutions for Business and the Environment: Building on his achievements in the state legislature, Jared will continue to champion innovative win-win solutions that create jobs and grow the economy while also improving and protecting the environment. He will work to pass a national renewable energy portfolio standard, a low-carbon fuel standard, and other proven policies that create jobs by growing the clean energy economy while also helping address environmental and national security needs.
Support the sustainable resource-based economy: In the 2nd Congressional District, the resource economy is especially important and Jared understands that sustainable and functional natural resource management policies are critical to the viability and success of natural resource-related industries like fishing, forestry, tourism, and our diverse agricultural sector.