Labor-endorsed Craig fighting to make sure everyone gets a ‘fair shot’

Angie Craig, the labor-endorsed candidate in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District, speaks at a rally with labor volunteers in South St. Paul.

Angie Craig learned the value of a union early in life.

Craig was 9 years old when her mother became the sole provider for Angie and her two siblings. To help them make ends meet, Craig’s grandmother gave up retirement, moved into the mobile-home court where Craig’s family lived, and went back to work.

Angie’s grandmother was 50 at the time. The job she found was in a unionized shoe factory. She was able to keep that job as she grew older, Angie believes, because of the protections of her union contract.

“I can remember on two occasions that her union rep went in with her and talked to management, and it saved her job,” Craig said. “I grew up with a very distinct feeling that a union had helped my family survive.”

Now, as Craig makes her second bid for Congress in Minnesota’s 2nd District, unions have her back again. She has earned the endorsement of the state’s largest labor federation, the Minnesota AFL-CIO, as someone who will stick up for working people and protect their freedom to join together.

UA: What can Congress do to get more people into union jobs?

AC: What businesses tell me they are lacking are people with career skills and technical skills. I want to see us rethink vocational-technical education in this country, and that would include these first-class apprenticeship programs that labor unions and their employers have developed. I’d like to make sure that young people understand these apprenticeship programs are available to everyone.

The other thing that I think the Congress should do – and this is what really differentiates me from my opponent massively – is I think we should amend Taft-Hartley to make right-to-work laws illegal in this country.

UA: Income inequality is already at historic levels, and it’s only rising, thanks to the $1.5 trillion tax cut for corporations and the wealthy, which your opponent, Jason Lewis, backed. If you could go back do things differently, what would you do?

AC: I want to go back and do what we should have done in the first place, and that is focus on giving the middle class and working Americans a tax break. We’ve given over a trillion dollars away to large corporations – and at the same time we didn’t close tax loopholes that allow them to send jobs overseas. And now they’re talking about cutting Medicare and Social Security to pay for it.

UA: When it comes to health care, President Trump and Congressional Republicans, including your opponent, seem interested only in creating chaos and uncertainty for families seeking coverage. What approach would you take to health care policy?

AC: The first thing we need to do is to take on big drug companies and take on these health insurance companies. If we really wanted to control costs, we would be negotiating drug prices with Medicare. We would offer more competition into the marketplace, and we’d give consumers another choice by allowing them to choose to buy into a program like Medicare and compete with the large health insurance companies. But instead of taking on any of these special interests, the Republican-controlled Congress and the President have continued to just chip away at the current health care law for political purposes…

UA: Women voters appear to be especially energized this year. How can Congress make sure women who speak up about harassment, including at work, are heard?

AC: As the head of human resources for a Minnesota manufacturer, my team and I carried out investigations of harassment in the work place. In order for this moment to last, it’s important to strike the right balance between due process – including full, fair, and thorough investigations for the accused – with equal protection for everyone. Labor has led the way forward on forging the workplace protections Americans enjoy today, and I will work with our union brothers and sisters to continue strengthening them for everyone.

UA: It’s your second run in a district that hasn’t elected a DFLer in nearly two decades. What gives you hope this year is different? What keeps you in this fight?

AC: At the end of the day, I grew up in a family that had to work our ass off to get ahead, and that’s what I want to go fight for – to make sure that if you’re willing to work hard in this country, this country is fair to you and you have a fair shot to get ahead. That’s going to be my focus as a member of Congress. I grew up in a mobile home court, worked two jobs to put myself through school. I’ve got four boys, three of them are out of the house, two in college, one in trade school. I’m going to be fighting so that no matter how much money you were born into, you get a fair shot.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Walz and our other endorsed candidates – like U.S. Sen. Tina Smith and Angie Craig, running for Congress in Minnesota’s 2nd District, which includes Dakota County – have earned […]

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