Lawrence Urban Agenda will help to strengthen Greater Detroit
By Brenda Lawrence
Mayor of Southfield
Detroit and our surrounding cities are in a fight for survival. Unfortunately, many policies that are decided in Washington, D.C., make our fight even harder. To boost Detroit, Southfield, Pontiac, Oak Park and all of our urban areas at the federal level, I’ve set forth a plan of action.
My robust plan to strengthen and support each of the 18 communities that make up Michigan’s 14th Congressional District is outlined in a comprehensive, 10-point Urban Agenda.
First, we must promote job growth in our urban areas and increase wages. While the state has recently increased their wage levels some, we need the federal minimum wage increased to $10.10 per hour.
I proudly seconded the motion to support those efforts during a recent 14th Congressional District Democrats’ meeting. Working women are especially vulnerable, as they comprise about 66 percent of minimum wage workers. A nationwide increase over several years is the right thing to do for our workers in urban areas.
Additionally, I will secure education funding and place emphasis on expanding early childhood development, literacy programs, displaced workers’ training, career and technical schools and community colleges in our urban areas. To achieve those goals, I intend to request a seat on the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee.
I’ll vigorously defend Medicare and Social Security by fighting for progressive policies that respect and protect our seniors. These men and women have earned the right to expect a return on their investment and I intend to deliver.
What’s more, I’ll continue to back President Barack Obama and support the Affordable Care Act by loudly rejecting repeated conservative and Tea Party attempts to gut the law.
For our cities to thrive and foster more job growth, we need mass transit in our region and improved transportation options. Detroit and our cities will have a strong voice advocating for their piece of the transportation pie at the federal level, including support of the M-1 Rail project. Moreover, our crumbling roads and infrastructure are hurting job growth in our cities.
As Congressional members are expected to do, I pledge to bring home federal grant funding across the board. As a mayor, U.S. Conference of Mayors board member and past National Association of Democratic Mayors chair, I will be a stronger partner with local government to secure and obtain federal grant funding for community block grant projects, road and infrastructure repairs, COPS and other public safety grants as well as Pell grants.
To help our cities in regard to safety, I’ll demand action to end gun violence. As a member of the organization Mayors against Illegal Guns, I’ve fought for sensible gun laws to stem the tide of illegal guns in our cities. As our congresswoman, I’ll introduce legislation to close background check loopholes and push further sensible legislation.
Another component of my Urban Agenda: I’ll advance Equal Pay and the Paycheck Fairness Act. In Michigan, women earn only 74 cents for every dollar earned by men. The number is only 65 cents for Black women. That’s outrageous and unacceptable!
The 14th Congressional District, which is a 75-mile long, S-shaped body of regional landscape that includes portions of Oakland and Wayne counties, has many female-headed households that would benefit from federal equal pay initiatives and mandates.
Further, I’ll protect voting rights and home rule: We must fight to retain vital federal legislation that continues to be eroded and stop these attacks on our rights. I’ll continue efforts to fight for home rule and oppose state-mandated emergency managers.
I’ll lend support to our cities, townships and school districts by pressing the U.S. Department of Justice to review the legality of the current Emergency Manager Law and overturn their unconstitutional tactics.
Finally, since we all want a strong and vibrant 14th Congressional District, I pledge to engage all of our neighborhoods consistently. As your congresswoman, my office and I will set the bar high on being accessible and responsive, just as I have done for over 12 years as mayor.
We’ll regularly hold community roundtables where I’ll facilitate conversation that will lead to action-orientated efforts, such as small business development by partnering with organizations like the Michigan Black Chamber of Commerce.
The Brenda Lawrence Urban Agenda is about putting you and your families first. Our cities are in a fight for survival. As a longtime mayor, I’m on the front lines of that fight and I’m running for Congress to fight for Detroit and our region.
Our city leaders recognize I’m the experienced leader we need representing our urban areas in Congress; I’m honored to be endorsed by the Detroit City Council president and the mayors of Pontiac, Oak Park and Hamtramck, among others.
Just as my name is Brenda Lawrence, if elected, I’ll continue to build on my proven record of fighting for all 14th Congressional District residents — whether they live along Legrande, Lahser, Livernois, Lone Pine, Lincoln Drive, Lumpkin, Lake Shore Drive or Lafayette.
Brenda Lawrence is mayor of Southfield and a candidate for Michigan’s 14th Congressional District seat.