This November's elections are shaping up to be among the most consequential in recent U.S. history. Throughout the summer and fall, we are going to take a look at the best candidates for working people. Today we feature Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota.
Here are some of the key reasons why Smith is one of the best candidates for working people in 2018:
- While working with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Smith has helped bring down the state's unemployment rate to one of the lowest in the country. Their policies also helped close the racial economic gap.
- She strongly supports expanding paid family and medical leave.
- Smith has introduced legislation to develop local partnerships that train and provide skills for people seeking jobs or career advancement.
- She has helped develop programs that give young people career paths outside the traditional four-year college.
- While serving as lieutenant governor, she has helped expand MinnesotaCare to provide access to quality, affordable health care throughout the state.
- Smith is working with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) to reduce the burden of student debt so graduates who join the workforce don't come out of the gate already in a hole.
- She supports programs that train veterans and help them find the work opportunities they deserve for serving our country.
- Smith supports a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers and opposes the Trump administration’s efforts to separate families and deport political refugees.
- Continuing her past efforts, she will work to strengthen the freedom of working people to organize and bargain to improve our working conditions, pay and benefits.
- Smith serves on a bipartisan committee to protect the pensions of tens of thousands of retired Minnesotans. She believes that working people who have paid into our retirement plans our whole lives shouldn't have to worry about supporting ourselves in retirement.
- She supports trade measures that support working people and she pressed the administration to combat illegal foreign steel imports that harm Americans.
- As an advocate for public education, she has helped establish all-day kindergarten in Minnesota’s public schools, improving access to education and allowing parents to save on child care expenses.
The Minnesota AFL-CIO supported Smith's original appointment to the Senate and has endorsed her election to the seat. The state federation's message of support said:
For the last seven years, Tina Smith has been Governor Dayton’s partner in building a better Minnesota. Be it raising the minimum wage, strengthening our state’s infrastructure, or expanding working people’s freedom to join together in union, Lt. Governor Smith has been there to help get key legislation across the finish line. She’s has been a leader on reducing healthcare costs and combating Minnesota’s opioid crisis; expertise that she will carry to the Senate.