Cathy's Quest

Staff Writer
Jackson Newspapers
Cathy Kunkel

I am running for Congress in the 2nd district because we need leadership in D.C. that will fight for an economy that works for all of us, not just a wealthy few.

We know that our economy is not working for the vast majority of us. The top eight health insurance CEOs made $144 million in 2018 while millions of Americans struggle to afford healthcare or have lost employer-based healthcare as a result of our current economic crisis. Even during this pandemic, many CEOs making millions of dollars a year are still not required to offer paid sick days to their employees.

Increasingly, our economy is dominated by a handful of wealthy corporations and individuals, who can buy elections and write the rules to benefit them. We have seen all too well in this pandemic how quickly the Federal Government has moved to bail out large corporations and prop up stock prices, while small businesses fight over crumbs. I am still hearing from West Virginians who have spent months waiting for unemployment benefits that have yet to arrive. This is unacceptable.

The only way workers have won gains in wages and working conditions in the past is by coming together to fight for them. In the 1910s and 1920s, West Virginia coal miners and their families struggled and died for the right to organize in the face of oppressive coal industry rule. More recently, teachers and school employees across the country – inspired by West Virginians – have won raises and increased funding for public education.

We can begin to turn this situation around if we once again come together and fight for an economy that works for all of us. In Congress, I will stand with working families and advocate for paid sick days, a higher minimum wage, and Medicare for All healthcare that covers everyone. I will fight for secure retirement and to close the loophole that allows millionaires to pay into Social Security at a lower rate than working Americans. I will support legislation to make it easier, not harder, for workers to join unions and organize for their rights. And I will fight for the billions of dollars of federal infrastructure investment that we need here in West Virginia, in broadband internet, safe drinking water, and transportation, to build a stronger economic foundation for our state.

But if we want an economy that truly works for all of us, it will take all of us to get there. History shows us that simply electing good political leaders is not enough to win lasting change without the power of social movements. That is why I am excited to be part of WV Can’t Wait and to join with dozens of candidates running for office up and down the ballot in our state who have all pledged not to take corporate money in our campaigns. WV Can’t Wait is building a movement to not only win elections but to carry these fights forward past the 2020 election. Together, we can build a government that represents all of us, not just a wealthy few.