Jobs, Economy, and Poverty
Poverty is one of Rochester’s most serious challenges. In June 2014, Rochester was ranked as the 3rd poorest city in the United States. Congresswoman Slaughter is fighting to reverse this unacceptable trend.
We cannot fight poverty in Rochester without a strong economy. Yet, we live in difficult times: income inequality in the United States is the highest it has been since the 1920s; American companies continue to send jobs overseas in search of cheap labor, bigger profits, and tax havens; and working families continue to struggle while the wealthy flourish. Congresswoman Slaughter is using all the tools at her disposal to build a stronger economy for everyone and protect those in need.
- Raising Wages: Congresswoman Slaughter believes that all Americans would benefit from higher wages. Raising the minimum wage to over $10 an hour would help families stay above the poverty line. It would also benefit women and communities of color that have long been the most adversely effected by the low minimum wage. A report by the Center for American Progress found that 62 percent of minimum wage workers are women. Women who worked full time earned, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar men earned. Even worse, African American women earned only 64 cents and Latinas earned only 56 cents for each dollar earned by a white male. The congresswoman believes all women should earn equal pay for equal work and supports the Paycheck Fairness Act.
- Engaging Vulnerable Communities: Congresswoman Slaughter believes we should help individuals and families who have fallen behind get back on their feet. This means connecting people with the resources they need and protecting the social safety net. Congresswoman Slaughter has helped secure funding and support for many local organizations that are working to rebuild our local communities.
- Creating and Protecting Jobs: Congresswoman Slaughter is focused on investing in Rochester’s economy and defending it from unfair competition overseas. She believes that our economy is the strongest when it works for everyone, not just for those at the top. That’s why she has helped secure funding and assistance for companies and projects in the Rochester area that have directly created jobs.
- Training Local Students and Workers: Congresswoman Slaughter believes that every American should have access to a high-quality and affordable education. In particular, Congresswoman Slaughter is working to ensure that the advanced manufacturing industries in Rochester have access to the skilled labor they need to thrive.
- Support Increased Federal Minimum Wage: Congresswoman Slaughter has cosponsored legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and the tipped wage to $3.15. The cost of living has outpaced the growth of wages, and this is especially true for minimum wage workers. Congresswoman Slaughter continues to advocate for a living wage that hard-working people both need and deserve.
- Union and Worker Rights: Labor unions have played a vital role in creating the largest middle class in the world. Unions have fought for important workplace protections, increased wages, and ensured justice for workers. Congresswoman Slaughter continues to work alongside unions and other advocates to improve working conditions and salaries for America's working poor and middle class.
- Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity: Congresswoman Slaughter is a member of the congressional Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. This task force allows members of Congress to bring together various federal agencies, national think-tanks, and global non-profits to find innovative solutions to the pervasive problem of poverty. Congresswoman Slaughter knows that successfully reducing poverty in Rochester requires an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach, and she will continue to ensure the full strength of the federal government is brought to bear in this effort.
- Protect Community Development Funding: Congresswoman Slaughter is a strong supporter of the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program. This funding helps break the cycle of economic stagnation and inequality. She has consistently advocated for the program in the face of drastic budget cuts that began in 2010. In 2013, Congresswoman Slaughter secured $1.6 million under the program for Monroe County.
- Secure Workforce Training Funds: Since 2012, Congresswoman Slaughter has helped secure more than $20 million for workforce training at Monroe Community College and RochesterWorks. These funds provide training and education to prepare unemployed workers and veterans for advanced manufacturing jobs.
- Level the Playing Field for Local Businesses: Congresswoman Slaughter takes every opportunity to promote Rochester’s world-class businesses. Whether it’s cutting through red tape, liaising with the federal government, or taking advantage of federal grants and support, her constituent companies have a strong advocate in Washington. By partnering with local businesses, she has helped save and create jobs at Hickey Freeman, Harris, Exelis, OLEDWorks, and many other local employers. If you need help with any business issues, please consult the Help with Federal Agencies page here.
- Expand Rochester’s Optics and Photonics Industry: Congresswoman Slaughter has continually fought hard for investments in optics and photonics. This industry supports more than 17,000 jobs in the Rochester region and plays a crucial role in New York’s high-tech economy. In 2014 and 2015, Congresswoman Slaughter secured $132 million for the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) at the University of Rochester. This lab supports over 300 local jobs and 1,000 jobs across the country. To learn more about this exciting area, please consult the photonics section of Congresswoman Slaughter’s website here.
More on Jobs, Economy, and Poverty
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) today voted for a bipartisan compromise to reopen the federal government and bring an end to the Republican shutdown. Slaughter urged Congressional Republicans to work across the aisle to deal with national priorities, which include crafting a long-term spending deal, protecting DREAMers, providing disaster relief, reauthorizing Community Health Centers, and addressing veterans’ health care.
WASHINGTON, DC — On the House Floor today, Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) denounced Republican Congressional leaders for failing to take action on urgent national priorities as the House considers its fourth short-term spending deal since the end of the prior fiscal year in September.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) today cosponsored the legislation under the Congressional Review Act (CRA) to reverse the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) disastrous vote abolishing net neutrality. Under the CRA, members of the House and Senate can offer a joint resolution of disapproval on any regulation recently issued by a federal agency.
This year might have just come to a close, but there are many key issues on our national agenda that are gaining steam as we head into the New Year. Everything from immigration and children’s health insurance to proposed cuts to the social safety net are all on the docket for 2018.
Today, Republican-appointed members of the Federal Communications Commission abolished net neutrality. This move cuts the legal legs out from under the principles of a free and open internet, turns a deaf ear to tens of millions of consumers, and jeopardizes our thriving internet economy. It could also substantially raise prices for consumers.
Washington conservatives, who control the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives, have narrowly avoided a government shutdown– for now. At the last possible minute, they crafted a short term solution—a band aid—that kicks the can down the road again and leaves critical initiatives that families across the country depend on in the lurch.
ROCHESTER, NY — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) today announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded more than $12 million in grant awards for organizations across Rochester to continue the fight against homelessness. This funding is provided through the Continuum of Care program, which supports the highest performing local programs that have proven the most effective in meeting the needs of those experiencing homelessness in the local community.
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) took to the House Floor today to speak out against the Republican tax cut for the wealthy ahead of a vote on the legislation this afternoon. This bill would provide a massive tax cut for big corporations and the wealthy while raising taxes for 86 million middle class families and increasing the deficit by more than $1.5 trillion. Because the tax bill is unpaid for, federal law requires cuts to programs Americans depend on to pay for these tax cuts for the rich, including a $25 billion cut to Medicare.