The Economy

Thirty percent of Americans work for minimum wage.

-Department of Labor

In no state, metropolitan area, or county in the U.S. can a worker earning the federal or prevailing state or local minimum wage afford a modest two-bedroom rental home at fair market rent by working a standard 40-hour work week.

-National Low Income Housing Coalition

Less than 5% of companies make more than $1 million.

-Small Business Administration

 

The American economy has failed to provide acceptable growth and living standards for most households. The obstacles to the “American Dream” have increased for working class and middle class Americans so much we are seeing financial disparity like never before. And attached to disparity; we see despair. Since the 1980s, economic policy has served the wealthiest Americans and those with political power. Recent decisions like Citizen’s United serve only to reenforce that gap, leaving many Americans cutting coupons to survive and unable to pay rent after a 40-hour work week. As the rich get richer, those who serve their interests get elected to office time and time again.

We live in an oligarchy created by this bad economic policy and those in power are using every scare tactic in the book to hold onto this unbalanced power. Even the subsidies paid for by our tax dollars go to those who are in the upper echelons of business instead of those who need it.

We don’t have to become socialist to fix it. We need to go back to a tax system similar to what we had before that serves everyday Americans, promotes growth and does not reward unchecked greed and power.


Universal Healthcare

The #1 cause of bankruptcy in the US is medical bills.

-American Bankruptcy Institute

The #1 request on GoFundMe is help with medical bills.

-GoFundMe

More than 26,000 Americans die each year due to lack of health insurance.

– NCBI, 2006

As a double transplant recipient, health care is more than just policy to Ann Marie; it’s a matter of life and death. She believes that healthcare is a human right that should not have a profit motive and she will fight until every American is covered. In addition, it costs us less. This is the foundation upon we reach towards our nation’s guiding principals- life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.


Small Farms

Between 1995-2019 the top 10% of farm subsidy recipients received 78% of the money.

– Environmental Working Group (EWG)

Eastern Washington’s family-owned farms need a voice in Washington DC. As a young girl, Ann Marie spent summers and vacations working on her aunt & uncle’s farm and she lived in rural Oklahoma a few years as a teen. She has seen the challenges small farms face firsthand. Ann Marie is dedicated to listening to the people who feed Eastern Washington to create innovative solutions that increase access to resources for small farms and cut through Bureaucratic Red Tape to ensure that family-owned businesses have equal access to support.

We must eliminate redundancy and the multi-agency obstacle course for compliance in both the farming and forestry industries and streamline the process. Not only does this feed the local economy, it increases food quality and cuts a path to be truly farm-to-table. Ann Marie is gathering a group of local agricultural advisers as she drafts her Small Farm Protection Act.

 


Veteran Care

There were 6000 or more veteran suicides per year from 2008 to 2017. Veterans consist of 13.5% of all deaths by suicide in US adults but only make up 7.9% of the US adult population.

-Veterans Administration

 

US Veterans have long upheld the proud tradition of “Leave No Man Behind”. We, as Americans, need to stop leaving those who have served behind the second their feet touch American soil. It’s time we put our money where our mouth’s are when we say, “Thank you for your service!”

The current policy is not enough.  We often forget to calculate the true cost of war, and tragically our veterans end up paying the price. Beyond the numbers for suicide, there are physical injuries and injuries that cannot be seen. Conditions like PTSD, anxiety and depression can lead to high rates of alcoholism and other substance abuse issues. The rates of homelessness, divorce and domestic violence are also higher than average for vets.

Ann Marie is working with an advisory board of mental health practitioners, abuse counselors and speaking to military personnel to draft a new bill she is calling Leave No One Behind which will provide exit programs for service members before they are discharged. We cannot expect soldiers who have come home in pain to find services on their own or insult their sacrifice by handing them a pamphlet. Our mission is to protect them as they have protected us.


The Environment

In 2021, Washington had more wildfires than the first six months of any year on record since the states’ comprehensive tracking began in 2005.

-Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Eastern Washington is rich in natural beauty. From golden hills, to lakes, to forests, we live in an area that has something for everyone. Human beings have lived off of the land since the beginning of time. Our resources are limited and we need to make sure that they are properly managed and diversified for our benefit, our survival, our safety as well as the sustainability and health of our only planet.

That’s why we need to protect our environment and preserve the balance of our ecosystems. Ann Marie is committed to finding solutions that foster investment in our communities, as well as protect our precious natural resources and keep Eastern Washington safe and healthy for future generations.


Senior Care

Some 39 million Americans, or 13% of the U.S. population, are 65 and older–up from 4% from 1990.

-Pew Research Group

Nearly half (48.0 percent) of the elderly population in the United States is “economically vulnerable,” defined as having an income that is less than two times the supplemental poverty threshold (a poverty line more comprehensive than the traditional federal poverty line).

-Economic policy Institute.

Having lived in a area with a large retirement community for several years and returning home to care for her 80 year-old mother, Ann Marie has a tremendous amount of awareness of the issues elderly Americans face. Protecting private retirements plans, Social Security, Medicare and providing better coverage financially for healthcare as well as affordable assisted living facilities or home care providers are paramount to protecting mature Americans.

Ann Marie is dedicated to making the Golden Years of the American life less of a struggle. Our elders helped to shape and protect us and they deserve dignity and respect in their later years.