Hello and thank you for the support! It means a ton to me and the team.
I spent the past weekend in South Carolina and had the opportunity to meet with hundreds of amazing, hard-working Americans. And, like all Americans, they are worried about the future for their families.
If you’re like me, you associate drinking water issues in America with Flint, Michigan. But that’s just the most visible of dozens of communities around the country that are struggling with their water supply. In Denmark, South Carolina, a chemical not approved by the EPA was used for a decade to decontaminate the water, leading to health issues for residents there.
Imagine having kids who have been drinking water for years and now knowing that their health might be damaged as a result.
As our infrastructure falls into disrepair and there is less and less money to fix it, these problems will only get worse. The EPA has estimated that it would cost $384 billion over a ten-year period to properly fix and maintain our water systems. We live in the wealthiest nation in the world, and we must be able to guarantee clean drinking water for each of our citizens. When I’m President, we will invest the resources needed to guarantee clean drinking water to all Americans as a basic right.
South Carolina recently made national news because the schoolteachers there went on strike for better pay and benefits. They rank 38th nationwide on teacher pay. Teachers are vital to our future, and when teachers aren’t able to make a decent living, we lose the best of them to other opportunities. When I’m President, I plan to make sure teachers get paid more—the data shows that a good teacher is worth their weight in gold in terms of driving better educational outcomes for dozens of students each year. Instead of nickel-and-diming teachers, we should be treating them like professionals and giving them the flexibility to do their jobs.
While increasing teacher pay is important, making things better in the classroom is just part of the fight.
Only 25-30% of our kids’ performance in schools is attributable to what happens in school. The rest of it is due to factors outside of school—parental time and income, number of words read to a child, stress levels, type of neighborhood, etc. Educators know this. We are putting them in an impossible situation where we expect them to educate our children, who are distracted by issues at home.
The biggest thing we can do to set teachers up for success is to get the Freedom Dividend into the hands of all Americans so that our families are stronger.