Support Affordable, Clean Energy. Since the 2005 Energy Policy Act, Congress has helped communities across America afford clean energy through a tax credit on renewable energy projects, like solar panels and wind farms. The incentive worked: Some estimates say the 2015 extension of the tax credit will be responsible for over 50 gigawatts of solar projects and thousands of clean energy jobs. But without new Congressional action, the tax credit is set to expire by 2022 for residential customer and decrease to 10% permanently for commercial customers.
Green industries offer a significant opportunity for job growth. Promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors will provide Michigan with a cleaner and more energy abundant future, as well as create additional skilled jobs. As congresswoman for the 13th Congressional District, Kimberly Hill Knott will advocate for an expansion of the investment tax credit, seek permanent funding for both residential and commercial customers, and promote green industries.
Ensure that Minority-Owned Businesses Have Equal Opportunities. Congress must work to develop solutions to the financing issues faced by many small businesses, especially entrepreneurs of color. As the daughter of a small business owner, Kimberly remains committed to supporting policies that give minority-owned businesses equal opportunities. Businesses that are owned and operated by entrepreneurs of color have trouble securing loans and are more likely to cite that reason for closure than businesses owned by whites. The federal government’s agencies, including the Small Business Administration, must be utilized to increase lending to minority-owned businesses. Prior to the economic downturn in 2008, African Americans received a greater percentage of all SBA loans. Since 2012, only 2 percent of SBA (7a) loans have been awarded to African American-owned small businesses. The 7(a) Loan program was established specifically to provide loans to small business owners who are unable to obtain financing through traditional channels. The SBA must get back on track in lending support to minority businesses. Additionally, minority-owned businesses must have increased opportunity, such as access to government contracts. If elected, Kimberly will fight for more access and opportunity for minority-owned businesses.
Oppose Laws/Regulations to Weaken Environmental Protections. Strong environmental laws protect and improve public health and create clean energy jobs. Environmental policies like the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act save America money (by a four-to-one benefit-to-cost ratio), stimulate job growth, and preserve a quality environment for our future. Unfortunately, these protective measures are under attack from all sides. Executive orders from the White House are demolishing water protections and new decisions from the EPA are creating loop holes for air polluters. There is danger from pending legislation, too: In March 2018, Congress voted on the SENSE Act, which would exempt plants burning refuse from coal mines from Clean Air Act protections. This withdrawal from our government’s responsibility to protect our environment is unacceptable, and Kimberly Hill Knott will work to change that when she goes to Washington. She will oppose new laws and regulations that chip away at Michigan’s environmental protections and work to ensure clean water and air for Michigan’s families, especially those from low-income and communities of color.
Make Healthcare Affordable. Economic security is closely tied to having access to affordable healthcare. Studies have shown that more than half of all bankruptcies are related to medical bills.
Premiums, deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs have significantly increased. In 2016, 26 percent of people said that they or someone in their household had trouble paying or could not pay their medical bills, including 1 in 5 people who had employer-sponsored insurance. This is because with rising health care costs, employers are shifting more of the cost burden onto their employees.
Prescription drugs costs have also become more formidable. Between 2014-2015 prescription drugs grew by 13.6 percent. Many must choose between paying for needed drugs or other necessities. Congress must enact legislation to curb the ever-increasing costs for health care and prescription drugs, so that Americans are not forgoing the medical care they need. The access and cost of Michigan’s healthcare will always be a priority for Representative Knott because she believes healthcare is a right and not a privilege.
Close the Workforce Skills Gap. Michigan’s economic engine runs on several industries that require skilled labor, and too many times there is a gap between the worker's skills and the needs of the employer. It is pertinent that Michigan’s residents offer a skilled workforce ready to deliver in the advanced manufacturing, agricultural, automotive, energy, and medical health fields. In Congress, Kimberly will work to increase funding for job training programs that prepare workers with skills needed in the modern technological world and ensure that these programs are made available to those who need them most.
Support Living Wages and Equal Pay. Even though many Americans are working full-time jobs, a large number are still not able to make ends meet. Additionally, women are paid less, and black and brown women are paid the least.
According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Hispanic women will have to wait until 2233 and Black women will wait until 2124 for equal pay.
Women are almost half of the workforce. They are the sole or co-breadwinner in half of American families with children. While they receive more college and graduate degrees than men, on average, women continue to earn considerably less than men. In 2016, female full-time, year-round workers made only 80.5 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent. This is wrong. As congresswoman for the 13th Congressional District, Kimberly will work to close the pay gap in our communities, and fight to increase the minimum wage so that hard working Americans are able to provide for themselves and their families.
Work to Create a National Path to Upward Mobility. No one plans to be poor, yet one in eight Americans is considered “officially poor” and one-third of America’s children are considered poor. In Michigan, poverty in Detroit is three times higher than the national average. This is unacceptable. We need a national path to upward mobility.
Under the Trump Administration, historical pathways to economic mobility are being dismantled daily. Programs that assist struggling American families living below the poverty line that create access to fresh foods, healthcare and job training are being cut. Access to a good public education is not a priority and failing schools are not being rehabilitated. Access to higher education is being restricted and protections are being added for student loan lenders and stripped from the borrowers. Kimberly believes that championing smart policies that support living wages, job training, equal pay, access to healthcare, housing assistance and good public education are the first steps to helping families in need. Additionally, America can no longer ignore the effects of incarceration rates, mental health issues, or drug addiction when discussing poverty. Poverty does not have to be permanent, and America needs policies that protect families as they work to create a brighter future. As a US Representative, Kimberly will work with Republicans and Democrats who are interested in creating an honorable pathway to upward mobility for America’s most vulnerable families.
Protect Families. Kimberly Hill Knott seeks to redefine the term: Pro-Life. She is a Democrat who understands that abortion is never an easy choice. She believes that life begins at conception and to be Pro-Life is to offer the mother the resources she needs to be able to provide for the child after the child is born. Policies that assist a mother who decides to have her baby should be protected at all costs. Kimberly will introduce and champion all legislation that protects women and children by offering access to equal pay, safe housing, healthcare, education, affordable childcare, a clean and healthy environment. Kimberly believes women must support each other and redefine the abortion conversation in such a way that empowers pregnant mothers and expands their choices. As the representative for the 13th District, Kimberly will always prioritize the life of the child and mother and seek to create and protect programs that will ensure adequate resources and support.
Increase the Amount of Affordable Housing. There is a shortage of affordable housing for low-income Americans. According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, only 35 low-income housing units are available for every 100 extremely low-income renter households. The supply of affordable housing needs to be increased for those who are facing hardship. As the congresswoman from the 13th Congressional District, Kimberly will work with fellow delegation members to make Michigan a national example for increasing affordable housing.
Work to Increase Opportunities Post High School. While education and training beyond high school has become more critical than ever for success in the workforce, tuition and student loans are placing increasing burdens on college graduates. There must be a viable pathway for students who want to increase their skills, but not attend college. In Congress, Kimberly will be an advocate for increased training opportunities for young people who desire to gain additional educational and technical experience.