Democratic U.S. Senate candidates on the issues: Addressing economic inequality and racial disparities in America

Protesters took to Shawnee city hall for a Black Lives Matter demonstration in June. One protester's sign read "Let us breathe."

Last month, we asked our readers what issues they wanted to hear the candidates running for office address ahead of this summer’s primary elections. Based on the input we received, we developed a five-item questionnaire for Democratic candidates running for the United States Senate seat.

We’re publishing the candidates’ responses to one item per day each day this week. Today we’ve got the candidates’ responses to item five:

How should the federal government be addressing the growing economic inequality in America, including disparities by race?

Barbara Bollier

Income inequality is a deeply-rooted issue in our country, and one that needs to be addressed in a variety of ways. First and foremost, I support raising the minimum wage to a living wage. We also need to have quality affordable childcare — because ensuring parents are able to work and support their children makes for healthier kids and financially stronger families. We need to close the tax loopholes that allow corporations to profit off of sending their jobs overseas, and grow jobs in our own communities. We need better access to affordable health care, so that Americans who are between jobs don’t have to worry about choosing between paying their rent and going to the doctor. And because all of these issues place an exponential effect on communities of color, we need to include the voices of people of color in all conversations about the best ways to address these issues. We can’t talk about improving our health care system without talking about the disturbingly high rates of Black maternal mortality rates, for example. We all need to come together, listen to different points of view, and work collaboratively to make change.

Robert Leon Tillman

Did not respond.