Presidential campaigns were asked to respond, the Biden campaign did


Shape the news with your voice!

Want to express your thoughts about the upcoming election and issues that are important to you? The Your Voice Ohio project and the Sidney Daily News are partnering to sponsor a series of online conversations so that you can contribute to presidential election coverage in Ohio. Volunteer to contribute to this effort by going to this web site – www.yourvoiceohio.org/election2020. Participants will be selected from the list of volunteers to represent Ohio demographics and will receive a $125 stipend for participation in a session.

After listening to Ohioans discuss their thoughts about how the state’s economy can be improved, the following information was assembled by journalists in the Your Voice Ohio project and sent to the presidential campaigns of Joe Biden and Donald Trump.

The Biden campaign response is below. The Trump campaign did not respond.

• To the campaigns of Donald Trump and Joe Biden:

The Your Voice Ohio media collaborative of more than 50 news outlets conducted a statewide survey asking Ohioans to define their most important issues this election year. They identified the economy as a close second to the COVID-19 pandemic as a most important issue.

Data show that Ohio lags the country in economic growth and quality of life.

In online dialogues, Ohioans were asked to discuss the economy in greater detail. They said that growing economic inequity is a long-term problem and that the pandemic has only vividly highlighted these inequities for themselves, families and communities:

1. Education – They said they need affordable training and education for skilled trades and professions that allows them to adapt to a rapidly changing work ecosystem. Short-term, young people need debt relief from higher education.

2. Living wages in sustainable industries – They said they understand the market and social-driven evolution of goods and services and do not want to hold onto the out-dated, such as coal. They want to participate in new industries that improve life, but see no leadership plan to provide sustainable jobs and livable wages that are commensurate with their basic needs for food, housing and health care.

3. Health care – The pandemic illustrated the peril of connecting health care with work. People who lost jobs also lost health care at a time when sound health was critical. For example, those who were creative in finding opportunities for income during the pandemic were nonetheless without health care. To encourage workplace creativity, let alone a bridge for those in a job crisis, health care must be available to all.

4. The government is missing an opportunity to create jobs during the pandemic. It could direct funds to employment that improves the state’s and nation’s infrastructure of broadband, highways, bridges, water, sewer and shipping.

5. The pandemic has illustrated the unpreparedness of all parents to educate their children, let alone care for them while trying to be productive participants in a rapidly changing work environment. They need a dependable support structure that prepares their children for the education described in point number one while parents succeed in point number two.

• We have developed the following question for the presidential campaigns based on what we heard Ohioans say:

“What do you think are the responsibilities and limitations of a president regarding the five items above? What do you propose in the next four years that addresses these critical needs of Ohioans?”

Response from the Biden campaign. In its entirety:

1. Education – They said they need affordable training and education for skilled trades and professions that allows them to adapt to a rapidly changing work ecosystem. Short-term, young people need debt relief from higher education.

Joe Biden knows that twelve years of school is no longer enough to thrive in the 21st Century. And four years of college shouldn’t be the only path to the middle class – and it shouldn’t be a ticket to crippling debt, either.

His plan will make sure that everyone can afford the path that makes sense for them. Among other things, that includes $50 billion investments in workforce training, including to develop new partnerships between high schools, community colleges, unions, and local businesses and registered apprenticeships; to provide services like career coaching; and to strengthen union registered apprenticeship programs. He’ll offer every hard-working individual two years of community college or trade school without debt, provide four years of free public college for families making less than $125,000 per year, and forgive student debt for any public college graduate earning below that amount. And he’ll invest $70 billion in HBCUs and Minority-Serving Institutions and supporting low-endowment colleges and universities that play vital roles in their communities.”

2. Living wages in sustainable industries – They said they understand the market and social-driven evolution of goods and services and do not want to hold onto the out-dated, such as coal. They want to participate in new industries that improve life, but see no leadership plan to provide sustainable jobs and livable wages that are commensurate with their basic needs for food, housing and health care.

Joe said from the start: he’s running to rebuild the middle class – the backbone of this country – and make sure that this time, everyone can come along. Unlike Trump, Joe has been fighting for working families his whole life.

As president, he’ll invest in a just and equitable recovery. He will revitalize American manufacturing so the future is made in America; strengthen our caregiving economy to ease the squeeze on working families as they raise kids and care for aging loved ones; and fight for workers’ rights, workplace safety, fair wages, and unions. He will also Increase the federal minimum wage to $15, restore overtime benefits that Trump abandoned, and ensure workers have access to critical benefits like health care and paid family and medical leave.

Joe’s plan also will invest $2 trillion to build a modern, resilient infrastructure – roads, bridges, charging stations, power grids – and a clean energy future. It’ll create millions of good union jobs to power our long-term recovery, help working families save on energy costs, and meet the climate crisis.”

3. Health care – The pandemic illustrated the peril of connecting health care with work. People who lost jobs also lost health care at a time when sound health was critical. For example, those who were creative in finding opportunities for income during the pandemic were nonetheless without health care. To encourage workplace creativity, let alone a bridge for those in a job crisis, health care must be available to all.

Americans need access to health insurance, now more than ever. Instead of expanding life-saving care, Donald Trump is in court trying to overturn the Affordable Care Act and strip millions of their coverage – in the middle of a global pandemic.

Tens of millions of Americans depend on the ACA for health insurance.

And it protects over 100 million more with pre-existing conditions – not to mention those who may develop new pre-existing conditions in their fights against COVID.

Joe has laid out a detailed set of plans that’d ensure every American could get coverage today. If you just lost coverage with your job, Joe would have the federal government cover 100% of COBRA costs, so you can keep your same plan. If you’re uninsured, Joe would reopen enrollment for the Affordable Care Act, now.

But COVID isn’t the only health emergency Americans are facing. For millions of uninsured, the crisis has been ongoing. That’s why Joe will protect and build on the Affordable Care Act to lower premiums and other health care costs like prescription drugs, and to offer the choice of a new public insurance option.

4. The government is missing an opportunity to create jobs during the pandemic. It could direct funds to employment that improves the state’s and nation’s infrastructure of broadband, highways, bridges, water, sewer and shipping.

America has been knocked down. Tens of millions have lost jobs, hours, pay, health care, or the small businesses they started.

But, long before COVID, millions were already locked out of an economy that rewards wealth over work, and helps too few to make ends meet.

The task of rebuilding before us is huge – but Joe knows it’s also a tremendous opportunity. We can’t just build back the way things were. We have to build back better, for the future.

That starts by beating this pandemic, reopening safely, and getting real economic relief out to working families.

Then comes recovery. Joe’s plan to build back better will create millions of good-paying jobs. Joe’s plan is bold – building a new American economy, where everyone gets a fair return on their work, and an equal chance to get ahead. He will: revitalize American manufacturing – so the future is made in America; build a 100% clean-energy economy and modern, resilient infrastructure; strengthen our caring workforce; and advance racial equity, across the board – to make sure everyone is finally in on the deal.

5. The pandemic has illustrated the unpreparedness of all parents to educate their children, let alone care for them while trying to be productive participants in a rapidly changing work environment. They need a dependable support structure that prepares their children for the education described in point number one while parents succeed in point number two.

Joe’s Build Back Better plan will build a stronger caring economy – easing the squeeze on working families that are raising kids and caring for aging loved ones.

That means lowering the cost of high quality child care. No low- to middle-income families will spend more than 7% of income on child care for kids under five, and all families will be able to send their three and four-year olds to high quality preschool, saving families thousands of dollars a year. Additionally, Joe’s plan will create millions of new homecare, nursing, early childhood education jobs to drive our economic recovery – elevating the pay and dignity of important workers who haven’t always gotten the respect they deserve. And it will free up millions of parents to enter the workforce if they so choose.

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Shape the news with your voice!

Want to express your thoughts about the upcoming election and issues that are important to you? The Your Voice Ohio project and the Sidney Daily News are partnering to sponsor a series of online conversations so that you can contribute to presidential election coverage in Ohio. Volunteer to contribute to this effort by going to this web site – www.yourvoiceohio.org/election2020. Participants will be selected from the list of volunteers to represent Ohio demographics and will receive a $125 stipend for participation in a session.