From her time in the state legislature to her work in Congress, Karen has fought against stagnant wages and rising unemployment. She supported California's move to raise the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour and is now a proud sponsor of legislation to raise our nation's minimum wage.
In 2013, Karen introduced the Local Hire Act, which would provide local transportation agencies like LA Metro with the necessary flexibility to hire local workers when they take on construction projects with federal support. The Los Angeles Times praised Karen for her efforts, noting "major transit projects can stimulate significant economic activity in a community. Being able to set aside a percentage of the work for local hires is both a goodwill gesture for the disruption that comes with years of construction and a way to address chronic unemployment in impoverished areas."
In 2015, then-Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx included Karen's legislation in a federal government pilot project in Los Angeles. The program has since expanded in Los Angeles and has provided hundreds of thousands of jobs to Angelenos.
Even though the economy is improving as a result of eight years of careful progress under the Obama administration, Karen is worried that rollback of consumer protections and selfish tax plans have resulted in working families not seeing the benefits that they've earned. Good jobs and better wages are key to ensuring financial stability that so many families deserve. The safety net is integral to that status. Karen believes Social Security and Medicare are promises that the federal government needs to keep to our nation's seniors. She continues to fight to strengthen and protect these programs to ensure that Americans who have worked the majority of their lives can retire with dignity, and she has unequivocally opposed any attempt to slash funding for either of these successful programs.