State Sen. Hansen Clarke said he is running for U.S. Congress in the 13th congressional district to help get families and businesses out of the economic depression the region is facing.
“That means restoring financial security and stability to families and businesses,” he said. “And basically that means putting more people back to work. It involves retraining them. It also means providing more financing to small businesses so they can create jobs.”
Clarke said he’s the best qualified candidate because he has the experience to immediately go to Congress to start working on initiatives and to be an advocate for the citizens.
“I have the legislative experience,” said Clarke, who has also been a state representative. “I understand how to read legislation, write it, work with Republicans and others.”
He would immediately work with the administration and Michigan’s congressional delegation to set up a direct job creation program targeting the Southeast Michigan region.
“I’d focus on job creation in areas that I know, number one, would help create a demand for U.S. manufacturing products,” he said. “As a national goal, I want to expand the manufacturing sector as it relates to the gross domestic product.”
He would look at creating jobs to retrofit buildings and weatherize homes, using U.S. manufactured products. This, he said, would have the benefit of creating and enhancing the market in the U.S. and in the region for those goods.
He added that it would also reduce energy costs for many of those households.
In addition, he would also create jobs to help stabilize neighborhoods, whether they would involve tearing down properties that can’t be rehabilitated, rehabilitating those that can be, or both.
The third area where he would create jobs encompasses a huge social need, according to Clarke. That’s long-term care workers to care for the growing population of seniors and disabled in metro Detroit.
Clarke described himself as a free-market person, and said we can’t borrow and spend our way into prosperity, but in the short term, we have to grow the gross domestic product by at least 5 percent if we want to grow the economy.
“We have an economic depression here — especially in the center city — so we need immediate jobs,” he said. “I think we can create those jobs that address social needs that’ll create the income base that we need, and really uplift the spirit and confidence of people.”
Clarke also advocates retraining Michigan workers for job openings available right now, but for which they’re not yet qualified. These are areas of math, science, computer technology, health, allied health and nursing.
“Many of these jobs are filled by temporary foreign workers, and also many from Canada are hired as nurses here,” he said, adding that some of the allied health fields don’t need much extensive training other than literacy training.