Expanding Opportunity & Creating a 21st Century Economy

I believe that everyone who is willing to work hard and play by the rules deserves a fair shot at the American Dream. That’s why I’m working hard to build a 21st century economy where no one gets left behind.

Unfortunately, too many families today are locked out from the same opportunities that my parents had growing up. I saw it as a reporter and I saw it during my time at the Knight Foundation—more and more families are working twice as hard for less. And if we don’t address this challenge now, it likely will get much worse soon.

We need to get smart about a rapidly changing economic landscape—it’s past time that we prepare our workforce for a 21st century economy. That’s why the work I started and led at Knight Foundation centered around investing in people--uplifting our entire community by creating an ecosystem of resources so entrepreneurs, social activists and community leaders could build the ideas and solve the problems most important to them.

I led the effort that sparked innovation and entrepreneurship across our community by empowering and investing in people. Whether it was bringing Endeavor[LINK] to Miami, launching The IDEA Center at Miami College[LINK], opening The LAB Miami or helping start eMerge Americas and Black Tech Week[LINK]--we made a difference by giving people the tools and resources they needed to live their dreams. Over the course of nearly six years at Knight Foundation I made more than 200 grants totaling more than $28 million to build Miami’s startup and entrepreneurial community. This was a bet on people. And because we put our faith in people, and invested in people, we were able to bring thousands of jobs to Miami and change thousands of lives.

We can do more to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in our economy. I’ve never once doubted the ingenuity of the American people, and I know that if hard working Americans have access to resources like high speed internet, if we remove antiquated regulations on small businesses, if we connect aspiring entrepreneurs to the resources they need—then American ingenuity and spirit will take care of the rest.

I want Congress to pass tax reform that will streamline regulations for small businesses, individuals, credit unions and small banks. We should pass tax cuts for middle class families and make sure big corporations and the wealthiest 1% are paying their fair share of taxes—we know that America is strongest when its middle class is in good shape and we also know that trickle-down economics doesn’t benefit anyone but the wealthiest among us, so let’s take bold action to put people—not special interests—first.