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A Note from syrita steib

There was a time when Louisiana’s senators commanded respect and influence in Washington. But, under the polarizing and regressive leadership of Senator John Kennedy, Louisiana has sunk to the bottom of nearly every economic, political, and social ranking. From infrastructure to quality of life, our state is stuck in the 20th century while the rest of the U.S. has moved into the 21st.

 

I believe that if you don’t repair what’s falling apart, it’ll fall down. Our current leadership doesn’t seem to care that people like you and I are struggling to make ends meet in an America that has left Louisiana behind. So let’s put Louisiana first. I’m running for U.S. Senate with 5-points to restore respect for Louisiana and its people.

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By focusing on these 5 points (infrastructure, education, the rights of women, energy, and collaboration) Louisiana can take center stage in America’s economic, political, and technological development. Together, we can lead America into a future where all people – white or black, rich or poor – have the economic opportunity to pursue high-paying jobs now and 50 years from now; where all people have a real voice at the policymaking table at home and in Washington; and where all people understand that Louisiana is strong, resilient, and deserving of respect.

 

I know that this is a moment of opportunity. So, let’s seize the moment. Let’s put Louisiana first. I encourage you to read more about my priorities, what motivates them, and how we’ll put them to work through policy below. If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact our deputy campaign manager, Max, at max@syritasteib.com. I’m eager to learn more about your vision for Louisiana -- Please contact me via my email at syrita@syritasteib.com

Syrita Steib

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Syrita's 5 points

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COMMON-SENSE

INFRASTRUCTURE

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HIGH-QUALITY &

ACCESSIBLE EDUCATION

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WOMEN'S RIGHTS &

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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ENERGY FOR A NEW ECONOMY

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COLLABORATION AT HOME AND ABROAD

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Point 1. Common-Sense Infrastructure

Born and raised in rural Louisiana, I know the critical role modern infrastructure plays in providing hardworking people with well-paying jobs. Smooth roads, safe bridges, and stable internet are central to building and maintaining a strong economy across Louisiana.

 

Unfortunately, our opponent is opposed to using federal money for infrastructure, calling it a “communist plot.” Infrastructure isn’t a communist plot – its common sense. Brick and mortar don’t have a political agenda, so lets work with the Senate to ensure that the citizens of Louisiana are given the resources they need to be competitive in a 21st century economy.

Policies
  1. Update our roads and bridges | Huey Long understood that smooth roads and safe bridges are essential for connecting Louisiana’s rural and agricultural communities with urban economic centers, and for tying Louisiana into the greater U.S. economy via interstate shipping. That’s why he created one of the nation’s leading highway development programs, employing tens of thousands of Louisianians for decades. The need for roads and bridges is even more present in today’s global economy; yet, with Louisiana facing a backlog of over $26 billion in road and bridge projects as of 2020, our state’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair. I believe that we must leverage federal dollars to update these resources so that Louisiana’s agriculture, business, and industry can restore and maintain its national dominance.

  2. Invest in high-speed internet | It’s the 21st Century – Louisiana’s rural communities deserve to live in it. From farmers across the state using the internet to run modern equipment to sugar cane growers using it to improve irrigation, every industry relies on stable, high-speed internet to stay competitive in the digital era. The COVID-19 pandemic further reinforced this fact, emphasizing the importance of fast, reliable internet for everything from education to public services and commerce. Until we ensure that everyone has access to the digital tools necessary to thrive in the 21st century, many Louisianians will be left behind by an economy whose reliance on wireless technology grows stronger every day. That’s why I will work to ensure that all Louisianians have access to broadband internet regardless of where they live.

  3. Enhance federal disaster recovery programs | Devastating storms have shown in vivid detail that a weak disaster recovery effort at the federal level can cripple Louisiana’s economy while ending the lives of thousands of people. As a U.S. Senator, I will call on my experience passing bipartisan legislation at the state level and federal levels to a) increase funding for – and improve the efficiency of – the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA so that we better maintain and modernize our state’s levee system and improve federal disaster relief programs; and b) coordinate between state and national organizations to ensure that political gridlock doesn’t stall critical federal assistance in the wake of future storms.

  4. Update Louisiana’s power grid | In the digital era, our economy relies on stable access to electricity. As a U.S. Senator, I’ll work with Louisiana’s Public Service Commission to take a three-pronged approach to modernizing Louisiana’s energy grid:

    1. First, I’ll leverage federal funding to place electrical, telephone, and internet cables underground. By reducing outage-related downtime, an underground electrical grid would allow local businesses to stay open longer, enabling them to make money and provide jobs regardless of the weather. Moreover, an underground grid would prevent the citywide shutdowns that plagued much of southeast Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, letting people keep their power and AC on throughout hurricane season.

    2.  Second: to put Louisiana first, we need to put security first. That’s why, as a U.S. Senator, I’ll work with state and national organizations to enhance the cybersecurity of our electrical grid, ensuring that Louisiana’s infrastructure is safe from the kinds of foreign attacks that have plagued energy systems at home and abroad.

    3. Third, I’ll fund research into – and deployment of – advanced energy storage/capacitor technology. Doing so will allow Louisiana to have a more stable supply of energy, even during periods of low energy production. By investing in storage technology, we will encourage the growth of Louisiana’s high-tech economy and pave the way for future advances in alternative energy.

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Point 2. High-Quality & Accessible Education.

My parents instilled in me the value of education from a young age, showing me that it is the cornerstone of pursuing the life I want to live. Struggling to gain admission into college purely on the basis of my criminal record reinforced the fact that education (and more importantly, access to education) is out of reach for many people. That’s why I’ve built my career on fighting to ensure that all people – regardless of background – can access high-quality schools.

 

As a U.S. Senator, my advocacy for education will follow a clear logic: make it high-quality, make it consistent, and make sure everyone has access to it. I’ll work to provide dollars for teachers so that Louisiana can keep and maintain a workforce of good, hardworking, committed educators, and provide student aid that helps families pay the bills and save for college. I’ll also push to keep our schools and buildings safe by focusing on firearm accessibility and providing for comprehensive mental health services. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, I’ll use policy to stimulate the growth of state and national distance/virtual learning programs so that people can access good schools without being restricted by their work schedule or physical location.

 

Combined, these policies will create a 21st century workforce which will help Louisiana develop its technological economy. By investing in education across the board, we’ll ensure that the people of Louisiana receive the training they need to compete in a modern economy. We’ll also guarantee that the United States remains at the top of global trade – by investing in people through education and job training, we’ll allow our workforce to remain competitive in an increasingly international economy.

Policies
  1. Strengthen training at the community college-level | An electrician working for a large electrical company told us that he wanted to go back to school so that he could start his own electrician business, but that he didn’t know where to start or how to get the money to do so. Building on stories like these, as well as my own life experience, I believe that we must expand education at the community college level, giving federal funding priority to hands-on practical skill training in areas like energy and technology. By connecting people from all backgrounds with low-cost education, working to promote accessible schooling through distance learning programs, and pursuing public-private partnerships between Louisiana community colleges and companies focused on sector-specific job training, we’ll guarantee that Louisianian and American workers can remain in their current industries while preparing for advancement, higher pay, and the new economy.

  2. Prioritize STEM education | The United States has fallen behind China and Japan in technological education – I know that STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) is critical to restoring the U.S.’s place in the global economy. I will fight to provide additional federal funding to programs like chemistry and engineering in both K-12 and post-secondary schools, putting Louisiana at the core of America’s new technological era.

  3. Fully fund state colleges and universities | Louisiana’s state university system is an engine for our economy and society, launching thousands of ambitious graduates into high-paying careers on an annual basis. That’s why I’ll work to fully fund our state schools as a U.S. Senator: by ensuring that our country’s public university system is strong and stable, we will guarantee that all students have the economic opportunity they need to pursue the careers that inspire them.

  4. Increase parental involvement in K-12 education | Parental presence in their kids’ education has a host of proven benefits, including better grades, higher graduation rates, and stronger school communities overall. As a U.S. Senator, I’ll work with state and local officials to ensure that charter and private school boards uphold their legal obligation to having open, public meetings so that families can both witness and participate in the decisions that directly affect their children’s education. I’ll also promote policies that increase public school parents’ ability to get involved in school activities. This includes addressing language differences between parents and teachers; encouraging schools to host parent-teacher conferences and board meetings at times that are accessible to working families; and promoting openness from school boards.

 
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Point 3: Women’s Rights & Domestic Violence

As a working mother, I know firsthand that we can’t wait to address the plight of women. Across Louisiana, 1 in 11 women die in childbirth, a higher rate than anywhere else in the country. Women in Louisiana are also killed by men at a rate twice the national average, placing our state second-to-last in protecting women against domestic violence. Moreover, women in Louisiana make only 67 cents for every dollar paid to men, 12% lower than the national average.

 

Fortunately, Louisiana has already taken major strides to address the crisis facing mothers in recent years. As the first U.S. state to grant Medicaid coverage to all mothers for 12 months after birth, it provided healthcare to over 700,000 women.

 

With this success in mind, I believe that we must continue striving to serve as an example for the rest of the nation to follow. That’s why, as a U.S. Senator, I will fight for legislation that focuses on women’s equality, and increases the value we place on women’s lives. By guaranteeing fair pay, providing adequate healthcare, and ensuring that women live safe lives at home and in the office, I will work to secure women’s rights across the country.

Policies
  1. Provide quality healthcare to women and families | Disturbingly high childbirth mortality and the current baby formula shortage reveal that our country’s healthcare is inadequate. As a U.S. Senator, I will push for legislation that guarantees everyone has access – at reasonable prices – to both healthcare and the resources necessary to raise strong, healthy families.

  2. Recognize and combat domestic violence | Domestic violence is a silent killer in Louisiana, affecting countless women and their children on an annual basis. Until now, however, no other candidate has paid it any attention. Domestic violence is not just a major political issue – it’s a major personal issue in the lives of many Louisiana women, black or white, rich or poor. I believe that we can’t ignore domestic violence anymore. As a U.S. Senator, I’ll spearhead legislation that places domestic violence at the center of the national agenda. This includes education for women to understand what domestic violence is and when they’re experiencing it, training programs for law enforcement to better recognize when women are in danger of domestic violence, and increased federal resources for survivors.

  3. Make daycare and childcare reasonably priced | I believe that no mother – especially single mothers – should have to pay more than 10% of their income on childcare.  That’s why I’m committed to supporting subsidies for parents struggling to pay for their children’s childcare, guaranteeing that all children can access high quality early childhood education and childcare. In doing so, I’ll allow parents to keep their jobs while ensuring that all kids are raised in happy, health environments – whether at home or in school.

  4. Exempt female hygiene products from federal taxation | In 2021, Louisiana passed a landmark bill that will exempt female hygiene products and diapers from state sales taxes. To further improve the accessibility of these products to women, girls, and families across the country, I’ll work to extend this state exemption to the federal level.

 
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Point 4. Energy for a New Economy

Energy can work for everyone, and I believe that Louisiana can grow its economy and have a safe environment at the same time. We’re a state that runs on oil and gas, and many Louisianians support their families by working in the oil and gas industry (including my dad, who recently retired from his job as a Radar Coordinator at the Marathon Petroleum Corporation). We can grow our alternative energy in a way that allows us to keep these oil and gas jobs while creating new ones in high-tech, renewable energy sectors.

 

We do not need to replace oil and gas to embrace new forms of energy; instead, I believe that we can build a second system – a renewable system – to absorb the increase in energy demand that’s accompanying our transition to the new, technological economy. That’s why, as a U.S. Senator, I will push for policy that aligns with a simple, commonsense idea: by embracing modern energy policy, we can modernize Louisiana’s energy grid to make it more stable, efficient, sustainable, competitive, and cost-effective for everyone.

Policies
  1. Build on oil and gas | Our government must recognize the fact that oil and gas are central to the lives of many Louisianians. As a U.S. Senator, I will promote the growth of a dual energy economy, using clean oil and gas to supply current baseload energy demand while stimulating the development of a second, renewable energy system to absorb the increase in energy demand generated by the digital era. In conjunction with education programs, this will create new jobs while strengthening the old ones, setting Louisiana up to lead the new economy while keeping the oil and gas that make it strong in the here and now.

  2. Create upstream demand for alternative energy | The transition to a new economy starts with us – the people who drive it. That’s why our government must push policies that stimulate supply and demand for alternative energies from the bottom up. Once elected, I will support legislation that subsidizes homeowners who install solar panels, and small businesses who perform the installations. That way everyone will benefit from the growth of alternative energy, especially the people at the core of our economy.

 
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Point 5. Collaboration at Home and Abroad

The ability of people to take a seat at the policymaking table, openly collaborating to solve the most pressing issues of our time, is what makes America strong. Unfortunately, we’ve seen the principles of democracy steadily erode both at home and abroad: across the world, many countries have turned towards authoritarianism and dictatorship, seeking to strip their people of their freedom. Here in the United States, we’ve come to realize that the democratic principles we cherish aren’t as accessible as we once believed. As a Black woman, I know that many communities have historically been barred from taking a seat at the table of democracy by restrictive voting rules and exclusionary governing processes. As a result, the voices of countless people are excluded from the conversation.

 

I believe that in order to put Louisiana – and America – first, we must put democracy first. To do so, we need to make sure that collaboration guides our democracy both in the United States and across the world. As a U.S. Senator, I’ll fight to ensure that all communities have a voice at the policymaking table.

 

In promoting free trade at home and abroad, we’ll ensure that everyone, in every country, has access to the economic, political, and social tools necessary to stand up for democracy. Through the promotion of free and fair trade, the U.S. will connect people, jobs, and industries across the United States and throughout the world, fostering collaboration across borders. We must also make sure that every vote counts. Period. As a U.S. Senator, I’ll work to ensure that all electoral rights are protected: rich or poor, Black or white, man or woman – you should have access to the polls, regardless of who you are.

Policies
  1. End exclusionary democracy | A single fact upholds the strength of democracy: every voice counts. When you cast a ballot in a U.S. election, your vote should hold equal weight to that of every other person in our country – that’s why I believe we must prevent anyone from being excluded from our process of democracy. If you are prevented from sharing your vision for a better America through the ballot box by restrictive voting laws, then both your voice and that of your community are stripped of their electoral power. As a U.S. Senator, I’ll stand against any restrictions on our democracy so that everyone has a seat at the table.

  2. Promote free and fair trade | American workers, industry, and innovation are unparalleled throughout the globe. However, many countries are slipping away from both the global economy and democracy. That’s why we must use fair trade to reintegrate all countries into a global system which should be led by the United States, so that the people of all nations have access to the economic and political resources necessary to protect their own democracies.

  3. Use economic tools to protect democracy abroad | While Senator Kennedy has consistently supported Russian aggression against Ukraine for years, I believe that we must use America’s economic might to stand against those countries which seek to strip their neighbors of economic freedom and democracy. We must not hesitate to use firm, crippling sanctions against individual countries for the protection of global democracy, both within Eastern Europe and beyond.