On the Issues
Alaina is committed to addressing healthcare affordability, small business protections, equal pay and paid family leave. She is also passionate about protections for LGBTQ+ individuals and women’s/minorities’ rights.
“This district deserves a true representative- someone who is truly listening. It’s the least we can expect while faced with so many pressing issues affecting our families, our lives and our nation.”
Healthcare: Stop the bleed immediately
A new study by the American Cancer Society estimates that over 100 million Americans experience financial hardship as a result of the cost of healthcare, and many are forced to declare bankruptcy as a result.
Alaina’s family has dealt with the high cost of healthcare for generations. After Alaina’s grandmother received a terminal cancer diagnosis, she endured an incredible amount of pain and a huge financial strain for continued treatment. She made the choice no person should ever have to make and peacefully took her own life.
This tragedy, in part, inspired Alaina’s father to become a physician. He never turned away a patient based on their inability to pay. He always believed that healthcare is a human right- a belief that he passed on to Alaina. Alaina lost her father to cancer when he was 50.
Alaina believes healthcare is a basic human right and that our nation’s healthcare system should not be the victim of partisan politics. Our healthcare is not a bargaining chip. She will fight from day one to stop the Affordable Care Act bleed out, and move to restore ACA so we can move forward, faster on a healthcare solution that includes both a public and private option for all Americans. She also adamantly supports continued Medicare expansion.
As a business owner who paid an enormous amount in healthcare costs to fully cover her employees, she knows small businesses can not continue to handle the rising cost of healthcare. Relief is needed immediately for businesses and their employees.
The first priority must be stabilizing and restoring the Affordable Care Act in order to maintain coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, and to ensure that everyone has the choice to be covered under a public option. No American should ever have to go bankrupt or die because of the cost of healthcare. Alaina supports an immediate action to create an income-based cap on the amount any individual or family should pay out of pocket on medical expenses, including prescriptions.
Women's Rights: Equal Pay
White women earn 79 cents to every dollar a man earns in America. Women of color earn even less. Black women, for instance, earn 62 cents per dollar, Native women earn 58 cents per dollar and Latinas earn 54 cents per dollar. On average, mothers earn 71 cents to every dollar paid to fathers.
This inequity is what’s widely known as the Pay Gap. However, the income statistics don’t tell the whole story. This pay gap means that women are less likely to hold executive, high-paid positions than men are as a result of structural barriers in the workplace. Women also have additional financial disadvantages, such as higher interest rates on mortgage loans than men, higher caregiving costs than men, and paying more for goods and services than men do. This all leads to the Wealth Gap, which tells us, on average, that women own 32 cents to every dollar a man owns. And as with all of these statistics, that number is even less for women of color.
After experiencing gender inequality over several jobs in several fields, Alaina began a national Women’s network to empower women in digital careers to advocate for themselves and ask for help. As a result of this powerful network, women have negotiated pay raises, paid maternity leave and healthcare coverage.
It’s time to end pay inequities in America based on gender, race and sexual orientation. Alaina is a passionate advocate for equal pay and for creating the structural change needed to tear down the barriers that keep women from achieving everything they can. Alaina fully supports the Paycheck Fairness Act sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and thinks it is a great step in the right direction for women in the workforce.
Working Families: Paid Leave
Studies show that Paid Family Leave increases labor force participation and earnings over a lifetime. They also show that families who receive Paid Leave are 39% less likely to receive public assistance following the birth of a child. This saves taxpayer dollars and public resources in the long run.
Alaina knows firsthand the financial strain that Paid Family Leave can put on small businesses, but she also knows firsthand the financial strain that lack of Paid Family Leave can put on families. In 2006, Alaina’s first son was born. Four months later, Alaina put an end to her abusive marriage and chose to leave her husband. All of her savings had been depleted by paying for her unpaid maternity leave, and without a safety net, Alaina moved in with her mother in Southeast Ohio. After she got back on her feet and built her business from the ground up, she was able to provide Paid Family Leave to all of her full time employees, including herself. Since then, she has empowered countless women to negotiate Paid Family Leave for themselves through her organization, Together Digital.
Happy, healthy families make for thriving businesses. As a business owner and a mother, Alaina is a fearless advocate for working Ohio families and small businesses. She believes that small businesses should not have to bear this financial burden alone, but that it is a necessity for happy families, mothers and future mothers in the workplace. When in office, Alaina will advocate for 12 weeks of Paid Family Leave per year. A family’s rights are workers’ rights.
Local Economy: Small Business Protections
Small Businesses employ about 50% of Americans in the workforce. They are also paying 100% more taxes than businesses like Amazon. Small Businesses are the backbone of the workforce in this country, and the backbone of this district. Small Businesses make up 92.4% of all employers in Congressional District 12, and one of those small businesses is Alaina’s.
In her career, Alaina has built two businesses from the ground up. In 2009, right on the cusp of the Great Recession, Alaina started her own digital agency. In those years, Alaina met every challenge small and medium-sized business owners face: rising healthcare costs for employees, a competitive job market, and zero assistance from the government or any Amazon-like tax breaks. The highs and lows of owning a business are incredibly stressful on small business owners and Alaina is a fierce advocate for far more support than what Ohio businesses currently receive.
In 2016, recognizing the obstacles against women in tech and digital, Alaina started her second business – an organization called Women in Digital. Now known as Together Digital, the group grew from 150 to nearly 2,000 members strong and spans across over 20 cities nationwide.
50% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years. This is because they do not receive the protections or support they need from the government the way that huge corporations do. Alaina wants to make sure that small business owners and employees feel supported and heard by their representative. She knows what it takes to keep a business afloat. Alaina is committed to defending small businesses in Washington.
Opioid Crisis: Treatment and Prevention
Ohio is second in the nation for Opioid-related overdose deaths. Based on the most updated numbers, over 70,000 families suffer from opioid-related loss each year. Life expectancy in the US went down in 2018 for the first time since World War 1 because it was negatively affected by drug overdoses.
Alaina’s father was a physician. Before his death in 1999, he was absolutely outraged when doctors began to prescribe Oxycodone. He said that due to an opioid’s addictive nature, the drug should only be prescribed to people with terminal illnesses, period. Alaina believes pharmaceutical companies knew this fact and yet continued to flood the markets with these dangerous drugs. Today, they all need to be held accountable. Alaina would support legislation prohibiting the distribution of opioids to patients unless it is being prescribed to medicate pain during a terminal illness.
Opioid addiction is a national crisis. Addiction is a disease and should be treated as such. We need to treat the problem holistically, including early prevention in at-risk communities, intervention and harm reduction for those addicted, and long-term care for those recovering from addiction. We need to expand mental health services for those affected in order to mitigate the effects of addiction for current/former addicts and their loved ones.
Collective Bargaining: Worker's Rights
Throughout American history, Labor Unions have accomplished what some politicians could not. Through collective bargaining, Labor Unions have improved working conditions, ended legal child labor, ensured that workers received retirement and healthcare, advocated for fair wages and elevated the middle class overall.
Alaina knows what a positive effect sharing resources and insight can have on a group of people because of her work building a nationwide women’s professional network for women in digital careers.
Alaina whole-heartedly supports the right to Collectively Bargain, and appreciates everything that Labor Unions have been able to accomplish in the United States.
Gun Safety: Protect our kids
90% of Ohioans support the implementation of Universal Background Checks, yet hundreds of thousands of gun sales are made each year without running a background check. Without Universal Background Checks, Law Enforcement can’t enforce the restrictions they’ve already passed– they don’t know who is buying the guns. However, when states enact Universal Background Checks, they see huge improvements for both murder and suicide rates. For example, after implementing Universal Background Checks, Connecticut experienced a 40% decrease in gun homicides, and a 15% decrease in firearm suicide rates.
Alaina’s husband has a concealed-carry permit, and she also shoots a gun from time to time. She believes owning firearms is a constitutional right for every American. However, Alaina lost her uncle to gun violence, and understands and supports the need for pre-emptive measures that keep guns out of the hands of people who are a danger to themselves or others.
Alaina supports Universal Background Checks that close online sale and gun show loopholes, Red Flag Laws that allow family and friends to protect their loved ones, and increased access mental health services for all Ohioans. We need to make sure we are investing in research and approaching the issue with common sense and factual information.
Civil Liberties: All people are equal
Alaina believes that discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race or ethnicity is unacceptable in housing, work and everyday life.
Alaina supports the passage of the Equality Act to remove any question that members of the LGBTQ+ community are equal under the law. She also fully supports an Equal Rights Amendment.
Alaina also acknowledges that people of color face hurdles coming from both individual biases and institutional racism. One of the areas this is most evident is in our Justice System, where institutional reform is needed. She is committed to listening to her constituents who are dealing with these problems every day, and advocating for them in Washington.
Climate Change: It's happening
Climate Change is a science-supported problem that needs to be taken seriously. We have seen some of the impacts already, and they have cost the US billions of dollars. If we continue on this path, we will end up spending more money on cleaning up messes than we would have on pre-emptive measures.
We need to focus on creating new sources of renewable energy and lowering emissions harmful to the environment. Moving forward, we need to rebuild and repair infrastructure with climate change in mind. This will create new, much needed jobs in Ohio. We won’t leave any workers behind.
The United States has the power to incentivize this shift on a global scale. We need to ensure that we are advocating for our environment in new agreements with allies and learning from other countries who have done this well.
We need to keep these goals in mind while developing a realistic plan of action to make sure the Earth is still around and still livable for our children and grandchildren.