Democratic Weekly Radio Address: January 19, 2019

Take a listen to the Democratic Weekly Radio Address.


“I’m Michael John Gray, the chairman of the Democratic Party of Arkansas.

The 92nd General Assembly of the Arkansas Legislature began this week, and Arkansas Democrats – from Lake Village to Little Rock to Lowell – are ready to get to work.

Our job is simple, to make our state better. And it’s a tall order, Arkansas has a ways to go – especially in our rural counties and our minority communities. But the solutions to our problems our often simpler than we think.

We just need to put aside partisan ideologies, and stop waging Washington D.C.-style political battles. We can set our differences aside, find common ground, and truly govern this state for the people of Arkansas.

We can all agree on fundamental values.

Like making sure we have good rural roads, which are the lifelines of many communities; making a real investment in early childhood education for the first time in 10 years; making the internet accessible, so that no county is left behind; and finally bringing an end to the waiting list for at-home care for people with disabilities. All our counties must benefit from economic growth, not just the same five or six we always hear about in the news.

In short, our guiding principle should be Arkansas Comes First,

This Legislature is capable of great accomplishments. They can all come together around common sense issues. I’ve seen it before, and I have faith they can can do it again, this year, in this legislative session

There are good ideas that all sides can agree on. Arkansas Democrats are ready to do the work, with the entire Legislature. That includes members from the Republican Party and the Democratic Party – all 135 Legislators.

We are going to work together, not to score political points, or for our own personal agendas. We will do this because it is right, because our values compel us to, because the people of Arkansas simply can’t wait any longer.

Arkansans can’t wait any longer to have quality pre-K for their children. Arkansans can’t wait any longer to know their roads are going to be taken care of. And Arkansans can’t wait any longer for more money in their pocket at the end of each month.

Democrats believe in providing real tax relief – but it can’t come at the expense of the middle class and it can’t come at the expense of good roads, pre-K, and basic things like state police salaries and caring for our disabled.

There has been a lot of discussion about our new minimum wage law this session. There are good points on both sides. But the fact is that nearly 70-percent of voters just approved raising the minimum wage in the last election. And despite that, our legislature introduced a bill that would do-away with the minimum wage for most jobs, going directly against the will of the people.

It is critical that we pay attention to our lawmakers, to make sure they’re doing what you sent them to the Capitol to do — and not blindly following an ideology, or taking orders from lobbyists or special interest groups.

Our priorities need to focus on Arkansas families. It’s about respecting the people of this state. That’s what Arkansas Democrats are all about, and what we’re going to do during this Legislative session.

We need to make sure that Arkansas Comes First.”