By Kendall Fisher, executive producer at Grow Wire
As the 2020 Presidential election nears, most of the conversation has been around the democratic party field, with 23 candidates (to two republican candidates), six of which are women and one of which is Kirsten Gillibrand.
Gillibrand is a current United States Senator from New York (she replaced Hillary Clinton in 2009) and a former member of the House of Representatives, having represented New York’s 20th district from 2007 to 2009.
Now, she’s making a bid for president in 2020.
We sat down with Gillibrand on this episode of the “Grow Wire Podcast” to discuss her decision to run for president--an influence that stems from her childhood--and how she plans to stand out in a competitive nomination race, starting with her focus on families, women, people of color and small business.
Gillibrand believes the current state of the economy doesn’t foster an environment in which small businesses can thrive. She says this is exceptionally harmful, since two-thirds of all jobs in the United States are created by these businesses.
“They’re economic engines,” Gillibrand explains. “But they all face the same problem: Access to capital, like a small loan, and financing to start their business to get it to the next stage.”
Gillibrand intends to enlist the Small Business Administration to work better for small businesses, which would include a focus on women and minorities. She says women start their businesses with 7% less capital than men, but their return rates are the same. For this reason, Gillibrand wants to see the SBA aggressively seek female and people of color as business owners, allowing them to more easily receive federal funding to support their business ventures.
“Letting women into the into the economy will really help the entirety of the economy to thrive,” Gillibrand states. “Women don’t statistically have equal pay for equal work. [But] if you allow women to start their own businesses, they’re going to create the culture and climate where they’ll thrive.”
In fact, this is something she knows would benefit the U.S. government as well.
“Women and people of color have different life experiences that aren’t really brought to bear in congress because it’s predominantly white and predominantly male,” Gillibrand says. “What that means is there are a lot of issues that aren’t even being addressed because they don’t see them...even among democrats. If they haven’t lived it, they won’t know why it matters. That happens in everything.”
Gillibrand told us that she’s excited to see six women in the race this year as it will undoubtedly bring forward more issues the nation hasn’t seen or taken as seriously in previous elections.
Finally, Gillibrand calls for action in climate change, explains the importance of complete transparency by public servants and reveals her plan for handling the inevitably fiery debates this election will bring.
Listen to the full podcast episode on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud and YouTube, and as always, don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe.