- I voted for Donald Trump, but Arizonans need whoever is in charge in Washington to put aside politics.
- We work from sun up to sun down everyday and are just barely making it financially.
- Joe Biden’s American Jobs Plan will create good jobs, and I’m calling on Sen. Kyrsten Sinema to support it.
- Chea Yeomans is a resident of Duncan, AZ and a member of WorkMoney.
- This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Until the pandemic hit, my wife Tessa and I were living out our dream in Greenlee County, Arizona, owning our own auto-detailing business and raising sheep and horses. But when the copper mine in our area closed in the midst of the pandemic, it felt like every good job in Greenlee disappeared with it. And as the good jobs disappeared, so did our customers.
Tessa and I pride ourselves on our resiliency. We’ve been through some major hardships in our four-year marriage, but we work hard, and we still believe that should mean we live a good life. The problem, though, is there are few good jobs left in Arizona, and when working people are struggling, small businesses like ours just can’t stay afloat.
We voted for Donald Trump, but no matter who’s in office, we need Washington to put aside politics, put working people first, and focus on creating good jobs. This isn’t a political issue, it’s a quality of life issue. Aside from voting, I’m not that political, but with my family’s well-being on the line, I’ve started taking action to get us out of this hole.
A few weeks ago, my fellow WorkMoney members and I spoke to Senator Sinema’s office and urged her to support Joe Biden’s American Jobs plan. We desperately need good quality jobs in Greenlee County, across Arizona, and around the country.
Even before the pandemic, good jobs were non-existent in my hometown of Duncan. In 2018, I got a job in Tucson doing construction. I’d stay there during the week and come home on the weekends. It was an incredibly difficult time in my marriage, but we needed the money and I had no choice.
Then in August of 2018, Tessa was in a terrible car accident and broke both her arms. She needed me to be home with her all the time. That’s when we came up with the idea for our car-detailing business as a way to stay afloat. The business really took off and we were able to pay our bills and live a good life — nothing fancy, but we could afford an occasional dinner-and-a-movie or a vacation to visit family.
But the one-two punch of the mine closing and the pandemic were a disaster for our customers and for us. We tried looking for work in and around Duncan. We tried to find better jobs in Colorado, but there are few good jobs out there that would help us get back to the life we had even just a few years ago.
My wife and I now have to work four jobs just to try and keep our heads above water. She’s going to school full-time and working as a substitute teacher and waiting tables in the evening. She recently lost her restaurant job, but she’s looking for another. I’ve been working on my family’s farm and trying to pick up work detailing cars when I can. We work from sun up to sun down everyday and are just barely making it. We don’t get days off around here. So many of my friends, family members, and neighbors are in the same boat as us.
The American Jobs Plan is all about creating the good jobs Arizonans need, fixing up our beat-up roads and bridges, upgrading water, electricity, and broadband networks, all things that would help Arizonan families and businesses. It will get money flowing through our economy so small businesses like mine can thrive again.
It will also mean people have money in their pockets for their wants and needs, so they can live the good life they deserve. They’ll have more money to spend detailing their cars, and so much more that will help the small businesses that have been decimated by the pandemic come back stronger.
Senator Sinema has said she welcomes the focus on expanding economic opportunities and will “[work] with the administration and colleagues in both parties to achieve lasting results that improve the lives of everyday Arizonans.“
Senator Sinema, that is a good start, but we need you to go one step further. Please use your voice to support the American Jobs Plan and get this bill passed right away. Hard-working Arizonans can’t wait any longer for the good jobs we need.