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Democracy Awards

Congressman Mark DeSaulnier

Representing the 11th District of California

Jobs and the Economy

While America has made major strides since the Great Recession, there is still much work to be done to ensure the viability of all segments of our nation’s economy. Congressman DeSaulnier continues to fight daily to address the concerns and challenges facing California families. As a father of two sons, Mark is working to ensure the next generation has a better life than their parents.


Congressman DeSaulnier supports serious plans to responsibly tackle our long-term deficit that take into account the entire budget, including tax expenditures, and specifically address wasteful tax code spending. So-called "tax expenditures" are, in most cases, no longer necessary, poorly designed, or do not amount to good public policy when compared to the needs of the majority of Americans.

Future of Work, Wages, and Labor

According to recent media reports, union membership is weaker now than perhaps at any other time in American history due to growing economic inequality in America among men in recent decades. If the pinnacle of union participation was during the 1940s and '50s, it corresponds strongly with the prosperity and economic growth in the U.S. during the same period. Similarly, periods of high union participation closely mirror low inequality. We must work to get our powers back into balance. To do this, we must look to the future of labor. Among the problems facing today’s workforce: Worker misclassification resulting in a lack of workplace protections, declining union membership, and stifled workplace innovation. Congressman DeSaulnier and Congressman Mark Pocan, colleagues on the Education and the Workforce Committee, are leading an effort in Congress to reinvigorate the labor movement and strengthen vital workforce protections. It is clear that our economy and the individual worker face unnecessary obstacles to reaching their full potential in an era of diminished labor union participation and unbalanced countervailing institutions.


Across the nation and in California, people are working harder than ever, but too many families are still struggling to make ends meet. Although there have been 6 years of consecutive job growth, wages have been stagnant for 35 years. Even for many hardworking people with jobs, it’s been too long since they got a raise, and workplace policies often make it nearly impossible for people to both care for and provide for their families. We must ensure education and training opportunities are affordable and accessible for the innovative new jobs of the next generation. Additionally, once workers are employed, we must ensure that their rights are protected.

Working for You

Companies that exploit their workers and exploit the American people should be held accountable for their actions. Congressman DeSaulnier introduced the CEO Accountability and Responsibility Act (H.R. 6242), which incentivizes companies to improve CEO-to-worker pay ratios. Specifically, the bill adjusts corporate tax rates for publicly traded companies with larger than a 100-to-1 ratio of pay between CEOs and workers and decreases corporate tax rates on those companies below that threshold. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimates that this bill would generate $3.8 billion over 10 years.

Congressman DeSaulnier is a proud sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 2150), which would provide a pay raise for nearly 35 million hard-working Americans by increasing the minimum wage to $12 per hour.

Equal pay is not simply a woman’s issue – it’s a family issue. Mark is a strong supporter of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1619), which closes loopholes that allow companies to pay women less for the same work as men.

Among his efforts to keep jobs at home, Congressman DeSaulnier opposed “Fast Track” authority to speed up the largest trade deal in history, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Without significant improvements, the TPP will harm American workers and undermine worker protections around the world.