Women’s Rights

“We can no longer stand by and watch women work twice as hard for half as much, while enduring a culture of workplace harassment.”

Trans women and cis women of all gender expressions are impacted by each and every policy that our government tackles, from housing policy to environmental policy to defense funding. If these policies do not move closer to keeping all women safe, if they do not move closer to leaving the systemic inequities women have endured for centuries in the past, if they do not begin to dismantle the patriarchy brick by brutal brick, then these policies are unjust and unacceptable. 

As mayor of Holyoke, I had the opportunity to submit testimony to the Massachusetts state Legislature in support of the ROE Act this year, legislation that would protect women from coercion, shame, fiscal barriers, and unnecessary legal hurdles that have kept many women from legal abortion care since 1973. I enjoy and benefit from the counsel of the women of Holyoke each and every day, and I am a better public servant and a better man because of it. 

Invest Early and Often: I believe we must invest in girls in their youth, financially and institutionally in this country, and that means passing universal childcare legislation, paid sick leave, paid family leave, and a Medicare for All system that provides healthcare to all people in this country equally.

Make Abortion Explicitly Legal Nationwide: Abortion is healthcare. In Congress, I would immediately sign on to the EACH Woman Act, and unlike my opponent, I would not support any legislation that includes the Hyde Amendment, which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. 

Protect Trans Women: Trans women have been expelled from decorated military careers, are subject to legal employment discrimination, and young trans girls are almost 4 times as likely to consider suicide as their cis peers. Violence against trans women, Black women in particular, is staggering, with over half reporting at least one experience of sexual assault. 

Attain Pay Equity: A Green New Deal would have built-in pay equity for tens of thousands of union jobs open to all women, while also working to save the planet. Making college debt-free would close education disparity gaps and bring more women into a modern tech workforce with a higher pay structure. Any agency or company receiving federal funds must guarantee pay equity in its workforce. Latinx women, on average, are paid 46% less than their white male counterparts. We can no longer stand by and watch women work twice as hard for half as much, while enduring a culture of workplace harassment. 

Support Rural Women: New farm bills should raise up small family farmers, and not be built solely around corporate Ag. Women often head these farms and dedicate their lives and practice to healthy food systems, while fighting to retain their farms. Our federal scope must support the work of rural women, passing on ecologically sound practices to generations of farmers to come, giving all of us an investment in food security, and food justice. 

Maintain Oversight of the Legal System at Every Stage: I believe women have an inalienable right to self-determination, and that right can no longer be inhibited by a system that allows sexual harassment and violent perpetrators to walk free as the rule, rather than the exception. This culture maintains and supports a truth that leads girls to be raised to believe that they should expect to be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes, and there will be no consequences for the perpetrators. We must pass federal laws that require the testing of all rape kits, decriminalize sex work, and keep guns out the hands of convicted abusers. Every month, 52 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner. There is an inextricable link between gun violence and domestic violence. We must close federal loopholes that allow abusers to purchase and own guns.

And, for crying out loud, pay the US Women’s Soccer team

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