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Public Statements

Issue Position: Civil Rights

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"We must continue to advance the cause of civil rights. America will not live up to its promise until every single American has an equal opportunity to pursue their dreams and receives equal treatment under the law." - Jim McGovern

Jim's Vision:

Jim McGovern believes that the law should protect people from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, and disability. He opposes the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. He believes in the separation of church and state. And he believes in strong enforcement of the nation's civil rights laws. Jim has fought to close the "pay gap,' and to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work. And he is a strong supporter of voting reform, to make sure that the Florida debacle of 2000 never happens again.

Jim's Record:

* Jim McGovern has led the fight to advance women and minority business ownership. He has been the chief sponsor of a bill, the Access and Openness in Small Business Lending Act, to amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and require depository lenders such as banks, credit unions and thrifts to collect race and gender information for small business borrowers. While the Access and Openness Act requires depository institutions to keep such records, it does not require borrowers to disclose race and gender information if they do not want to. This legislation would make it easier to determine if banks were discriminating.

* Jim has cosponsored legislation to prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, to end the taxation of health insurance benefits for domestic partners; to expand the Family and Medical Leave act to domestic partners and to provide domestic partners of federal employees the benefits they deserve.

* In May, 2002, vandals spray-painted swastikas near Jim's Worcester office. Jim joined with other city leaders in strongly and publicly condemning these acts, saying "I have no patience for hatred. What we have witnessed here in Worcester is not dissent, it's desecration. Anti-Semitism is not a legitimate political viewpoint, and it should not be treated as such."

* Jim McGovern won passage of an amendment to assist women business owners. The amendment provided $4.5 million to increase the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Women's Business Center Program from $8.9 million to its authorized level of $13 million; and increase funding for the SBA's National Women's Business Council. Women's Business Centers (WBC) provide education, training, consulting and access to capital to women entrepreneurs. There are WBCs in 46 states serving tens of thousands of entrepreneurs each year. A large percentage of WBC clients are women from low income disadvantaged backgrounds who would be unable to start their own businesses without the assistance of a WBC.


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