Ensuring Equal Rights
Over the past year, I've had the opportunity to meet so many of my fellow 8th Congressional District residents and be reminded that the fundamental American dream of building a better life through hard work is as powerful and alive as it has ever been.
We come from different ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. We have different stories to share about successes and struggles; different ideas about the issues we face and the role that government should play in addressing them. We have different preferences for where we live, and how.
But without exception, we share a set of beliefs and desires that are much more important than these differences. We are united by a common belief in working together to make our communities strong and the future for our children better. We all want security for our families and our neighbors.
I believe nothing is more important in this country than working to ensure that all men and women have equal opportunities to share fully in the promise of the American dream.
If I am elected as a representative of the 8th Congressional District, I will fight to enable everyone to use their talent, hard work, and innovative spirit to create opportunities that allow all of us to lead better lives.
To ensure that everyone can share in the promise of the American dream, I support equal rights for all, including:
* Equal pay: I believe we need to continue the fight to close the wage gap between men and women, and mothers and non-mothers. Despite passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, there's still work to be done to ensure that everyone is paid fairly for their work. Closing the wage gap will give families access to more child care options and provide them greater control over the hours they must work to make ends meet.
* Support for families and children: We must help businesses adopt family-friendly policies such as family leave, flexible work hours, and job sharing. The more family-friendly a work site is, the easier it is to balance work and family responsibilities. Access to quality childcare and early childhood education is also critical for working families and to the long term development of children. Early childhood education also provides clear long-term economic benefits--a savings of $7 for every dollar invested.
* Choice for women: I firmly believe that medical decisions should be made between a woman and her doctor, and not by politicians. I support funding for family planning services. I think it's important to offer medically accurate and age-appropriate sex education, including information about emergency contraception. And I believe we should require insurance companies to cover contraception in their health plans.
* Civil rights: Every one of us has equal rights under the law. It's that simple. Therefore, I believe we need to end "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" so no American has to hide who they are in order to defend their country. We should also repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. I support government-sanctioned civil marriage and believe that churches can decide for themselves whether to recognize same sex couples. Our government should not be in the business of denying rights to committed couples.