Dear Fellow Coloradan,
Four years ago today, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, ensuring a fair day in court for victims of gender-based pay discrimination. This law was a victory for women everywhere in the continuing fight for equal pay for equal work.
However, our fight is far from over: It has been 50 years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act, yet Colorado women still make on average 79 cents to every dollar men make.
That's why I am proud to join with Senator Barbara Mikulski to introduce the Paycheck Fairness Act. The bill would ensure that mothers, wives, sisters and daughters receive equal pay for equal work.
And this is about more than women. With more and more families relying on women to either be the primary breadwinner or to share the responsibilities of supporting their households, the wage gap hurts children and the middle class.
On average, women earn $434,000 less over the course of their lifetime than their male co-workers who perform the same jobs and work the same number of hours. That is enough money, according to the Census Bureau and the Center for American Progress, to:
buy two houses
underwrite 7 college degrees
buy 14 new cars
feed a family of four for 37 years
These statistics are staggering -- and underline why I plan to work with my colleagues to ensure that we pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and that we do not settle for anything less than full equality.
As a country, we have made great strides and significantly narrowed the paycheck gap between men and women, but we must do more. There is no time to waste; it is time to secure equal pay for women. As our economy continues to recover, the Paycheck Fairness Act would help women as they go back to work. To see how women in states across the country are suffering from gender discrimination, click here.
It all comes down to this question: Do we want our daughters to have the same opportunities and success as our sons? I believe the answer is yes -- and I want to hear why you believe this, too:
Please take a moment to sign my equal pay for equal work petition. If you have a Twitter account, consider tweeting your support with #PaycheckFairness. Congress needs to hear your voice.