A bright and ambitious student at College Park, my daughter Rebecca looks at the world and sees opportunities.
Whichever path she chooses, I want my daughter to live in a state where her efforts aren't devalued because of her gender. I want her to enjoy a future where her opportunities are only limited by her dreams.
It's not just about Rebecca: it's about all of our daughters and mothers, all of our sisters, co-workers, neighbors and friends. Together, we must create more opportunities for Marylanders by strengthening economic advancement, health, and safety for women throughout our state. Together, we must build a future where any Marylander can start a business, pursue a career, or raise a family without being treated unfairly.
Over the past seven years, we've made tremendous progress in this effort. Today, Maryland is the top state in the nation in wage equity for women, but we can do more. We've reduced the number of homicides among women and youth by 23% since 2006. We passed the Lilly Ledbetter Civil Rights Restoration Act, helping all Marylanders fight discriminatory workplace practices. We've worked tirelessly to implement the Affordable Care Act, ensuring that being a woman is no longer the reason for higher premiums and extending health benefits such as well visits, mammograms, domestic violence screening and counseling, prenatal screening, blood pressure and diabetes counseling all at no additional out-of-pocket costs. And according to the Center for American Progress, we're the #1 state for women's economic security and the number of women in leadership positions.
But for all of our progress, we know that there's still a lot of work to be done. And we won't rest until every Marylander is treated with the respect and fairness they deserve.
Under a Brown-Ulman Administration, we're committed to gender equality in our schools, in our workplaces, and throughout Maryland. Together, we'll promote economic advancement for women by closing the gender wage gap; raising the minimum wage; increasing startup capital for women entrepreneurs; and supporting parents seeking economic advancement by expanding vouchers for child care.
We'll improve women's health and safety by continuing to guarantee access to reproductive health and birth control; working to end domestic violence and sexual assault; and promoting healthy living, diagnosis and treatment to fight heart disease and cancer.
And we will strengthen families by extending sick and family leave to more Maryland workers; and enhancing home visiting services for our most at-risk families.
As Marylanders, equal opportunity is at the core of our shared beliefs. And although our state is already a great place to live, work, and raise a family, building a better Maryland for more Marylanders means committing to fairness and equality for all of our neighbors. Together, we can take on that challenge, and one day make that goal a reality.