As Democrats gather from across America this week, we have a special urgency in organizing for a women's economic agenda that not only advances equality but rejects discrimination. We know the stakes: women make up half the population but are paid 77 cents on the dollar compared to men, and women of color make even less compared to their male counterparts.
With workforce laws from the Mad Men era combined with discriminatory mores exhumed from the Jim Crow era today's workers need allies now more than ever. That is why, as a proud feminist, I'll be calling on my fellow and sister Democratic National Committee members to advance equality through the Women Succeed economic agenda and to reject discrimination in all its forms, including Arizona's SB 1062 and its ilk.
DNC RESOLUTION SUPPORTING A WOMEN'S ECONOMIC AGENDA BECAUSE "WHEN WOMEN SUCCEED AMERICA SUCCEEDS"
By Christine Pelosi, California Democratic National Committeewoman
WHEREAS, as President Obama said in his State of the Union address: "women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it's an embarrassment. Women deserve equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or a sick parent without running into hardship. And you know what, a father does, too. It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a "Mad Men" episode. This year, let's all come together -- Congress, the White House, businesses from Wall Street to Main Street -- to give every woman the opportunity she deserves. Because I believe when women succeed, America succeeds!"
WHEREAS, Americans agree that no one who works full-time should ever have to raise a family in poverty, that our daughters should have the same opportunities as our sons, and that we all should succeed based on our efforts, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or identity, nationality, religion, disability or circumstance of birth. Democrats are united in advancing equality of opportunity and in rejecting the troubling wave of GOP state and federal legislative efforts such as Arizona's SB 1062 to enshrine discrimination; and
WHEREAS, Democrats in the United States House and Senate have introduced the "Women Succeed" Economic Agenda premised on the three legged stool of fair pay, paid family leave http://www.nationalpartnership.org/research-library/work-family/paid-leave/family-act-fact-sheet.pdf and quality childcare that will leave those "Mad Men" workplace policies on the dustbin of history, and move America forward with an agenda to, as House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi says, "unleash the power of women."
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Democratic National Committee urges Congress to pass the key elements of the Women Succeed Economic Agenda -- fair pay, paid family leave, and quality childcare -- to empower all America families; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Democratic National Committee encourages Americans to tell and share their stories (http://womensucceed.tumblr.com) and advocate for a women's economic agenda because when women succeed, America succeeds; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Democratic National Committee embraces federal state and local efforts to strengthen workplace fairness, raise the minimum wage to a living wage, expand paid sick days, and advance universal preK so that all Americans have the equality of opportunity to reach our fullest economic and human potential.
Resolving to advance equality is the easy part -- fighting the good fight to reject discrimination is the challenge.
We must fight this fight because workforce fairness is the cornerstone to a stronger America. Imagine a female worker fired for being pregnant and missing work due to morning sickness or going to work and receiving pennies on the dollar compared to a male coworker whose wife is also pregnant: two growing families, one unequal world in which the children will be born. Imagine a minimum wage worker, average age 35, struggling to feed her family and unable to get a raise or take a paid sick day when her child gets the flu. Imagine that young child at home because there aren't quality affordable childcare or preK options. Imagine a professional worker -- maybe a lesbian law partner -- going to a client meeting but being refused service just for being gay in a restaurant in Arizona. Or Georgia. Or Idaho, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, or anywhere else SB 1062 and its progeny happen to pop up. Millions of Americans don't have to imagine these circumstances because they work hard every day yet face inequality of opportunity.
We know what we need to do. The struggle is real -- but so are the solutions. I hope you'll join us in solidarity and intersectionality so that women and men from all backgrounds are able to strive with equality of opportunity to reach the American Dream. Women succeed when we overcome Mad Men laws and Jim Crow mores. And as President Obama said, "when women succeed, America succeeds."
Follow Christine Pelosi on Twitter: www.twitter.com/sfpelosi