The failure of the General Assembly to expand Medicaid and enact fair workplace policies, combined with constant attacks on reproductive health care, reflect how the deck continues to be stacked against working women and families. While women continue to lag behind men when it comes to income, wealth, economic security and access to health care, the majority of the members in the General Assembly have not seen the value in addressing these facts.
I would suggest that ignoring the need for policies that create equality and fairness not only hurts us, it actually hinders progress in Virginia.
We have wrapped up yet another legislative session, but no matter what time of year it is, when I talk to the women and men in my district about the issues they care most about, the message is loud and clear: They want to see an end to the partisan bickering and want to see us — their elected leaders — make progress on the issues that matter to them. They want to see policies that reflect our shared values of fairness, opportunity and equality. The want an economy that works for all families and they want real progress for everyone in the commonwealth.
This year we face an important presidential election year in which many of the key issues that families care most about — workplace fairness policies, affordable access to reproductive services, paid family leave, and child care — will be central to the political debate among candidates at every level of government.
I continue to call on my colleagues to stand with women and champion these important issues moving forward.