Democratic Women's Alliance October 25th, 2015 Update

DWA Weekly Message and Clips
Week of October 19, 2015

Washington, DC— Yesterday, DNC Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz addressed the Women’s Leadership Forum issues conference presented by the Democratic Women’s Alliance in Washington, D.C. Below you will find excerpts as prepared for delivery:

“Of course, what we’ve achieved at DWA would not be possible without the effort of the Women’s Leadership Forum continuing to bolster Democratic women leaders and issues, and we should be proud of our collective efforts these past two decades.

“But we must be clear-eyed about the task at hand and the work ahead of us these next 12 months.

“Because make no mistake – it is women voters who will put our Democratic nominee over the top to become the 45th President of the United States!

“Women voters make up more than half of the electorate, and with more and more women serving as the primary breadwinner in their household, or being single parents, or holding stressful or multiple jobs, many of the issues in the public discourse today are women’s issues.

  • Equal pay in the workplace;
  • An increase in the minimum wage;
  • Access to affordable, quality health care and child care;
  • A solid education; and
  • Paid family leave;

“Those are real issues that mean something to American families. This is about affording every single person dignity.

“Now, on paid family leave let me say something to this group. As Paul Ryan exacts concessions and tries to cobble together enough of his conference to become the next Speaker of the House, he was very clear about his concerns on his family time, particularly because of his young children.

“Isn’t it great that Paul Ryan can have that conversation in public and not be criticized for daring to ask for more time with his family? I wonder if his name was….Paula Ryan, if it would have been so easy for him to speak out?

“Congressman Ryan, you deserve quality time with your family. I especially know how precious that is. But every mother and father in America deserves that time too, and we Democrats will be loud and clear in calling on you to make paid family leave a priority at the outset of your Speakership.

“You don’t have to be a brain surgeon, or even a political scientist for that matter, to know which party is talking about advancing this and other important issues, and which party is talking about rolling back progress and taking us back to the failed policies of the past.

“Democrats, of course, are the party of inclusion, empowerment, and opportunity for all, and our candidates walk the walk on a number of issues important to women and families. For example:

  • Bernie Sanders has made passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act a pillar of his campaign.
  • Martin O’Malley has been a strong advocate for making paid leave available to all moms and dads.
  • Hillary Clinton is fighting hard to protect women’s comprehensive health care.
  • And Lincoln Chafee has highlighted the importance of early childhood education and environmental integrity, which we all know have significant impacts on the health and wellness of families.

“Republican presidential candidates, of course, want to bring back the tired, old trickle-down economic policies that benefit the well-connected at the expense of women and working families. Just look at their rhetoric and actions on equal pay for example!:

  • Jeb Bush doesn’t think more laws are necessary to ensure equal pay, and didn’t even know what the Paycheck Fairness Act was when he was asked about it.
  • Chris Christie vetoed equal pay legislation, calling it “senseless bureaucracy.”
  • Marco Rubio said the Paycheck Fairness Act was about “scoring political points,” “wasting time,” and was a “show vote.”
  • Rand Paul compared the Paycheck Fairness Act to the Soviet Politburo.

“And that’s just one issue!

  • Ted Cruz was all about shutting the government down over Planned Parenthood. He of course would know how to do this since he was the architect of the 2013 shutdown that cost the economy $24 billion and put thousands of families’ immediate economic security at risk.
  • Marco Rubio has indicated he’d ban all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest.
  • Jeb Bush actually boasted about his record of defunding women’s health care.
  • And the front runners, Donald Trump and Ben Carson? Don’t get me started…I mean, what are they even talking about, anyway?
    • Trump with his outright misogyny and Ben Carson’s offensive comments that have sought to shame and blame women on issues like abortion and violence.

“Bottom line: we can’t let the Republicans get away with their distortions and their warped vision of women’s rights in America in the 21st century, and I know if this crowd has anything to do with it, they won’t!”

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Women in the News

Huckabee: Women Won’t Allow Themselves To Be “Victimized” By Abortion Providers When I’m President//Buzzfeed News
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee says that under his administration, women seeking abortions would not allow themselves to “victimized” by abortion providers who he characterized as lying to women about the physical and emotional implications of receiving an abortion. “Well I would like to believe that rather than her thinking that was her only option, she would not allow herself to be victimized by an industry that has exploited women for 42 years, and made a lot of money off of them,” stated the former Arkansas governor on Concord News Radio. ”Never told them the full story of the physical implications of this surgical procedure and especially never told them the emotional perspective.”

As Louisiana Is Forced to Fund Planned Parenthood, Texas Decides to Stop//New York
A federal judge has put the kibosh on Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s plan to defund Planned Parenthood in the state, saying it would cause harmful disruptions in health care for 5,000 people. Jindal, who is also at the bottom of the Republican presidential polls, moved to end the organization’s Medicaid contracts this summer, when several secretly recorded videos involving Planned Parenthood’s participation in fetal-tissue research were released.

The women in the van//Politico
A few dozen reporters who regularly cover Hillary Clinton gathered last August to watch the first GOP debate at her headquarters in Brooklyn. MSNBC's Alex Seitz-Wald stopped for a moment and looked around. A second later he realized what seemed strange: he was the only man in the room.

California Shows How Paid-Leave Law Affects Businesses: Not Much//Bloomberg
As presidential candidates debate government-mandated paid family leave, the U.S. has a 39 million-person test lab. California in 2004 enacted the nation’s first such program, ensuring workers are paid for as long as six weeks when caring for a newborn or ailing loved one. The law is financed through an employee payroll tax, meaning companies in the world’s eighth-largest economy bear no direct costs. It hasn’t been the death blow to businesses that opponents warned of, according to studies over the past decade. California’s employment growth outpaced the U.S. average by 2 percentage points during that time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
 Texas officials “raid” Planned Parenthood clinics//Associated Press
Planned Parenthood says Texas health investigators raided its clinics throughout the state, as Texas moves to halt Medicaid funding to the organization. Planned Parenthood said investigators asked for health and billing records, along with other records, from its clinics in San Antonio, Dallas and Houston, and a health center in Brownsville. Investigators showed up “looking for an excuse to take health care away from thousands of women and men who rely on Planned Parenthood for preventive care — but what they will see is professional, compassionate and quality health care,” Yvonne Gutierrez, executive director of the Planned Parenthood Texas Votes political action committee, said in a statement.

The Democratic Women's Alliance is the latest chapter in the Democratic Party’s long commitment to activating more women. DWA seeks to empower Democratic women to MOBILIZE, ENGAGE, and TRAIN each other and continue the conversation about women voters between elections.
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