I learned the meaning of equality from an early age, thanks to my twin sister and our mother, a single working parent for many years. Full equality includes the right to choose, the right to equal pay for equal work, and the right to be free from discrimination in all its forms.
More and more states are rolling back reproductive rights. I will defend the right to choose, and I will not consent to any judges or justices who refuse to uphold that right. I will work not only to preserve access to birth control, breast- and cervical-cancer screenings, and other health-care services, but also to prevent insurers from discriminating against women in the cost or scope of coverage.
Full equality also entails equal pay for equal work. We’ve made progress since the Equal Pay Act was adopted half a century ago, but we still have a long way to go. Here in Colorado, white women make only 78 cents for every dollar earned by a white man; Asian/Pacific Islander women make 70 cents; African American women, 63 cents; Indigenous women, 56 cents; and Latina women, 54 cents. When this pay gap persists, it’s not only women and the families they support who suffer; we all do.
Congress took one step to remedy wage discrimination in 2009, by passing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. But the Senate has refused to allow an up-or-down vote on another important bill, the Paycheck Fairness Act. I support both measures, and I’ll do everything I can to make wage discrimination history.
As a state legislator, I led efforts to protect the survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. One of the first laws I sponsored allows survivors to take time off from work in order to safeguard their families. The law also enables employers to obtain restraining orders, protecting their employees and patrons from the perpetrators of violence.
As Colorado’s next senator, I will champion the Violence Against Women Act. I’ll fight for full funding and implementation of the law, including efforts to prevent violence and support survivors. I will join efforts to expose and end workplace sexual harassment and the retaliation that too often follows.