STATEMENT FROM ANDREW GOUNARDES ON SUPREME COURT NOMINEE, BRETT KAVANAUGH
Moments ago, President Trump announced Brett Kavanaugh as his nominee to the Supreme Court, a decision that will have implications for decades to come. As with all of the names floated for this position, the President's decision should be viewed as a serious concern for anyone who believes, like I do, in a woman's right to choose.
In response, I have just released my Women and Families Platform as well as this accompanying video, suitable for publication:
The New York State Assembly passed the Reproductive Health Act, which would protect a woman’s right to access safe and legal abortion, but Republican Senators -- led by my opponent, Marty Golden -- would not support it in the State Senate. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the only hope we have to protect a woman's right to choose in New York is to pass the Reproductive Health Act.
My Women and Families Platform
New York should lead the way in policies that support women and families. Instead, New Yorkers pay for the most expensive child care in the country, confront gender inequality in the workplace on a daily basis, and face a renewed threat to their right to make safe and healthy reproductive choices.
I believe that all women are entitled to social, political, economic, and bodily equality, and no one should be penalized for choosing to have or care for a family.
Here's my ten-point plan to support women and families in our community and state:
- Protect a woman's right to choose by supporting the Reproductive Health Act, ensuring contraceptive coverage for all group health plans in New York, comprehensive sex education in schools, and funding for Planned Parenthood and other family planning health centers.
- Close the wage gap for women and communities of color by requiring all publicly advertised job postings to include an expected salary rate or range, and requiring all public employers and large employers (initially, those with more than 500 employees) to track, report, and disclose compensation gaps based on gender, race and other prescribed diversity characteristics.
- Provide quality affordable child care for families by increasing funding in the New York State budget for child care, expanding the child care subsidy program, and increasing tax credits to truly help working - and middle-class families afford the high cost of child care. Additionally we must increase wages for child care workers, as 60% of them earn wages that put them below the poverty threshold.
- Support work life balance by giving workers the right to request a flexible work arrangement and forbidding employers from firing, threatening or discriminating against the employee for making such a request. Also prohibiting employers from discriminating against caregivers with respect to hiring, compensation, or the terms and conditions of employment. Eliminating the employee minimum to be eligible to take Family Medical Leave Act and supporting a statewide paid sick leave law.
- End pregnancy discrimination by creating a fund to help cover legal expenses for victims of pregnancy discrimination, expand who is entitled to reasonable accommodations to include women who need to pump breast milk at work, and women who have experienced postpartum depression, miscarriage, or terminated a pregnancy.
- Combat sexual harassment in the workplace by adding "sex and gender identity" to the list of classes protected from discrimination in the New York State Constitution and changing the current standard for behavior to qualify as sexual harassment to match that of New York City, so that all New Yorkers are equally protected from sexual harassment, currently the state definition is much narrower. Create a truly independent investigative body to receive complaints from State employees, require investigation and release the findings to the victims. Expand the definition of employees to include employees of elected officials.
- Eliminate the statute of limitations for all rape cases. Currently only first degree rape and sexual assault have no limitations, while second and third degree charges have a five year window to file charges. Fully fund efforts to eliminate the rape kit backlog and publish and distribute the sexual assault victim bill of rights.
- Prevent intimate partner abuse and support survivors by increasing state funding for domestic violence programs and for primary prevention programs that aim to stop domestic violence before it occurs, and by funding the development and implementation of a training curriculum for domestic violence program staff regarding the impacts of Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs.
- Support victims of child abuse by championing the Child Victims Act to make it easier for child sex abuse survivors to seek justice as adults. And increase funding to ensure that child welfare standards, such as timely investigations of abuse, are being met.
- Reforming our courts to fix our broken child support system which places unfair burdens on custodial parents.
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