More Than Sixty Women from Across Vermont Release Op-Ed in Support of Matt Dunne

Matt Dunne for Governor, A Progressive Plan for Gender Equality in Vermont

A few months ago, an upsetting story was making the rounds on social media: a woman with no maternity leave, the sole income earner in her family, journaled her return to work 20 days after giving birth. As mothers, and as women, we were saddened and angered by this story. How could this be happening in 2016 in the United States? Even more upsetting is the fact that this single story represents countless working mothers who are in the same or worse situations — no maternity leave, no job protection if they choose to take time off after welcoming a new baby, and certainly no paid leave to help support their growing family while they’re away from work.

While our country has fallen well behind its global peers, Vermont still has the opportunity to be a leader on policies that would make women’s equality a reality - from paid family leave to pay-equity. And this year, one candidate for Governor has the vision, leadership skills and relationships to help our state stand out as a place where women have the opportunity to thrive:  Matt Dunne.

Paid family leave is at the core of Matt’s policy agenda. Matt has grown a small business in our state, and worked here on the leadership team of a Fortune 500 company, and he knows that family-friendly policies can co-exist with a business-friendly environment.

Matt’s plan would provide an opt-in program for workers to contribute to a state-run paid leave insurance policy, with employees buying in through an employee payroll tax. This would extend to all workers - not just women - giving all working Vermonters an opportunity to take six weeks off to care for a newborn, a newly adopted child or a sick family member. Matt knows that when both working women and working men have the ability to take time from work to care for a family member, women are less likely to shoulder the financial and career burdens they currently face under a system that often implicitly pushes women to be the primary caretakers and then penalizes them for stepping away from work to do so.

It doesn’t have to be that way, and Matt’s plan will guarantee it doesn’t stay that way in Vermont.

Matt is also committed to fighting to guarantee that every woman has control over her reproductive choices. He comes from a line of warriors for a woman’s right to choose, in fact, Matt’s grandmother was the first head of Planned Parenthood in Northern New York. As Governor, he will make sure Vermont retains its place as a national leader in defending reproductive rights, including supporting legislation to make this the first state in the country where every woman has access — if they want it — to free, long-term birth control.

While Matt is focused on policy changes he also knows that in order for there to be true equality there must be transparency in state government. Matt’s agenda includes actionable steps to strictly enforce equal pay legislation and publish statistics on pay equity for state workers. And he’ll ensure a diverse group of women have robust representation in state government — an area where we’re sorely falling behind.

Vermonters have a choice to make on Primary Day that will have long lasting implications for the future. A vote for Matt Dunne is a vote in support of a progressive policy agenda that will make Vermont a better place for women to live, work and raise a family.
 

Signed:

 

Kimberly Aakre, Hartland

Bettina Abrams, Wilder

Judy Bevans, Craftsbury

Caroline Bright, Georgia

Marsha Carmichael, Ascutney

Melissa Charyk, Sharon

Anna Colavito, Stowe

Mari Cordes, Lincoln

Denise Cote, South Strafford

Claire Crowley, Worcester

Marguerite Dibble, Landgrove

Pippa Drew, Post Mills

Joie Finley, South Strafford

Nancy Foote, Hartland

Nora Foote, Hartland

Debbie Frankle-Reese, South Strafford

Mary Victor Giersch, Strafford

Barbara Grimes, Burlington

Maryanne Hamilton, Shelburne

Georgia Hanchett-Dean, Hartford

Ali Hannigan, Hartford

Hannah Hatch, Vergennes

Nancy Heyl, Harford

Sarah Holmes, Burlington

Cheryl Hooker, Rutland

Winifred Howe, Hartland

Fauna Hurley, Burlington

Sarah Judd, Burlington

Stephanie Kalina, Wilder

Peggy Kannenstine, Woodstock

Mary Kehoe, Burlington

Kira Kelley, Hartland

Johanna Knowles, Woodstock

Sara Kobylenski, North Hartland

Emilie Krasnow, Charlotte

Susan Krasnow, Charlotte

Barbara Lane, Hartland

Cindy Metcalf, Bethel

Catie Michael, South Burlington

Jill Michaels, South Strafford

Anne H. Mook, Bennington

Kate Mortimer, Thetford Center

Alexa Platt, Burlington

Julie Raboin, Newport

Barbara Rachelson, Burlington

Ann Raynolds, Quechee

Patricia Richardson, Woodstock

Amy Robb, Pomfret

Judith Rocchio, White River Junction

Kimberly Souza, White River Junction

Jane Stetson, Norwich

Sarah Taylor, Hartland

Tricia Temple, Weathersfield

Judith Tharinger, Corinth

Jessica Tidman, South Strafford

Christine Traverson, Sharon

Shannon Tzrinske, Randolph

Nicole Vecchi, Norwich

Laura Wilson, Guildhall

Karen Woodbury, South Strafford

Kelly Young, Montpelier

Stephanie McCarthy, St. Albans