My campaign for U.S. Senate has taken me around the great state of Michigan. In my travels, I have been asked about issues of specific concern to women. As a mom and small business owner, I understand very well the challenges facing women at home and at work.
Besides often being the primary care giver in families, shaping the minds of our future generations, women play an important role in our economy.
When I was a young girl, my Grandma Jenny was my role model. She and my grandfather operated the small motel and trailer park where I lived with my family when I was young. Grandpa Henry ran the day-to-day operations, and Grandma Jenny worked as the bookkeeper and juggled many other responsibilities. Growing up, I was able to work alongside my Grandma as she cleaned the rooms, did the motel laundry and took care of our motel guests. Her example taught me many valuable lessons about what it means to work hard, to balance work with home responsibilities, to raise a family, and to care for other people. I carried those lessons with me from the family business to the Secretary of State’s office. Now, I want to carry those lessons with me to the U.S. Senate.
Today, our nation’s economy is not working for Michigan’s families. This is in no small part because of Washington’s tax-and-spend economic policies. These policies are creating a sluggish economy where job creation continues to lag behind. According to government statistics, nearly 4.7 million women in America who would like to be working are unemployed and unable to find work. Millions more have given up looking for work, leading to the lowest labor participation rate since Jimmy Carter was president.
The policies coming out of Washington, D.C. are also leading to rising energy, food and health care costs. It’s no wonder that Michigan families are struggling in the President’s economy—while the cost of food and gas is up, average wages are down. We have a government that is intentionally implementing policies that drive up the cost of living and stifle job creation. I understand that these policies are hurting families like yours and I am running for the Senate to be your voice in Washington.
1. Flexibility for Women in the Workplace. I am very conscious about the problems women face in the workplace. Most often, it’s the mom who has to take time off work to stay at home to care for an elderly parent or to bring the child to the doctor. As the Secretary of State of Michigan, I worked with my employees, the managers and the unions to develop flexible time so that working parents could have more control over their schedule. This gave employees the ability to care for family members without having to sacrifice pay or use vacation time. I also developed a Lead Worker program that resulted in more female managers statewide.
I am a strong supporter of equal pay for equal work, and the two laws on the books that protect women in the workplace – the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. There is no question that women have made a tremendous impact on the workforce. I want to look for ways to encourage businesses to find innovative solutions to help meet the needs of employees and their families.
2. Giving Women Control over their Health Care. Women should be able to choose their doctor, they should be able to keep the insurance plan that works for them, and they should have greater control over their health care dollars. Women should also be able to freely choose the best health care options for their children and families. Despite the President’s promises, Obamacare has caused women to lose their health plans and their doctors. I support alternatives to Obamacare that will let women choose their doctor, that will enhance consumer choices in health insurance and will empower everyone, including mothers and women in the workforce. I support Health Savings Accounts. I support competition and greater transparency in health care.
3. Greater Economic Opportunity. The Presidents’ economy has hurt men and women alike. I support policies that bolster the economy, and will lead to better opportunities and career advancements for women. I also support reining in the sprawling regulatory state so that women can pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. As Michigan’s Secretary of State, I led the way for commonsense reforms that had the overall impact of empowering women and creating more opportunities for women to advance in the workplace. I look forward to doing the same as your United States Senator.