Too often, those at the bottom of the economic ladder are not given the opportunity to raise themselves up to a better life. I believe in investing in our working class, by ensuring a fair wage, access to proper sick and parental leave, and ensuring that people working in our homes have the same protections as people working in our offices. We have had some recent victories in these areas, by enacting in law an increase in the minimum wage to $11 and protecting domestic workers with a bill of rights. In addition, after years of work, one of the final acts of Governor Patrick was signing my bill into law in 2014 establishing a Massachusetts parental leave law, protecting workers from losing their jobs when they take parental leave.
Advocating for economic equality is something I have always strived to do throughout my career. Ensuring equal pay for equal work has been a fundamental aspect of that effort because I believe that all employees, regardless of gender, deserve to be paid fairly and equally. I have been fighting for equal pay for 15 years because the gender wage gap is real and it is pervasive. It affects women and their families across all occupations and all income levels. We have spent enough time studying the issue, and now it is time for us to take action. Massachusetts was the original leader in the fight for equal pay – it is time for us to be a leader once again.
While we have made major advancements in the fight for economic equality, we still have a long way to go – including increasing the minimum wage to a real living wage and enacting legislation to close the pay gap between women and men.