Last week, Presidential hopeful, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York introduced her Family Bill of Rights to the public. It’s a policy proposal she says she’ll pass within her first 100 days if elected President. The proposal includes paid family leave, improved access for prenatal care in rural areas, tax credits for adoptive families, IVF treatments covered by insurance and a parenting “starter kit” for all families provided by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Gillibrand explains to Parentology why this policy is critical. “It’s important to recognize not every child starts on equal footing,” she says. “Substantial disparities exist today for families and parents depending on where they live, who they love, or who they are, particularly when it comes to healthcare, education and other key factors that impact a child’s development.” Her mission? “We must address this so every child has a chance to succeed, and those who want to become parents can do so affordably.”
The issues facing families are becoming prominent in the 2020 Presidential campaign. According to Gallup, healthcare tops the list of issues that people report as “Extremely/Very Important” at 80 percent. Not far behind on the list at 74 percent is, “Way women are treated in US society.” This leaves a space for many 2020 Presidential hopefuls to weigh in on how they’d move these issues forward.
Candidates are paying attention. The Washington Post analyzed the content of candidates’ social media posts and found “social injustice” and “family issues” as prominent topics. Some candidates are going so far as to incorporate larger family initiatives into the heart of their campaigns.
Passing this legislation won’t be easy. Many similar proposals have been presented to Congress and have yet to be passed. Gillibrand believes she can gain bi-partisan support for her agenda. “In my over 10 years as Senator, I’ve worked hard to find common ground with my colleagues across the aisle and get things done for the American people,” she says. “Everyone believes in investing in families and this plan to level the playing field for children and parents should be something everyone can get behind.”
Gillibrand sees the Family Bill of Rights as a natural evolution in her candidacy. “Valuing women and families has long been at the center of my work as a public servant, and I believe the economic security of families is foundational to our larger society’s success.”
She’s so passionate about the tenets and impact of this legislation, Gillibrand is promising it as part of her first 100 Days agenda, if elected. “It’s important I make clear to Americans across the country that, as president, this is something I would pass in my first 100 Days, and I believe it will be a transformational program for generations of Americans.”
Thus far, there hasn’t been any major criticism against Gillibrand’s Family Bill of Rights. Perhaps it’s too soon for other presidential candidates to be taking jabs at one another. Or maybe it’s because the concerns of modern American families have come to the forefront as prominent deciding factors in the upcoming election, and no one is sure what criticizing the proposal would do to their campaign. Either way, Gillibrand isn’t waiting for a “right time” to act — she’s utilizing her campaign to address many of the issues facing US families. Now.