The presence of women in congress is very crucial. But electing a mother as VP? .Research shows that moms introduce five more bills over their tenure than their peers.
Moms have a lot to consider when running for office. Childcare obligation being the main concern.
“Less than 5% of people in Congress are mothers with school-aged children. If we aren’t supporting mamas running, we aren’t supporting most women.” -Liuba Grechen Shirley, founder of Vote Mama
The Beginning of PAC
New York State Democratic House candidate Liuba Grechen Shirley asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for a ruling on whether she could use campaign funds to pay a caregiver for her two young children.
Grechen Shirley became the first woman in history to receive approval to spend campaign funds on childcare.
Because of Grechen Shirley, the FEC ruled in 2018 that federal candidates can use campaign funds to pay for child care costs that result from time spent running for office.
Vote Mama Political Action Committee (PAC) was initiated as a result of this incident.
Vote Mama Political Action Committee (PAC)
They work to overcome the structural and cultural hurdles working mothers face while running for office.
The PAC does so through these channels:
- Mentoring candidates- connecting them with mothers who have run and won and run and lost.
- Fundraising for candidates- increasing the political power of moms through direct financial support to help build successful campaigns
- Coaching candidates, working with them one-on-one to create and implement fundraising strategies, policy platforms, and communication plans.
In April 2020 Grechen Shirley launched the Vote Mama Foundation and Action Fund – the policy and advocacy arms of the Vote Mama family to complement the PAC’s work.
The Vote Mama Foundation aspires to achieve gender equity. Most importantly, winning universal childcare for all Americans. In other words, expanding the use of campaign funds for childcare running at the state and local level.
The Foundation recently brought on a New American Leaders Legislative Fellow, Washington State Senator Rebecca Saldana to help them build a policy package for their partners to introduce this legislation in ten states next year.
According to Grechen Shirley, dozens of working moms are also now able to run for office because a massive financial burden has been lifted.
“Moms see problems, and moms fix problems. That’s exactly why I launched Vote Mama––to elect moms who will fix these problems. It’s time for a change. It’s time to elect working mothers who understand childcare, the pandemic, education, healthcare, paid family leave, and the maternal mortality rate at a visceral level, and who will fight for all Americans. That’s our movement at Vote Mama.” -Liuba Grechen Shirley, founder of Vote Mama
More on Vote Mama Foundation.