New Law In NY Encourages Mothers With Young Kids To Run For Office [WAMC]

July 30, 2019

Originally published in WAMC on July 30, 2019.

New York has become the 12th state that allows child care to qualify as a campaign expense. Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation Tuesday, saying it is another step toward gender equality and will empower more parents, especially mothers, to seek public office.

Westchester County Democrat Shelley Mayer sponsored the bill in the Senate. She mentions the inspiration of Grechen Shirley, saying it was important to pass state law rather than rely on a ruling that could be overturned.

And I think by having it in the law, you’re going to encourage, as I say, people to say, maybe I could run,” Mayer says. “I would say, myself, I chose not to run as a young parent, in part, because I was discouraged by other women in elected office, that it was just too hard having young children.”

She says adopting such an attitude doesn’t have to be the norm.

And I can just tell you having been around Albany for a long time, that having the voices of new parents, particularly young mothers, come and speak with passion about the issues that they face has added so much to the dialogue, and that’s going to be the case everywhere,” says Mayer.