The Very Latest

  • For our daughters

    By Erin Kotecki Vest on

    My seven-year old daughter scored her first basket in her Pee Wee basketball league the other day.

    That's right, my 2nd grader can take it to the hoop.

    Yes, like President Obama's daughters, my daughter too is using Title IX to the fullest extent and playing basketball. And like the President and First Lady, you can hear me encouraging her from the sidelines (ok, screaming my ever-loving head off...which I'm very sure the President and First Lady DO NOT do) when her first shot goes through the net.

    That voice you hear along with mine is her nine-year old big brother confirming what he just saw right by my side, just as excited as Mom.

    It was, as my daughter will tell you, "swish."

    For her, I need a "swish" come November 6th for Barack Obama.

    Why?

    That proud parent moment, that YouTube moment, that smile you see stretched across her face as she BEAMS with pride running back to get on defense while cheering, would not have been possible were it not for the advancement of women's equality.

    She rocks!!!!

    For her, for all those little girls, from my Hala to the President and First Lady's Malia to Sasha, to yours at home...we can not go back.

    It has become increasingly clear in this election that the basic rights of women are at stake. It keeps me awake at night. Every day in the news there seems to be a new attack from the Republicans against women, be it inflammatory remarks or invasive legislation.

    I don't worry for myself. Or my Mom. Or my Aunts. Or my friends. We can handle these men across the aisle who seem to think our paychecks should be smaller than our male counterparts and that our bodies should not be ours to control. We're grown women. We can and are fighting back.

    But then I watch my daughter do something as simple as score her very first basket, and I realize a generation of little girls can not fight back on their own just yet. They will grow up in a world, if the other side wins, that could appoint Supreme Court justices positioned to take away so many of the things we have gained.

    She may not be on a co-ed team, scoring another basket, allowed to play with the boys. There may not be a girl's team funded by her charter school due to budget cutbacks—we know the girls’ sports get cut before the boys’.

    She may not grow into her teen years allowed to make decisions about her own body. She may craft her college applications and her career choices on things she may not really want, but may pay her well, simply because she knows that following her dreams might mean not getting paid as much as a man in the same position or hitting that glass ceiling. She may be even more afraid than my own generation to report a sexual assault due to archaic and victimizing laws put into place by men who have never been violated as intimately or horrifically.

    Defense!

    It is imperative we re-elect President Barack Obama so we can continue to move forward the basic rights of women, of all Americans, from our daughters to our LGBTQ friends and family. Everyone.

    I want many, many more cheers because of her "swishes." I want this photo to happen for your daughters.

    For all the girls in the United States, and their big brothers proud to sit on the bleachers and applaud in awe, we must re-elect President Obama.

    The alternative is unacceptable, and quite frankly, terrifying.

    GET READY TO VOTE

The President's Accomplishments for Women

Fighting for fairness

The first bill President Obama signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, making progress in a decades-long struggle to ensure women have the tools they need to fight for equal pay for equal work.

The President knows we’ve still got a long way to go to create an economy where hard work pays off, regardless of gender. Women still earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns for the same work—that’s why the President established the Equal Pay Task Force and supports the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would give women more tools to fight pay discrimination.

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan refuse to stand up for fair pay for women. Romney won't say whether he would have signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and he has avoided taking a position on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Paul Ryan voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

Restoring middle class security

When the President took office, Americans faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Today:

  • Instead of losing jobs, we’re creating them—5.4 million new jobs over 32 consecutive months
  • Nearly 75 million women have received tax cuts under President Obama, helping to put an average of $3,600 back in the pockets of the typical working family
  • Small businesses across the country have seen 18 tax cuts, helping to lower costs for millions of women-owned businesses

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would take us back to the failed economic policies of the past that benefitted the wealthy but hurt the middle class. According to nonpartisan, independent experts, Romney and Ryan would raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000 while giving millionaires and billionaires more tax breaks they don’t need.

Strengthening women’s health care

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act:

  • Insurance companies will no longer be able to discriminate against women, who previously had to pay as much as 150% more for health insurance than men
  • New health insurance plans will cover women’s preventive services such as well-woman visits, mammograms, birth control pills, and screenings without copays or deductibles
  • More than 1.1 million young women now have the security of health coverage under a provision that allows Americans to stay on their parents’ insurance plan up to age 26
  • Women will receive insurance rebates if their provider doesn’t use at least 80% of their premiums for patient care

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan won’t stand up for women’s health. They would repeal Obamacare and go back to letting insurance companies play by their own rules.

Protecting health choices

The President has repeatedly stood behind a woman’s right to choose:

  • Reversed the global gag rule, ending the ban on government aid for international groups that provide abortion information
  • Fought against Republican attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, one of the largest providers of women’s health services in the country

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would turn over some of women’s most personal health care decisions, like birth control coverage, to their bosses, defund Planned Parenthood, and let government intrude on women’s health rights and freedoms. The Republican Party platform includes a human life amendment to ban abortion nationwide, without exceptions for rape and incest.

Putting affordable education within reach

President Obama is helping millions of students pay for college by reforming the student loan system and investing in students. Since taking office, the President:

  • Doubled investment in Pell Grants to help nearly 10 million students and their families pay for college
  • Created and extended the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which gives students and their families up to $10,000 over four years of college
  • Capped income-based federal student loan payments at 10% of monthly income, which will help more than 1.6 million students manage their monthly payments and pursue the career of their dreams
  • Launched Race to the Top, which has spurred 46 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning in K-12 schools, helping to prepare students for success in college and the workplace
  • Supported nearly 400,000 educator jobs in schools across the country through the Recovery Act
  • Expanded access to Head Start and Early Head Start to 64,000 more children and families

Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would give tax breaks to millionaires but say we need fewer teachers, and they would abandon a national commitment to improving our lowest-performing schools. They would let schools lay off teachers and pack more kids into fewer classrooms, and support policies that would make college more expensive for students— just like Romney did as governor of Massachusetts. Romney even opposes reducing class sizes, rejecting what parents and teachers know to be best for their children.

Giving everyone a fair shot

The President knows we’re at our best when everyone has a seat at the table and a fair shot at success. That’s why he:

  • Tripled the number of women on the Supreme Court by nominating two women to the bench, including the first Latina Supreme Court justice
  • Created the White House Council on Women and Girls to support fair treatment in all matters of public policy
  • Launched a broad effort to protect victims of domestic violence and reduce violence against women, including increasing funding to enforce the Violence Against Women Act
  • Invested in expanded opportunities for women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields