Friday, January 15, 2010

AAUW: Rep. Cynthia Lummis is a zero

The Wyoming Democratic Party sends this:

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) one of the nation’s top advocacy groups for education and equity on behalf of women and girls, has given failing marks to all three members of Wyoming’s congressional delegation. In an annual report analyzing the Congressional voting record for 2009, AAUW rated Rep. Cynthia Lummis with a 0% and both Senator Mike Enzi and Senator John Barrasso earned a rating of 13%, respectively.

The delegation’s poor performance on issues important to women is extremely distressing, according to Wyoming Democratic Party State Chair Leslie Petersen.

“This report drives home the point that on issues ranging from health reform to equal compensation, Rep. Lummis, Sen. Enzi and Sen. Barrasso are out of touch with the needs of Wyoming people,” Petersen said. “The rights of women, minorities and families are being shoved aside in favor of special interests, big business, and destructive partisanship. It especially saddens me that our lone female representative would continue to vote against her own gender.”

The AAUW’s scores were calculated based on support of issues that would address social inequalities, end discrimination, and support women and their families, among other considerations. This legislation, which received no support from any member of the Wyoming congressional delegation, included:

  • Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 – Reopens the courtroom doors to further progress towards pay equity. Takes action on a 2007 court decision which required employees to file pay discrimination claims within 180 days of their employer’s last discriminatory decision and requires claims to be filed within 180 days of their last discriminatory paycheck.

  • Paycheck Fairness Act – Strengthens the Equal Pay Act by empowering women to negotiate for equal pay, deters wage discrimination by strengthening penalties, and prohibits retaliation against workers who inquire about wage practices or disclose their wages. The bill also creates incentives for employers to follow the law and strengthens federal outreach and enforcement efforts.

  • Healthy Families Act – Would provide accrued paid sick and safe days for employees and would require employers with at least 15 employees to guarantee workers seven days of paid sick leave annually. These days could be used for treatment, recovery, and activities necessary to deal with an incidence of domestic violence.

  • Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act - Provides local law enforcement with resources to address hate-based violence and added perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability to the categories protected under federal hate crimes law.

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