Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform Committee

March 5, 2005

To Whom It May Concern:

We are testifying in support of modifying the platform section on Families and Individuals (Part I).

As parents we are keenly aware of the difficulties people face in raising and educating their children. To demonstrate the Democratic Party's commitment to this issue, we suggest adding the following text to the plank on "Family & Medical Leave and Help for Parents and Children":

"We support the creation of more part-time daycare solutions so that mothers and fathers can choose to work part-time if necessary. We also support increasing aid for parents who are trying to work but face difficulties doing so because of a lack of affordable daycare. We support adding full-time daycare and pre-k facilities to the public school system."
Nothing can be more important to a society that ensuring that the next generation is raised and educated in a healthy way. It is true that some parents do not need much help in this regard, and that is great. But for those who do need the help, as a society, we should stand ready to give it. If we don't, we will pay for the consequences anyway.

We also would like to add to the plank on "Gender Equality" as follows:

"We call for a greater recognition of the role fathers can play in the family and their need to also balance work and family life."
It is wrong to treat work-life balance as primarily a women's issue, because doing so further perpetuates the stereotype that it is primarily women who should be tasked with childrearing. True gender equality means giving women and men the opportunity and legislative support to structure their lives in a sensible manner to raise their children.

Thank you for considering our opinions.

Thank you for considering our opinions.