My name is Jordan Hevenor. I am the co-creator of The Womxn Project. The Womxn Project is a statewide organization focused on leveraging the power of art, activism, advocacy and education to advance the principles of reproductive justice, which demands that we all have the right to determine when and how we build our relationships, families and futures and that we have the ability to live and raise our children with dignity.
We commit to centering the people most impacted, leveraging the collective strength of the community, and working to directly take on and eliminate systems of oppressions.
We envision a future where we can all live with health and dignity. We stand in strong support of the Rhode Island Board of Elections’ proposed rule to allow state and local candidates to use campaign funds for child care needed to run or hold office.
We know that who sits at the tables where policies are made or walk in the halls of power matters. In order to ensure that the lived experiences of parents are understood and the very real challenges of families are recognized, we need to be there. In recent years, we have seen the incredibly positive difference it makes when women are part of the political system that impacts our day to day lives and our ability to be healthy and to thrive. But the fact is that many parents struggle to be able to get out and talk with constituents as part of a campaign to get elected and also make sure that their children are cared for.
There are already huge concerns about the role that wealth and money plays in politics in terms of who is able to run and win. Making sure that people are able to afford childcare when they need to be at a campaign events seems like a common sense and important step to closing the gaps in the ability for parents to run and people who are not wealthy to be able to afford to run for office.
We should do more to make sure that the people in power reflect the people they represent and yet only 30% of state legislatures are made up of women. This issue impacts parents across gender, but the fact is that obstacles to balancing campaigns and family responsibilities often fall harder on mothers.
We have seen the difference it makes to have women in elected positions. When there are more women the issues that face our families and our communities get more attention – thinks like paid family leave and living wage or prenatal care and maternal mortality. Having women in office makes a positive impact, so let’s take this simple step to make it just a little bit easier for moms who know they would great leaders and also want to care for their families and be great moms. It is really the least we can do. Thank you.