Last night I had the honor of attending a “Women’s Issues Candidates Forum” sponsored by several leading women’s and children’s organizations  throughout New Jersey.  

This forum inspired me deeply, and reminded me why I am running for office in the first place.  As the mother of four daughters, I need to be a positive role model for them. I want to be a voice for all women, children, and working people in our district.  I want to be an example for my four daughters of what an advocate for women looks like, and help bring a stronger focus on these issues coming from our own legislative district in the future.

Women and working person’s issues are incredibly important, yet because of the lack of attention and care given to them by our incumbent, they have been totally dismissed in our legislative district.  Instead, we let the rest of the state fight this fight for us, while our own representatives repeatedly vote against initiatives that would enhance the livelihood of women, children, and struggling working families in our communities.

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Specifically, bills such as S992 (concerns equal pay for women and employment discrimination), A4927 (expands paid family leave insurance), S799 (providing for earned sick leave), A3091 (bans child marriages) and A3 (concerns insurance mandate for addiction treatment).  These pro-family bills are not supported by our current Assemblyman.  

This concerns a fundamental difference in values between myself and the incumbent.  Having grown up in Sussex County in near poverty with a single mom, I know what it is like to live in this area working full time but barely able to stay afloat.  Having been a single mother myself, I know what it is like to have to rely on childcare assistance in order to be able to build your career.  Having grown up with addiction in my household, I know what it does to families, and how much assistance is needed to recover and return to their family life and contribute to the economy.  I understand these issues, and will therefore vote in favor of measures designed to bring relief to struggling families, so that they can rise above their current situation.

We can be leaders on these issues right here in our own district, if we choose to be. All it takes is the power of our vote. Our daughters and ours sons will grow up to be compassionate, generous individuals in the process.

 

Kate Matteson

Democratic Candidate for State Assembly

September 20, 2017