The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘“Lean In”

It’s a FeMailBox!

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York is not a perfect public servant by any means. He is taking far too much time to tell the fracking industry to go jump in a (poisoned) lake, for example. But, he has been a leader on two issues I care very deeply about. The first was pushing equal marriage through the Senate (something both Spitzer and Paterson were unable to do), and the second is, well, you guessed it: WIMMINZ RIGHTS!

Yesterday in my Mailbox, I got this very exciting email entitled: “Governor Cuomo Introduces the Women’s Equality Act.”  The Act was supported by members of the Women’s Equality Coalition, and its ten main points are:

  • Achieve Pay Equity
  • Stop Sexual Harassment in All Workplaces
  • Allow for the Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees in Employment and Credit and Lending Case
  • Strengthen Human Trafficking Laws
  • Prohibit Employers from Denying Promotions or Hiring Based on Family Status
  • Prevent Landlords from Denying Housing to Qualified Tenants Based on Source of Rent Funds
  • Stop Housing Discrimination for Victims of Domestic Violence
  • Stop Pregnancy Discrimination Once and For All
  • Protect Victims of Domestic Violence by Strengthening Order-of-Protection Law
  • Protect a Woman’s Freedom of Choice

Some of these points seem wonky (like the one about sources of rent funds), and others are very simple to understand (“Achieve Pay Equity!” YESSSS!). The Gov wrote an Op-Ed in HuffPo that helps explain why he included the points he did.

Here is the reason for the one about denying housing to qualified tenants:

Fact: female-headed households in New York account for the vast majority of those on public assistance. However, under current law, a landlord can turn away a tenant if he does not approve of the applicant’s source of income. The Women’s Equality Act prohibits discrimination in housing based on lawful source of income, aiding women who receive public assistance in finding safe and decent housing for their families.

Knowing the heartlessness of landlords in New York City, and knowing that women are far more likely to be afflicted by poverty than men, I unfortunately find this state of affairs horrifying, but easy to believe. That women are living through the pain of not only being on public assistance, struggling to feed themselves and their families, but then being denied a safe place to live is a new injustice to add to a very long list.

Clearly it’s not new to Cuomo. It seems plain that the Governor has done his research and deeply understands not just the most obvious, but also some of the more hidden needs of women of all colors and income levels. It’s a good thing too, as women are becoming more and more important both to the economy and to those who aspire to public office.

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