By Mary Targia Almonte
Us YUMs don’t identify with a political party – we pride ourselves on trying to analyze each candidate as objectively as possible based on how their policies will impact our lives, and more importantly, the future of our children. We cast our votes on our children’s behalf and take this obligation very seriously. It cannot be denied that the outcome of this election has several of our hard-earned rights as women at stake.
With that said, we feel that the YUMs of this country need four more years, and we will have Barry’s back in the voting booths today. Simply put, here is why:
Women’s Reproductive Health
This one is a no-brainer as obviously we became mothers at an early age, and it wasn’t a popular decision, but it is one that we CHOSE nonetheless. Planned Parenthood was a critical resource for us as young pregnant women and continues to be today throughout our experiences of motherhood. We feel that all options for birth control, family planning, gynecological health, and abortion should be legally accessible and safe – and want this to remain the case for our daughters.
Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law, otherwise known as the “Equal Pay for Equal Work” bill, making it ILLEGAL for women to receive less pay than men. This is more powerful than possessing a “binder full of women” any day.
As parents, education is at the forefront of our concerns for our kid’s future. Obama wants to reform the No Child Left Behind policies and respects teachers.
If one of our children are gay then we want them to have all of the federal legal benefits of marriage should they be so lucky to find someone that they LOVE.
As residents of Manhattan and Staten Island, this issue got bumped up the list in order of importance to us in the past week. Hurricane Sandy affirms that Climate Change is upon us, and we need a leader that acknowledges this and will invest in research and the technology required to control it. This has always been a part of the President’s platform. (See our recent post for a first-hand account of Sandy’s effect).
The reports of gun violence in NYC this summer alone had us YUMs afraid to take our kids to the park in fear of putting them in the path of a stray bullet. The Colorado movie theater shooting had us trying to transform our NYC-sized living rooms into makeshift theaters! Obama wants to close the loophole that allows for gun purchases without background checks at gun shows and for reinstating the assault weapons.
It’s been said before and we will say it again, affordable health care should be a right, not a privilege. Although the Affordable Care Act a.k.a. Obamacare has some kinks to be ironed out, we fully support the idea that everyone should have access to affordable healthcare, regardless of pre-existing conditions.
We are direct descendants of immigrants, as are most inhabitants of this country that immigrants have built and embraced. Obama passed the Dream Act which would give young illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children a path to citizenship if they attend college or serve in the military, despite strong opposition from Congress. Obama has come out against state laws (Arizona and Alabama) that allow officials to target suspected illegal immigrants based on appearance. The Obama administration filed a federal lawsuit this year against Arizona, saying the state law superseded federal laws. Romney has consistently said he opposes providing “amnesty” for illegal immigrants. Romney has called Arizona “a model” for the nation on immigration and he has urged the Justice Department to drop its lawsuit against the Arizona legislation. Enough said.
The Afghan War
We want OUT and fully support the 2014 Exit deadline that Obama supports. Our hearts are broken along with the mothers of every soldier that we lose as a result of this war. Romney has flip-flopped on the topic, and has last said that he would evaluate the circumstances before determining an exit date.
There you have it – that is our reasoning for voting Obama/Biden on the issues that matter to YUMs. Aside from that, we admire and respect our President as a symbol of a model father and husband that he has become, and love Michelle Obama as a First Lady (Michelle Obama 2016, anyone?). However, whether you agree or not, go out and vote today ladies! Let’s make Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton proud.
Mary Targia Almonte is a digital Ad Operations Manager by day and a chauffer, chef, maid, event planner, homework-checker, entertainer, diaper-changer, and snot-wiper to her two kids and husband in her hometown of Staten Island, NY. Follow her on Twitter @MaryTheYUMama.