May Flowers Bring Mother’s Day Tidings

This featured guest piece is an excerpt of our May 2024 newsletter.

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

At our core, the mission of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) is to advance women and girls toward full equity in all areas of life and to promote rights and opportunities for all. We do this through a variety of means, but most importantly to me, is through policy change.

As the Executive Director of the MCSW, who is also a mom of two young boys, I can’t help but celebrate Mother’s Day this month and every month. But it’s not enough to celebrate mothers – we must be intentional in our efforts to enact policies that support mothers, children, and families, who come in all shapes and sizes.

As women, we do not lead single issue lives. At the MCSW, our legislative priorities focus on health, both physical and mental, supporting parents both at the birth of their child and throughout their lives, representing the diverse range of women leaders in the Commonwealth and caring for our full selves.

As an organization, we understand the lifecycle of change. Over the last few years we’ve held public hearings, collected data and published reports, and now will present all that we’ve learned from the women of the Commonwealth at our upcoming Virtual Legislative Briefing on Thursday May 23, 2024 at 11am. We invite all elected officials and members of the general public join us to learn more about the real issues facing real women right here in our state. Register now.

That’s why I’m very proud that one of our priority bills is An Act Supporting Parents Running for Public Office (H.669 & S.422), also known as PRO. This bill broadens campaign finance laws to cover childcare expenses and helps remove that barrier for all parents, particularly women, running for local and state offices across the Commonwealth. The impact would have lasting ramifications for anyone – but especially mothers – who seek to run for office. More mothers in office means greater representation for us all. And while the cost of childcare remains one of the most troubling social issues to date – exacerbated by the pandemic, yet as issue that was present well before – it makes sense to have people who know first-hand about this issue to not only run for office, but to represent families of all shapes and sizes across the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts has a long history of leading and learning from best practices across the nation and implementing them here as ground-breaking policy. As a mother, as the Executive Director of the MCSW, and a lifelong grassroots advocate for change, I call on Massachusetts legislators to pass this commonsense legislation and join the 39 other states that already allow this.

Be sure to join us on May 23, 2024 for our legislative briefing. It will take all of us to make lasting change.

In solidarity,

Shaitia Spruell
Executive Director
Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW)