Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spoke to supporters at Teamster City during the final stop of a bus tour that ended yesterday in Chicago, Illinois, reported the Chicago Tribune. The "When Women Succeed, America Succeeds: Women on a Roll" bus tour travelled from Seneca Falls, New York to Chicago, and made several stops in between including Ohio. The tour is touted as one that will "unleash the power of women in America." The bus tour highlighted policy changes important to working women and another goal of the bus tour: stimulating voter turnout in the fall, mid-term elections of 2014.
Another purpose of the bus tour is the rallying of female voters, a core Democratic voting group, for two Illinois Democrats in big races--Rep. Brad Schneider D-Ill. and challenger Ann Callis. Both appeared with Pelosi at the morning event, along with two Illinois Democrats, Jan Schakowsky and Robin Kelly, who represent safe Democratic districts and don't have to worry about their re-election. Holding the event at Teamsters City also plays to another crucial group that is part of the Democratic base vote, organized labor and the middle class workers.
The House Democrats highlighted the issues the White House and Democrats have been pushing--equal pay and raising the minimum wage--only to be blocked over and over again by Republicans who control the House of Representatives.
Pelosi acknowledged concerns about turnout in congressional races without Obama atop the ticket. "In an off year, we have to make sure people know that an election is occurring, what is at stake in the election and we do believe that when women vote, women will succeed and America will succeed. That is not a slogan. It’s an absolute fact," said Pelosi, who listed an agenda that includes "raising the minimum wage, paycheck parity for equal work among genders, affordable day care and mandatory paid time off work to care for sick children."
Pelosi added, "And quite frankly, campaigns are about two things. They’re about winning an election but also about winning in the debate of ideas,” she said. “Now, if people are not going to vote, then the Republicans don’t have any reason to change their minds. But if they know women are going to vote, then they’ll take another look at these issues."
Rep. Robin Kelly added, "Many working moms without paid sick days are often forced to make the difficult choice to either send an ill child to day care or school or sacrifice a day’s pay. And far too many women don’t even have the option of day care. These days it’s just too expensive, and so many working women don’t have the community or family or friends that can help them."
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