Convention event promotes Biden plans to improve pay, child care, health care, and end GOP obstruction of Violence Against Women Act.
Wisconsin Women for Biden gained a bit of star power Wednesday night when actors Jennifer Garner and Jamie Lee Curtis joined in a discussion on why, when it comes to women’s issues, Biden is a better option than President Donald Trump in the White House.
“My dog in this fight is my fury that America has been hijacked by this misogynist pig,” Curtis said of Trump. “The violent language and the horrific words he uses to describe women and women of color is an obscenity. The obscenity is going to be gone in November.”
Curtis said kindness, humility, and empathy are three words that have been erased by the policies and actions of the current administration.
“These words used to be associated with America and will be associated with America again with the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris,” Curtis said.
Other participants in the virtual event included Democratic Sens. Lena Taylor and LaTonya Johnson, both of Milwaukee; U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin; Rep. Robyn Vining, D-Wauwatosa; and Kelda Roys, the winner of the Aug. 11 primary for Senate District 26. The session was held in conjunction with the Democratic National Convention.
Biden’s agenda for women focuses on improving their economic security by working toward equal pay and by expanding quality and affordable health care and child care. Biden’s plan also calls for renewing the Violence Against Women Act, a bill he authored in 1990.
Efforts to renew the bill have stalled in Congress for several years. Many Republicans have opposed the addition of gun restrictions for those accused of misdemeanor counts of domestic abuse, and some Republicans—led by 5th District Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner—proposed removing tribal jurisdiction from non-Native Americans accused of domestic violence on tribal lands.
Several of the women spoke about the disproportionate impact the coronavirus pandemic is having on women, particularly women of color, because of their multiple roles as working moms, caregivers for their children and, in some cases, elderly relatives. When the virus forces the closure of child-care centers and schools, women more than men, are feeling the pinch.
“It’s the women who have borne the brunt of this horrific coronavirus,” Curtis said. “We are the caregivers, we are the mothers, the teachers, we are the ones taking care of the elderly. We are the ones who do everything.”
Sen. Johnson referenced a famous appeal Trump made to African-American voters in his 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton when he asked “What do you have to lose by trying something new and voting for Trump?”
“Four years later, we see the devastating effects Donald Trump’s presidency has had on the African-American community,” Johnson said.
Johnson said in Milwaukee County, 40 percent of those who died of COVID are African Americans and 13 percent have been Hispanic. She said eviction rates have risen to more than 40 percent and over 700,000 people have filed for unemployment benefits since the pandemic.
“The only thing Donald Trump has done for the African-American community is willingly put us in harm’s way,” Johnson said. “African Americans have everything to lose by electing Donald Trump for another four years. We stand to lose our lives, our livelihoods, our homes, our families, our communities, and our dignity.”
Baldwin said Biden understands every issue is a women’s issue and “he knows that women are often disproportionately impacted by policies.”
“For Joe Biden, it’s simple. He wants to make sure the path to opportunity is available to everyone,” Baldwin said.
Roys reiterated the importance of getting out the vote in the swing state of Wisconsin.
“We are going to be the state, we are going to be the voters that put an end to the presidency of Donald Trump,” Roys said, adding, “We will have the pride of turning our state blue again.”