Friday, March 5, 2010

. Joe Sestak For US Senate: National NOW PAC Endorsement Announcement by Joanne Tosti-Vasey, President Of Pennsylvania NOW, Inc.

This is the speech I gave in Pittsburgh today announcing that the National NOW PAC has endorsed Joe Sestak for the US Senate.

As the President of Pennsylvania’s National Organization for Women, I am pleased to support the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee’s endorsement of Joe Sestak as a candidate for the United States’ Senate from the great Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Sestak currently serves in the United States House of Representatives for southeastern Pennsylvania and is a strong advocate for equality in our nation’s capital. The NOW/PAC was proud to endorse Mr. Sestak the past two times he ran for United States Representative and is very excited to stand by his side during his campaign for the United States Senate.

Mr. Sestak is a strong supporter of the Equal Rights Amendment and full rights and privileges for all civil marriages. He has previously voted against the ban on gay marriage and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell while in the House.

In regards to abortion, Mr. Sestak is pro-choice, opposes parental notification and supports Medicaid coverage for abortions. We applaud his courage when, on November 7, 2009, he was one of only five Representatives from Pennsylvania to vote against the restrictive Stupak-Pitts Amendment to the Health Care Reform bill.

Mr. Sestak also supports safe, accurate and appropriate sex education to encourage healthy behavior in a truthful manner. He co-sponsored many bills that support women’s health from the Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act to the Mammogram and MRI Availability Act of 2009.

Mr. Sestak supports allowing for paid and unpaid leave for victims of domestic violence and for increasng the resources available to these women.

In the business sector, Mr. Sestak supports small business lending programs for women and strongly opposes wage-based sex discrimination. In the House he was an original co-sponsor for the Paycheck Fairness Act as well as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act has passed in the House but has yet to be passed in the Senate.  The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill that President Obama signed into law after his inauguration in January 2009. Sestak has also voted in favor of the SBA Women’s Business Programs Act and introduced multiple bills supporting women entrepreneurs.

The National Organization for Women Political Action Committee is proud and excited to endorse such a strong candidate for the United States Senate and I am proud to support that endorsement. He ha s been a leader in the struggle to achieve full equality for women and girls and we are looking forward to working with him both in this campaign and then in the US Senate.

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