When our Founder and CEO, Liuba Grechen Shirley, ran for Congress in 2018, her children were one and three-years old. Liuba gave up her salaried job to run for office, which made it difficult to pay for childcare. Her mother, a teacher, watched her kids after school, but Liuba had them with her on the campaign trail every day. Meeting with constituents, hosting fundraisers and taking care of her children was unsustainable without childcare.
She no longer wondered why more mothers with young children weren’t running for Congress.
Liuba petitioned the Federal Election Commission (FEC), and became the first woman to receive federal approval to spend Campaign Funds for Childcare. This groundbreaking decision, which gained support from Secretary Hillary Clinton and 24 members of Congress, was unanimously and bipartisanly approved by the FEC. Fifty-one federal candidates have since used their campaign funds to pay for childcare — both moms and dads.
However, the ruling on Liuba’s request does not apply to candidates running for state and local office.
Vote Mama Foundation is the only organization working with politicians across the country to petition their state and local election commissions and introduce legislation to approve the use of Campaign Funds for Childcare by state and local candidates. We are tracking the use of Campaign Funds for Childcare at the federal and state levels to determine who is utilizing it and how it is impacting the makeup of our government.
Our goal is to pass Campaign Funds for Childcare in all 50 states by 2023.
Imagine if not one potential candidate at any level of our government had to consider the cost of childcare in weighing their decision to run for office. Imagine if we could break down the institutional barriers to empower a diverse pipeline of working mothers to run for office and win.