Childcare obligations are one of the major factors working parents consider when deciding whether to run for office. In 2018, Vote Mama Foundation Founder & CEO Liuba Grechen Shirley petitioned the Federal Election Commission and became the first woman to receive federal approval to spend Campaign Funds on Childcare. This groundbreaking decision removed a major financial obstacle and paved the way for more working parents to run for federal office.
While the 2018 Federal Election Commission ruling approved the use of Campaign Funds for Childcare for all candidates running for federal office, each state has its own campaign finance laws and entities authorized to provide oversight of elections and campaign spending and reporting.
24 states have now approved the use of Campaign Funds for Childcare -- 10 through ethics commission rulings and 14 by passing legislation. In many states, candidates feel pressure not to use their Campaign Funds for Childcare, even though they are legally allowed to.
Our country needs middle and working class representation now more than ever. In many states, single parents spend nearly 40% of their pre-tax income on childcare, and it costs more to send an infant to childcare than a teenager to a four-year public college.
Candidates who are not independently wealthy have been known to mortgage their homes, max out their credit cards, and take on debt to run for office. Campaign Funds for Childcare breaks down a critical economic barrier to working parents running for office.
By making this one simple structural change, we have the opportunity to transform the political landscape.
Vote Mama Foundation is launching this pledge to normalize the use of Campaign Funds for Childcare.
*For more information about how to petition your state’s ethics commission to approve the use of Campaign Funds for Childcare or to pass legislation, click here.