Reflecting on the 2023 Elections

Family Values @ Work
3 min readNov 8, 2023

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Care and human rights were on the ballot in many of yesterday’s races. We are encouraged by the voters and organizers that pushed through the noise all over the country, to ultimately elevate a united call for the rights of people to be represented by elected officials who support the right to access, give, and receive care in a way that honors choice and dignity.

Here are some election results we’re celebrating today:

  • Cherelle Parker was elected the first female mayor of Philadelphia. During her campaign, Parker explicitly said that child care needs to be more affordable and have better options for families.
  • Andy Beshear was re-elected governor in Kentucky. He has been focused on child care throughout his time in office, and had proposed universal Pre-K in his budget.
  • Yusef Salaam, an exonerated member of the Central Park 5, was elected to New York City Council. His platform includes baby bonds, and ensuring the right educational options are available to parents all while elevating the need to support BIPOC families who need care and paid leave to endure engagement with the incarceration system.
  • Gabe Amo, child of immigrants and the first person of color to represent the state in Congress, won a House special election in Rhode Island.

Election returns also brought news of groundbreaking advancements for folks in Ohio and Virginia.

Ohio passed a ballot initiative to enshrine reproductive care — including abortion — in the state’s constitution. In this post-Dobbs society, Ohio voters made clear what so many elected officials and the Supreme Court get wrong: that birthing parents have the freedom to make informed decisions regarding their reproductive health. This deflates the nationwide strategy to ban abortion state by state (e.g., Texas, Florida, Missouri) since Dobbs was overturned — all a part of the same larger attack on working families.

Another win we’re celebrating is from Virginia where the state elected into the Virginia Senate its first transgender senator, the first out transgender person elected to a state Senate anywhere in the South, Danica Roem. This visibility for the transgender community is a testament to the commitment and leadership advocates for transgender rights have demonstrated for years. We know representation matters and the more people that look like what our families actually look like, the more progress we will see in human and care-centered policies.

Many seem to think that nothing major happens during off-cycle elections. That couldn’t be further from the truth. We know that working families are showing up to cast a vote in hopes of the care economy our working families want and need. As leaders of the premiere Network of paid family and medical leave coalitions, 20-years of doing work with state partners has taught us that there is no “off election year” for us in the movement. We are always pushing and pursuing in our fight to win paid family and medical leave, paid sick and safe days, and affordable, quality childcare for all.

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Family Values @ Work

27 state coalitions working to win for Paid Sick Days, Paid Leave and other policies that value families at work in your city, county and state, then nation.