On Friday in Columbus, Ohio State Rep. Kristin Boggs and ProgressOhio Executive Director Sandy Theis marked the 53rd Anniversary of the 1963 Equal Pay Act by spotlighting incumbent Republican Senator Rob Portman’s record of opposing equal pay five times.
Watch the video here:
Rob Portman Cited For 5 Failures To Back Equal Pay
Rep. Boggs will stand for election in November in a district that includes The Ohio State University, Capital University and a slice of downtown Columbus. Given the changing demographics of her district—where she says women slightly outnumber men voters and the median age is about 31—and Columbus fast becoming recognized as “Opportunity City,” she’ll be a strong voice for Democrats as they apply advancing progressive, national social trends that work to their advantage to practical local politics.
Ms. Boggs defines herself at her House Website as an “advocate for a strong public education system, economic opportunity for working people and a fair and compliant election process,” policy positions that won’t be met with open arms if Republicans continue to maintain large majorities in both legislative chambers.
Her expressed concern for working-class Buckeyes wanting fair wages and economic security prepared her well for today’s event promoting Ted Strickland over Sen. Rob Portman by contrasting their respective records on equal pay. Polls show Strickland and Portman in a dead heat race, even after many millions have been spent tearing down Ted Strickland.
Rep. Boggs was joined by Sandy Theis, a former political reporter with credentials burnished over 30 years as a top statehouse correspondent, to point out Sen. Portman’s poor record on equal pay.
Theis pointed out that equal pay is not exclusively an issue for women. “It’s a family issue, it’s a community issue, and it affects a woman her entire life,” she said, wondering what her pension might be if she had been paid the same as a man. She recounted a time working for the Dayton Daily News, which was undergoing some union concerns. That’s when she learned her male counterparts were earning $40,000-per year, a sum she had yet to see even though she held one of the paper’s premier reporting posts.
“We’re going to use this anniversary to promise to all the communities and families in Ohio we’re going to push this even harder before because the politicians in Washington aren’t listening to them,” Ms. Theis said at the event held in Clintonville.
Rep. Boggs said her 18th District has plenty of young professional women like herself, who know they could lose significant sums of money if the current disparate rate of pay isn’t fixed. Women in my district, she said, expect to lose between $700,00 to $2 million over the course of their careers.
“This is a huge amount of money when you’re talking about a lifetime of work that you’re doing. This isn’t little dollars and sense, month to month, year to year, this will change people’s pensions, their ability about when they can retire. If we don’t get on with changing this and eliminating the pay disparities, they are going to be suffering these economic consequences their entire life.”
Ms. Boggs, unabashedly a Hillary Clinton backer, said Ted Strickland her candidate because he’s pledge to support pay equality along with other policies that will provide security for the middle class. President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders all say the country grows best from the middle out and bottom up than from the top down.
Other top issues for Rep. Boggs include affordable, quality higher education. She intends to win her race in November so she can push student loan debt specifically and higher education costs in general. Students are saddled with student loan payments the size of a mortgage, she said, noting that high debt levels preclude them from start businesses or even having discretionary money to spend. Tackling these issues will be daunting for a new generation of lady legislators like Ms. Boggs who have already discovered that the statehouse doors aren’t open wide for everyone.
Rep. Boggs said she likes to see young people enthusiastic about elections, but even though she’s in Clinton’s court, she respects supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Having said that, she also expects that them to align with Mrs. Clinton and Democrats because the party of the people, not the wealthy and their corporations, has the best ideas to propel the country forward.
From 2012, “60 Seconds Ohio,” the Lilly Ledbetter edition: