The Mission of the Democratic Woman’s Club of San Diego County is to support and promote Democratic Party principles & platforms, including equality of opportunity, a level playing field, and fair and equal treatment for all.
The Democratic Woman’s Club of San Diego County is committed to supporting female candidates and amplifying women’s voices in local and national politics. Women, particularly women of color, shoulder the vast majority of dependent care in our families, city, and nation, and our work as caregivers can create a significant barrier to our entry into local politics. In San Diego, the average rate for a babysitter is $15 per hour and many political gatherings – Democratic clubs, Central Committee meetings, Community Towns and Councils, School Boards, and various campaign events – take place on weekends or after regular school or daycare hours. Following a 2018 FEC ruling caregivers may now use campaign funds to pay for childcare. However, this doesn’t solve the problem of childcare for women who are interested in becoming more active in their community’s political life but are not campaigning for office. Moreover, it creates an unfair cost burden for female candidates that their male counterparts more often than not do not have to shoulder.
To address this issue, the Democratic Woman’s Club of San Diego County is proud to institute a pilot Dependent Care Grant. The grant may be used to defray the cost of dependent care incurred as part of attending any political event that either (1) Supports a Democratic woman’s candidacy for any elected office, or (2) Supports a Democratic woman’s attendance or involvement in any local political meeting or event that would further their inclusion in local politics and decision making.
We understand that the costs of dependent care are legion, and so a broad scope of activities are eligible for coverage under this grant. This includes not only the cost of a babysitter for an evening or afternoon, but the cost of shipping breastmilk for nursing mothers who wish to attend a convention or meeting away from their infant, the cost of rental car seats for women who are traveling with their children, or the cost of bringing a dependent or caregiver to an event.
Some of these costs may not have occurred to many readers – whether the cost of childcare today, or the invisible lengths that nursing mothers go to to both feed their children and fully participate in the civic life of our community. But we are on the brink of a brave new world – more and more women are running for public office while still mothering young children. The Democratic Woman’s Club of San Diego County is thrilled with what this means for issues that have been overlooked for too long because they are not part of the daily life of the majority of our legislators. We are fully committed to doing whatever it takes to bring more voices to the tables of power, and we are pleased to offer every boost or folding chair at our disposal to help that happen.
We encourage other civic entities, political and otherwise, to follow our lead. As of January 2019 federal candidates are now able to use campaign funds for child care costs. The policy for local and state candidates is more ambiguous, and so in addition to making funds available we encourage others to join us in pushing recently introduced legislation, co-sponsored by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez, to allow for the unambiguous use of these funds for all political candidates. One grant for one evening is both a huge step and a small drop in the bucket. Meaningful change will take all of us, and we invite everyone who is able and willing to join us.