Vote Mama Founder Helps Get Working Parents Elected (Podcast)

Liuba Grechen Shirley, founder and CEO of the Vote Mama Foundation and its affiliated political action committee, joined Bloomberg Government’s Kyle Trygstad and Greg Giroux on the latest episode of Downballot Counts to discuss her efforts to make it easier to run for office as a working mother.

During her 2018 challenge to then-Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.), she had young children and had to give up her income to devote the time necessary to run for office—and with one salary, child care was difficult to afford. The Democrat successfully petitioned the Federal Election Commission to allow candidates to use campaign funds for child care. She’s now working to get all 50 states to allow state and local candidates to do the same.

Grechen Shirley launched her PAC after losing the race to encourage and support other Democrats in her situation, and to alter the makeup of Congress. She later created the foundation to help pass bipartisan legislation across the country to ease the path for mothers running for office, with a long-term goal of passing universal child care.

She said more than 100 candidates for federal, state, and local offices have used campaign funds to help cover the costs of child care.

“It changed the way parents run for office,” Grechen Shirley said of her petition.

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Photo by Danielle Silverman/Newsday RM via Getty Images
Liuba Grechen Shirley, left, launched a PAC and foundation after petitioning the Federal Election Commission during her 2018 challenge to then-Rep. Pete King (R-N.Y.) to allow candidates to tap campaign funds for child care.

To contact the hosts: Kyle Trygstad in Washington at ktrygstad@bgov.com; Greg Giroux in Washington at ggiroux@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Loren Duggan at lduggan@bgov.com

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