Jay Chaudhuri is one hundred percent pro-choice and committed to defending Planned Parenthood. In the State Senate, he will fight the extremists in the legislature who want to put politicians between women and their doctors.
STANDING UP FOR WOMEN
America has made a lot of progress on women’s issues since women finally gained the right to vote almost a hundred years ago. But as Jay and his wife try to raise a strong, independent daughter, it’s hard not to think about how much work we need to do to achieve gender equality for women. Our General Assembly has repeatedly passed anti-choice legislation, including sustained attacks on Planned Parenthood. Today, North Carolina women are still paid 82 cents on the dollar. That’s not the world Jay wants leave for his daughter. That’s why he will fight for women’s rights in the State Senate. Jay will be a champion for women’s rights because he wants to do his part to achieve equality during his daughter’s lifetime.
JAY HAS A RECORD OF STANDING UP FOR WOMEN
- As an attorney, he provided legal advice to a new domestic violence center. Jay gave early and free legal advice to our state’s South Asian domestic violence center, Kiran.
- As General Counsel to State Treasurer Janet Cowell, Jay made diversity an important part of his legal and corporate governance team. Jay managed a team comprised mostly of women. He organized a one-day diversity conference at North Carolina Central University School of Law that identified best practices to increase minority and women representation in the legal profession.
- As General Counsel to State Treasurer Janet Cowell, Jay advocated for more diversity in the corporate boardroom. Last year, he organized and led a group of nine pension funds with more than $1 trillion of assets under management to petition the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to establish rules that better disclose corporate board diversity. In January of this year, SEC Chair Mary Jo White said her staff was reviewing the agency’s rules for better board disclosure that may lead to new guidelines.
In partnership with the North Carolina State University Poole School of Management, Jay organized a one-day conference focused on diversity in the corporate boardroom. He worked closely with the University of North Carolina School of Law’s Diversity Database Initiative to actively identify women and minority candidates for public and private sector board appointments.
AS STATE SENATOR, JAY WILL:
- Fight to protect women’s reproductive rights. Over the last few years, the Republican General Assembly has engaged in a sustained attack on women’s reproductive rights. They have added unnecessary regulations on abortion clinics, limited insurance coverage for government employees seeking abortion, required the State to collect women’s ultrasounds following an abortion, and defunded Planned Parenthood. Jay will fight Republican General Assembly members who want to put politicians between women and doctors. And he will stand up to defend Planned Parenthood, which provides important health care services such as access to birth control, cancer screenings and safe and legal abortions.
- Push for the Equal Pay Act. North Carolina ranks 39th in the nation when it comes to the gender pay gap: women earn 82 cents on the dollar compared to men. For women of color, the disparity is even larger: an African-American woman makes 64 cents for every dollar a man makes, and a Latina woman makes only 49 cents for every dollar. Jay will push for the Equal Pay Act, a bill that would ensure that women are paid the same wage as men for similar work.
- Advocate for paid family leave. Today, the United States and Papua New Guinea are the only two countries in the world that lack paid family leave. The lack of a paid family leave policy also reflects a great disconnect with the realities of today’s workforce. For most families with children, either both parents work or there is a single working parent. In North Carolina, four out of every ten working women are the primary breadwinner. Jay will fight for paid family leave because he believes that no mother or father should ever have to choose between keeping his or her job or spending that most important time with a newborn baby.
- Raise the minimum wage. According to the National Women’s Law Center, women comprise two-thirds of all North Carolina workers who make the minimum wage or less. As a result, a woman earning $7.25 per hour and working full-time can be expected to make $14,500 a year, $4,000 below the federal poverty level for a family of three. Jay will fight to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour because he believes that increasing the minimum wage can pull thousands of mothers with children out of poverty and even help close the gender pay gap.
- Restore childcare subsidies for working families. Over the last few years, the Republican General Assembly has dramatically cut millions of dollars for childcare vouchers and tightened the eligibility. As a result, the State estimates that some 12,000 families will lose their benefits, forcing many parents to quit work rather than working full-time. In some instances, families may slide back into poverty. Jay will fight to restore these childcare subsidies because he believes childcare is both an investment and economic development strategy.
- Protect women from gun violence. Many tragic incidents could have been prevented if North Carolina had a law that stopped domestic violence abusers or stalkers from possessing a gun. Jay will fight to make sure that our State closes the domestic violence loophole.
- Encourage girls to pursue careers in science and math. Today, women comprise 45 percent of the workforce but hold only 12 percent of science and engineering jobs. And women make up only nine percent of those individuals with undergraduate engineering degrees. State Senate District 16 – home to Red Hat, SAS, North Carolina State University, and the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences – should lead our State’s way to encourage more girls to pursue science and math careers. As State Senator, Jay will convene important public and private sector leaders to identify better ways to encourage girls to pursue such careers.
- Advocate for diversity on State boards and commissions. Jay believes that diversity on State boards and commissions is just as important as diversity in corporate boardrooms because such board diversity avoids groupthink and produces better decisions. Just as he did as General Counsel to State Treasurer Cowell, Jay will work closely with organizations such as UNC’s Diversity Database Initiative to make sure our State boards and commissions are filled with diverse and qualified candidates.