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Menendez Sits Down with NJ Women to Discuss ‘What’s at Stake’ for them this November

Women tell Senator economic opportunity, access to affordable health care, education, protecting reproductive rights, gender equality top their concerns

Menendez says choice is clear this November: Proven fighter for women vs. Trump yes-man

North Bergen, NJ – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez today led a roundtable discussion with New Jersey women at the Boulevard Diner in North Bergen to hear directly their concerns and what’s at stake for them and their families in this upcoming election.

“New Jersey women work hard, raise kids, run businesses, balance careers, and often are the ones making the family decisions. Hearing from them about their concerns and what keeps them up at night, it’s quite clear that the stakes in this election couldn’t be higher,” said Sen. Menendez. “The Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress have waged an all-out war on women and families. They gave giant corporations and the super-rich massive tax cuts on the backs of middle class and hardworking Americans. They have threatened to take away reproductive freedom and rollback protections for pre-existing conditions and essential health coverage. They’ve forced health premiums to spike by deliberately undermining the Affordable Care Act, made education less affordable, and put the economic security of women and families in jeopardy and the American Dream further out of reach. That’s why we must fight for New Jersey women and families, and stand up against Donald Trump’s dangerous policies.”

Bob Menendez is one of the leading advocates for women equality and rights in the U.S. Congress. He is the chief Senate sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment to enshrine women’s equality in the U.S. Constitution, voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act and Violence Against Women Act, cosponsored the Healthy Families Act to provide for paid sick leave, and successfully fought for a ten-year extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The Senator has long supported a woman’s right to choose, as well as access to reproductive health services, and has a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood. He supported the ACA’s requirement that required contraceptive coverage and maternity services, and has fought Republican efforts to turn back the clock on Roe v. Wade.

“While I have dedicated my entire adult life fighting for the rights of women, my opponent was suing to deny women access to his exclusive, all-boys club at Princeton. While I have stood up to fight Trump’s extreme right-wing Supreme Court nominee who would strip women of their reproductive rights, my opponent praises conservative justices like Neil Gorsuch and calls Brett Kavanaugh highly qualified,” the Senator continued. “Bob Hugin helped put Donald Trump in office and remained silent even after Trump bragged that he sexually assaulted women. New Jersey doesn’t need a Donald Trump yes-man, like Bob Hugin, doing his bidding in the U.S. Senate. New Jersey needs a proven fighter who stands up for our principles and values. The choice this November is clear.”

Among those joining the Senator today and sharing their stories were:

· Beverly Baker Jackson, Esq.; small business owner

· Denise Belcher; owner of local realty company

· Maria C. Bournias, Esq.; tax attorney born with Spina Bifida, she was profiled by the White House Office of Disability Employment Policy and the U.S. Department of Labor to educate employers about the skills people with disabilities can bring to the workplace

· Janet Boyd; mom of two boys, one in college, the other in high school

· Glynis Burke; parent of a child with an opioid addiction and another child with Crohn’s disease

· Chrissy Esola; special needs teacher

· Esther Fletcher; middle school math teacher, first generation American

· Sarah Garcia; former immigration attorney

· Kathleen Gerome; mother of two adopted children from Central/South America

· Leonor Javier; addiction counselor, life coach and single mother

· Vivi (Paraskevi) Kalogeras-Giraldo, owner, Boulevard Diner

· Paula Madison Ryner, President, 100 Black Women’s Inc. Bergen/Passaic Chapter

· Pamela T. Miller, Esq.; President & CEO, Summit Global Strategies, Ltd.

· Anna Noris, Esq.; general practice attorney, mother of a 20-year-old son with Down Syndrome

· Clori Osso; stay at home mom to two teenage girls, who earned her associates degree in art while the kids were young

· Kety Rosario-Jaquez; public health professional, nutrition and obesity prevention for Latinos, certified court interpreter (Spanish to English) and mother of three

· Kathleen Terhune; fourth grade teacher, 39 weeks pregnant

“What’s going to happen with the new judge, if he gets on the Supreme Court? What is going to happen to us, to women,” Leonor Javier said.

“As a woman, as a small business owner, we cannot afford to have your opponent in office, because he is about taking us to a time long gone, and we don’t need that,” said Pam Miller.

“I don’t like that children are being taken away from their families, that green cards are being taken away,” said Kathleen Gerome. “I don’t like that DACA has been taken away or TPS [temporary protective status] from so many who’ve been here for years and paid taxes. It scares me. It scares me. Where are we going?”

I’m concerned everyday if my child will come home at night because of his safety,” said Kety Rosario-Jaquez. “I am concerned about paid sick leave and being able to take care of my child.”

“I feel so overwhelmed. We’re in crisis mode,” Denise Belcher said of the opioid epidemic. “We need to ensure that anyone who’s afflicted can get access to a 30-day treatment facility. I’m concerned about parity for mental and behavioral health.”

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