Family-friendly programs and policies are the foundation of Delaware’s future. As the parent of an 11-month old, I understand this very personally.
Whether it’s access to parks and activities for children, support for people who are hoping to or have started a family, or ensuring safety in our schools and communities, there are many steps Delaware officials can take so that Delaware is hands-down the best place for families and children and so that we attract the young talent that will help promote sustained economic prosperity.
How Parents Can Advocate
The short answer here is quick phone calls or emails can make an entire world of difference.
The longer answer is this: When thinking “What can I do?”, for many people the first answer that comes to mind is “voting.” Although voting is so critical, so too is the day-to-day or week-to-week impact parents can have by contacting their elected officials to express support (or opposition) for things happening in the halls of government.
Family-friendly policies are much more likely to receive attention and funding if parents make their voices heard in the political process.
Four quick examples currently before the General Assembly in Dover:
Senate Bill 139 would mandate fertility care and preservation coverage for many insurance plans in Delaware.
House Bill 3 would require that all full-time employees of the State shall be eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave upon the birth or adoption of a child 6 years of age or younger.
Senate Bill 163 would block the sale, transfer, or import of about 60 specific makes and models of “assault” style firearms, as well as “copycat” weapons that have certain similar characteristics
Senate Bill 199 would direct a higher percentage of health care spending towards primary care.
A Two-Way Street is Needed
As we approach the June 30th end of legislative session in 2018, now is the time: let my colleagues and me know how you feel and why you support or oppose a piece of legislation. After all, we are supposed to represent YOU. Nearly every legislator may send out an e-newsletter or even an update in hard copy every now and then, but that’s only a one-way street – from us to you. The other direction matters, too; we need to hear from you. Not just on the above legislation, but on all issues that matter to you, be they health, education, jobs, roads, etc.
Register to Vote and/or Change your Party
Not registered to vote yet? No problem. (If you aren’t sure if you are registered to vote, check at this link.
You can register on the website of the Delaware Department of Elections or call (302) 739-4277 and ask for the voter registration form. The deadline for new voters to register to vote is August 11. The 2018 primary election in Delaware is Sept. 6, and the general election is Nov. 6.
Let Your Legislators Know What Matters To You
If you have an opinion about legislation - for or against it – please, let me (if I am your State Senator) know - or let my colleagues know.
To reach your state legislators in Dover at Legislative Hall, click here.
On the right side of the page is a ‘Who Is My Legislator’ box. Type in your entire address including city and zip code and click on “Find My Legislator.”
The names of your State Senator and Representative will appear, along with their contact information.
No matter what your position is on any piece of legislation, I do have one request, and I believe I can speak for all of my colleagues on this one. Be respectful. Be courteous. Be fair. We are all entitled to our opinions -- that’s the beauty of living in America – but we should never disregard common courtesy.
Thank you for the privilege of serving you and Delaware.