YW Boston promotes new policy priorities at MCSW Advocacy Day


On May 21, 2019, YW Boston staff and volunteers joined advocates from across the state for the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW)‘s 8th annual Women’s Advocacy Day. Each year YW Boston joins the commission as an opportunity to speak with legislators about our current policy priorities. 

Many of the staff and volunteers present at the Advocacy Day attended YW Boston’s Advocacy 101 training on May 8th. Jill Ashton, MCSW Director, joined us for a fourth year to provide the training, covering the process of a bill becoming law, how to advocate effectively, and utilizing local resources such as coalitions and the State House’s website. She also went over the MCSW’s priority legislation for 2019. Stay tuned for a webinar of Jill Ashton’s presentation.

During Advocacy Day, YW Boston staff and volunteers advocated for the organization’s new state-level priority legislation. YW Boston is currently prioritizing the following issue areas: improved policies and public awareness on the disparity of quality, affordable childcare in Boston and Massachusetts; improved policies and public awareness on the over-criminalization of young women and girls of color in Boston and Massachusetts; and achieving diversity on Massachusetts public boards. At Advocacy Day, the organization specifically focus on:

  • An Act to Ensure Gender Parity on Public Boards and Commissions H.2711 / S.1878
    Lead Sponsors:
     Representative Haddad and Senator Lewis
    Coalition: YWCA Boston
    It is imperative that boards and commissions reflect the diverse populations of the state. The legislation aims to make it a necessity that Boston’s public boards and commission not only focus on diversity through gender and race, but include individuals from: different backgrounds, abilities, and interests. This legislation will alter the balance of power. Currently, women comprise 22% of board/commissioner CEO roles, however, women of color occupy about 2% of these positions and men of color occupy 5%. The legislation would be in place after January 1, 2022. 
  • An Act Supporting Parents Running for Public Office S.408 /H.639 
    Lead sponsors: Representatives Connolly, Meschino, and Senator Jehlen
    Coalition: MA Commission on the Status of Women
    With the limited amount of opportunities that come with raising a family and running for public office, this act will enable working parents who are candidates to use campaign funds to cover childcare costs. Candidates are allowed to do so only when childcare hinders the ability to “perform work or attending events directly related to the candidates campaign.” 
Interested in these bills? Here’s how you can get involved:

To support An Act Supporting Parents Running for Public Office S.408/H.639, contact Dan Smith in Senator Jehlen’s office at Daniel.smith@masenate.gov, Chris Addis in Representative Connolly’s office at Christopher.addis@mahouse.gov, or Ryan Heffernan in Representative Meschino at ryan.heffernan@mahouse.gov.

YW Boston, in partnership with the Eos Foundation, is currently building the Parity on Board coalition to support An Act to Ensure Gender Parity on Public Boards and Commissions H.2711 / S.1878Learn more about this effort by checking out our fact sheet, signing up for updates at www.parityonboard.org, or emailing Stephanie Lajoie-Lubin at slajoie-lubin@ywboston.org.


Thank you to the volunteers who joined us for Advocacy Day, and thank you to the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women for organizing this important yearly event!


About YW Boston

As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 150 years. Through our three programs—Dialogues, LeadBoston, and InIt—as well as our advocacy work, we help individuals and organizations create more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed.

Advocacy at YW Boston

One way we work to achieve our mission of racial, gender, and social equity is through advocacy. Our advocacy work is planned and executed by a dedicated Advocacy Committee. The committee is made up of YW Boston staff and volunteers who are deeply committed to our mission. Learn more.