Marty Walsh and the Women’s Vote

I see from a recent Suffolk/Herald poll on the Boston mayoral race that John Connolly is leading Marty Walsh among women voters by 43 percent to 29 percent.

It’s possible that this current gender disparity is the result of an erroneous impression that Marty Walsh’s sole concern as a State Representative has been the care and feeding of organized labor — in other words, that Marty Walsh is a just a parochial “union guy,” and a “guy” besides.

So, as somebody who follows the State Legislature pretty closely (but is not a resident of Boston and has not worked for or donated money to any of the candidates), I offer a couple examples of his advocacy on behalf of other causes, including causes of interest to women.

He’s the lead sponsor of a bill to help curb the multi-billion dollar trade in illegally extracted minerals from the Congo. These valuable minerals are essential to the manufacture of cell phones, digital cameras and other electronics products, and the armed conflict over their extraction has led to war and brutality, particularly against women and children. The bill would prohibit the state from contracting with companies that have not complied with requirements in the federal Dodd-Frank Act that they disclose the supply chains through which they have obtained these minerals.

He’s also the lead House sponsor of a bill to provide parental leave to both parents of a family that has given birth or has adopted a child, a long-overdue correction to the present law, the Massachusetts Maternity Leave Act, which, one certainly hopes, will soon be receiving a new name.

Just a couple things to mull over between now and November 5.

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