Women’s Issues


There is no denying the complexity of the challenges women face. Confronting these conflicts is an incredibly important objective for Larry Sharpe and his administration. Our policy initiatives seek to empower women to have as many options as possible to make often difficult decisions easier, including those involving their careers, children, and families.


Shining a Light on Sexual Harassment

The current administration in Albany has struggled with sexual harassment allegations. The culture in the capital has authorized and emboldened many officials, including Vito Lopez, Eric Schneiderman, and Governor Cuomo, to disrespect the autonomy of women. Such conduct highlights reality: the fact that they do not sincerely view women as their equals. Instead of treating women as personal and intellectual equals, they are objectified and devalued.

Governor Cuomo’s contribution to a hostile working environment for women was apparent during the WCBS Gubernatorial debate in late October. While addressing the female moderator, not only did he blatantly disrespect the authority of her role, but he also went so far as to make the claim he couldn’t sing “Empire State of Mind” for her, “unless [she came] to the shower with [him]”. The fact that he failed to stop himself from making such an inappropriate remark shows his abject lack of credibility as an advocate for women’s rights in this state.

Women in the workplace should be able to pursue their careers without fear of harassment. Larry supports the recommendations made by the Sexual Harassment Working Group with minor changes implemented to ensure due process for the accused. Fostering a culture that encourages any woman or man to speak out without fear of reprisal is very important to Larry. Unfortunately, sometimes Zero-tolerance policies have the opposite effect than they were intended for. Such policies may discourage first-step discussions that could resolve many issues without further escalation.


Investigation of Sexual Harassment Claims

There will be avenues for reporting that enable and encourage immediate investigation, and disclosure of whether the incident is “indicated”, or one that turns up potential evidence, as opposed to non-indicated which is unsubstantiated. This is similar to current monitoring and reporting methods in child abuse claims. If there is an indicated report, then steps must quickly be taken to protect the victim. If numerous non-indicated reports have been filed, it is a sign that a more thorough investigation is required.

Every victim of sexual harassment should be have the chance to be heard, and in the manner in which that person feels the most comfortable. Special attention must be given to the resolution process on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, intervention and/or mediation may be all that’s required if an adequate argument shows that someone unintentionally made someone else uncomfortable. It is important to ensure people have an opportunity to learn from their mistakes without automatically losing their careers or facing public humiliation on the basis of a misunderstanding. Communication is critical, and sometimes these situations can be remedied by simply talking things over. People who are shown to habitually and / or intentionally commit harassment will have to answer for their misdeeds.

Childcare Concerns

One of the most difficult obstacles for parents, especially single mothers, is navigating how their children are cared for while accommodating their work schedule. In addition to the cost of care being incredibly high, there is great concern regarding the availability of quality care. We will facilitate the creation of child gardens which are non-profit organizations that provide childcare. In this scenario, the non-profit will not be bound by nearly as many expensive requirements and regulations that current traditional childcare facilities are bound by. Of course, traditional childcare options will still be available for those who prefer it.

This arrangement works especially well for lower-income families and / or those in which parent(s) only work part time or have a non-typical schedule. On an off day, the parent could volunteer to help watch the other parents’ children at the child garden and while being able to bring their own kids along. This allows parents to spend time with their own children while also helping meet the care needs of other parents in their communities.

These low cost, and, in many cases, free child gardens will make going to work more affordable for women and offer them greater flexibility in pursuing the career they have chosen. Long career pauses that have often hindered career prospects in the long-run will no longer be necessary. Additionally, women will have the freedom to return to work when they are ready.


Women’s Bodily Autonomy

While Larry is personally against abortion, he recognizes such a judgment is not the responsibility of the state or its leadership. Instead, he will ensure that alternatives to abortion are more readily available by guaranteeing easy and affordable access to birth control. Women will no longer have to go to a doctor to get birth control. It will be available over-the-counter. If women want insurance to cover the medicine, they will be able to receive a prescription from any pharmacist, following a brief evaluation.

The barriers to gaining access to birth control, including making an appointment and the costs that may be associated with the appointment, will be eliminated. Under this plan, the women of New York will have increased control over their reproductive health and greater flexibility in family planning.

Larry will also ensure that other conception-related options, like adoption and surrogacy, are more accessible and affordable for the women and families who wish to utilize them. Additionally, critical education and information regarding those options will be readily available. With Larry as governor of NY, there will be fewer abortions as a result of the increased focus on non-abortion options. Most importantly, there will be zero involvement on the part of the government in making such decisions.