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Gillibrand's five proposals for the economy all focus on women

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) has five proposals she believes will boost the economy, all centered around women, which she says are the key to a growing economy.

At Syracuse University’s Maxwell School last week, Gillibrand outlined her American Opportunity Agenda, saying that the things that can help women succeed, and therefore the economy, begin with increasing the minimum wage.

"Because we have too many workers, 34 million workers who are living in poverty, working full time, and I think that’s truly antithetical to our core value as Americans," she said, "and it’s antithetical to the American dream."

Gillibrand supports the federal proposal to raise the wage to $10 an hour. And with more dual income households, and 40 percent of women with children at home serving as sole breadwinners, the rest of her proposals attack issues specifically dealing with making it easier for women to keep their jobs and get ahead. That includes paid family leave, quality affordable daycare for all, universal pre-K and equal pay for equal work.

"If you’re a single mom with two kids, working 40 hours a week, you’re telling that single mom, 'we want you to work full-time, but we want you to still be in poverty.' That doesn’t make sense," she said.

Gillibrand says if more women were in government, she wouldn’t have to work so hard for these issues now.

"If we had 51 percent women in congress, I can guarantee you things like paid leave, raising the minimum wage, affordable day care, would have been taken care of long ago," she said.

Ellen produces news reports and features related to events that occur in the greater Syracuse area and throughout Onondaga County. Her reports are heard regularly in regional updates in Morning Edition and All Things Considered.