For the first time, Fathers & Families has ignited a spirited debate in the Massachusetts Democratic Party over shared parenting.
Our members attended about 25 Democratic Party platform hearings to advocate for shared parenting. We flooded the Democratic Party Platform website, eventually accounting for 40% of all platform suggestions submitted to the website. I wrote a personal letter to all 64 members of the platform committee making the case for shared parenting.
This tremendous effort was coordinated by Peter Hill and Cheryl Quiambao, who made innumerable phone calls to our members, and personally attended some of the platform hearings. To learn more, click here.
Unfortunately, the Democratic Party declined to accept a shared parenting plank, explaining that they were simplifying their platform to broad principles rather than specific issues. For example, for the first time in years, they removed single-payor health care from the party platform.
At this point, Rinaldo Del Gallo from Pittsfield went into high gear. He assembled seven volunteers. They arrived at the Democratic Party Convention in Springfield Friday night, June 5. They gathered hundreds of signatures so that a shared parenting amendment was put on the agenda on the floor of the Convention.
Shared parenting then became a 40 minute debate on the floor of the Convention, before 3,000 politically active Democrats. Rinaldo and others made eloquent arguments in favor of shared parenting. Of course, a few opponents made the usual bogus arguments against shared parenting.
In the end, the matter was subjected to a vote, and shared parenting went down, but only by a 60 to 40 margin. This is a terrific result for a first-time amendment–a concept that was totally new to many of the delegates.
Since the Convention, there has been a continuing, brisk debate about shared parenting on Democratic Party e-lists.
This effort is just another step, just another building block. We will get shared parenting.
Together with you in the love of our children,
Ned Holstein, M.D., M.S.
Founder and Chair of the Board