Boston, MA-Fathers & Families has made major progress towards passage of shared parenting legislation in Massachusetts, and these gains can be exported to other states.
Here are our major accomplishments:
- We demonstrated that ordinary people overwhelmingly support shared parenting as the usual outcome for fit parents. We did this by winning 86% of the votes cast by 600,000 Massachusetts voters on this subject.
- We persuaded over one-quarter of the Massachusetts Legislature to co-sponsor our shared parenting bills, including powerful committee chairmen.
- Our Governor has established a website ( www.devalpatrick.com/issues.php ) on which citizens can record the issues that concern them. Of over 500 issues on the website, we made shared parenting the number one vote-getter, even outstripping votes for or against same-sex marriage.
- After we met with Governor Patrick”s top aides, he stated publicly that he supported shared parenting, and told legislators that if they passed it, he would sign it.
- We brought the research supporting shared parenting to the legislators to be sure they were aware of it. We even had one of the researchers present her findings right in the state capitol building.
- Recently, we met with the editorial writers of the Boston Globe. A few days later, they became the first major newspaper in the country to endorse the principle of shared parenting. For instance, they wrote, “Children should have both parents in their lives sharing daily tasks such as homework and household chores as well as big events.’
It is still unlikely that our bills will pass in the current session of the Legislature. Nevertheless, we will be back in the next session, and one after that, and the one after that, until we win.
I want to hear your suggestions about novel tactics that might put us over the top, so post your comments.