Vera Cole speaks at Pence Counter-Rally
On Tuesday, August 23 the Trump-Pence ticket held a rally in Upper Bucks County, with Mike Pence speaking. Vera Cole was an invited speaker at counter-rally focusing on consequences for women of the Trump-Pence ticket.
Good afternoon. I am Vera Cole. I’ve lived in Bucks County for 26 years. I am an engineer, educator, and proud grandma. I’m also running for Pennsylvania State House in the 145th district.
I’m 56 years old. When I was in high school, the girl teams weren’t allowed to use the school fields or gym after school.
When I was in college studying mechanical engineering, my professor made a joke to the class, “Teaching math to a woman is like trying to eat soup with a fork.” This kind of thing was common.
I come from humble roots in South Carolina. I had to pay my own way through college. It took me 8 years, but I did it. Most of that time I worked for minimum wage, barely making ends meet and in constant fear of one unexpected medical bill or car repair.
I stand here now with a PhD and as Lead Faculty for the Energy and Sustainability Policy program at Penn State. I tell these stories to remind us that, yes, we’ve come far, even in our lifetimes, but much still remains. And today I am called to speak about a grave new threat: the Pence-Trump ticket and its culture of disdain and disregard for women. A reminder of times that many of us remember and had hoped were long gone.
Like many of you, all my life I have fought this—men in powerful places, well-dressed and well-spoken with all the trappings of decency, but whose words and actions would make my life—and the lives of many other women— harder at every turn. That is what Pence and Trump are and what they will do.
Mike Pence is here today touting a candidate that has said it’s “rare that women are both attractive and have high IQs.” This sounds like a comment I would’ve heard and endured in 1979.
The Pence-Trump ticket thinks that guaranteeing paid family leave would make America less competitive. Trump has said that pregnancy is an “inconvenience” for employers.
Pence opposed minimum wage increases in Indiana. Trump has said that he would not act to raise the minimum wage and complained that wages are too high in America. Two-thirds of minimum wage workers in Pennsylvania are women. They deserve a living wage.
We know that women’s issues are economic issues. And while women's health is already not as secure as it should be, Trump and Pence would make it that much worse.
Mike Pence is infamous for trying to cut back on women's rights to make their own health care decisions.
Here to speak more to that is Karen Ritter from NARAL Pro-Choice America.