On Tuesday Representative Jimmy Gomez (D-CA) went viral for tweeting pictures of himself changing his son’s diaper multiple times on the Democratic cloak room floor. This isn’t the first time a member of the U.S. Congress has garnered media attention for bringing a baby to Capital Hill. Notably in 2018, Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth became the first senator to give birth while in office and brought her daughter to work, even nursing her on the senate floor.
The story this past week with Rep. Gomez has certainly made a splash across headlines though, by featuring a father taking the reins of childcare duties while working, versus what you may typically see across broad strokes media, which is the mother. Seeing the poor accommodations for basic child care necessities in such a prominent building, and sadly the all too common example of using the floor as a changing table, especially caught the attention of team Pluie.
Did you know that Federal legislation (BABIES Act) requires changing tables in public federal buildings, but it is left up to states and municipalities to make other public buildings safe and accommodating to caregivers. Currently, less than 10 states require changing tables to be available in public buildings. Even with the BABIES Act in place, we’ve found that many federal buildings do not comply with this policy, and would guts are telling us that Rep. Gomez’s experience in the Capitol Hill buildings is no exception.
Here at Pluie we believe that families come in all shapes and sizes and we celebrate those on-the-go with their little ones, especially while jogging the day-to-day responsibilities of adulthood, in addition to working. It’s also important to us to amplify parents’ voices to bring diaper changing tables to more federal buildings, including airports, libraries, DMVs, and as of last week, Capitol Hill.
Rep. Gomez says he was baby-wearing because he’s a proud dad, not for clout, …(and that) it serves to normalize the realities of life for working parents, as well as the fact that dads can and should be equal partners. He adds, “I was doing it because I wanted to have Hodge there and I wanted to show him off,” he adds. “He’s my son and I’m proud of him. Hopefully, I won’t be the last member to babywear on the floor or to babywear and vote.”