Equal pay activist Lilly Ledbetter endorses State Rep. Adline Clarke

Lilly Ledbetter, Adline Clarke

Alabama State Rep. Adline Clarke has won the endorsement of the woman​ who became the face of the women’s equal pay movement​ in Congress.

Lilly Ledbetter, the Alabama-native and namesake of former President Barack Obama‘s first piece of legislation signed into law back in 2009, endorsed the Alabama House of Representatives District 97 representative on Tuesday ahead of the upcoming election.

“Adline is leading the fight for women and our families in Montgomery,” Ledbetter said of her endorsement. “She has a proven record on the issues that most impact our families and future and I am proud to support her.”

Clarke said she’s honored to have Ledbetter’s support

“I am so incredibly honored to have the support of Lilly Ledbetter,” said Clarke. “Her work on behalf of women and all citizens has had a tremendous impact on me and so many others. I look forward to working with her again during the next session to finally pass a long overdue Equal Pay bill here in Alabama.”

Clarke’s fight for pay equality

In the State House, Clarke has led the fight for Equal Pay legislation and has been an important voice on issues including ensuring Alabamians have access to well paying jobs, well-funded schools and quality affordable healthcare.

In March, she introduced HB368. The bill would prohibit employers from paying their employees less than the wage they would pay a member of the opposite sex for a similar job or responsibilities when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, as specified.

Alabama is one of only two states, along with Mississippi, without an equal pay law. “Nearly every state has a law prohibiting employers differently based solely on gender. I’m disappointed. I would have thought we would have passed a long long before now,” Clarke told AL.com in March.“Timing is everything.”

Ultimately, Clarke’s bill, which mirrored federal law but tasked the Alabama Department of Labor with enforcement, failed.

“Clarke is definitely planning to introduce it again and given the bipartisan coalition in support which she built last session (27 sponsors and cosponsors men and women, Democrats and Republicans),” said Marion Steinfels on behalf of Rep. Clarke. “She feels confident we will finally pass it here.”

Clarke faces Republican candidate Stephen McNair on Nov. 6.