Gayle Goldin was first elected in 2012 to the Rhode Island Senate. After nearly a decade of advocacy for paid leave, Gayle saw her goal become reality when she successfully led the passage of Rhode Island’s Temporary Caregiver Insurance law. Rhode Island became the third state to pass paid leave, and the first to ensure that employees have a right to return to work after they take time to care for their loved ones.
During her legislative career, Gayle served as the primary sponsor of over 40 bills that became law and championed many others. As a steadfast advocate for reproductive rights, she led the fight in the Senate to codify Roe v. Wade into Rhode Island law, made sure pregnant youth can consent to their own medical care, and sought to decrease racial disparities in maternal mortality. She increased access to child care assistance, fought to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, and raise the tipped minimum wage. She strongly advocated for youth in foster care and made sure anyone who is adopted will have access to their original birth certificates. She protected student journalists’ free speech. She pushed for voting reforms, leading the effort to create online and automatic voter registration. For years, Gayle introduced gun safety legislation, including the proposed ban on high-capacity magazines that is supported by a majority of senators but has yet to reach the Senate floor.
In April 2013, Gayle introduced a resolution marking “Equal Pay Day” in an effort to raise awareness of the gender and racial wage gap. She introduced legislation throughout her career to address the gap, and in 2021, the Generally Assembly finally passed the Fair Pay Act into law.
Over the course of her legislative career, Gayle received several awards and authored opinion pieces on gender equity, paid leave, gun safety, reproductive rights, and what it means to be a woman who holds elected office. She also co-authored a guide to the Rhode Island State House for new activists.
In her professional career, Gayle served as Campaign Advisor to Family Values@Work, where she helped state coalitions around the country pass paid leave laws while advocating for a national paid family and medical leave. Previously, she was the Strategic Initiatives Officer at Women's Fund of Rhode Island, where she developed a gender equity policy platform, ran the Women’s Policy Institute, and oversaw grant making. She has also been a consultant in the nonprofit sector, assisting with strategic advocacy efforts, policy analysis, and qualitative research. After graduate school at Tufts, Gayle moved to Rhode Island to work at a national organization focused on increasing access to health care for the uninsured.