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State of the Union: Don't Lose the Family Amidst the Headlines

January 27, 2010
In listening to the political commentators prepare for the State of the Union Address tonight, most of them are telling the President that he must reframe the discussion, have courage, and focus on jobs, jobs, jobs. I think that the President is doing something quite courageous that SADLY may be missed in the media dissection of, and public debate about the speech. If the messages being disseminated from the White House and from the Vice President's Task Force on Middle Income Families in the past days are true, the President will not only be focusing on jobs, but he will be focusing on what...

Hungry children can't wait!

January 9, 2010
'I ask why they don't have any energy, and they say they haven't had enough to eat,' Jackson said. 'Then I talk to their mothers and they tell me there's no food in the house. It breaks my heart every day,' says program director Rita Jackson." Washington Post 1 in 4 children in our nation are on the brink of hunger ; and we need to fight together to get them help right away. Passing the Access to Nutritious Meals for Young Children Act would be a big step forward for hungry kids by helping programs like Jackson's ensure that millions more children across our country have access to healthy...
Sarah Francis's picture

Olympia, WA day one

December 3, 2009
To start, I am a 25 year old mommy of three, all under the age of 6!! As most parents do I think my little ones are amazing and I wanted to be as active as I could in their educations and lives. I got started in Head Start a year ago and with my oldest son and quickly got involved in the Policy Council. From there I learned of the Parent Ambassador program through Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP, and applied for it. Since then I have been on the move and trying to stay as involved in the policies that affect my children and family as well as all other families and...

A Staggering Statistic

November 24, 2009
As a new mom, I quickly learned what a cry of hunger sounds like. I was amazed by how quickly that cry drove me to action -- no mom can ignore that sound. Unfortunately, in today's economy, more and more families don't have the resources to answer those cries. In fact, a recent USDA study found that 1 in 4 children in the U.S. are on the brink of hunger. Tell your Senator to support the Access to Nutritious Meals for Young Children Act today! http://action.momsrising.org/cms/letter/action_957/ Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a study on hunger in America. The study...
Sarah Francis's picture

Making Our Children Healthier By Expanding Their Access To Nutritious Food

November 24, 2009
Too often lost in the debate over health care reform is the importance of preventive measures such as exercise and healthy eating to ensure that a doctor's visit is less likely to be needed in the first place. This is especially true for children whose early brain development and future health depend on good nutrition in the first years of life, which is why I introduced The Access To Nutritious Meals For Young Children Act. This bill will strengthen the Child And Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), a program funded by the Child Nutrition Act, which provides meals to children enrolled in Head...
Kirsten Gillibrand's picture

Most dramatic mad dash EVER!

November 18, 2009
Almost every parent has a story about trying to find childcare or the mad dash to pick your child up on time. But this one really takes the cake: Sgt. Kimberly D. Munley, mother of two, and a first responder at the scene of the shooting at Fort Hood last week, was shot three times while trying to stop the carnage. She later reported in an interview on the "Today Show" that her first thought as she was lying on the ground was to reach for her cell phone to find someone to pick up her daughter from childcare. Fortunately, for most of us, our childcare worries are not this dramatic, but we all...
Sarah Francis's picture

Motherhood's Enlightment

November 10, 2009
As a mother, I have felt the burden and struggle of raising a family, pursuing a career and making ends meet for a very long time. I am not alone. As a nation we must step down off our “family values” soapbox; listen to mothers; and get real about creating and enforcing sustainable and effective policies that support the importance of the family unit. Then and only then will true enlightenment be attained.

Paycheck Jobs, Paycheck Feminism

October 30, 2009
I’ve been on a one-woman campaign to resurrect the phrase, paycheck job , used by Betty Friedan in The Feminine Mystique forty years ago. Friedan was referring, of course, to jobs outside the home for which people receive money. She recognized that the unpaid job of caring for children and home was also “work”—as do most people today. But by placing the adjective “paycheck” in front of “job,” she implicitly elevated the status of stay-at-home mothers’ (and fathers’) equally important job. Words have power. Now Karen Kornbluh and Rachel Homer write in Ms. Magazine that we need “Paycheck...
Nanette Fondas's picture

Follow Valerie Jarrett's Lead this Halloween

October 30, 2009
Why is it so hard to tell our bosses we have to leave for family reasons? What if all the dads where we worked did it more often? Leaders like Valerie Jarrett show that being committed to your kids and your job are not mutually exclusive -- and employers win when they recognize that. Maria Shriver's report A Women's Nation offers fresh ideas for opening up more common-sense conversation - like adopting UK "right to request" rules that allow parents to get some control over their hours and still produce great results for their employers.
Sharon Meers's picture

What Should Companies Do to Retain New Moms?

October 30, 2009
I was at the Working Mother Work Life Congress this week, which showcases the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers and also provides workshops and discussions for people who work in the field unfortunately called “work life.” Companies were asking: What should we do to retain new moms, and to keep them engaged and energized? I’m throwing it out there to you, because the numbers speak to a huge need to keep us. Sharon Klun from Accenture noted that the touch point for women is three for five months after they return from maternity leave. That’s when women are often in crisis, thinking, maybe...

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