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Valuing America's working families: A Blog Carnival on Powering the Engine of America's Economic Growth

April 7, 2014
Our country's greatness was built on valuing America's working families. At MomsRising and Progressive States Network, we believe that in America, more families should be joining a thriving middle class than falling out of it -- powering the engine of America's economic growth and national prosperity in the process. But our workplace standards are woefully out of date, and women and their families bear the brunt of it. Women's wages in the U.S. are stuck at 77 cents to a man's dollar for full-time year round work, with mothers and women of color experiencing a gap that's larger still. The U.S...

Nebraska: Equal Pay for Women Reduces Poverty

April 7, 2014
Women have made great strides in my lifetime. We have moved from a world where women were considered suitable as secretaries to one where women are suitable to be Secretaries of State. However, women are still earning only 77 cents on the male dollar in the workforce. Over the course of a lifetime, 77 cents for every dollar equates to more than one million dollars in reduced earnings. In January of this year, I introduced LB 1085 In Nebraska to address the equal pay issue. I took this action in order to reduce the impact of wage discrimination on children living in poverty. We live in a world...

A Progressive Voice in Annapolis, Maryland

April 7, 2014
During my eight years representing Maryland’s District 20 in the General Assembly, my priorities have always been protecting women, children, working families and our environment. During this Week of Action, I’ll be doing everything I can to enact legislation to further these priorities and improve the lives of many Marylanders. Some proposals before the House of Delegates don’t go far enough, but I’ve learned as a legislator that sometimes the race to the finish is a marathon and not a sprint! Maryland is poised to raise the minimum wage. Not enough, and we didn’t get the wage tied to the...
Tom Hucker's picture

How Paid Family Leave is Benefitting Rhode Island Families

April 7, 2014
Every one of us knows that all too familiar push-pull between work and family responsibilities, but when an emergency arises, that push-pull can tear us apart. Working families in Rhode Island now can rest a little easier knowing that if they have a seriously ill family member or choose to welcome a new child into their home, they will not lose their job, their home, or their economic security. In 2013, my bill to provide our families with paid time off from work to care for a loved one or bond with a child became law. Rhode Island is now the third state to provide paid family and medical...
Gayle Goldin's picture

#EqualPayPA: Equal Pay in Pennsylvania

April 7, 2014
I understand the barriers women face to achieve success in male dominated professions. As one of too few women serving in the General Assembly in Pennsylvania, and the only women representing the Greater Pittsburgh area in the State House, I understand the pressure and the high expectations we put on ourselves to do well and succeed. This is absolutely one of the reasons so many of the women I know are of the most driven and dedicated professionals in their field. Women are increasingly becoming the primary breadwinners in households, and graduating with higher degrees at a greater rate than...

Living Our Values: A Proposal for Paid Parental Leave in North Dakota

April 7, 2014
As a member of the North Dakota Senate, it is my job to make sure that our laws reflect the values of the people in our great state. One thing I know for sure is that we value families. Yet I am distressed that this fundamental value is often not reflected in the way our state does business. For example, we know that it is critical that newborn babies have the opportunity to bond with their parents. Yet we have done little to ensure that parents who want to take parental leave are able to. Too many families cannot afford to take unpaid leave, especially when they have a newborn child at home...

North Carolina: Raising the Minimum Wage is a Women’s Issue

April 7, 2014
In North Carolina the minimum wage isn’t enough to support an individual, let alone a family. Our minimum wage has remained stagnant at $7.25/hour for years, which is completely unacceptable when the majority of minimum wage earners are women, many of whom are supporting children during these increasingly expensive times. As the daughter of elderly parents, I can relate, but still only in a small way to what single mothers with small children and aging parents have on their plates. As the Shriver Report described it, women are brushing the hair of their children with one hand while...

Michigan Families Need a Raise

April 7, 2014
Michigan needs to raise the minimum wage. Not just because it's the right thing to do for the minimum wage workers in this state. It is important for everyone in the states and is the single most important thing that could be done to help our state recover from the worst economic recession in a decade. People don't have money to spend on the basics like groceries and gas. This sets off a ripple effect, causing harm to many people, businesses and industries beyond low wage earners themselves. When someone can't afford to buy groceries, they definitely aren't going to be going out to eat,...
Rashida Tlaib's picture

Massachusetts Should Be Leading the Way on Earned Paid Sick Time

April 7, 2014
Guaranteeing earned paid sick time for the people of Massachusetts is a priority that I've long fought for as a representative in the state legislature. As a mom with a background in nursing and interest in public health policy, it is also an issue that resonates with me personally. These are the key reasons why earned paid sick time is a primary focus of mine, particularly during the National Week of Action , when state legislators across the country are promoting a shared agenda designed to secure real prosperity for all Americans. What does real prosperity look like in Massachusetts? I am...

Georgia: Public Education is Critical to Economic Security for Families

April 7, 2014
Americans have long seen education as a path to economic prosperity. As a Georgia State Senator and Leadership Chair of Progressive States Action’s Public Education Working Group, I work with fellow state legislators, families, educators, and advocates to battle education budget cuts year after year. The need to restore the draconian cuts to Georgia’s public education funding is the focus for us during the National Week of Action for Real Prosperity. Real prosperity across America starts with making real investments in our students. Remarkably, a small group of Georgia leaders are making...