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Why We Fought So Hard For Connecticut's Higher Minimum Wage

April 7, 2014
I am proud that my home state of Connecticut made history last month when we enacted the highest state minimum wage in the country: $10.10 per hour. As $10.10 per hour is also the federal minimum wage proposed by the President and Democratic leaders in Congress, Connecticut is essentially leading the way as national momentum builds. In part to demonstrate why we fought so hard for this wage raise for the people of Connecticut, I began my own Minimum Wage Grocery Challenge on the eve of the final vote in the state legislature. With the National Week of Action set to begin in the coming days,...

Arizona: Making the choice to support low-wage workers, but we need to do more

April 7, 2014
As an Arizona state legislator, mother, and social worker, I see firsthand the barriers women face to success in my state and around the country. For decades I have worked with women who are marginalized by society and have few opportunities to get back on their feet. Victims of domestic violence sometimes lack job skills and experience because their abusive partners kept them from working and gaining independence. Women leaving abusive situations often have to rely on minimum wage jobs that don’t offer the benefits necessary to support individuals or families. For a female victim, pay equity...

Gross Domestic Product - What if you got paid to raise your children?

April 4, 2014
The idea to write a play about motherhood came to me when I was writing my last play, Flipside and nursing my second child. Actually, it had been gestating since the day I was nursing my first child and complaining to my HartBeat Co-Artistic Director Greg Tate that the intersecting struggles of child care, career and being broke were making motherhood feel impossible. To this my wise friend said, "Well that's what's behind the movement for counting childrearing as part of the Gross Domestic Product. Think about how much easier this would all be if raising children was valued for what it is -...

Comparing Competing Visions on the 2015 Federal Budget

April 3, 2014
On Tuesday we at the National Priorities Project released our fourth annual, one-of a kind Competing Visions analysis , which compares the president’s fiscal year 2015 budget proposal to two significantly different visions – the House Republican budget resolution, introduced by Rep. Paul Ryan, and an alternative introduced by the House Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC). Our analysis highlights the top issues that matter most to Americans and, using opinion polls, shows how each proposal stacks up against what Americans want. It’s clear that some lawmakers’ visions are out of step with...

We've Got a Math Problem -- but Help May Be on the Way!

April 3, 2014
I remember sitting down with my mom doing my math homework almost every night. One night I was tasked with creating a budget for a family of four -- I remember my mom being elated that I was learning the importance of budgeting from such a young age. I’ll admit at first the purpose was a little lost on me. But as we plugged in the income, and subtracted monthly costs like food, rent, the basics, the added cost of child care was a nut the two of us couldn’t crack alone. Now more than ever do we need to address major policy issues that have been damaging to women and families for far too long...
Lauren Hipp's picture

Oregonians: Let's End General Electric's $3 Billion Tax Refund

April 2, 2014
General Electric got $3 billion in U.S. income tax refunds between 2008 and 2012. You read that right: They paid LESS THAN ZERO in taxes. You probably paid more than they did! We have a chance right now to close two of the biggest tax loopholes that let them do it -- but we have to act really fast. Tell Sen. Ron Wyden to close GE's loopholes and make them pay their fair share of taxes. These two loopholes reward big corporations like GE for shifting profits to offshore tax havens, where the U.S. can't tax them. Sen. Wyden (D-OR) chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which will vote...

Think you can't afford health insurance? Think again!

March 28, 2014
Most people shopping for health insurance through the Obamacare Marketplace will be eligible for financial assistance—called the Premium Tax Credit —to help them cover the cost of insurance. We’re talking real help—the average amount of financial assistance per family is estimated to be $5,290. Time is running out to sign up this year— the deadline to get started is next Monday, March 31 ! Read on to get answers to some commonly asked questions about the Premium Tax Credit—and then dash on over to or call (800) 318-2596 and get started on your application today! Am I eligible?...
Susanna Birdsong's picture

Scrambling for Stability: The Challenges of Job Schedule Volatility and Child Care

March 27, 2014
For Karen, a part-time package delivery person and mom to a one-year-old, making child care arrangements is a weekly exercise in scrambling. That’s because Karen receives notice of her schedule only one week in advance, and her shifts fluctuate. The volatility of her schedule makes everything harder. Karen struggles to find friends and family to care for her baby on short notice. And when she can’t work the magic necessary to arrange child care on the fly, she is disciplined at work for being late or missing a day. Karen’s story, recounted in a 2011 report from the Institute for Workplace...
Liz Ben-Ishai's picture

Meeting the First Man

March 27, 2014
This post first appeared on Prologue During the last inauguration ceremony, we watched on TV and I pointed people out to the frog princess as the day went on. When Michelle Obama came on the screen, I told her that was President Obama's wife, the first lady. Without hesitation, the then 3-year old frog princess turned to me and announced: Mami, he's the first man! Last week I had a once in a lifetime opportunity. I got a chance to meet the first man of the United States. If you're thinking: OHMAIGAAH! Then we are on the same page. It seemed that POTUS was having a round table...
Sili Recio's picture

Tell Congress: Raise up women!

March 27, 2014
Confession: There’s been a lot of lip service given lately to the need for fair pay for women, but I’m not interested in lip service: I want action. Here’s a little context: Women represent nearly two-thirds of minimum wage workers . Nearly four in ten female minimum wage workers are women of color. And the federal minimum wage is currently stuck at only $7.25/hour. Women are well overdue for a raise so they can support their families and, importantly, therefore support their local community and economy. * I’ve had enough! I’m writing my elected leaders, will you join me? Write your members...
Elyssa Koidin's picture