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A live and exciting dispatch straight from the MomsRising screening of “The MotherHood Manifesto” in Washington, DC! Emily McKhann, my blog and business partner is on Capitol Hill in Washington DC at the MomsRising showing of The Motherhood Manifesto documentary hosted by Senators Clinton, Obama, Dodd and Kennedy. Right this minute Emily is sending me text messages to my cell phone from her Treo. I will enter them to the blog as they come in, so this is chronological order:
Kiki went to Harrisburg today with what she called her “army,” the 123 pages of signatures and good wishes from 5,243 members of MomsRising that she held in her hands. Starting with the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives, Kiki visited Rep. O’Brien’s office, the chair of the House Judiciary committee, which is holding up HB 352. From Kiki: My first stop was to Rep. O’Brien’s office where I met with his secretary Christine Crone. I introduced myself and gave her the “packet” and asked that Rep. O’Brien PLEASE take action and bring HB 352 to committee now. While I was talking to her, Michael Piecuch, Esq. who is chief counsel to the Judiciary Committee walked over. I repeated my speech to him as well. He said he has been asked if there is federal protection against marital/familial status discrimination. I told him if there were, I wouldn’t have to be fighting for the last 12 years to amend the PA Human Relations Act.
Back a long time ago at Playground Revolution I blogged about my friend Liz. Liz runs the PA Housing Alliance , an organization in Pennsylvania devoted to finding more and better housing for people with low incomes. Liz is very smart and very serious about her work. One night when a bunch of us were doing our usual political rants over dinner, she excused herself to go hang out with the kids. When she returned, she simply announced that she has little truck for political rants that go nowhere. She named a powerful local politician in our city, a man known both for hardball tactics and getting the job done. “Vince Fumo plays to win,” she said. “We need to play to win, too.”
WTAE-TV News Pittsburgh aired an editorial recently calling for Pennsylvania lawmakers to stop discriminating against mothers and to pass legislation now that would end these horrible discriminatory practices in job interviews. How cool is it that! Do you hear us, PA legislators? We are getting louder! Watch it here.
Last week we put the word out to the blogs that help was needed in Pennsylvania. Immediately, without pause, blog after blog picked up our story, and the need for change here, and in 27 other states, and RAN. Because of you bloggers, conversations, and action, are buzzing through the internet. The one common refrain, other than being completely ticked off by the whole concept of maternal profiling, is that people had absolutely NO IDEA, like me (and most of the people I talk to) that it is perfectly legal to discriminate against mothers in job interviews.
The momentum is growing here in the keystone state. Do you feel it? Dozens of blogs are talking about the problem of "maternal profiling" here and in 27 other states; thousands signed the online petition; and lawmakers might just be waking up. Yes, people care about the fact that it is legal -- in the majority of states in this country -- to ask someone in a job interview if they are married or have kids and decide to hire that job applicant, or not, based on their answers. (Ugh. I hate writing that, every time I type it, it makes me madder. I just can't believe it is true.)
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette ran an op-ed today I wrote about Kiki and the legislation pending in Pennsylvania titled, Maternal Profiling. Please check out the article and send it around. This issue is critical in Pennsylvania, but discrimination against mothers can be found everywhere. If we send a message in Pennsylvania, who knows how far that impact will go!
It is almost hard to put into words what it was like to be under one roof with 5,000 Pennsylvania women who are motivated for change. The energy was electric. Yesterday, a group of us including Georgia Berner, Georgia's friend Linda, Lindsay Patross, Lindsay's friend Breen and I staffed a booth for at the PA Governor's Conference for Women. We were there, as we have posted, to tell people about the fact that in Pennsylvania it is legal to ask someone in a job interview if they are married or if they have children. Our mission was to help propel these 5,000 Pennsylvanians into action. From a booth with a great "MomsRising" red carpet and a beautiful banner, we distributed The Motherhood Manifesto, the MotherHood Manifesto DVD and a fantastic handout. We even had a raffle for a 'Steelers' basket - which, in Pittsburgh, is always a hit. Mostly we talked, and talked and talked.
Hi Everyone, This is Kiki checking in. I want to say a special “thank you” to Cooper for her wonderful blog posting. I am rather new to this blogging, but am grateful for its existence as a means for us to talk about this most important legislation. I did tell Cooper that she was meant to go to the screening of The Motherhood Manifesto documentary film, just as you are meant to be reading this blog right now. Georgia was meant to meet Joan for lunch while she was in California and hear about “Kiki and her story”. Is it really a coincidence that both of these women are from Pittsburgh, they don’t know each other, and individually find out about this legislation while out in California?
I was shocked when I heard Kiki Peppard’s story of searching for work only to be repeatedly denied the opportunity to prove her worth and support her children simply because she was a mother. Her unrelenting commitment to passing a law in PA to protect other mothers from the discrimination she suffered has me in awe.
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