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UPDATE: The Senate may vote on this issue within the next 24 hours. Please call your Senators and let them know what you think about linking a hike in the minimum wage to a cut in the estate tax. BACKGROUND: Just before leaving for their summer recess, the House passed a bill that would raise the federal hourly minimum wage from $5.25 to $7.25 over three years - but the other provisions in the bill make it very unlikely that it will pass the Senate.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting older. I suspect it’s because my daughter’s getting older. But everyone just looks so young to me now. Baby-faced men flash on my TV screen. They look scared and I imagine they had the same fear in their eyes on their first day of kindergarten. They are soldiers: Lebanese, Israeli, American. They are war criminals, some of them. My heart aches as I imagine their victims’ final terror. And the world makes less and less sense to me.
Last week San Francisco passed an ordinance that is a bold step towards providing health care for all city residents. The plan is innovative, since it's not technically insurance - people covered through the plan must receive care in San Francisco through the city's system of public and community clinics and hospitals.
Childhood obesity is the fastest growing health concern today. According to The National Institute of Medicine, since the 1970s, obesity rates have doubled for preschoolers aged two to five and for teens ages twelve to nineteen. Elementary school kids have it worse, with their obesity rate having tripled. Blame it on junk food, fast food, t.v., computers, Gameboys and a culture that glorifies couch potatohood. But at the same time we are raising chubby children, anorexia is also on the rise.
Dawn's picture
Introducing . . . Hi, I’m Miriam Peskowitz, and starting now, I’ll be blogging here at I’m the author of a book called The Truth Behind the Mommy Wars: Who Decides What Makes a Good Mother. I also write a blog of my own, Playground My dreams about motherhood, parenting, and families share quite a lot with those of Kristin and Joan and the whole team behind MomsRising and the Motherhood Manifesto. Like them, I see the big picture. I’m confident that political and cultural change could make family life and work easier.
Wunder Muther, Trendy Ma, Dancing Daddy-boy . . . everyday my post-office box fills with “cool parenting” books and magazines put out by mainstream publishers. They are memoirs and how-to-be-as-cool-as-me tomes; advice journals and fashion rags. Last month a radio interviewer congratulated me for starting this whole “movement” with my zine, Hip Mama. So, how come my reaction to seeing another pile of parenting lit is to roll my eyes? These parents need to grow up, I think.
Joan Williams (a leading expert on workplace law and part of the project) was featured last night on ABC News in a story on workplace discrimination against family caregivers. "Picking on Moms in the Workplace" described the difficulties parents face in balancing the needs of their children and their work obligations.
Up online now for all to read is Chapter 3 of the Motherhood Manifesto, "O: Open, Flexible Work Options." Then after you read Chapter O, share your thoughts with others on the MomsRising forum . Contrary to what some believe, flexible work options aren't a utopian ideal. In fact, many companies are finding that when they stop managing by the clock, and start managing by work results, as Best Buy did, they see better employee job performance, better employee retention, and lower training and recruitment costs. It can be a win-win situation for all.
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Debate has been heating up again in DC over the federal minimum wage. Last week a proposed amendment in the Senate to raise the minimum wage from the current $5.15 to $7.25 failed to get 60 votes - but 52 Senators (including 8 Republicans) supported it. In the House, the Appropriations committee (breaking with the Republican leadership) attached a $2.10 hike in the rate to a major spending bill - but now that bill may not see a vote until after the elections.
The perverse thing about writing and organizing around work/family balance is that it has profoundly messed with my personal work/family balance. Traveling is something I try to avoid except for fun. That said, launching MomsRising is a big deal so, as the saying goes, rules are made to be broken and I’ve been traveling quite a bit of late. I was thrilled when after I spoke at the annual Theatre Communications Group conference in Atlanta, GA some mothers and other theater directors approached me with ideas for a theater project based upon The Motherhood Manifesto. Building awareness about these issues is no small challenge. It is going to require the creativity and passion of many to make these kitchen table issues hit the main stream radar so that we have the ability to organize and supporting real cultural and political change. At The Take Back America Conference “The Men’s Auxiliary” was proposed. Awesome!
joan's picture