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Brand New Risers Radio: Women In Action!

On an all new episode of Breaking Through this week we discuss  the urgent importance of ending police brutality and advancing criminal justice reform. We also learn about the high impact of cultural change and how YOU are more powerful than you think. There’s talk about the Super Majority and the movement for women to rise in 2020! And we’ll find out more about BlackBreastfeedingWeek and how you can get the information and support you need year all round.

 

*Special guests include: 

  • Monifa Bandele, Senior Vice President MomsRising, @monifabandele 

  • Dream Hampton, award-winning filmmaker, writer and organizer, @dreamhampton

  • Cecile Richards, national leader for women’s rights and social and economic justice, and co-founder of SuperMajority -- a new organization fighting for gender equity @supermajority

  • Anayah Sangodele-Ayoka,co-founder of Black Breastfeeding Week, co-editor of Free to Breastfeed: Voices of Black Mothers (Praeclarus Press) and Program Associate with MomsRising @AnayahRose 

 

Listen Here:

TuneIn: http://tun.in/tjf9Q7

iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/women-in-action/id533519537?i=1000449166471

Join the conversation on Twitter using #RisersRadio !

We Are MomsRising, MacKenzie from New Hampshire

In today’s installment of We Are MomsRising, we talked to MacKenzie in New Hampshire about how the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) Child Tax Credit (CTC) help her family!  Read her story below. MacKenzie also recently wrote an op-ed. You can read it here. To learn more about the We Are MomsRising campaign, check out this blog

My husband and I just bought a house in Nottingham with our 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. We had my son just as we were getting out of college and starting our careers. We were living paycheck to paycheck, even though we both had degrees and decent jobs. 

The cost of living is just so high. 

I worked for the same organization for my whole career until about 2 years ago when they suddenly lost funding and I lost my job. At the time, I was on maternity leave. My husband I just looked at each other like, “oh my God, what are we gonna do?” 

We had just had a new baby, we had started renting this incredibly expensive new house - the only thing we could find on the market - and losing my income was just a disaster. I knew I needed to be making a higher income so I took the opportunity to go back to school and get my master’s degree. 

We started to receive the EITC when I had my son. We probably only qualified for the EITC for two or three years because our income kept increasing, which is the whole idea. It was 2015, and we were young parents, still starting out in our careers. It went straight to necessities like rent, medical bills, health insurance, and groceries. It definitely didn’t go to frivolities. We still receive the CTC every year, and it’s a huge help for us. Right now we’re using it to pay down debt. I incurred a huge amount of debt when I went back to school. The CTC also helped us pay off our medical bill from our daughter’s C-Section. She was born two years ago, and we just finished paying it off. 

It’s frustrating, because you feel like you’re making good decisions for family by going back to school, getting health insurance through employer, all of that - but then you get hit with things you’re not expecting or things end up being a bigger deal than you’re expecting. 

If the CTC were increased to 3000/year per child under six - holy moly! It could help us with so much. We’re both working full time so childcare is a huge expense, which makes it even harder to pay for things like student loans and housing. We’re having a lot of trouble getting ahead and building up a savings to pay for unexpected expenses. We were able to finally buy our own house, but needed a cosigner. It’s difficult to swallow when you’re married with two children, you have a master’s degree, and you need all the extra help you can get just to do the “basic life stuff.” A credit like that could definitely help us get ahead on our bills so we could help build savings, pay off student loan debt, and prepare for our future.

The EITC does what it’s supposed to do - it helps families get on their feet and get to a better place where they can be more self sufficient. It helped me go back to school, and now I I have a better paying job because of it. It truly made my life better. It helps parents do better, which means children do better and have more opportunities to succeed in life. It’s a trickle down effect. We want what’s best for our children, and our children deserve the best! 

We Are MomsRising, Cori from Washington

In today’s installment of We Are MomsRising, we talked to Cori in Washington about how the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC) helps her family!  Read her story below. Cori was also recently wrote an op-ed in the Olympia’s Works in Progress. Read it here. To learn more about the We Are MomsRising campaign, check out this blog

We are a single-income family; my husband works and I’m a stay at home mom, because we can’t afford childcare. It would be like $1000/month to put my son in childcare. Plus, I have student loans, so if we increased our income by $50, we would exit income based repayment. So for it to be worth it for me to work, I would need to making quite a bit of money. 

We started receiving the CTC when our son was born last year. We’ve always received the EITC because we’re poor. We use these credits for extras, things we couldn’t afford otherwise. Things like swim lessons. These are things we couldn’t possibly have if we didn’t get a large sum of money back in taxes, and they’re really important to us. 

When we got our CTC last year, we knew it needed to go directly toward our son. He has two cousins who are really close to his age, and we wanted to create memories and give them a chance to bond with each other. That’s how we came up with the idea of a family trip to the beach for a weekend. It meant our kids could go to the beach for a weekend, just like we did growing up, and it was dedicated time for our families to bond and love on each other. I’m happy to keep that tradition alive. 

One expense we really struggle with right now is housing. We currently rent, and we only rent a portion of the house that we live in. We can’t afford the going rent for an apartment to be on our own. That’s created its own family dynamic struggles, because there’s two families in the house, with different philosophies on how we should interact and raise our kids.  If the CTC were raised to 3000/year for children under 6, that could be the difference between renting and buying a house for us. 

There are a lot of things that the working poor struggle with. We struggle with trying to change our circumstances, to stop living paycheck to paycheck. We struggle with worrying about going to the food bank again this week to make sure there’s food on the table. An increase to these credits would relieve so many families’ stresses. For us, it would be the difference between staying stagnant/getting by and moving forward financially. For other families, it would be the difference between having to worry about food every week vs feeling secure in that. It would help everyone know that there’s a cushion when hard times hit, the car breaks, or God forbid you’re laid off or something. 

Rowe-Finkbeiner Testifies on Making It More Affordable to Raise a Family

MomsRising's picture
Photo of Kristin sitting at a table and speaking into a microphone

Testimony of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner
CEO/Executive Director and Co-Founder, MomsRising

Joint Economic Committee
Hearing on Making It More Affordable to Raise A Family 

September 10, 2019

Thank you, Chairman Lee and Vice Chairwoman Maloney, and members of the Joint Economic Committee for the opportunity to testify at this important hearing on Making it More Affordable to Raise a Family. I want to commend you for holding this hearing today because these issues are shaping our future, our country’s future, and the futures of generations to come.  

I’m Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director/CEO of MomsRising, an organization with more than a million members, including members in every state in the nation, working to increase family economic security. 

We are on the frontlines of the crisis facing families in America right now.  Experts in this room, and around the nation, agree: It’s getting more and more expensive to raise a family and that fact has dire consequences. [1] It doesn’t have to be this way.   

This crisis is born of policies that are outdated and that fail to address the realities of today’s economy and the struggles working families face.   

In good news, this crisis is solvable. We can update our policies. We can make change. And the policies MomsRising supports, that I will talk about shortly, will boost our families and our economy. So while our organization is named MomsRising, the work we do lifts dads, grandparents, people with all types of families, and of course moms.

The situation is urgent. At MomsRising we hear from people experiencing this crisis each day.

Stories like this one from Joan, a working mother right here in our nation’s capital dealing with high monthly costs of student loans, groceries, utilities, housing, and child care.  Joan pays $1,170 per month for child care for her youngest child, plus additional funds for after-school care for her five-year-old, who is in public kindergarten.

Joan and her family are far from alone in facing a crunch of compounded costs. In fact, it’s so expensive to raise a family these days that one in six children in our country now live in food-insecure households. [2]

Take Jamie, from New Jersey, who reached out to us in 2017 when she was a pregnant mom. She worked part-time, only when her husband could be home, because they couldn’t afford child care. Even though he had two part-time jobs, they struggled; and until they started getting SNAP, their four-year-old and Jamie herself went without healthy food. It would come down to a choice: pay bills or buy groceries. If they chose to pay bills, they went without fruits and vegetables. And if their grocery bill went up, debt collectors would come calling.

Nobody who is working, let alone holding multiple jobs, should have to struggle to put food on the table. But too many families face stark choices like Jamie’s.  Too many families face steep, unmanageable costs:

  • Housing costs, both rental and ownership, are now too high for far too many. One in three households are now paying more than 30% of their incomes for housing, and more than half are renters. [3]  Home ownership -- a key source of wealth accumulation -- is now out of reach for a growing number of families because home prices have risen faster than wages in most markets. [4]  When so much of your income has to cover housing, the regular costs of daily life, like feeding your family and paying utilities, become even harder to meet.

  • The cost of education has also skyrocketed. College tuition has tripled since the 1980s. [5]  While future earnings are significantly higher for those who graduate from college than for those who do not, [6]  student debt now exceeds a trillion dollars with students, on average, carrying tens of thousands of dollars in debt when they graduate. [7] That is a huge burden for young families to shoulder.

  • Child care costs are also sky high. In fact, child care now costs more than public college in most states [8] and Black and Latinx families often end up having to spend more of their annual income on child care than anyone else. [9]  This is despite the fact that every parent needs safe enriching places to be so they can work, children need quality early education so they can thrive, and child care workers need to be paid living wages so they can succeed.

Let me tell you, too, about Meredith from Florida: She and her husband planned for seven years before having children, but still ended up with student loans, health care, child care, and housing costs that made it hard to stay afloat.  Their oldest is on the autism spectrum, and requires a separate health care plan, which doesn’t cover many of his therapies and medications. Their student loans cost as much as a car payment. They paid $1,000 per month for child care and now that their kids are older, after-school care -- especially for a special needs child -- is expensive. They lived with her parents to save enough money to buy a home of their own, and even then it was difficult. Meredith says she never imagined that two people who did everything right would find it so hard to make ends meet.

The writing is on the wall: Our country, our workforce, and our economy have changed, but our public policies haven’t kept up.  They are woefully out-of-date and families are suffering as a result. 

The terrible truth is that, as costs have been rising, wages have been largely stuck for decades.  In fact, over the past nearly 30 years, net productivity rose by 70%; but hourly pay stagnated. [10]  Translated, this means wealth inequality is increasing, the benefits of productivity are only experienced by those few at the very top, and most people raising children in America are facing a financial crunch.

This situation can’t be ignored. Data show that the bigger the gap gets between the rich and the poor, the less overall economic growth there will be. That, in turn, reduces economic security -- and hope. [11]

Inequality in all its forms is a too often silent, persistent, and pernicious crisis—and one that has disproportionate impacts. For instance, because of wealth inequality, one recent study found that a middle-class income doesn’t directly correlate with middle-class economic security for everyone. For instance, white households earning an annual income between $37,201 and $61,201 owned eight times as much wealth as Black people in that same income bracket, and ten times as much as Latino people in that same income bracket. [12]  The racial wealth gap is much bigger than the wage gap, and this affects whether whole communities are able to pay for things like college, time out of the labor force, retirement, starting a business, buying a house, passing down resources to children, investments, sabbaticals, and much more. [13]  This is a big deal and one of many examples of why our fight for equity and equality must always be intersectional.

Suffice to say that the United States isn’t doing well when it comes to addressing wealth and income inequality overall. In fact, the United States of America is now the third worst nation in terms of income inequality—after Chile and Mexico—among the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. [14]   Our high level of income inequality led MIT economist Peter Temin to assert that we’re regressing to developing nation status. In 2017, Temin noted that the United States has largely become a two-track economy, with roughly 20 percent of our population educated and in good jobs, and 80 percent working in the low-wage sector with little hope of advancement. [15] 

On top of this, women are being pushed even further behind by wage, hiring, and advancement discrimination: Women of all races on average are paid just 80 cents on the dollar [16]; and moms of all races experience increased wage discrimination, earning an average of just 71 cents to dad’s dollar, with moms of color experiencing compounded wage discrimination due to structural racism.  [17]  This is happening despite the fact that there is a direct correlation between high levels of women in corporate leadership and higher profits—and despite the fact that promoting women often leads to outperforming the competition. [18]

(While overall, the U.S. Census reported in 2018 that women, on average, earned just 80 cents to a man’s dollar for all year-round full-time workers; [19] women of color, on average, experience significant increased wage hits: [20]  Latina women earn only 53 cents; Native American women only 58 cents; Black women only 61 cents; and Asian women only 85 cents on average for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. And it should be noted that the broad data category of Asian women doesn’t give the whole picture: [21]  A closer look at the numbers inside that number, for instance, reveals that Burmese women are earning only 50 cents to a white man’s dollar, Fijian women are earning 68 cents, and Laotian women are earning earn 58 cents. [22]  And to get a closer picture of what’s really going on in our nation, here are specific numbers [23] relating to moms: Latina mothers are paid just 46 cents; Native mothers are paid 48 cents; Black mothers are paid 54 cents; white, non-Hispanic mothers are paid 72 cents; and Asian/Pacific Islander mothers are paid just 92 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic fathers.)

So what’s happening with these wages? One series of studies painted a stark picture of hiring, workplace, and wage discrimination: Moms were hired 80 percent less often than women with equal resumes who didn’t have children; and when moms were hired, they were offered salaries $11,000 lower on average than the salaries offered to non-moms. On the other hand, dads with equal résumés were offered $6,000 more than non-dads, [24] proving that the antiquated and false idea that only men need paychecks large enough to support their families persists, causing intense damage, and keeping many families poor and hungry. Studies have also shown that mothers are judged more harshly in the labor force, even when they have the same credentials as non-mothers. [25] 

Discrimination is at work when it comes to the motherhood pay penalty.  Michelle J. Budig, writing in Third Way, reports that the motherhood penalty, “Cannot be explained by human capital, family structure, family-friendly job characteristics, or differences among women that are stable over time…This motherhood penalty is larger among low-wage workers while the top 10% of female workers incur no motherhood wage penalty.” [26]

Further, while moms overall across all races are paid just 71 cents to every dollar that dads are paid, [27] the discrimination in pay compounds for single moms and their children. Paid just 55 cents for every dollar paid to all fathers, [28] single mothers are among those who face the worst wage discrimination [29] in our nation. This impacts a tremendous and growing number of women and children. A study from Johns Hopkins University found that 57 percent of babies born to millennials were not born within a marriage. Technically these are “single mothers” by many people’s definition, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a partner present. These and other numbers demonstrate the extensive nature of deeply unfair pay gaps that women and moms are facing. 

Unfair pay causes grave and lasting harm to those who are in low-income jobs in particular: Mothers in low-wage jobs are paid just 66 cents for every dollar paid to fathers in low-wage jobs; [30] and we can’t forget that 90 percent of women earn less than $75,000 a year, and more than half of them earn less than $30,000 a year. [31] Too many women and moms are working hard, being paid unfairly, surviving paycheck to paycheck, and falling into poverty as they struggle to raise families and open doors for their children to thrive.  

Families urgently need women’s wages to make ends meet and to survive economically; as does our national economy.  In fact, women became half of our country’s full-time labor force for the first time in the last decade, [32] and three-quarters of moms are now in the labor force, more than half of whom are the primary breadwinners [33] for their families.  Further, in our consumer-fueled economy, women and moms make nearly three-quarters of purchasing decisions. [34] That’s a lot of consumer power. But it also means that when people aren’t paid fairly and don’t have funds to spend, our entire economy suffers.

On the other hand, when women are economically successful, so are men, and so is our overall economy: If women received pay parity, it would cut poverty by more than half for women and families, add $512.6 billion to our national economy, [35] and increase our gross domestic product by at least 3 percent. [36]

It’s time to move our policies into the 21st century so women, families, and our economy can thrive.  The lack of adequate federal economic security and equal pay policies harms working people who are paid unfairly, their families who count on their paychecks, and our nation’s economy.

Not to be overlooked is that our mass incarceration policies further compound the economic harm to many families. The United States has the highest incarceration rate in the world [37] and 54 percent of inmates are parents with children under the age of 18. [38]  Mass incarceration devastates family economic security in the short- and long-run, tears families apart, and hurts children and communities.

Congress needs to advance innovative solutions that make families stronger and also continue successful safety net programs like: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the earned income tax credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Head Start, Medicaid, and more. Each immediately injects funds into our consumer-fueled economy and allows people to buy the groceries and other basic goods and services they need to survive and thrive. For instance, for every $1.00 that goes into funding SNAP, our economy gets back $1.70. [39] 

One thing is clear: Solutions are possible.  Small changes and big change. It all adds up.

In good news, there is growing momentum for policy change that lifts families, businesses, and our economy alike.  For instance, nine states and dozens of municipalities have passed paid family leave policies [40], and 50 locations across the nation have passed earned sick days. [41] Many states are also passing pay equity laws.

These wins include:

  • New York, which passed a historic paid family and medical leave law that went into effect last year and was available to 8.5 million New Yorkers.  [42] 

  • Massachusetts, which passed a strong pay equity law to stop the use of prior salary history in setting current pay so historic wage discrimination won’t be compounded. The law also protects people from retribution for discussing wages with coworkers, which only a few states do. [43] 

  • Washington State, which passed the Childcare Access Now (CAN) Act to address child care affordability, quality, and workforce compensation. [44] 

But to really move the needle, we need change at the federal level because when this many people are having the same problem at the same time, we don’t have an epidemic of personal issues, we have national structural issues we can and must solve together.  That’s why we’re pushing for:

  • Paid family/medical leave for everyone in our nation 

  • Affordable, accessible, high quality child care 

  • Health care for all, including access to reproductive health care

  • Paycheck fairness

  • Earned sick days and reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers.

  • Living wages, which means increasing the federal minimum wage and abolishing the tipped wage

  • An end to mass incarceration, the school-to-prison pipeline, and child and family detention

  • Expanded Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit (CTC)

  • Investments in children and families including SNAP, Headstart, WIC, the school lunch program,  child care assistance and more.

  • Comprehensive gun policy reform to reduce the devastating costs of gun violence.

Advancing policies in these areas will be good for women, men, all family types, and the economy.  The return on investments are high. For instance:

  • Studies show for every dollar invested in child care, there is a return on investment up to $9.00; [45] 

  • A failure to make adequate affordable housing available now incurs greater costs for future generations; [46] 

  • Advancing paid family medical leave and earned sick days, which most other nations have done, increases work productivity and retention, decreases mortality, and state studies show paid family medical leave could save approximately 40% in TANF and SNAP costs; [47] 

  • On average, adults with a college degree earn $920,000 more than those without one during their lifetimes; [48] 

  • Studies also show that advancing economic security policies like paid family/medical leave and affordable child care help lower the wages gaps between women and men, moms and non-moms.  [49] 

Adopting these policies isn’t just the right thing to do for our families, it’s the smart thing to do for our economy.

We need to attack the challenges from multiple angles – better, fairer wages, updating our outdated policies, and making basic necessities more affordable.  We need to move quickly to pass the FAMILY Act, the Childcare for Working Families Act, the Working Families Tax Relief Act, the MOMS Act, the Healthy Families Act, the Maternal CARE Act, and the National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights; as we also raise the federal minimum wage and have it cover all workers, ensure everyone has access to health care coverage, make college and housing affordable, and more. 

Our to-do list is long, but we are up to the challenge because these solutions don’t just lift families, they lift our nation.  When we update our outdated policies to address today’s realities and economy, we all win.

We can, and we must, make it more affordable to raise a family in America -- and together we will.

Thank you.


 

ENDNOTES:

[1] https://www.marketwatch.com/story/these-5-charts-show-how-expensive-it-is-to-raise-children-today-2018-03-29   

[2] https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/child-hunger-facts  

[3] https://www.jchs.harvard.edu/state-nations-housing-2018  

[4] https://www.housingwire.com/articles/47878-home-prices-are-rising-faster-than-wages-in-80-of-us-markets https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2019/08/gaps-in-wealth-americans-by-household-type.html?CID=CBSM+AC  

[5] https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/tuition-fees-room-and-board-over-time   

[6]  http://money.cnn.com/infographic/economy/college-degree-earnings/index.html

[7] https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/20/how-much-the-average-student-loan-borrower-owes-when-they-graduate.html https://www.newyorkfed.org/medialibrary/interactives/householdcredit/data/pdf/HHDC_2019Q2.pdf  

[8] https://www.care.com/care-index https://money.cnn.com/2016/09/28/pf/child-care-costs/index.html  

[9] www.diversitydatakids.org/files/Library/policy/ChildCare.pdf  

[10] https://www.epi.org/productivity-pay-gap/    

[11] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-developing-nation-regressing-economy-poverty-donald-trump-mit-economist-peter-temin-a7694726.html  

[12] https://prosperitynow.org/files/PDFs/road_to_zero_wealth.pdf.  

[13] http://www.epi.org/blog/racial-gaps-in-wages-wealth-and-more-a-quick-recap  

[14] http://www.oecd.org/social/OECD2016-Income-Inequality-Update.pdf  

[15] http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-developing-nation-regressing-economy-poverty-donald-trump-mit-economist-peter-temin-a7694726.html   

[16] https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/income-poverty.html

[17] www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/workplace/fair-pay/americas-women-and-the-wage-gap.pdf  [18]https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e5f3/025e7aae2ea096f5fe7cc63f2247183c80de.pdf 

[19] https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2018/income-poverty.html

[20] www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/workplace/fair-pay/americas-women-and-the-wage-gap.pdfc  [21] www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/workplace/fair-pay/asian-women-and-the-wage-gap.pdf  

[22] www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/workplace/fair-pay/asian-women-and-the-wage-gap.pdf  

[23] https://nwlc.org/resources/equal-pay-for-mothers-is-critical-for-families-factsheet/ 

[24] https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1086/511799?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents 

[25]  http://shriverreport.org/the-new-breadwinners/ 

[26] https://www.thirdway.org/report/the-fatherhood-bonus-and-the-motherhood-penalty-parenthood-and-the-gender-gap-in-pay 

[27] https://nwlc.org/resources/equal-pay-for-mothers-is-critical-for-families/ 

[28] https://nwlc.org/resources/equal-pay-for-mothers-is-critical-for-families/ 

[29] https://nwlc.org/resources/equal-pay-for-mothers-is-critical-for-families/  

[30] https://nwlc.org/resources/equal-pay-for-mothers-is-critical-for-families/ 

[31] https://www.census.gov/data/tables/time-series/demo/income-poverty/cps-pinc/pinc-01.html 

[32] https://www.bls.gov/cps/wlf-databook2009.htm 

[33] https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2016/12/19/295203/breadwinning-mothers-are-increasingly-the-u-s-norm/ 

[34] Catalyst, “Catalyst Quick Take: Buying Power,” 2013

[35] https://iwpr.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/C455.pdf  

[36] https://iwpr.org/publications/how-equal-pay-for-working-women-would-reduce-poverty-and-grow-the-american-economy/ 

[37] http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2010/collateralcosts1pdf.pdf  

[38] http://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/legacy/uploadedfiles/pcs_assets/2010/collateralcosts1pdf.pdf. United States Sentencing Commission, Quick Facts: Minimum Penalties, 2014, http://www.ussc.gov/sites/default/files/pdf/research-and-publications/quick-facts/Quick_Facts_Mand_Mins_FY14.pdf.   

[39] https://www.cbpp.org/research/snap-is-effective-and-efficient 

[40] http://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/workplace/paid-sick-days/paid-family-leave-policies-for-municipal-employees.pdf],

[41] http://familyvaluesatwork.org/media-center/timeline-of-wins  

[42] https://www.thenation.com/article/paid-family-leave-public-health-postpartum-depression/ 

[43] https://www.mass.gov/service-details/learn-more-details-about-the-massachusetts-equal-pay-act

[44] https://tcf.org/content/report/child-care-blueprint-states/?agreed=1 

[45] https://www.headstartva.org/assets/docs/Head_Start_Return_On_Investment_Brief_LAS-yv.pdf

[46] http://picturethehomeless.org/project/the-business-of-homelessness-financial-human-costs-of-the-shelter-industrial-complex/  http://picturethehomeless.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/PtH_White_paper5.pdf

[47] https://news.rutgers.edu/news-release/rutgers-study-finds-paid-family-leave-leads-positive-economic-outcomes/20120119#.XXGNOVB7kkg  

[48] https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/55c705fa-7ce7-49c3-b48d-57dec5d2df65/education---foundation-for-economic-success.pdf

[49] http://fortune.com/2015/04/13/who-makes-15-per-hour/  

New Podcast! Voices of Hunger NC

MomsRising and the North Carolina Alliance for Health are excited to announce the launch of our  new podcast, Voices of Hunger NC, in partnership with MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger! Released in time to mark the beginning of National Hunger Awareness month that began September 1st, our podcast opens the cupboard on hunger, raising awareness about the extent of food insecurity in our state. And we want to personally invite you to listen and share!

People in nearly 590,000 North Carolina households don’t have enough to eat each day. Put another way, 1 in 7 people in North Carolina struggle with hunger.  This podcast gives voice to the people behind those numbers, debunking common myths about who is hungry. We invite you to listen in to the stories of people across the state, from a mother in Rockingham County who struggles to provide healthy food for her children to a group of students in Hertford County who are growing food and sharing it with community members in need. You will also hear from the individuals and organizations that are addressing the epidemic of hunger & poverty through direct service and policy channels.  Last week’s episode featured Earline Middleton, who has been on the front lines of food bank advocacy work for almost 30 years.  This week’s episode features Wake County Board of Commissioners Chair Jessica Holmes, who transformed her experience growing up hungry into the momentum that has propelled her to elected office, giving her the power and tools to implement anti-hunger policy changes. 

This podcast offers something else, too.  By listening to the voices of a wide range of diverse people from across the state who have experienced times of food insecurity, it is our aim to help other families feel less alone in their struggles.  We hope to remove the stigma and shame felt by many individuals who struggle to put food on the table. It is not your fault if you work hard and still can’t seem to put together enough nickels to make ends meet.  The problem is systemic and entrenched; as Andrew Fisher, author of Big Hunger: The Unholy Alliance between Corporate America and Anti-Hunger Groups writes, one of the root causes of hunger is “economic inequality driven by poor wages.” He adds that “Racism is a contributing factor to the disproportionate rates of poverty and food insecurity among persons of color.” 

Moving beyond awareness, this podcast offers listeners the tools to become informed anti-hunger advocates. We share multiple levels of personal and policy engagement that fit within peoples’ busy schedules-- from signing a petition to joining our network of advocates with lived experience of food insecurity.  So please tune in, share your feedback with us, and join our anti-hunger campaign! 

Quick signature to stop white domestic terrorism and demand gun control

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We begin yet another week with broken hearts and prayers, this time for the victims and families devastated by the weekend shooting rampage in Odessa, Texas, that has left seven people dead and another 22 injured. This is the second headline-grabbing mass murder in the Lone Star State this month, enabled by an assault rifle and high-capacity magazines, and coming just weeks after the El Paso Walmart shooting. 

While we are filled with sadness, we are also furious. Today, our U.S. Senators and Representatives returned to Congress from summer recess, many predetermined to oppose any action to curb our gun violence epidemic that kills or hurts some 100,000 people in the United States every year.

*Tell your members of Congress to stop the terrifying gun violence by finally taking on comprehensive gun policy reform, starting with banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and also passing universal background checks, disarming hate, and supporting extreme-risk protection orders. 

We can do this! The vast majority of the public on our side! What is taking Congress so long?  Why has Congress been unable to take even the smallest step forward in reducing gun violence, despite strong public support for measures like banning military-style semi-automatic assault rifles and high capacity magazines (67%) and universal background checks (97%)

Here’s the truth: White supremacy has been at the root of this inaction throughout our nation’s history and the National Rifle Association (NRA) utilizes racist and xenophobic messaging to mobilize and grow its base of activists. Until we acknowledge this truth and call out white supremacy and the racist tactics of the NRA, we will continue to suffer its deadly consequences as elected leaders are immobilized by its influence. 

Regrettably, white supremacy has been part of our nation’s history since our founding: The Second Amendment was in part originally added to the U.S. Constitution to appease southern colonies that feared the “tyranny” of a federal government that could expropriate their armed militias -- militias they stated they needed in order to control people who were enslaved. 18th-century regulations governing militias specifically prohibited Native American and Black people from participating as arms-bearing members.

And the National Rifle Association, whose mission is defending Second Amendment rights, has a long, well-documented record of employing racist and xenophobic rhetoric and tactics that directly draws from the United States’ shameful history of slavery and racism, serving as dog whistles to the many white supremacists in its base of supporters. 

*Tell your members of Congress to stand against the influence of white supremacy and the NRA, and finally take on comprehensive gun policy reform, starting with banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines, and including disarming hate, passing universal background checks, and supporting extreme-risk protection orders.

The recent El Paso shooter spelled out his white supremacy in a written manifesto. Over the last few weeks, the FBI has reportedly stopped dozens of potential mass shootings, many motivated by white supremacy. FBI Director Christopher Wray recently warned that the rising threat of domestic terrorism is mostly motivated by white supremacy. Yet, there is Congressional resistance to taking action on gun violence in fear that it would somehow weaken Second Amendment rights.

It’s time to face the truth and call out how the Second Amendment was used to continue slavery and how it currently is being invoked by the NRA, encouraging white supremacists to commit domestic terrorism. All of us, White, Black, and brown parents who love our children and our communities, must join together to urge our leaders to rise above division and hate and take action on gun control to stop the terror of gun violence in our nation, including, among other things, passing:

*Members of Congress must stand against the influence of white supremacy and the NRA and finally take action to stop the mass shootings and reduce the burden of daily gun violence devastating our communities.

Sign on to our message to Congress now: https://action.momsrising.org/sign/odessa_guncontrol_2019/?source=blog

Please forward this post to your friends, neighbors and everyone you know who wants a country with freedom and justice for ALL, and who want action to keep their families and communities safe.  

August MOMentum flowing strong for breastfeeding moms

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[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A graphic image with a blue background and text that reads MOM-entum.]

Happy August! Even in the midst of changing schedules and changing seasons, we’re keeping our eyes on the prize and moving forward on top priorities for women, moms, and families. MomsRising has led national actions and conversations during National Breastfeeding Month; celebrated yet another bank quitting the financing of private prisons harming immigrant and refugee families; and raised our voices for Black Women’s Equal Pay.

Read on for the details, and thank you for supporting this movement!

P.S. As always, we love to hear your feedback. What do you love about being a MomsRising supporter? What do you think we should tackle next? Send your thoughts to me, anita@momsrising.org. Thank you!

 


BREASTFEEDING MONTH

With your financial support, we celebrated National Breastfeeding Month the MomsRising way: with education, advocacy and joy!

Each Wednesday of the month on Twitter, we led tweetchats covering workplace supports, policies like paid family and medical leave, personal stories and more, reaching hundreds of thousands of readers. We wrapped up the month celebrating Black Breastfeeding Week, leading a chat featuring @BlkBfingWeek, Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association, and breastfeeding advocate Kimberly Seals Allers.

We also collected breastfeeding stories and sent thousands of petition signatures to Congress in support of breastfeeding parents facing immigration detention.

Don’t miss Tina’s post with the overview of the actions on our blog: https://action.momsrising.org/go/50850?t=3&akid=12864%2E2591947%2EvzmDUL

 


#FamiliesBelongTogether

Good news, and you helped make it happen — PNC Bank announced it is pulling out of the private prison industry! That’s the 7th major bank to drop support for companies that contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to run immigration jails and detention centers.

Your support of MomsRising helps us lead the Families Belong Together coalition that’s securing these ongoing victories!

 


MEDIA SPOTLIGHT

The Wage Gap Costs Black Women Nearly $1 Million in Their Lifetimes
Huffington Post, Aug. 22, 2019

“It’s shameful that in this day and age that Black women have to work 20 months to be paid what white men are paid in 12 months. It’s racist, it’s sexist and it harms me as a mom, my family and the economy at large. There’s absolutely no justification.”

—  Tina Sherman, Paid Leave Campaign Director at MomsRising, commenting on Black Women’s Equal Pay Day

 


Muslim Americans Are Already Wary of Traveling -- And Trump’s Taunts Don’t Help
MTV News, August 23, 2019

“The mere optics of this most recent instance of the federal government asserting power over minority women on an international scale reignites and underscores a deep pain that’s been building within the Muslim community for years.”

—  Tasmiha Khan, Associate Campaign Director for Healthcare and Maternal Justice, writing for MTV News on living in the U.S. as a Muslim American today

 


MEMBER LOVE

Members share how MomsRising is a positive force in their lives

“Your organization seems very on top of what’s going on legislatively and I have come to trust that. You make it easy for me to lend my voice/signature. Thank you!”
— Ashley

Tell us, what does MomsRising mean to you? Send your comments to anita@momsrising.org.

 

Let’s Commit to Do Something Grand on Grandparents Day 2019!

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[IMAGE DESCRIPTION: A photograph of a dining table, taken from an overhead view to show the plates and food arranged from above.]

The folks at The Hebrew Home in Riverdale, NY, are gearing up for Grandparents Day with a Woodstock-inspired concert and cookout on the Sunday after Labor Day. They have been celebrating Grandparents Day since 1961 and the activities vary each year.

Celebrations are also planned on that Sunday at the Courtney Manor Nursing Home in Bad Axe, MI, and at the Culver’s restaurants in Chicago, IL. 

The event at the nursing home is an annual free concert. This year, four generations of the Johnny Prill Family will perform together. 

That festive spirit is also alive at the participating Culver’s restaurants, where they’re encouraging customers to treat a “grand” to ice cream, snap a photo with them and post it on Instagram.

These are just a few of the ways people across the country will celebrate Grandparents Day on September 8, 2019, which has been celebrated as a national holiday since 1978.

Since 2012, Generations United – the national organization committed to improving the lives of children, youth and older adults through intergenerational connections – has spearheaded an annual campaign to encourage all generations to Do Something Grand and engage with another generation on Grandparents Day.

This year’s theme is “Dig In! Bringing generations to the table” – focusing on connecting younger and older people through food and nutrition. 

According to our 2012 report, Grandparents Investing in Grandchildren, going out to eat is a popular intergenerational activity, with 67 percent of grandparents saying they visit restaurants with grandchildren and over 1/3 of grandparents cook or bake with their grandchildren. These are prime opportunities to not only pass on family traditions and culture but also for each generation to share what they know about healthy foods.

An example that’s bringing young and old to the table is the culinary arts program at the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s newly built Anita May Rosenstein campus. 

The commercial kitchen on the property, which hires youth and older adults, provides food on-site for residents. It also includes a coffee shop, a grab-and-go cafe, and trains young people in the culinary arts. 

The Los Angeles LGBT Center is among the intergenerational shared sites featured in our recent report with The Eisner Foundation. 

The Campus Dining Program in OH brings college students and older adults to the table at an on-campus congregate meal site. The program, a partnership between the Ohio District 5 Area Agency on Aging, Inc., Ohio State University at Mansfield and North Central State College, provides older adults with flexible dining hours, fresh food choices and intergenerational programming that promotes lifelong learning, positive aging and mentorship.

The Campus Dining Program provides a wider variety of fresh and healthy foods than the single meal selection that is usually offered by traditional meal sites. It also supports new relationships and activities with students and faculty.

Other examples of intergenerational health and nutrition solutions are included in the resources, ideas and information that Generations United and its 15 national partners — which includes MomsRising — will share leading up to Grandparents Day 2019. Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow the hashtag: #DoSomethingGrand 

Generations United is urging grandparents and older adults to share their wisdom and perspectives with young people on Grandparents Day. We’re calling on all ages to get involved. We put together a host of ways for young and old to “dig in.” 

Let’s celebrate Grandparents Day by committing to Do Something Grand!