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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Women's Economic Agenda

I just tuned into a call moderated by Cynthia Nixon and headed by Leader Polosi. 16,000 people tuned in for one hour to discuss and listen to the outline for the Women's Economic Agenda. My notes are transcribed below:

Democratic Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi: scripted
Talked about Seneca Falls, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, 5th anniversary
“When women succeed, America succeeds”
Fair Payment Act, Fair Minimum Wage Act

Lilly Ledbetter: scripted
Poster child for unequal pay and work
Lost in the Supreme Court, but got the bill that allows individuals to challenge discriminatory paychecks
Paycheck fairness act

Rep. Rosa DeLauro: not scripted? Spent a lot of time patting the other two on the back
Godmother of women’s economics section
Pay: women make 77 C on dollar on average compared to men, worse if you’re colored
Paycheck secrecy promotes discrimination
Work-family balance: family and medical leave should be paid (twelve percent have access through their employers, forty percent for severe illnesses)
Raise minimum wage (2 out of 3 minimum wage workers are women)

 Anne-Marie Duchene:
Victim of paycheck discrimination
Works at a progressive public university

Pelosi question:
Brad Avakian (state labor commissioner in Oregon):
Working to make pay equal: what can state officials to do to help move policies forward to get rid of race and gender paycheck inequality?
“Public sentiment is everything”
Pass legislation in your own communities and legislature
Make sure they know how or where the people in Oregon are about the issue, be a strong leader for the cause.

Shelby Ramirez (Denver, CO):
Mother, grandmother, caregiver, student at University of Denver, Hotel Security Officer
Struggles to go paycheck to paycheck
Family and Medical leave act allowed her to take time off, but it was unpaid, she could either pay rent or care for her family
Four months to get partly caught up with bills

 For Rep. DeLauro:
Question from Chicago Ill.: Caring for aging parents and elderly family members:
Answer: FMLA is unpaid, people cannot afford to take that amount of time off (8 out of 10)
National Paid Leave Program needs to be enacted and is on the agenda
Employee and Employer funded, 1.50 per week to cover benefit and administrative cost, does not get in the way of SS and would apply to all companies

Asks to contact legislator to share concerns

Congresswoman Donna Edwards:
Helped lead effort to pass Violence Against Women Act
Concerned about childcare, and therefore is concerned about equal pay and paid leave
Was told by a citizen that said citizen pays more for daycare for infant than for tuition
Women’s Economic Agenda: working mothers have trouble with safe, reliable and effective childcare
HR 3740 Childcare Act: make critical changes to tax credits, accounts for inflation, help families afford childcare and give greater financial security

Maureen-Evans Arthur:
First generation college student
Applying to grad school
Paid more for childcare than tuition
30,000 in student loans to pay for childcare
Son was neglected in daycare

Anne Sherwood question for Rep. Edwards:
Please support early childhood development programs
I didn’t really understand what she was saying. It was very convoluted and seemingly irrelevant, call began to drop

Rep. Edwards’s response:
Quality, affordability and accessibility in a nurturing environment for children is important

For Pelosi:
Emily Spangler from Ill.: (15 years old) HOLY CRAP
Besides signing petitions or online petitions: what do you expect from the younger generation?
Pelosi response:
Pell grants are getting cut, so Pelosi called some of our generation to her office to get their opinions
Youth wants a good education (well… duh)
Strong social security and Medicare for their parents
Don’t agonize, organize
Organize civic minded friends for Equal Pay
Elder Care is also important
Doesn’t really seem to be answering Emily’s question...
Also sign up for Affordable Care Act
Communicate with Congressperson about Women’s Economic Agenda
Take responsibility for your future by communicating your view, organizing your friends and getting involved

Victoria (I missed other details… Labor Coalition for women?):
Want paid maternity leave (understandably)
How to we lead the world in providing paid maternity leave

Rep. DeLauro:
Repeats everything previously discussed in other notes. Nothing more to say.

Diana Arguello for Rep. Edwards:
Statement: 60 cents for Hispanic women per 1 dollar for a white male
Response: Go into communities and inform women about the issue and that they can challenge unequal pay
Have conversations everywhere
It is time for change

Pelosi ending comments:
Over 16,000 people participated, thanks everyone
Really important call, know you have power to be heard
Couldn’t really understand what she was saying because of poor connection

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