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White House Summit on Working Families

White House Summit on Working Families

May 20, 2014

The member coalitions of Family Values @ Work are proud to help build momentum for the White House Summit on Working Families. Activists on the ground are excited to see the emphasis the Summit will place on the policies they have been fighting for and winning: paid sick days, paid family leave and other parts of the Economic Agenda for Women and Families. We agree with the President:  “When women succeed, America succeeds.”

Below is a growing list of activities the local coalitions are hosting, featuring worker activists, business partners and others from the many diverse groups that are part of the campaigns.

We’ve also put together a book of stories illustrating what it means to real families to have access–or to lack access–to policies like paid leave and paid sick days.  We will be presenting this to the White House during the summit but you can see it now right here:  Voices From the Front Lines.

Information on upcoming local and regional events and reports backs:
Follow on twitter at #workingfamilies and @fmlyvalueswork

March 26th Seattle:

Economic Opportunity Institute held a community forum on the role of local policy in combating economic inequality. We were joined by Washington State Representative Jessyn Farrell to discuss her work towards raising Washington’s minimum wage to $12 an hour; Washington State Representative Laurie Jinkins shared updates from her fight to pass paid sick days; and Seattle City Council President Tim Burgess talked about his proposal to bring universal preschool to Seattle.

After each elected official spoke about their policy focus, the 30+ attendees engaged in a productive discussion on building public consensus around economic justice policies.  Follow EOI @eoionline and like them on Facebook to keep informed about efforts in Washington.

April 16th  Michigan:

In Ann Arbor, Mothering Justice held a roundtable discussion on economic security with black women elected officials. The discussion explored how race, gender and class affect policy decisions at every level of government. For example, female workers and workers of color are disproportionately found among the more than 1.5 million Michigan workers who lack access to paid sick days to care for a personal or family illness.

Mama’s March May 1st (see below)


April 10th Atlanta:

Regional Forum on Working Families Regional Forum on Working Families

Georgia kicked off the White House Summit on Working Families season this month, hosting a regional forum with the help of the Women’s Bureau, 9to5 Atlanta and others. The panel discussion explored the challenges facing working families, including unequal – and really low – pay for women, and the need for commonsense policies like paid sick days and paid family leave. Charmaine Davis, state director of 9to5 Atlanta and panelist at the forum, called on Georgians to pass the Family Care Act, a bill with bipartisan support that would allow workers to use paid sick days earned at work to care for a child, spouse or parent. video jpeg fvaw may newsletter

Participants at the forum also watched a powerful, five-minute play by Family Values @ Work, “Voices from the Frontlines,” which premiered to laughter and applause. The play illustrates why work doesn’t work for so many Americans – and reveals some shocking, but all too common, realities of 21st Century workforces. Watch the short play here, and check out our BuzzFeed post about it here. Introducing the play, 9to5 Organizing Director Cindia Cameron said it showed the importance of actions taken by this administration, such as the recent executive orders by the President on ending salary secrecy at federal contractors, and new Department of Labor protections for home care workers and same-sex partners.

April 11th Colorado:

Following Atlanta, Denver hosted the first official Department of Labor regional forum on Working Families on April 11. In attendance was Katherine Archuleta, director of the Office of Personal Management, and Shelby Ramirez, a 9to5 leader and Colorado activist who lost her wages – and nearly her home – when she had to take a short leave to care for her daughter and dad. Family Values @ Work documented Shelby’s story in a short video by filmmaker Sekou Luke, which premiered at the Denver Summit. Watch the film here.

FAMLI Co Intro FVAW May Newsletter
Just days after the regional event, the Colorado coalition helped introduce SB 14-196, the Family and Medical Leave Insurance Bill (The FAMLI Act). The bill would create a statewide insurance program for partial wage replacement for employees who miss work to care for a family member or themselves when seriously ill. On Monday, dozens of activists (pictured left) brought signs and stories to the state Capitol in Denver, where the bill went before a Senate committee. A recent poll found that a strong majority of likely Colorado voters of all political affiliations support the legislation, with 42% strongly in favor. The American Sustainable Business Council, Mile High Business Alliance and Small Business Majority have also all come out in favor of the FAMLI Act.

April 24th Washington:

Equal Pay Event with Rep. Suzan DelBene

Washington’s Work and Family Coalition cosponsored a great forum last Thursday with Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, MomsRising, and the YWCA. Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Adriana, a MomsRising member who faced pay discrimination, and I shared the stage with Suzan. The audience included 5 state legislators from 3 critical districts in the Seattle suburbs, and 2 candidates for state Senate, who if they win in November could shift the balance of power in Washington’s legislature and greatly increase the likelihood for policy wins in 2015.

Our blog post is here. For photos, check out Equal Pay and Working Families album on the Washington Work and Family Coalition’s Facebook page and read live Tweets from the event here.

April 28th Illinois:

In Chicago, the DOL held its second regional summit on working families, featuring a cast of worker activists and prominent Chicagoans, including White House senior advisor Valerie Jarret, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill). Speaking at the event, Anne Ladky (pictured above), Executive Director, Women Employed, said that one of the biggest challenges to basic fairness is raising the floor with increased wages and paid sick days. A recent study by IWPR found that Chicago’s Earned Sick Time Ordinance, introduced earlier this year with the backing of a majority of the city’s aldermen, would save Chicago businesses more than $6 million annually.


May 1st Michigan

Mama’s March at the Capitol Rotunda, Lansing 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM

It is important that moms be the messengers on issues like increasing the minimum wage, access to paid sick days, affordable childcare

Some of the issues we will be talking about include life/work balance issues:

  • Access to paid sick days
  • Increase in the Minimum Wage
  • Expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act to include all families
  • Affordable child care
  • Equal Pay
  • Reducing Infant and Maternal Mortality:
  • Giving mothers more birth options
  • Creating greater access to doula services for all women
  • Promoting baby friendly hospital policies
  • Promoting policies that protect breastfeeding mom

RSVP on Facebook, Follow on Twitter  @momjustice #miroadtothewh


May 5th Pennsylvania:

Women and Workplace Negotiations
Monday, May 5, 2014 2:00 – 4:00 PM
Free Library of Philadelphia, Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine Street, Room 108, Philadelphia, PA 19103

Join the conversation on Twitter by using #EqualPay
Workshop Topics Include:

  • Equal Pay
  • Workplace Practices
  • Paid Leave
  • How to Negotiate

Register by calling 215-861-4864 or online.

Brought to you by: The U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau (WB) and Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP); Pathways, PA; the U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC); and the Free Library of Philadelphia.

May 12th New York:

9:00AM to 12:00 PM
Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
1 Bowling Green
New York, NY 10004

Register Here

Featuring Valerie Jarrett , Chair White House Council on Women and Girls.

To volunteer or to get more information contact Donna Dolan, Executive Director of New York Paid Leave Coalition at (201) 739-4046 or ddolan328@gmail.com.

Ongoing North Carolina

We searched and found Waldo. The Raiders found the lost ark. Stella even got her groove back. Now it’s time to ask @whereisMACC?

RepGill at NCWU presser@whereisMACC is a search for “My Actual Carolina Comeback,” or the solutions to North Carolina’s lagging economy that will benefit women and families and the
rest of us, because we know that a rising tide lifts all ships. @whereisMACC is a social media campaign that uses as a launching pad four life-sized photo cutouts
of real North Carolinians wearing inside-out baseball caps in the “rally cap” style to show that we are rooting for our state
to get back into the game.

The cutouts will ideally travel the state and be seen at our baseball fields, farmers markets, churches, and downtowns.

The cutouts will include a Twitter handle, Facebook page address and Google Voice number (coming soon) for people to hear more about the campaign,

Read The Cost of Getting Sick by Ann Carroll

Read The Cost of Getting Sick by Ann Carroll

encouraging people to think about what they need for a real Carolina Comeback and ask them to share their own stories.

The campaign will culminate in a press conference timed for the White House Summit on Working Families.
MACC has a few guiding principles to get us started, but it’s also important that folks bring their own vision to what they think North Carolina needs to support thriving families:

1. Create good jobs.
2. Ensure that our workplaces support our families.
3. Give us a Government that is accountable.
4. Make the tax code work for working people.
5. Protect and respect North Carolina’s environment.
6. Create a North Carolina that attracts businesses for the right reasons.
7. Reform Education to Create a Workforce for the Future
and an Engaged Citizenry.
8. Promote a healthy North Carolina.

If you or your organization wants to get involved or if you have questions, contact Jessica Rocha at Jessica@ncjustice.org, or 919-728-0331, or Beth Messersmith at
beth@momsrising.org or 919-323-6179.

May 19th Massachusetts:

9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
JFK Federal Building
25 New Sudbury Street
Government Center
Boston, MA 02203

Register Here

 Featuring Betsey Stevenson, Member Council of Economic Advisers

To volunteer or to get more information contact Deb Fastino, of the Coalition for Social Justice, 508-982-3108, dfastino@aol.com

May 29th Maryland
10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Annie E. Casey Foundation
503 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Keynote Speaker Latifa Lyles, Director, US Department of Labor Women’s Bureau

Join us to hear from government experts, including officials from the U.S. Department of Labor and the MD department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, as well as local policy experts who will examine how Maryland ranks when it comes critical issues such as wage disparities, workplace benefits, outcomes for low-income children and career advancement opportunities for low-skilled workers, among others. Speakers will reflect on how working families fared during the 2014 state legislative session and look to create momentum for change in 2015.

Lunch will be provided and space is limited. RSVPs are required.


May 27 San Francisco
1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Milton Marks Auditorium
455 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

This is a huge year of national momentum on work family policies like Paid Family Leave.  San Francisco Women’s Bureau is hosting a Department of Labor Work Family forum on Tuesday, May 27th 2014. US Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez and Leader Nancy Pelosi will be featured speakers.  Ann O’Leary from Next Generation, Julia Parish from Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center, Mary Ignatius of Parent Voices and other Coalition leaders and legislative champions will be speaking on panels about California’s leadership and continued work around work family policy.  The forum is one of many around the country in preparation for the White House Summit on Working Families in June.

Register Here

Please join us to network and celebrate following the forum at the Next Generation office.

If you have any questions, please contact Jenya Cassidy at jenya.cassidy@thenextgeneration.org or call 415-523-8016.

Date:     Tuesday, May 27th
Time:    5:00 pm – 7:00 pm
Place:    Next Generation  351 California Street, San Francisco, Suite 1200

Light refreshments and wine will be served. Please RSVP to Madelyn Gardner at Madelyn.Gardner@thenextgeneration.org

The California Work & Family Coalition is a project of Next Generation.

June 2 Rhode Island
9 AM – 10:30 AM
Providence Art Club
11 Thomas Street, Providence
Women’s Policy Institute – 2014 Leadership Ceremony

Women’s Fund of Rhode Island will celebrate their 2014 Women’s Policy Institute graduates whose leadership has helped bring about critical policy change for Rhode Island women and families. This event will also recognize the leadership of public officials who’ve been champions in advancing recent state and local legislation on Gender Equity in the Workplace, Pregnant Workers Fairness Act and Temporary Caregivers Insurance. Together, these efforts are building momentum for a national Women’s Economic Agenda that will be the highlight of this Summer’s White House Summit on Working Families. Join us on June 2nd as we recognize our graduates, hear what it means to be an activist and a leader on these issues and talk about how Rhode Island’s progress is a critical part of a national effort to address inequality.

Speakers include: Victoria Budson, Harvard, Mayor Angel Taveras, and Marcia Coné, CEO, Women’s Fund of Rhode Island

Class of 2014        Kristen Dart * Molly Garrison * Laura Marlane * Lindsay Tarnoff * Nicole Verdi


June 10th Connecticut
Time: 5:30 – 7:00pm
“Let’s Talk About It: Paid Family Leave”

FACT: Women will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in their lifetime simply because they are a caregiver.

Let’s continue the discussion about obstacles facing women and families today and in the years to come.  Join us for a community conversation about the Family and Medical Leave Act, proposed legislation and research regarding family and medical leave insurance, and how it will benefit your and your family at various points in your lives.  Co-sponsored by the CT Campaign for Paid Family Leave and the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund.

Discussion led by Catherine Bailey, CWEALF, Campaign for Paid Family Leave Co-Chair and with special guests:
Michelle Noehren, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, Campaign for Paid Family Leave Co-Chair (40 Women for the Next 40 Years Honoree) and
Lindsay Farrell, CT Working Families; Everybody Benefits (40 Women for the Next 40 Years Honoree)

RSVP to Krystal Harrison at 860-247-6090 x.103 or kharrison@cwealf.org


June 12, Burlington, VT
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Great Room at Main Street Landing on Burlington’s Waterfront
corner of Lake and College Streets

Vermont has led the nation in the areas of workplace flexibility, equal pay, workplace discrimination, and early childhood education.  We hope you can make this opportunity to discuss next steps in our progress. Join us and contribute your ideas and energy, particularly around the issues of leave for working families, including paid sick and family leave.  Join Governor Madeleine Kunin, along with advocates, policy makers, and business and labor leaders, to talk about supporting working Vermont families.

This event is sponsored by a partnership of organizations: Family Values at Work, Hunger Free Vermont, Main Street Alliance, Main Street Landing, the Vermont Commission on Women, Vermont Legal Aid, the Vermont Paid Sick Days Coalition, Vermont Works for Women, the Vermont Women’s Fund, Vermont Workers’ Center, and Voices for Vermont’s Children.

For more information, contact the Vermont Commission on Women at claire.greene@state.vt.us.

June Maine:

Coming Soon. To volunteer or to get more information contact Eliza Townsend, Executive Director, Maine Women’s Lobby at 207.622.0851 or etownsend@mainewomen.org.

Summer Washington, DC

Coalition members, Volunteers and workers will gather for a mini “carrot-mob” to recognize a local model employer to be followed by a quick briefing and know-your-rights training on the newly-passed paid sick days and minimum wage laws. The carrot mob will feature workers sharing their stories followed by a short video produced by Family Values @ Work. To volunteer contact Naomi Iser at niser@dcejc.org.



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