Seems like the word “sequester” has become part of our everyday vernacular here in the DC metro region, so much so that not a day goes by without it coming up in some context. Yet, since its implementation, it feels like the sense of urgency to resolve the impact of the sequester has dissipated. It’s no longer front page news and has become the source of jokes and derision. There was the non-“snowquester” in March; the sparring about what was really behind the cancellations of all White House tours; and the reports about how Congress quickly passed legislation to resolve the impact of the sequester on air travel – just as their week-long recess was beginning (really???). And all the while, critical social services that are helping to meet the needs of our poorest communities are being cut. Programs like Headstart, nutrition assistance, child-care subsidies, and health screenings for low-income women all faced significant cutbacks but without the same sense of outrage or swift action that some of these less consequential outcomes spurred.
Archive for the 'Economy' Category
As we approached Equal Pay Day (April 9th), a number of bloggers and organizations were asked to write about what they’d do with an additional $11,000. That’s how much more the average woman would earn per year if her pay were equal to a man’s.
Last night, D.C. Mayor Vince Gray gave his annual State of the District speech and we were watching closely to find out how his plans for the coming year will affect low-income women and girls in the city. Here are a few takeaways we’re talking about at The Women’s Foundation today:
At The Women’s Foundation, we pay close attention to policies that affect women and their families throughout the year. Here are five that we’ve kept tabs on in 2012.
Across the globe, there’s growing recognition of the value of nonprofits and volunteers joining with corporations and governments to solve social issues. Last month, I was honored to participate in a conversation about the most effective ways those sectors can come together at the inaugural Service Innovations Summit in Madrid. The international summit was co-hosted by the U.S. Ambassador to Spain, Alan Solomont, the Rafael del Pino Foundation in Madrid, and the Meridian Center in Washington. The summit brought together the corporate sector, foundations, and NGO’s from Spain, a handful of other European countries, as well as the US to share information and best practices related to volunteering, corporate social responsibility, and public-private partnerships. Being in Madrid added a sense of urgency to the summit: in Spain, one-in-four people is unemployed (one-in-two people under the age of 25 is unemployed) and in the middle of the conference there was a one-day negotiated general strike across the country to protest recent labor law changes that made it less costly to hire and fire workers.
Tamara*, a long-time nurses’ assistant, hurt herself at work and was told she would be let go if she could not do her job. To prevent a sudden income loss, she applied for Unemployment Insurance (UI), but was denied because she was still technically employed by the nursing home.
I, like many in the region, sat down to watch the President’s State of the Union speech last night. It’s an annual event that always engenders much anticipation (at least among the media pundits, political junkies, and those living in and around our nation’s capital), and this year was no exception. Many called it “the” campaign speech, kicking off the 2012 election cycle. Just a day before the speech, the White House said that the President would “outline his vision for an America where hard work and responsibility are rewarded, where everyone does their fair share, and where everyone is held accountable for what they do.” Economic fairness was lauded as this year’s theme.
In this week’s roundup of news affecting women and girls in our community: We wonder what Dr. King might say about the high rate of poverty among women and girls in the DC area. The top five findings of 2011 from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research. The impact of Pre-K on the achievement gap. Is it time for a poverty revolution? Plus, a young, aspiring scientist is headed for a national competition as her family deals with homelessness.
Last month, The Women’s Foundation was among a group of organizations and individuals invited to an important discussion about women and the economy held by the White House Council on Women and Girls. Created by President Obama in 2009, the Council works to ensure that federal agencies are taking the needs of women and girls into account as they draft policies and create programs.
In today’s rundown: The new poverty measurement finds Latinos to be the poorest group in the U.S. It’s going to cost an additional $5 to feed your family at Thanksgiving this year. And discounted broadband services for low income families starting next summer.