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Thinking Big - Value Families at Work

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Thinking Big - Value Families at Work

  1. 1. Thinking Big on Valuing Families at Work: What We Need - and How to Get It Ellen Bravo Multi-State Working Families Consortium February 11, 2009 valuefamiliesatwork.org
  2. 2. President Barack Obama <ul><li>Our nation cannot accept a work world where &quot;taking time off to take a sick parent to the hospital is a fireable offense.&quot; </li></ul>
  3. 3. Michelle Obama <ul><li>“ O ur country is in the midst of a major economic crisis. And folks are feeling it at the workplace. Thousands of women across the country don’t have family leave at their jobs. And those who do can’t afford to take it because it’s not paid. And 22 million working women don't have a single paid sick day. </li></ul><ul><li>“ That’s just unacceptable. Families shouldn’t be punished because someone gets sick or has an emergency. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Michelle Obama <ul><li>“ T h e Obama-Biden administration will change Washington, so instead of just talking a good game about family values, we actually have policies that value families.” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Making It Happen <ul><li>We’re lucky to have champions in high office. </li></ul><ul><li>But our progress is not about luck. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Making It Happen <ul><li>We have a leader who commits to these policies because of the work of our movement and the thousands we’ve helped bring together. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Laying the Groundwork <ul><li>We’ve made huge strides: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We won family leave or parental leave insurance in California, Washington, New Jersey. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We’re close to winning family leave insurance in New York. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We won paid sick days in San Francisco, District of Columbia, Milwaukee. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A win is possible in Philly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bills are pending in many states. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A number of national bills are pending. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. We Need Federal Action <ul><li>Reclaim role of government to protect the people, create minimum labor standards. </li></ul><ul><li>Circumstances and values have shifted -- we need new rules, new investments. </li></ul>
  9. 9. What Government Can Do: Executive Branch <ul><li>Be model employer. </li></ul><ul><li>Require these standards from contractors, recipients of stimulus or bailout funds. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide funds for states to institute family leave insurance. </li></ul>
  10. 10. What Government Can Do: Agencies <ul><li>DOL halt efforts to restrict FMLA use. </li></ul><ul><li>Women’s Bureau conduct public education, gather data - highlight model programs, build support and engagement for federal agenda. </li></ul><ul><li>Aggressively enforce EEOC guidelines on Family Responsibility Discrimination. </li></ul>
  11. 11. What Government Can Do: Legislative <ul><li>Paid leave for federal employees. </li></ul><ul><li>Expand who gets leave and for what purposes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cover smaller employers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Broaden definition of family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Add use for events related to school and medical appointments, domestic violence </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ensure a minimum number of paid sick days. </li></ul><ul><li>Part-time parity. </li></ul><ul><li>Restrict family responsibility discrimination. </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in early childhood education, child care, after-school care. </li></ul><ul><li>. </li></ul>
  12. 12. How to Get There: Lessons from Organizing in the States
  13. 13. Involving Those Affected <ul><li>We involved those affected by the issues in every stage of the work. </li></ul><ul><li>Not just the face but the heart and driver of our campaigns. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Demonstrate Real Needs <ul><li>Our organizing, research, polling demonstrated a need for new minimum standards. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Building Power <ul><li>We built strong coalitions from: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>labor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>public health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>domestic violence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>disabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>racial justice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>economic development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>advocates for kids, seniors. </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Clear Message Rooted in Values <ul><li>We worked with message experts to create common frames: </li></ul><ul><li>It’s time to value families at work. </li></ul><ul><li>No one should have to choose between the job they need and the family they love. </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone gets sick – not everyone has the right to get well. </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t want to be served flu with your soup. </li></ul><ul><li>Policies that value families are good for the bottom line. </li></ul>
  17. 17. New Media Tools <ul><li>Activists tell their stories through 1000 Voices Archives, made possible by a partnership with Creative Counsel. </li></ul><ul><li>http://1000voicesarchive.org/ </li></ul>
  18. 18. Research <ul><li>Policy experts helped document the facts and we put faces to them. </li></ul><ul><li>We showed lack of standards hurts everyone, with a disproportionate impact on women, low-wage workers, and workers of color. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Connecting the Dots <ul><li>Don’t be marginalized. Link these policies to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>removing obstacles to women’s equality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>health care, public health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>economic health </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>children’s well-being </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>restoring middle class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>economic development and justice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>making work pay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>supporting aging population. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Progressive Employers <ul><li>We found allies among employers who helped make the business case. </li></ul><ul><li>We’re challenging the primacy of corporate lobbyists - to create wedge, stop employer identity theft. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Winning Champions <ul><li>We educated progressive policymakers who became champions. </li></ul><ul><li>We helped expand the scope of work for many progressive organizations. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Creating Change <ul><li>We helped change the policy environment, including how voters view the role of government. </li></ul><ul><li>We linked our campaigns with the need for regulation. </li></ul>
  23. 23. We Found Support <ul><li>Support from National Foundations… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ford Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Annie E. Casey Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public Welfare Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rockefeller Family Fund </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ms. Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hagedorn Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A.L. Mailman Foundation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>… helped leverage local and state support. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Sharing Innovation <ul><li>New model of sharing funding. </li></ul><ul><li>We share strategies, tactics, framing, resources. </li></ul><ul><li>We share innovative new approaches. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Milwaukee: Ground Campaign, Media <ul><li>We spoke to thousands of people and used billboards, bus ads, 200,000 post cards in multiple languages, yard signs, ads on community radio, weekly media events, as part of an extensive ground campaign in the community. </li></ul>
  26. 26. Georgia: Kids and Seniors <ul><li>We engaged school children in art and essay contests, visits to lawmakers for the Parent Protection Act. </li></ul><ul><li>We got a seniors’ group involved: “We need our adult children to take us to dr. appointments.” Hospital official agrees. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Maine: Working Women’s Voter Guide <ul><li>We developed a work and family guide for candidates and voters, particularly unmarried women in targeted communities. </li></ul>
  28. 28. California: Demonstrating the Health Impact of Sick Days <ul><li>We worked with Human Impact Partners to develop a model showing connections between public policy, public health, and worker well-being. </li></ul>
  29. 29. New York: Engaging Public Health Experts <ul><li>We’re contacting public health officials to sign on to family leave insurance and paid sick days, offer research, speak at press events or hearings. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Massachusetts - A New Take on Health Care <ul><li>We initiated research showing how paid sick days can contain health care costs. </li></ul>
  31. 31. Illinois: Holding Town Hall Meetings <ul><li>We got YWCAs, Urban Leagues and others to host town hall meetings where workers speak about the need for paid sick days, and employers share the business case. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Colorado: Working with Girls <ul><li>The local women’s foundation, a supporter of the coalition, has linked us with a girls’ group which wants to focus on the Parental Involvement Act. </li></ul>
  33. 33. Pennsylvania: Engaging a Local Chamber <ul><li>We worked with the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce. The chair committed to a roundtable with PathWays PA and businesses to discuss paid sick days. They are not opposing the measure. </li></ul>
  34. 34. New Jersey: Stopping the Baloney <ul><li>When the NJ Business and Industry Assoc. kept spreading mis- information against family leave insurance, the coalition delivered a loaf of bologna to “Stop the Baloney.” </li></ul>
  35. 35. Washington: Linking Family Leave with Economic Security <ul><li>We’re demonstrating how paid family leave provides economic stimulus in a downturn. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Moving Toward a Tipping Point <ul><li>We’re building the power needed to reach a tipping point and make sure we bring about a sea change for working families. </li></ul>
  37. 37. What It Will Take <ul><li>Champions need work at the grassroots to make change at the top. </li></ul><ul><li>Invest in this work to win national standards: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Demonstrate how policies that value families boost economic development. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Invest in organizing at the state and local level. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure these issues are part of every group’s agenda. </li></ul></ul>

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