Press release: Local Actions in 12 US cities to launch campaign for recognition of caregiving work and to end the poverty of mothers and children

Petition to the US Congress: End poverty of mothers & children. Recognize caregiving work. Support the WORK and the RISE Acts.

For immediate release………

What: local actions in 12 US cities to launch campaign for recognition of caregiving work and to end the poverty of mothers and children
When: Monday October 15, the day before the 2nd presidential debate
From: Global Women's Strike and Every Mother is a Working Mother Network
Contact: 215-848-1120

Moms and other caregivers say to Prez candidates, “Yes, every mother is a working mother. What will you do to recognize the real value of our work and end the poverty of children and their hard-working mothers?”

On the eve of the second presidential debate, mothers and other caregivers are holding coordinated actions in 12 US cities to launch a campaign for recognition of caregiving work and an end to the immoral and shocking poverty of mothers and children. The campaigners are calling for the enactment of the Women’s Option to Raise Kids Act (WORK Act HR4379) introduced by Rep Pete Stark (D-California) and the Rise Out of Poverty Act (RISE Act HR3573) introduced by Rep Gwen Moore (D-Wisconsin, herself a former welfare mother). The bills recognize the work of mothers and call for resources for no and low-income mothers.

Participants are based in: Benton Harbor/MI; Boston MA; Cleveland OH; Detroit MI; Los Angeles CA; Milwaukee WI; New York State; Oakland CA; Olympia WA; Omaha NE; Philadelphia PA; Richmond VA, Salt Lake City UT, San Francisco CA.

They want Mitt Romney and President Obama to answer the following question:

Mr. Romney, in defending your wife you said, “every mother is a working mother;” President Obama, you said “being a mom is the hardest job there is”. What resources will you make available so that low income mothers have the same choice as wealthy women to raise their own children rather than being forced to work outside the home and have someone else care for their children? Will you be supporting the RISE and WORK Acts?

Every Mother is A Working Mother is a broad-based multi-racial network of groups of mothers, grandmothers, fathers and other caregivers from a wide spectrum of communities – single moms on welfare, low income families who have lost children to foster care, breastfeeding advocates, nurses, seniors, people with disabilities or caring for loved ones with disabilities including veterans, teachers, women who have been criminalized by poverty including sex workers and former prisoners, trade unionists, pay equity activists, LGBT, farmers, small business owners and others. They say, “It is time for politicians, right, left and center, to stop talking out of both sides of their mouths, paying lip service to the work of mothers while calling poor moms moochers and scroungers, and cutting lifeline resources for moms with the least. Women are being forced to stay in abusive relationships or to take low waged work regardless of the impact on their children. From social security, where years raising children are considered our “zero years”, to welfare reform to lack of pay equity in waged work, mothers are penalized. We say every mother is a working mother and every child is entitled to care! We are all Moms in Chief and we all deserve support!

The campaign is backed with an impressive array of statistics showing how mothers work the hardest, doing the double and triple day while getting the least for it, summed up by the ILO statistic that women do 2/3 of the world’s work for 5% of the income. There are 16.4 million children living in poverty in the rich USA; 7.4 million in extreme poverty.

The Global Women’s Strike has brought its international network to build this campaign because wherever we are, caregivers work the hardest and have least access to resources. In the Global South women’s workload and poverty are even heavier and our contributions to the global economy ignored.

Sponsored by: Black Autonomy Network Community Organization (BANCO), Benton Harbor, MI ● Bonnie Atwood, Richmond, VA ● Bonnie Macri, Salt Lake City, Utah ● DHS/DCFS – Give Us Back Our Children/Southern California & Philadelphia ● Energy Rescue, Omaha, NE ● Every Mother is a Working Mother Network/Philadelphia & Southern CA ● Family Advocacy Movement, Omaha, NE ● Family Connection Center, Cleveland, OH ● Global Women’s Strike, Guyana, UK, US ● Georgia Citizens Coalition on Hunger, Atlanta, GA ● International Women Count Network/Breastfeeding Network, UK & US ● Legal Action for Women, London, England ● LIFETIME, Oakland, CA ● Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, Detroit, MI ● Military Families Speak Out/Southern California ● National Welfare Rights Union, Detroit, MI ● New Life Career Center, Hempstead, Long Island, NY ● Payday Men’s Network, UK, US ● Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights (POWER), Olympia, WA ● Queer Strike/UK and US ● Red Thread, Guyana, South America ● Shauna Gunderson, Santa Cruz, CA ● Single Mothers’ Self Defense, London, England ● Survival News, Boston, MA ● Survivors, Inc., Boston, MA ● US PROStitutes Collective/San Francisco, CA ● Welfare Warriors, Milwaukee, WI ● WinVisible (women with visible and invisible disabilities)/UK & US ● Women for Economic Justice Coalition (WEJ), Oakland, CA ● Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike/ UK & US