Petition: End poverty of mothers & children. Recognize caregiving work. Support the RISE Act and Reintroduction of the WORK Act.

#Gender Rights and IssuesTarget:US CongressRegion:United States of

  • 21.6% of US children live in poverty, more than in any other major industrialized country.
  • Mothers are the primary caregivers everywhere in the world, working to ensure the survival and wellbeing of children, families and communities.
  • Instead of recognition and support, mothers (and others with primary care responsibilities) are deprived of income and resources for this work.
  • Since Welfare Reform (TANF) was introduced in 1996, mothers must do unpaid work to ‘earn’ their benefits (Workfare).
  • Wealthy mothers can choose to raise their children full-time, mothers on Workfare must leave their children, even without childcare, or lose their benefits.
  • Workfare bypasses the minimum wage and drives down all wages, especially women’s, increasing the wage gap between women and men.
  • When mothers’ caregiving work is devalued, the children being cared for are devalued.
  • Only 36% of welfare money now goes to support families; the rest goes to state bureaucracy, and to remove children from their low-income mothers.
  • Breastfeeding among welfare mothers has decreased by 22%, and in Wisconsin, the first to introduce Welfare Reform, infant mortality has increased by 11%, and by 37% in Milwaukee’s African American community.

Therefore we the undersigned:

REAFFIRM that every mother is a working mother, and every child is precious; and

URGE the US Congress to pass and implement the Rise Out of Poverty Act (RISE Act H.R. 3486) and to reintroduce and pass the Women’s Option to Raise Kids Act (WORK Act was introduced by Pete Stark D-CA no longer in Congress) so that welfare policy:

  1. Prioritizes the elimination of child poverty.
  2. Enables mothers and other caregivers to choose to raise their children full-time up to the age of three without having to take another job.
  3. Reflects the value of caregiving work.

Click here for more background and details about the bills

Initiated by: Global Women’s Strike ● Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike ● Every Mother is a Working Mother Network

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 ● Fight for Lifers West ● Global Women’s Strike, Guyana, UK, US ● Georgia Citizens Coalition on Hunger, Atlanta, GA ● Human Rights Coalition – Fed-Up, Pittsburgh ● International Women Count Network/Breastfeeding Network, UK & US ● Legal Action for Women, London, England ● Massachusetts Welfare Rights Union, Mattapan, MA ● 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 ● Parents Organizing for Welfare and Economic Rights (POWER), Olympia, WA ● Payday Men’s Network, UK, US ● 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 MaGoD (Mothers and Grandmothers of the Disappeared Children), 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

Click here for a printable petition.

Endorsers so far: Bay Area Sex Worker Advocacy Network; Brandywine Peace Community; BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action; ; Causa Justa::Just Cause; The Charles Foundation; Chester County Peace Movement Chapter of Coalition for Peace Action; Class Action; Coalition for Peace Action/Princeton; Connecticut Coalition for Peace & Justice; Thomas Paine Cronin, Retired President of AFSCME D.C. 47; Dallas 6 Campaign, PA; Peter Edelman, Georgetown Law; F*WORD (Feminists Working on Real Democracy), a project of the Resource Center for Nonviolence, Santa Cruz, CA; Paul Glover, Green Party Candidate for Governor of PA; Frances Goldin, literary agent, housing activist; John Grant, journalist, Veterans for Peace/Phila area (identification purposes only); Greater New Haven Peace Council; Immortal Technique, Peruvian born American rapper & urban activist; International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network; Greg Kaufmann, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress; Felicia Kornbluh, University of Vermont; PA State Senator Daylin Leach; Main Line Peace Action; Massachusetts Peace Action; Mass Incarceration Working Group, Germantown Friends Meeting; Harvey Milk LGBT Democratic Club; Montgomery County Peace Action, Maryland; Montgomery County, PA Chapter of the Green Party; The Mosaic Project; Mumia Abu-Jamal; Musicians & Fine Artists for World Peace; National Peace Action; Nebraskans for Peace; New Hampshire Peace Action; No Nukes No War; North Country Peace Group; NOW Philadelphia Branch; Oregon PeaceWorks; Annelise Orleck, Dartmouth University; Parkhouse Studios; Pax Christi Florida; Pax Christi USA; Peace Action West; Peace Action Wisconsin; Peacehome Campaigns; Peace House of Oklahoma; Peak Women, Santa Cruz, CA; Philly Collaborative for Reproductive Justice & Support (PCRJS); Frances Fox Piven; Project for Nuclear Awareness; Queer Student Union, Prescott College; Resource Generation; Dorothy Roberts, University of Pennsylvania; Crystal Sanders, Pennsylvania State University; Cindy Sheehan, Peace and Freedom Party candidate for Governor of CA; Sin Barras, Santa Cruz, CA; Statewide Parent Advocacy Network; Stop Targeting Ohio’s Poor; Students of Color Organizing Against Racism (SCOR), Prescott College; Suffolk Peace Network; Swarthmore Labor Action Project; Dr. Heather Ann Thompson, Professor of African American Studies & History, Temple University; Veterans for Peace/San Francisco; Voices of Women Organizing Project; Cornell West, Princeton professor, activist; Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom/Santa Cruz; Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom – US Section; Women Trans Prisoner Defense Committee, Pittsburgh

Return printed petitions to: PO Box 11795, Phila., PA 19101 ●

For info: 215-848-1120, or 323-276-9833,