#CareIncomeNow! for all Caring Work for People & Planet

Date: Friday July 23, 2021
From: Care Income Now!/US (CIN!)*, coordinated by Global Women Strike and Women of Color/GWS careincomenow@globalwomenstrike.net 

Unpaid family caregivers are workers! Mothers and others welcome the re-introduction of the Worker Relief & Credit Reform Act making unpaid caregivers and students eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Today, as US Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI) holds a press conference in Milwaukee WI to highlight the reintroduction of her Worker Relief and Credit Reform Act (WRCR), Care Income Now! reaffirms our wholehearted endorsement of the WRCR and renews our commitment to continue to work to see that this historic Act becomes law.  The time is now for unpaid caregivers, overwhelmingly women, who the world over do the majority of the work of life and survival – from breastfeeding to elder care – to be recognized and financially supported.  We call on all organizations who advocate for mothers and other caregivers, for the human right of all to receive the care we need, irrespective of age and income, and for the elimination of poverty to join us in supporting the WRCR.

As Rep. Moore says in her press release below:

WRCR expands and modernizes the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), reaching more workers and expanding the definition of work to make unpaid caregivers and low-income students eligible for the EITC. As families work to recover from the COVID health crisis and related economic downturn, the WRCR Act could provide meaningful support that lifts millions of Americans out of poverty, reaches low-income students, and recognizes the hard, unpaid work that caregivers provide each day. The pandemic has further demonstrated the need for this legislation.  

Remarking on the implications of the WRCR, Margaret Prescod of Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike and a co-founder of International Black Women for Wages for Housework, says:

We have been campaigning for financial recognition of unpaid caregiving since 1972 when the Wages for Housework Campaign was founded.  Now we have legislation that finally acknowledges the entitlement of mothers and other primary caregivers.  The pandemic has exposed to the world the essential contribution of caregivers to survival, whether we are single mothers on welfare or the relatives of seniors.  This is long overdue, especially for communities of color who have been particularly impoverished by decades of cuts, low wages, denial of education and criminalization. 

Peggy O’Mara, former editor of Mothering Magazine, wrote in a recent article in Green Child Magazine:

The pandemic lockdown has shone a spotlight on the usually invisible work of informal caregivers in the home, work done mostly by women. This caregiving work of women is done for free and out of love, but nonetheless, it has economic value.”

Phoebe Jones of GWS pointed to the Child Tax Credits which CIN! has also been pressing for:

This goes hand in hand with the new fully refundable Child Tax Credits which we have been campaigning to make easily accessible, permanent and paid directly to the mother or other primary caregiver.  Millions of women are caring for children and for elders, often at the same time. Women’s unpaid caregiving work is estimated to contribute $1.5 trillion to the US economy.

Catherine Myers of Family and Home Network and part of CIN!, says:

Representative Gwen Moore knows that merely expressing support for mothers and caregivers is not enough – caregivers need income. This bold legislation is designed to meet the needs of caregivers through the current crisis and beyond.

Pat Albright of Every Mother is a Working Mother Network noted that many households would benefit:

We stand to gain financial support for unpaid family caregivers of elders, children and people with disabilities.  One third of family caregivers are themselves elders and many have disabilities.  Both my son, who was a student, and I would benefit from the passage of WRCR.

A Philadelphia mother of a severely disabled child commented:

I could get EITC to care for my disabled child.  I am the one who understands him most.  But now, because as his mother I am disqualified from tax credits, I have to hire someone to work with him while I go out to care for someone else to earn the money to pay them.

* Care Income Now/US (CIN!), a multiracial urban and rural network of unpaid caregivers, working for recognition of and payment for all caregiving work, gathered the endorsements of 47 organizations in support of the WRCR when it was first introduced in September 2020.  CIN!, along with its predecessor Election Action for Caregivers, is coordinated by Global Women’s Strike and Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike. 


Congresswoman Gwen Moore Hosts Press Conference to Highlight Reintroduction of Legislation that Uplifts American Workers and Honors Unpaid Work

MEDIA CONTACT

Samara Sheff
Email Address: Samara.Sheff@mail.house.gov

Milwaukee, WI
– Today, July 23rd, Congresswoman Moore is hosting a press conference to highlight the re-introduction of the Worker Relief and Credit Reform (WRCR) Act, which expands and modernizes the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), reaching more workers and expanding the definition of work to make unpaid caregivers and low-income students eligible for the EITC. As families work to recover from the COVID health crisis and related economic downturn, the WRCR Act could provide meaningful support that lifts millions of Americans out of poverty, reaches low-income students, and recognizes the hard, unpaid work that caregivers provide each day. The pandemic has further demonstrated the need for this legislation.

WHAT: The WRCR Act would cut the poverty rate by one-third, and would benefit around 161 million Americans, nearly half of all Americans. Its positive impact will uplift countless workers of her district, where 22.5% of residents live below the poverty level. The Congresswoman will hold a press conference to discuss its local impact, and local students and caregiver will tell their stories and share how enacting this legislation would impact their lives.

WHO: Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04)
Sachin Chheda, Campaigns Advisor, Economic Security Project/Action
Julie Kerksick, Senior Policy Advocate, Community Advocates
Amy Thomas, Local Caregiver
Ann Perry, Local Student

WHEN: Today, July 23rd at 10:00 AM CT – 11:00 AM CT

WHERE: Community Advocates, 728 N James Lovell St, Milwaukee, WI 53233

The following organizations endorse the WRCR Act: The Economic Security Project Action, NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice, DEMOS, MomsRising, Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike, Care Income Now/US, Global Women’s Strike, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, Payday men’s network, Community Advocates Public Policy Institute, NAACP Milwaukee Branch, Local 212 MATC FAST Fund, AFT Local 212, Children’s HealthWatch, Family and Home Network, U.S. PIRG, Independence First, Equity and Transformation, ParentsTogether Action, and People’s Action.