19 July 2011

Weekly Round-Up: Grantees Making Waves Nationwide

What with budget battles that always seem to target women and families first, an economic crisis that is particularly grueling for women, and a record number of anti-choice measures introduced nationwide, our grantees, women activists leading change across the US, have been hard at work. Here is just a sampling of some of their recent wins and campaigns:

Grantee win alert! Earlier this month, Connecticut Governor Malloy signed paid sick days legislation into law. Ellen Bravo of Family Values at Work discusses this win and the broader campaign for paid sick days in an op-ed with Edith Prague for the Women’s Media Center, and in this Spotlight on Poverty webcast.

Grantee win alert! Young Voices and their allies were able to prevent cuts to child care in the Rhode Island state budget -- an uphill battle that many are fighting in states nationwide. Congratulations on a huge victory that provides inspiration and hope for similar campaigns around the US!

Grantee win alert! Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice along with the Strong Families coalition, fought and won the removal of racist anti-abortion billboards in Oakland, CA. Watch the videos that helped give a personal voice to the campaign.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles was forced to remove billboards which read “El lugar mas peligroso para un Latino es el vientre de su madre,”/“The most dangerous place for a Latino is in the womb” thanks to advocacy by women of color-led groups, including grantee California Latinas for Reproductive Justice [pdf]. In denouncing the "heinous" billboards, they wrote, "The problem in our communities is not abortion. What Latinas/os truly need to thrive is access to quality health care, good paying jobs to support their families, and quality education to provide positive life opportunities." 

On July 12 in Washington, DC, the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Jobs with Justice brought together over 700 people from across the country, including numerous other grantees, to launch Caring Across Generations, a campaign to "transform long-term care in the United States for our loved ones who count on the support of caregivers to meet their basic daily needs, the workers who provide the support, and the families who struggle to find and afford quality care for their family members." Caring Across Generations also led the rally, Medicaid Matters Across Generations, at which over 300 convened, including lawmakers, on Capitol Hill to advocate for the protection of Medicaid, under constant threat amidst federal deficit talks. Learn more about the campaign, share your own care story and host a local CARE Congress in your community!

On July 6, the California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights was passed by the Senate Labor Committee, a critical hurdle in the campaign to secure rights, respect and dignity for more than 200,000 nannies, housekeepers and elderly caregivers in CA.

On July 14, Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts members packed the statehouse in support of H1774, an act that would improve community access to energy efficiency programs and green jobs. Read more.

We're extremely frustrated to report that soon after the Philadelphia City Council passed paid sick days legislation, a victory for Family Values at Work and Childspace CDI who were part of a more than 100-member coalition, the decision was rudely upended by the mayor’s veto. But knowing the tenacity, heart and commitment of our grantees and their allies, we know the fight to support the health and well-being of women, families and communities through access to paid leave is far from over, and look forward to reporting more success down the road.

On July 1, the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights joined communities across the country in a National Day of Action to protest the enactment of one of the nation's most anti-immigrant state laws, HB 87 in Georgia. At the end of June, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction blocking two provisions of the law, but leaving some of the central anti-immigrant provisions intact, including mandatory E-verify.

The National Women’s Law Center issued a critical resource for today's ongoing budget battles: Protecting Programs for Low-Income People in Deficit Reduction Plans Is Vital to Women and Their Families.

Hollaback! led an incredibly successful I've Got Your Back campaign and met their fundraising goal! Great work all!

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum continues to be a leader on federal immigration policy. This month they joined the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans to meet with Senate leaders to urge them to oppose expansion of the E-verify program, and support the Administration in using judicial discretion to stay removal cases for spouses of same-sex couples for immigration purposes and DREAM students.

Leadership Celebrations and Change

California Latinas for Reproductive Justice (CLRJ) announced the appointment of Laura Jiménez as their incoming executive director. She will begin her tenure on September 1, 2011. Congratulations -- we're so excited to work with you, Laura!

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health also announced the appointment of Jessica González-Rojas as their next executive director. No stranger to the work, Jessica is a powerful voice for Latina health and rights and assumes her new role after serving as the NLIRH's deputy director.

President and CEO, Molly Greenman, celebrated 25 wonderful years at The Family Partnership. “Needless to say, a lot has changed since 1986! What hasn't changed is our core values of working with people - not for people - in supporting our community's most vulnerable children and families. Find out what else has been happening at The Family Partnership as we celebrate this momentous occasion!”

Events and Action Opportunities

Join the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health on July 20 at 2pm EDT for a cafecito on the impact of proposed cuts to Medicaid: What's going on with Medicaid? The impact of federal budget cuts on Latinas. NLIRH is one of our many grantees calling for the protection of Medicaid and urging Congress to stop its numerous attempts to balance the budget on the backs of the most vulnerable.

Feel the love for workers', women's and immigrants' rights, and join more than 1,000 labor, community, student, and religious activists at the Jobs with Justice National Conference August 5-7 in Washington DC! Find out how you can join a growing grassroots movement for workers' rights nationwide.

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