If 2012 was the year of the woman, 2013 is the year of the working mom. And that’s why I’m headed to California. Last week, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi along with Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro, Doris Matsui and others announced a new economic agenda for women and families, built on three key pillars for driving women’s economic advancement: 1) equal pay for equal work, 2) work-family balance, including paid sick leave and a livable minimum wage, and 3) access to quality, affordable child care.
As many have noted, these priorities are not new ideas. Women have been advocating for decades for these policies, because they work, they are fair and they are critical to the success of our nation. What is new is the momentum behind putting these practical solutions to work so that we can kick-start an economy that continues to languish and restore the American promise for our children — that their futures should be brighter,
How are men doing in our anemic economic recovery? David Brooks, after discussing his favorite Western movie, argues in his latest column, Men on the Threshold, that men are “unable to cross the threshold into the new economy.” Though he’d probably argue that he’s talking about generational changes, he focuses on a few data points from the current recession, including that “all the private sector jobs lost by women during the Great Recession have been recaptured, but men still have a long way to go.”
Is he right? And what are some facts we can put on the current recovery when it comes to men versus women?
Men had a harder crash during the recession, but a much better recovery, when compared with women.
Indeed, during the first two years of the recovery expert analysis was focused on a situation that was completely reversed from Brooks’
Myth One: Immigration reform will strain already overburdened government safety net programs like Social Security and Medicare.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office finds that immigration reform will actually reduce the budget deficit by hundreds of billions of dollars.
Why is that? Because while they seek citizenship, undocumented workers will be required to pay into Social Security and Medicare even though they won’t be eligible for them.
They’re also younger on average than the typical worker, so even when they’re citizens they’ll be paying into Social Security and Medicare far longer.
Myth Two: New immigrants take away jobs from native-born Americans.
Wednesday’s Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage represented a major victory in the battle for social justice. But the Court stopped short of proclaiming same-sex marriage a basic right. It left it to the states to determine whether gay Americans have the same right to marry as their straight counterparts.
This is the same logic — states’ rights — that allowed the Court this week to weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965, essentially giving states permission to discriminate against Blacks and Latinos in gerrymandering electoral districts and erecting obstacles to voting. Soon, we’re likely to see a number of Republican-controlled states, including Texas, redraw legislative boundaries to make it harder for minority candidates and white liberal candidates backed by minority voters (such as Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis, who courageously waged a filibuster this week to protect women’s reproductive rights) to win public office and to change state laws to make it harder for people to vote.
Yesterday’s historic Supreme Court rulings supporting marriage equality marked an important step forward for justice for all workers. Labor unions in California and across the nation have been strongly united for marriage equality for years. In fact, the California Labor Federation and 50 other labor organizations signed on to an amicus brief in support of marriage equality back when the challenges to Prop 8 first began nearly five years go.
Tim Paulson of the San Francisco Labor Council, which was one of the most vocal parties to the amicus brief, celebrated the announcement, which happens to coincide with the 43rd annual San Francisco Pride celebration that kicks off this weekend.
Here in San Francisco, where it all started, workers are celebrating this great civil rights victory. As we say, “an injury to one is an injury to all.” Now all of our LBGT members and their partners can be treated with equal respect.