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Support the RISE Act and Reintroduction of the WORK Act!

End poverty of mothers & children. Recognize caregiving work.
Sign the petition to US Congress • 50+ current endorsersPlease add your organization today! Send this letter to your mailing lists and contacts.


For the first time in decades there is a piece of legislation and one we want reintroduced in the US Congress that recognize the work of mothers.

The RISE Out of Poverty Act (Gwen Moore, D-WI) would make ending child poverty the primary goal of TANF. The Women’s Option to Raise Kids (WORK) Act which needs to be reintroduced into Congress (was introduced in the last Congress by former Congressman Pete Stark, D- CA), recognized that raising children is vital work, and would give mothers the option of raising young children fulltime at home under current welfare legislation (TANF). The two bills together are a power for mothers everywhere, whether we are low income or not. They begin to finally value and provide resources for mothers and to undermine the growing poverty of women and children.

Sign the petition to US CongressCall to ActionJoin the growing list of endorsing organizationsAbout the bills • Letter to Members of Congress, Congressional Black Caucus • Letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer • 2Pac: Dear MamaMore…

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Stay tuned. Update on Carolyn Hill’s hearing coming soon.

The Philadelphia Department of Human Services has once again stacked the deck against Carolyn Hill, a low-income Black single mother, by preventing all but one of her 12 witnesses from testifying, and objecting every time she tried to mention the brutal and possibly illegal removal of her nieces from her care two years ago as she was in the process of adopting them. DHS has been trying to prevent the truth from coming out, denying she was pre-adoptive and bonded with the girls, arrogantly ignoring the extended family’s wishes, inventing false allegations against her, and using her lack of a high school diploma or GED – like about half of adults in Philadelphia,– as grounds to stop her from adopting the girls.    Read the full court report here.

Listen here to an interview with Carolyn Hill and Phoebe Jones from Every Mother is a Working Mother Network on KPFK radio’s “Sojourner Truth”. (Interview starts at 48:19).

Video of Carolyn Hill speaking at Left ForumSign the petition!The Right to Parent, Even If You Are Poor – In These Times

Press Release: Stop the War on the Poor: SoCal Communities Speak Out

Stop the War on the Poor Southern California is part of a first annual international week of actions. (For actions in Washington, DC, Phila; Milwaukee, SF  & in other countries: http://www.everymothernetwork.net)

WHAT:           Community Gathering with Speak-Out, Community Resources for Low-Income People, Food, Children’s Activities.

Practical experiences of and campaigning against poverty, war, criminalization of survival, solitary confinement, prison/jail expansion, deportation, removal of children from their moms due to poverty, lack of resources that tear families apart, and the destruction of the planet.  For a world that Invests in Caring for People and the Planet, Not Killing.


Information will be available on getting criminal records expunged; access to welfare, SNAP/food stamps, medical care, assistance with immigration questions; dealing with DCFS. The event is collaborating with the weekly food distribution by RAC-LA.

WHEN:          Sunday, July 20th at 12:30pm till 3:30pm

WHERE:        MacArthur Park, Wilshire Blvd./Park View, Los Angeles 90057

WHO:           Southern California Planning Group:

Alexandria House; Bilal Ali (statewide coordinator, Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign, for ID purposes); California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement; DCFS Give Us Back Our Children; Every Mother is a Working Mother Network; Food Not Bombs; Feminists Working on Real Democracy (F*WORD, Santa Cruz); KidVillage@OccupyLA; Long Beach Area Peace Network; Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater LA; Military Families Speak Out; No More Jails LA; OccupyLongBeach; RAC-LA; Sin Barras, Santa Cruz; Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike & GWS/LA; Veterans for Peace LA

Stop the War on the Poor actions are demanding:

  • Passage and implementation of the RISE Out of Poverty Act (H.R. 814, Rep Gwen Moore D-WI) that makes the elimination of child poverty central to welfare legislation and recognizes caregiving and education as work
  • Passage and implementation of the Social Security caregivers Credit Act (H.R. 5024, Rep Nita Lowey D-NY), another step toward recognizing caregiving as work.
  • Child welfare agencies stop removing children from families because of poverty, racism, sexism or other bias rather than abuse or neglect.
  • A living wage for mothers and other caregivers – we are launching an international petition.
  • Resources for the care of people and the planet, not war and occupation.

Continue reading

The Right to Parent, Even If You Are Poor (In These Times, July 16, 2014)

Excellent article on Carolyn Hill’s struggle with the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) to adopt her nieces as well as on DHS biases, privatization and poverty.  It quotes Selma James, coordinator of the Global Women’s Strike and author of Sex, Race and Class – The Perspective of Winning and Dorothy Roberts, Univ of Pennsylvania law professor and author of Shattered Bonds – The Color of Child Welfare.   Just in time for the International Week to Stop the War on the Poor!

Please urgently comment here, send us a copy and circulate widely. This article is a breakthrough, since the media either ignores or misinforms us about injustices in child welfare. Your sending a comment can help to change the tide and send the message that there is support out there for people like Carolyn Hill. Thank you!


In These Times

WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL…

BY SARAH JAFFE

Carolyn Hill speaks at a June 15, 2012 protest at the Philadelphia Department of Human Services.

Carolyn Hill speaks at a June 15, 2012 protest at the Philadelphia Department of Human Services. (Every Mother is a Working Mother Network)

Carolyn Hill still remembers the night, two years ago, when the Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) came to take her nieces away. The girls, ages 1 and 2, had been placed with her about a year earlier, after being removed from their mother’s custody due to her mental health issues. Hill thought she’d begun the process of adopting the girls: She’d taken parenting classes at the request of the agency and had begun paperwork so that she could go forward with adoption.

But on Tuesday April 3, 2012, Hill got a call from the Lutheran Children and Family Service (LCFS), a nonprofit that had taken over her case the previous fall (Philadelphia’s DHS farms out its caretaking services to a number of nonprofits). The caller said that she needed to speak with Hill that day. The social worker who had called Hill arrived at her home after 5pm and, without prior warning, took Hill’s nieces away. “She didn’t even let them finish eating—I had stopped to get them some food, but she just took them right on out,” Hill tells In These Times. (LCFS did not return a request for comment.) Continue reading

Press Release: Protesters Call on White House and Congress to Fulfill MLK’s Dream by Stopping the War on the Poor

 

To commemorate Martin Luther King Jr’s 1968 Poor People’s Campaign (PPC), grassroots groups are taking actions in Washington DC and several US cities, Ireland and England the week of July 14 to Stop the War on the Poor. This is the first of what organizers plan as an annual action.  They aim to expose – and change – that while one in two people in the US lives at or near poverty and the planet is on the brink, the US spends $682 billion on the military, nearly half the world’s total.  Women and children are the majority of the poor.  Women do 2/3 of the worlds work for 5% of the Income (ILO), yet the fundamental work of mothers and other primary caregivers is unvalued and unsupported.

In addition to a pots and pans rally outside the White House, campaigners will be meeting with religious organizations and members of Congress.

Demands include:  passage and implementation of the RISE Out of Poverty Act (H.R. 814, Rep Gwen Moore, D-WI) that makes the elimination of child poverty central to welfare legislation; passage of the Social Security Caregiver Credit Act (H.R. 5024, Rep Nita Lowey, D-NY), another step in the direction of valuing caregiving; child welfare agencies to stop removing children from families because of poverty, racism, sexism; and a living wage for mothers and other caregivers.

“Just prior to his assassination, Martin Luther King Jr condemned the Vietnam War and called for the PPC culminating in a Poor People’s March in DC in June, demanding a living wage and a guaranteed income,” said Pat Gowens whose organization Welfare Warriors initiated the Stop the War on the Poor actions.  Little has changed since King noted that Congress had shown ‘hostility to the poor’ by spending ‘military funds with alacrity and generosity’. We are asking the President and Congress to act.”

Coretta Scott King spoke out in support of impoverished mothers.  She railed against welfare cuts which she said “forces mothers to leave their children and accept work or training, leaving their children to grow up in the streets” and urged others “to join welfare mothers and call upon Congress to establish a guaranteed annual income.”  

Dr. King learnt from welfare mothers. They had been calling for a poor people’s campaign and urging his organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), to oppose “anti-welfare” legislation and support their right to welfare. Michael Eric Dyson

Pat Albright, a domestic worker and former welfare recipient with the Every Mother is a Working Mother Network says: “The history of MLK and Coretta Scott King’s support for impoverished mothers has been lost in the rush from both the right and left to condemn mothers on welfare, to press only for jobs outside the home and to deny that raising children and caring for those who are ill, disabled or older is the hard work that it is entitling mothers to welfare and other resources.

They cut my food stamps from $80 to $15 last month. Now I have to pay all my bills and buy food with just $300 left after paying rent.  It is almost impossible to make it now.  What can I do?E.P., an elder with a disability.

“I am raising two kids on my own and only got $23 last month after welfare cut off my childcare so I couldn’t do the welfare work. Now I’m facing eviction and just don’t know what to do. They say I can’t get any more help because I met my time limits this month.”  C.S, a young mom.

Globally 1 in 3 people live on less than $2 a day, and in the US it is mainly women and children of color, Black, Latino/Hispanic and Native American who are the most impoverished,” “says Margaret Prescod of Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike, one of the sponsoring groups.  “Poverty is at the heart of it all”

Co-sponsors to date include:  Alexandria House, LA; Black Health Coalition of Wisconsin; California Families Against Solitary Confinement; Dallas 6 Campaign, Pennsylvania; DHS/DCFS Give Us Back Our Children, Philadelphia and LA; Fight for Lifers West; F*WORD, Santa Cruz, CA; Human Rights Coalition-Fed Up, Pittsburgh; LA No More Jails; Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater LA; Military Families Speak Out – Orange County, CA; 9 to 5 Wisconsin; Parents Organizing For Welfare and Economic Rights (POWER), Olympia, WA; Payday Men’s Network; Queer Strike; RAC-LA; KidVillage@OccupyLA; Sin Barras, Santa Cruz, CA; Women and Trans Prisoner Defense Committee, Pittsburgh; USPROStitutes Collective; Veterans for Peace, LA Chapter; Voces de la Frontera, Milwaukee, WI

Los Angeles – Stop the War on the Poor, July 20

Join the SoCal Event!

Sunday, July 20th, 12:30-3:30pm MacArthur Park @ Wilshire & Parkview
Metro: Westlake/MacArthur Park

All Welcome!  Children’s Activities, Food, Resource info for low income people including on benefits, food security, expungement of criminal records & more.

KPFK Pacifica radio 90.7FM is the media sponsor

Southern California Planning Group: Alexandria House; California Families to Abolish Solitary Confinement; DCFS Give Us Back Our Children; Every Mother is a Working Mother Network; Food Not Bombs; F*WORD, Santa Cruz; (Homeless Bill of Rights Campaign – for ID purposes), Western Regional Advocacy Project (WRAP); KidVillage@OccupyLA; LA No More Jails; Long Beach Area Peace Network; Martin Luther King Coalition of Greater LA; Military Families Speak Out-OC; OccupyLongBeach; RAC-LA; Sin Barras, Santa Cruz; Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike & GWS/LA; Veterans for Peace Los Angeles.

UK Parliament Early Day Motion in support of Stop the War on the Poor Campaign

UK Early day motion 249

STOP THE WAR ON THE POOR CAMPAIGN

  • Session: 2014-15
  • Date tabled: 09.07.2014
  • Primary sponsor: McDonnell, John

That this House welcomes the Stop the War on the Poor initiative which commemorates Martin Luther King’s Poor People’s Campaign launched just before his assassination on 4 April 1968; further welcomes the RISE Out of Poverty Act now before the US Congress, which would make the elimination of child poverty the priority of welfare policy and recognises the caring work of mothers and other carers; believes that the UK would benefit from a similar policy since four million UK children, one in three, are living in poverty; notes that Dr King condemned the Vietnam War, accusing Congress of hostility to the poor by spending military funds with alacrity and generosity; further notes that he supported mothers’ right to welfare, a living wage and a guaranteed income for all; rejects US-style workfare as it forces unwaged carers to work for their benefits, undermining both the minimum wage and pay equity; and reaffirms humanity’s assumption that every child is precious to the whole society, and that every primary carer is entitled to resources and support for their life-saving, life-enhancing caring work.

Fact Sheet – Stop the War on the Poor!

First Annual International Week Stop the War on the Poor, July 14-20

War & Militarization Are Prioritized over Survival & Caring

  • Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. invites you to join us in the Poor People's CampaignMLK said “War is the enemy of the poor.”
  • The US continues to wage war around the world, causing death and destruction, and costing $3 trillion since 2001.
  • Globally $1 trillion a year on green energy could stop climate change.
  • In the US, 146.4 million people, or 1 in 2, are below or near the poverty line; 20.5 m in extreme poverty (below half of the poverty line).
  • Globally 1 in 3 people live on less than $2/day; a billion on less than $1.25/day  – similar to what many Native American communities are forced to live on.

Impact on Mothers & Families

  • The work of mothers is tokenized, devalued and unpaid. 41% of women-headed families with children live in poverty. The years we spend raising children are called zero years and we get no social security credit.
  • The most impoverished mothers are penalized by welfare “reform” (TANF) – it denies that every mother is a working mother and forces mothers out to waged work.
  • Welfare “reform” has increased poverty. Welfare spending has gone up while the number of families receiving welfare has gone down – from 82 % of poor families in 1979 to 25% now – and benefits have been cut to below 50% of the poverty line in all states.
  • Welfare “reform” benefits professionals at the expense of families. Money that used to go to low income mothers caring for children was shifted into “services” including childcare and child welfare agencies.
  • Homelessness is up 35%. Women and children are the fastest growing section of the homeless.
  • Single mothers are the fastest growing population going to prison, and there are more Black men in prison than were enslaved in 1857. The US has the largest prison population in the world.

The impact on our children

  • Poor People's Campaign 1968Nearly 1 in 4 young children in the US lived with insufficient food in 2012.
  • Children are 36 % of the poor. In 2010, 16.4 million US children (22%) were poor. Black, Latino and Native American children are most likely to live in poverty.
  • More and more children are being detained by child welfare agencies, a $29 billion industry generating income to millions of professionals and big Pharma, and placed in  foster care due to poverty, homelessness, racism, sexism . . .
  • The US is the only rich country with no federal paid maternity leave policy and no universal child or family allowance.  
  • 47.6% of immigrants and their US born children live in or near poverty. Immigration laws force separation of children from their families.

The impact on older people & people with disabilities

  • In 2010, 8.3 million US people over 60 faced the threat of hunger – up 78% from a decade ago.
  • In the US people with disabilities are twice as likely to live below the poverty line. 72% of women with disabilities live below the poverty line.

Impact on wages for women & men

  • When welfare benefits drop so do wages. Wages (adjusted for inflation) have dropped from 1979 to today.
  • Domestic and homecare workers, along with farm workers, commonly make less than the minimum wage.
  • Women earn only 77% of what white men earn; Black and Latina women earn even less.
  • Men’s income has dropped by 19% since 1970; by 41% for those with a high school diploma and no college.
  • Almost 40% of Alzheimer’s caregivers are men, often caring for their partners, without pay. Men are increasingly echoing women’s demand for time and resources to care for their loved ones.

The 1% is getting richer, much richer

  • 95 % of all income growth between 2009 and 2012 went to the 1%.
  • The top 400 wealthiest are worth more than $2 trillion, more than the bottom half of the US population.

INVEST IN CARING FOR PEOPLE AND THE PLANET, NOT KILLING!