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Mothers and others welcome re-introduction of Worker Relief & Credit Reform Act (WRCR)

Every Mother is a Working Mother Network is part of Care Income Now!/US.

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. 

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Mothers, Grandmothers Say: DCFS Stop Stealing Our Children! Launch of bilingual Know Your Rights booklet

WHAT: Webinar: Stop Stealing Our Children: Take Away Our Poverty, Not Our Children!
WHEN: Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 4PM Pacific Time, to register: https://tinyurl.com/3k92nsbv
WHO: Alexandria House, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, Global Women’s Strike/Women of Color GWS

Mothers, Grandmothers Say: DCFS Stop Stealing Our Children!
Launch of bilingual Know Your Rights booklet.

Mothers, grandmothers and other community campaigners will come together and speak out on July 20th 4pm as part of the online webinar Stop Stealing Our Children: Take Away Our Poverty, Not Our Children.  LA County has the largest child welfare system in the US, and removes children at the highest rate, disproportionately Black, Indigenous and Brown children. Speakers include Joyce McMillan of JMAC For Families and Melody Webb of Mothers Outreach Network, nationally-known for their critiques of the child welfare system and their work to keep families together. The webinar will also launch the online publication of Know Your Rights, What to do if your child is detained by the LA Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in English and Spanish – a handbook begun by families who have been through LA’s child welfare system to assist others caught up in it to get their children back.

For more information and to register for the webinar: https://tinyurl.com/3k92nsbv

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Child Tax Credit Press Conference and Community Outreach in Philly Tuesday July 13

We are participating in Keep Families Afloat, a national week of actions to raise awareness about the Child Tax Credits leading up to July 15 when the IRS is set to start sending out checks. For more info, email sachin@economicsecurity.us.

As part of these actions, in Philadelphia Senator Art Haywood and Women of Color/Global Women’s Strike are sponsoring a Press Conference and Rally for Child Checks on Tuesday, July 13 from 1-3pm, Maplewood Mall at Greene St. in Germantown.  Come on out to learn how to get the money and to join the campaign to make the credits permanent and to go to the mother or whoever is primary caregiver!

Also: Food & clothing Giveaway, legal help with utilities & shut-offs, info on benefits access & more 

With: Community Legal Services, Crossroads Women’s Wellness, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, Family Practice & Counseling Network, Purple House Project PA, For Our Future, Perfectly Flawless, 99% PA, Tax March

Info: 215-848-1120   careincomenow@globalwomenstrike.net   Facebook event page

The money is there: letter to the editor (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Letter to the editor published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, June 30, 2021 

Only cut is scarcity

General Assistance (GA) — cruelly eliminated in 2019 — was a lifeline for me while waiting for disability benefits, as it was for women escaping domestic violence, homeless youth, people in drug programs, and leaving prison. I was in Harrisburg on June 7 with the Pennsylvania Poor People’s Campaign, demanding reinstatement of GA as part of a moral budget and a “Third Reconstruction” to fully address poverty from the bottom up. With a $10 billion+ surplus — why are millions of Pennsylvanians still in poverty, the majority women and children? With Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) benefit levels unchanged since 1990, children are being taken and placed in foster care across the state due to poverty, racism, and other forms of discrimination. Meanwhile we see no limit on money handed to harmful industries, prisons, horse racing. GA must be reinstated and expanded, and TANF benefits increased with work requirements and time limits ended. The money is there.

Pat Albright, Philadelphia


Original op-ed: Only cut is scarcity

EDITORIAL

June 20, 2021

Only cut is scarcity

With billions in surplus, Harrisburg should make plans to spend big.

 

Unpaid Caregivers Participate in Child Tax Credit Awareness Day, and Press Policy Makers to Make the Child Tax Credit Permanent and Pay It to the Primary Caretaker

21st June 2021
ISSUED BY: Care Income Now/US careincomenow@globalwomenstrike.net

Care Income Now/US is participating in the Monday, June 21 Child Tax Credit (CTC) Awareness Day. Our multi-racial urban and rural network is releasing a letter calling on President Biden, Vice President Harris, elected officials, and the Treasury Department to make the credits a permanent child benefit payable by default to the mother or primary caregiver, the best guarantee that children will benefit, the caregiving work of the mother or primary caregiver will be recognized and domestic violence victims – one in four women – will not be dependent on the main breadwinner, usually a man. Click here to read letter. We are also continuing our public information campaign to get the word out about CTC to our communities with a particular focus on impoverished mothers.

On June 21, caregivers in the Bay Area CA, Fort Collins CO, Los Angeles CA and Philadelphia PA will be getting out CTC information. “As a mom and grandmom and the editor of a magazine that for decades focused on the care of our children, I wish CTC was available when my children were younger,” says Peggy O’Mara former editor of Mothering magazine and a coordinator of Care Income Now.

Money going to mothers explodes the myth of the lazy scrounger seeking a handout, a myth used to demonize Black single mothers on welfare and deny all mothers what is rightfully ours,.” says Margaret Prescod from Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike, also a coordinator of Care Income Now.

During the 2020 presidential campaign, we formed Election Action for Caregivers and advocated for a refundable CTC that would go to all families and applauded President Biden’s inclusion of one in his American Rescue Plan. Now we are calling on President Biden, Vice President Harris, and members of Congress to make the CTC permanent and paid to all Primary Caregivers. Influenced by our advocacy, the Children’s Defense Fund and its ABC coalition is also calling for the CTC to go to the Primary Caregiver.

For millions of parents, low wages and minimal benefits make it difficult, if not impossible, to take care of loved ones. As a result, twelve million children now live in food insecure households. Tragically, 70% of adult wage earners who are enrolled in Medicaid or receive food assistance (SNAP) work full-time. For this reason, we are also calling for an increase of the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a campaign promise of President Biden’s.

When mothers in our network were asked how a refundable CTC of $250 to $300 a month would help their families, here’s a sampling what they said:

“When my children were young, my ex-husbands controlled the taxes and I had to beg them for money for myself and the children. We got about $1000 in child tax credits, but one of my ex-husbands blew the money on fancy shoes for himself, and the other one used it to buy himself an electric guitar when the kids needed new glasses.”

With tax credits payments, I would struggle less with buying the necessary foods for my disabled daughter’s immune system that enable her to walk. Last week I was only able to buy two quarts when she needs ten.

“It would help me pay the bills and afford bus fare for taking the children to appointments. I could buy them socks and underwear as they grow out of them.”

“I might have been able to get a car.”

“My son would not have felt the shame of being poor. We could have shopped at a regular store and not a thrift store.

“If I had had this when my daughter was young, I would not have gone into debt every month.”

 

Tax/Utility/Benefits Assistance Day, April 30 in Philly!

Friday April 30, 11am-4pm

Tax/Utility/Benefits Assistance Day!

Outside new Crossroads Women’s Center 5011 Wayne Ave in Germantown (Philadelphia)

Mothers! Caregivers! Others! Get help filing your taxes and claiming your entitlements. Get legal help with tax and utility issues as shut-offs and sheriff sales resume. FREE!!!

Food giveaway • Caregiving survey

Tax experts, lawyers and benefits counselors on site. Bring your tax paperwork or just drop by.

All welcome. Outdoors. Masks required. Wheelchair Accessible.

Schedule for the day: Overview of services followed by one-on-one help starting at 11am, 1pm, 3pm.

If you are in the Philly area, please help get the word out!  Download, print and distribute flyers here.

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Letter to NY Times: ‘Every Mother Is a Working Mother’

Missing was Pat’s affiliation: Member, Global Women’s Strike/Philadelphia, and a correction: “Every mother should be able to choose what’s best for her and her children.”  But great that it got in!

To the Editor:

Re “Why Are We Worrying About Women’s Work?” (Opinion, nytimes.com, March 19):

As a former Arby’s employee, I was glad that Elizabeth Bruenig questioned those who promote the importance of “standing behind the counter at Arby’s” over being a stay-at-home mother. Does forcing mothers on welfare to leave infants as young as six weeks old so they can “be productive” reflect the kind of world we want?

It was only because I was able to get disability benefits that, little as it was, I was able to stay home and breastfeed and nurture my child. The bonding of mothers and children, including through breastfeeding, is absolutely critical to children’s physical and emotional development.

Expansion of the child tax credit, as provided in the American Rescue Plan, gives more mothers more choices, and I’m all for it. We need a permanent child benefit going directly to the mother or primary caregiver. Every mother should choose what’s best for her children. Every mother is a working mother.

Pat Albright
Philadelphia

A version of this article appears in print on April 5, 2021, Section A, Page 18 of the New York edition.

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March 18 National Welfare Rights Union Truth Commission – Poverty in All Its Forms is Violence

Register now for the online event:

Truth Commission: Poverty in all its forms is violence:
Caregivers victimized by poverty speak out!

Thursday March 18 from 7-8:30pm (US Eastern Time).   Convened by National Welfare Rights Union (NWRU). Testifiers include Global Women’s Strike Benefits Working Group members.

Registration link:

https://actionnetwork.org/events/truth-commission-poverty-in-all-its-forms-is-violence-caregivers-victimized-by-poverty-speak-out

Action Alert! Call on Biden/Harris Campaign to Expand Support for All Caregivers

From Election Action for Caregivers:

Take action to ask Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris to strengthen their support for caregivers.

There are over 53 million unpaid family caregivers in the US, plus 11 million stay at home parents. It’s URGENT that the Biden/Harris Campaign recognize this essential work with fully-refundable tax credits. Ask that they express their support in the Presidential and VP Debates.

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