While we were glad to see the child benefit of $500 per child under age 17 in the latest stimulus package, on top of $1200 in cash assistance per individual, that payment must be made ongoing rather than one time only.
As the House and Senate negotiate stimulus packages now and in the coming weeks, it is vital that they include measures to put money directly in the hands of unwaged caregivers who are on the frontlines of caring for our families, birthing and caring for children, doing the caring work every day that is essential to the survival of our families, communities, and the planet, through this and every disaster. As family and community caregivers we are the anchors and the lifeboats for our loved ones, children, the elderly those who are impoverished, disabled, in ill physical or mental health. Those of us who are immigrant, and/or Black or Brown, including Indigenous, are at greater risk. Increasingly mothers and our children are a large percentage of the homeless, and mothers are the fastest growing population of people being imprisoned.
If money doesn’t go directly to the primary caregiver, women will be put at even greater risk of domestic violence and will lack the means to escape it. Studies have shown that primary caregivers getting money directly is the best insurance that the money will benefit the entire family starting with children. Because unwaged caregivers are not now getting a paycheck does not mean we are not working!
Even as legislation is passed to send checks to people in the US, from what we understand, those who have not filed taxes or don’t have a Social Security number, meaning the most impoverished among us, will get nothing. According to the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, there are 140 million people in the US at or close to the poverty line, and 73% of them are women and our children.
Money for Mothers and our Children Continue reading
Adapt and post this email to each contact form or email below, and to your own Senators and Reps.
See action alert and background that you can draw on in your letter.
Dear Rep./Senator _________,
I am a [mother/grandmother/unwaged caregiver for….] and am deeply worried that the COVID-19 stimulus bills are not including us, even as we are being counted on to take on the massive work of keeping our families and communities together in the face of a health and economic crisis. Of course we love our families, but love does not pay the rent. The point is that it is vital that the stimulus proposals include measures to put money directly in the hands of unwaged caregivers such as myself who are on the frontlines, doing caring work every day that is essential to the survival of our families, communities, and the planet, through this and every disaster. Those who are immigrant, and/or people of color are at greater risk. And for those of us who are or may become victims of domestic violence we not only need access to shelters, but we urgently need cash assistance to help us and our children get out of danger.
In other western countries, governments pay a non-means tested child benefit or family allowance. We contribute $470 billion or more to the economy, according to AARP. We are working, we are workers, our work keeps all of society functioning. Where is the money that we and our children deserve? Continue reading
Personalize and post it together with the graphic, tagging each of the legislators below. Be sure to include the link and hashtags.
.@SpeakerPelosi Our communities’ survival depends on caregivers who are now unwaged during this crisis and beyond. Don’t leave us out of COVID-19 relief packages. Include an ongoing fully refundable child tax credit/child benefit now! https://bit.ly/CareIncomeNow #ChildBenefitNow #CareIncomeNow
Calling on all mothers, other caregivers & supporters to join a Virtual Social Media March on the Capitol
We demand another COVID‑19 stimulus package that includes money for unwaged caregivers and fully refundable child tax credits! The House & Senate must stay in session!
Tell them that the work of mothers and other unwaged caregivers caring for children, elders and those who are sick is counted on in this and every crisis, yet getting us the money and other resources we need is not being considered. For unwaged caregivers not to have access to money of our own drives us and our children deeper into poverty and destitution, and makes us vulnerable to domestic violence. Many of us are also doing low-waged caregiving work in the health care field on top of our unwaged work.
These questions were drafted for Pennsylvania State Senate and House Appropriations Committee Budget Hearings on the 2020 Budget for the Department of Human Services
- Pa.’s cash assistance program’s former beneficiaries say they’ve been forgotten by Harrisburg (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
For a copy of the Know Your Rights: What to do if your child is detained by DCFS handbook, see below. It will also be available in Spanish in January; call 323 276-9833 or email email@example.com
Testimony from the Global Women’s Strike and Every Mother is a Working Mother Network in Support of the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act of 2019 at the Hearing of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, October 17, 2019
My name is Vanette Jordan Lumogo and we are speaking in support of the Community Safety and Health Amendment Act on behalf of the Global Women’s Strike and Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, two networks that are pressing for a care income for mothers and other caregivers as a way to tackle inequality and poverty, driving forces behind prostitution.
And my name is Phoebe Jones. I’m a Quaker, have a PhD in physical education, and live in Philadelphia, although I was born and raised in Washington DC. “Mothers” and “sex workers” are not often put together. But the majority of sex workers are mothers, estimated at as high as 75-80%. This goes hand in hand with the statistic that 73-75% of the poor in the US are women and children, disproportionately women and children of color.
Prostitution is a survival strategy to deal with that poverty as well as discrimination, lack of pay equity, domestic violence, debt, high cost of living, low wages, unemployment, exploitation, homelessness and lack of support for caregiving for children and elders. When one in 25 families in the US live on 2 dollars a day, when 20% of families are on food stamps, when welfare reform and other measures have shredded what is left of the safety net, and when single mothers are consistently the poorest, it’s not surprising that so many women faced with no or few viable alternatives resort to prostitution to survive, feed their kids, and put a roof over our heads. It’s shocking that some women’s organizations are opposing this legislation which would stop so many low-income women from going to prison, disproportionately women of color including trans, immigrant and young women. Where were those organizations when welfare for single mothers was being cut? Why haven’t they been fighting for payment for the 40 million unpaid family caregivers taking care of loved ones? We join with sex workers who say Outlaw Poverty, Not Prostitutes.
Our network wrote the following letter to the New York Times in response to a piece by Claire Cain Miller published on Oct 3, 2019, Stay-at-Home Parents Work Hard. Should They Be Paid? . Unfortunately the letter was not published.
To the Editor:
“Stay-at-Home Parents Work Hard. Should They Be Paid?” YES! We assumed when we began in 1972, that the caring work most women did and most men did not would ultimately be acknowledged. Not only the economic value of caregiving, but the social value of making the whole human race from scratch.
With the climate emergency, we are all looking again at how we live, what we produce, how we relate, and how the hierarchies among us of sex, race, wealth, nationality… divide us. This requires not a technocratic plan but a caring perspective. The Green New Deal for Europe proposes a Care Income for all those caring for people and planet, starting with women, primary caregivers in every society. The American Family Act, which would tackle poverty with nearly universal child benefit, and the RISE Out Of Poverty Act reinstating welfare, are major steps towards prioritizing human survival over the market.
Wages for housework is a campaign whose time has come.
Selma James, International Wages for Housework Campaign, UK
Margaret Prescod, Women of Color Global Women’s Strike, US
The bill that would end General Assistance — HB 33 — was passed by the PA House Health Committee on Monday, March 25 and may move quickly to the House floor for a vote.
Please contact your local legislators and tell them vote no on eliminating or cutting GA.
Call and email your local PA House member, other legislators – also your local PA Senator. Call their Harrisburg and local offices. Please see sample script, below.
- Statement on General Assistance issued by the PA Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival
- Testimony from Every Mother is a Working Mother Network and Global Women’s Strike/Philadelphia that was read as part of the PA Poor People’s Campaign Demands Delivery event in Harrisburg last Tuesday, March 19.
Also, oppose Governor Wolf’s proposal to divert GA funding to affordable housing – we need both cash assistance and housing!