Tag Archives: welfare

Historic welfare resolution passed at the 1977 Houston women’s conference

In 1977 in Houston, TX, thousands of women took part in the first and only National Women’s Conference mandated by Congress.  Some of us from the Wages for Housework Campaign worked with the leaders of the National Welfare Rights Organization to win a historic resolution.  It rejected workfare and called for welfare to be considered a wage, not charity.  For the past 40 years we have campaigned to get what was won at Houston implemented, and we are now coordinating the National Welfare and Caregivers Network.

We are appealing for help to get to the 40th anniversary event, National Women’s Conference: Taking 1977 into the 21st Century, in Houston Nov. 6-7.  Our delegation has been accepted to present on a panel “Women, Welfare and Poverty: Back to the Grassroots.”

Send your support here.  You can also donate and find out more on GoFundMe. Please share widely on social media!

1977 Houston resolution: Women, Welfare, and Poverty by EveryMotherNetwork on Scribd

EMERGENCY ALERT: HB 59 Passes the Pennsylvania House – URGE GOV WOLF TO VETO IT

URGENT: Please let Governor Wolf know we are counting on him to veto HB 59, a horrendous and potentially deadly bill which would impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, cut transportation and get rid of “non-essential” life-saving benefits.  Contact Gov. Wolf’s office via 717-787-2500; fax: 717-772-8284; https://www.governor.pa.gov/contact/.

The National Welfare and Caregivers Network issued an action alert and were among the 173 organizations that signed onto a PA Health Access Network letter opposing HB 59. More details below.

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Support the RISE Act & Reintroduction of 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 • Truthout: “Welfare Reform” Is Pushing Women Into Unwaged Work • Letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer • Historic resolution from 1977 Houston Women’s Conference • 2Pac: Dear MamaMore…

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.

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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.