Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Congress' Deficit Supercommittee News, Women in Poverty & More


 POLICY / ADVOCACY UPDATE
1) DEFICIT SUPERCOMMITTEE WEBSITE
2) RECORD NUMBERS OF WOMEN IN POVERTY
3) PAID SICK DAYS LEGISLATION IN SEATTLE
 
REMINDER!
Don't forget to register for Thursday's Program
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio Talks New York
starting at 12:30 pm.  
 
1) DEFICIT SUPERCOMMITTEE LAUNCHES WEBSITE
Congress's supercommittee now has an online presence, as the deficit-busting panel launched its website last Tuesday.
 
The site came on the same day that the panel of 12 lawmakers held its first substantive hearing. The new website plans to stream the panel's public hearings. A number of lawmakers and advocacy groups had called on the supercommittee to conduct all its business in public, with some lawmakers even going so far as to introduce legislation to that effect.
 
The website also includes a form that allows the public to weigh in on the group's work. "Pass along your suggestions to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction," the site states on its front page, above a link leading to the form. "What can we do to reduce our nation's deficit?"
 
The supercommittee's website also archives previous hearings. A video of the panel's first hearing to establish its rules was posted on the site's front page when it went live. The site also includes a copy of those rules, as well as links to all 12 members' websites. Check it out here!
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2) RECORD NUMBERS OF WOMEN IN POVERTY
Record numbers of women lived in poverty – and extreme poverty – in 2010, according to an analysis of Census by the National Women's Law Center (NWLC). The figures show that U.S. women are hit hardest in every category, but much of the major media excluded this in their reports. (See Leslie Bennetts' article, "Women: The Invisible Poor".)
 
Here are some statistics from the Census Bureau:
  • The poverty rate among women climbed to 14.5 percent in 2010 from 13.9 percent in 2009, the highest in 17 years.
  • The extreme poverty rate among women climbed to 6.3 percent in 2010 from 5.9 percent in 2009, the highest rate ever recorded.
  • Over 17 million women lived in poverty in 2010, including more than 7.5 million in extreme poverty; extreme poverty means income below half the federal poverty line.
  • The percentage of women under 65 without health insurance increased from 19.2 percent in 2009 to 19.7 percent in 2010, the highest rate recorded in more than a decade.
  • Over 19 million women younger than 65 were without health care coverage in 2010.
  • Women working full-time year-round continued to be paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts.
These staggering numbers should send an "urgent wake-up call to Congress to tackle the immediate deficit facing this nation – the lack of jobs – by acting swiftly on President Obama's job creation proposals and passing a robust package that will put millions of American women and men back to work," says Joan Entmacher, NWLC Vice President for Family Economic Security.
 
The WCC advocates for policies that protect women, their families, their security, and health.  To read about the WCC's related actions and advocacy, click here, here and here.  Also, visit our Women's Issues Committee and Poverty Issues Committee for more information on our priorities and work.
 
To read the NWLC analysis of the Census data, click here.
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3) PAID SICK DAYS LEGISLATION IN SEATTLE
Last week, Seattle's City Council voted in support of a robust paid sick days standard – and the mayor has voiced strong support for this critical legislation. In another victory for paid sick days across the country, this vote means nearly 190,000 workers will soon have the right to earn paid sick days in Seattle.
 
The WCC strongly supports paid sick days in NYC and continues to advocate for positive work-life policies.  We advocate for policies that do not force people to choose between their health and financial security. Parents shouldn't have to send their sick kids to school, and restaurant, day care and hospital workers should be able to stop working when sick.
 
We congratulate the city of Seattle on this important legislation, and we will continue to support paid sick days legislation in NYC.  Check out a project of the National Partnership for Women & Families – "Support Paid Sick Days" – to learn more about current campaigns. Click here!
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 For further information about topics covered in this email, please contact:
Lauren Clark, Director of Program and Administration,
by email at lclark@wccny.org or by phone at 212.353.8070 x 203
 
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THE WOMEN'S CITY CLUB OF NEW YORK,
307 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1403, New York, NY 10001,
is a nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that improves lives through education,
issue analysis, advocacy and civic participation.

 


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