Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Anti-Poverty Advocates Urge State Lawmakers to Use Welfare Dollars for Job Creation

A message from our friends at Hunger Action Network
Hunger Action Network of NYS
Empire State Economic Security Campaign
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
Community Voices Heard
Partnership for the Homeless

Media Release

For Immediate Release: March 31, 2010
For More Info: Mark Dunlea, 212 741-8192 xt 5#

Anti-Poverty Advocates Urge State Lawmakers to Use Federal Welfare Dollars for Job Creation

NEW YORK - Responding to the jobs emergency of 413,000 New York City residents out of work, Human service organizations, anti-poverty advocates and welfare rights groups called today for the state to greatly increase funding for jobs programs for low-income New Yorkers (i.e., families with children under 200% of poverty). New York is eligible for up to $638 million in additional federal funding for such initiatives under the federal economic stimulus package.

The groups were joined by the chairs of the Social Services Committee, Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblymember Keith Wright, in calling for the increase funding, which is reflected in the budget resolutions recently adopted in both houses. The budget resolutions in both houses also restores funding for the 10% hike in the state welfare grant in this year's budget.  Governor Paterson has proposed decreasing funding for transitional, green and health care jobs from $70 million to $18 million, while cutting in half the second year of the promised three-year hike to 5%. Before last year, it had been 18 years since the welfare grant was hiked.

"We are in the midst of the greatest economic downturn since the Great Depression. The state needs to put people to work with a real paycheck. That is why the federal government has given New York an extra $638 million in federal welfare dollars. They know by putting more money in the pockets of our most vulnerable members, they will help stimulate the local economy by quickly spending their funds on basic necessities such as food, housing, clothing and energy costs. Instead, Governor Paterson is proposing to divert the funds to other programs while cutting jobs for low-income workers," noted Mark Dunlea, Executive Director of Hunger Action Network of NYS. Dunlea also noted that increased funding for child care was needed to support low-income working families.

In January 2010, 852,000 New Yorkers were unemployed, including 413,000 New York City residents. The City's official unemployment rate is 10.2%. However, the recession has hit the poor much harder than other segments of our society. According to the Center for Labor Studies, 30.8 percent of households with incomes below $12,500 tried but failed to find work during the fourth quarter of last year --- more than five points higher than the overall unemployment rate at the peak of the Great Depression.

Senator Squadron, chair of the Senate Social Services Committee, said, "New Yorkers are still suffering from the economic crisis -- too many are struggling to find jobs, stay in their homes, and support their families.  Investing in job training and wage subsidy programs will help thousands on the road back to self-sufficiency.  Even with the terrible budget challenges we face, I am proud that the Democratic Senate majority is putting working New Yorkers and their families first and finding creative ways to fund these programs with federal stimulus dollars."

"I stand here today in solidarity with the advocates, unemployed, underemployed, undereducated and most importantly entitled 'New York citizens' to proclaim our undying commitment to the battle to level the playing field. Although the road ahead appears daunting, I know the group I'm fighting for is protected by a higher authority. During these negotiations, I will work with Senator Squadron, OTDA and the Governor to achieve as much as possible for struggling New Yorkers," added Assembly Social Services Committee chair Keith Wright.

Under the federal economic stimulus package, jobs programs for TANF eligible individuals receive $4 in federal funding for every $1 in state spending - and federal funds can be used to cover the state contribution.  Last year's state budget included for the first time $25 million for transitional jobs which includes paid training and education; and $7 million each for green and health care jobs, as well as increased spending for wage subsidy programs and career pathways. Studies of similar programs nationwide and in NY show they are more successful in increasing employability and earnings of participants that make work programs (e.g., WEP).

"As New York City becomes a greener city, green jobs will be the route to employment for many city residents.  The Green Job Corps program helps to ensure that low-income people don't miss out on these jobs.  The program provides training and subsidized jobs for the tens of thousands of unemployed adults.  This is exactly the type of program that should be tripled and quadrupled, not cut, in the midst of the Great Recession," stated Nicole Lavan, FPWA Senior Policy Analyst for Workforce Development at the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies.

"Transitional jobs have been working in New York City since 2001.  If  the city does not receive the money through the state, they are planning to cut 750 transitional jobs from the Parks budget and have already started to lay people off. Transitional jobs work for myself and for people like me all over this great state," stated Mia Bell, Leader of Community Voices Heard, mother, and resident of the Bronx.

Adriene Holder, Attorney-in-Charge of the Civil Practice of The Legal Aid Society, stated "There are thousands of unemployed low-income New Yorkers who desperately want jobs and are willing to work hard to build better lives for themselves and their families.  On behalf of our clients, we urge State leaders to act quickly to leverage available federal stimulus funds to create jobs to provide low-income New Yorkers with employment opportunities."‬

"The proposed cuts would hurt the most vulnerable New Yorkers.  Our low-income neighbors need wages to keep a roof over their heads.  Taking away their jobs would be short-sighted and guarantee an increase in New York's already large homeless population.  The federal government is offering money that could help our neediest neighbors support themselves and their families -- that is a sound investment in our city and its future." Piper Hoffman, Director of Advocacy, Partnership for the Homeless.

Mayor Bloomberg has said the proposed funding cuts for job programs threatens 750 jobs for HRA participants. Some layoff notices have already been sent.

- 30 -

Thu, 4/1: Demonstration to Demand Justice for Domestic Violence Victim: Albany, NY

Tomorrow......Join the National Organization for Women-NYS and women's rights activists for this very important demonstration.
Join NOW-NYS and Activists for this very important demonstration
For more information contact: Marcia Pappas, 518-452-3944
Fear of Retribution May Thwart Justice for Fumi Bradley
Victims of Domestic Violence Must get Justice in the Courts
ALBANY, NY (03/30/2010) On  (Thursday)April 1, at 9:30 AM, the National Organization for Women - New York State will stand, in solidarity with other activists, at the White Plains, NY Court House (111 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard) to demand that victims of domestic violence get justice in the courts.
The occasion is the court appearance, before Judge Susan Capeci, of former New York State Assemblyman and current White Plains, NY Mayor Adam Bradley. Bradley was arraigned in White Plains City Court after being arrested for allegedly intentionally slamming his wife's finger in a door. The charge is assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor. It has, however, been reported that his wife is now asking that Bradley not be charged with the crime.
NOW-NYS President Marcia Pappas, President of NOW NYS explained, "It is common for victims of domestic violence to retract their stories in fear of retribution. But fear of retribution thwarts justice. We must give domestic violence victims the power they need to stand up to their abusers. Fumi Bradley is obviously afraid of consequences that could come from continuing the criminal charges against her husband."
Pappas is "urging the District Attorney to pursue the charges against Adam Bradley." She says that "if he is allowed sweep this situation under the rug, Ms. Bradley will be in greater danger." Pappas continued: "We want Fumi Bradley to know that she has the community behind her, and that we support her in every way. Her safety is paramount."
Pappas added: "Adam Bradley is certainly not fit to be Mayor of White Plains. As we have said in the past, any politician or elected official who abuses another person is not fit to hold office. The citizens of White Plains deserve better."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Support NOW, Get Ms. magazine for 1 year - FREE!

Through April 2, when you donate $25 to NOW you can receive Ms. magazine for one year -- for free!

If you're already a member, take this as a limited-time opportunity and get a free subscription. And if you're not a NOW member, join today and get a Ms. magazine with your $25 join.

For over forty years, NOW has worked for women's equality as a multi-issue, progressive organization. We're the largest feminist organization in the nation, and our cutting-edge, multi-issue advocacy and dedicated network of grassroots activists are unparalleled.

And we're partnering with Ms. magazine -- an award-winning, feminist publication with thought-provoking stories on everything from pop culture to world affairs -- to bring you this special deal.
Don't miss this opportunity be part of two feminist communities for one low contribution.

For justice and equality,

Terry O'Neill
President, National Organization for Women

P.S. Time is short. Donate now!

 | NOW Home

Monday, March 29, 2010

Tue, 3/30, 6-9pm: Women’s History Panel at Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center

The Women's CoffeeHouse and the Stonewall Democratic Club invite you to a panel discussion on women's history. All are welcome to attend this remembrance of the remarkable women who made it possible for all women to benefit from their work. Refreshments will be available.
moderator: Yetta Kurland
panelists: Noreen Connell, former president of NOW-NYS & NOW-NYC; 
Aurora Flores, Who's Who in Hispanic America; 
and Barbara Police, former liaison for Bella Abzug.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center
208 West 13th Street, The Center is between 7th and 8th Aves, New York, NY 10011

Subway & PATH Directions
1, 2, or 3 to 14th Street and 7th Avenue
A, C, E, or L to 14th Street and 8th Avenue
F or V to 14th Street and 6th Avenue
PATH to 14th Street and 6th Avenue

Phone: 212-620-7310

For More Information

Watch NOW President Terry O'Neill on Bill Moyers about New Healthcare Bill

March 26, 2010
Bill Moyers takes a closer look at the newly signed health bill and explores the future of health care reform with THE NATION's John Nichols and National Organization for Women president Terry O'Neill.

If you can't watch video, you can read the full script below the video. 

Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekly Feminist Jobs Digest: 3/19/2010 - 3/26/2010

(DC Metro Region - 3/24/2010)
Title: Development Associate
Organization: National Women's Law Center

(DC Metro Region - 3/26/2010)
Title: Phone Counselor/Receptionist
Organization: Cherry Hill Women's Center

(International - 3/26/2010)
Title: Global CJPS (Criminal Justice Program Support) Generalist
Organization: SAIC

(Nationwide (US) - 3/24/2010)
Title: Canvass Director- Columbus, Cleveland, Cincinnati Ohio, Pitts, Philly PA., Little Rock Arkansas, Twin Cities Minn, Denver CO, Albuuerque New Mexico, Las Vegas NV, Portland Or.
Organization: Working America AFL-CIO

(Southeast - 3/24/2010)
Title: Anchor/Reporter-En Espanol (12483)
Organization: Central Florida News 13

(Southeast - 3/24/2010)
Title: Assignment Desk Editor (12435)
Organization: Central Florida News 13

(Southeast - 3/26/2010)
Title: Community Relations Manager (12439)
Organization: Central Florida News 13

(Southeast - 3/26/2010)
Title: Latina/o Services Coordinator
Organization: Orange County Rape Crisis Center


(DC Metro Region - 3/26/2010)
Title: Program Intern - Summer 2010
Organization: Center for Health and Gender Equity (CHANGE)

(DC Metro Region - 3/26/2010)
Title: Crisis Services Intern
Organization: DC Rape Crisis Center

Want to get the latest jobs from the Feminist Career Center instantly?
Sign up for our webfeed, and stay informed every day!

Sexual Assault Awareness Month - Day of Action 4/20

Manhattan Borough President
Scott M. Stringer presents
Sexual Assault Awareness Month- Day of Action
Special presentation by:
Byron Hurt, Documentary filmaker, writer and anti-sexist activist
Guest speaker:
Harriet Lessel, Executive Director, NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault
Performance by:
Teatro El Puente, a teen theater company that uses performance to educate audiences on issues affecting young people
To RSVP, please call 212-669-4465 or email

Wed, 4/7: Conf Call on Health Care Reform: What You Need to Know

What: A virtual cafecito (informal discussion over coffee) to discuss the latest on Health Care Reform hosted by the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

Why:  Health care reform was recently signed into law however, for Latinas, the result is a mixed-bag.  Join us to learn about provisions that help and hurt women and immigrants, and the timeline for implementation of benefits. You will also hear about state based initiatives being proposed and how this can affect health care reform in your state.

When:  Wednesday, April 7th at 12pm EST

Where: It's virtual (on the phone)! So bring your cafecito (coffee), and we will provide the call-in information, upon registration. Please click here to register. 
*Note: This same cafecito will be facilitated in Spanish at 1pm - a separate registration is required. Please click here to register for the Spanish cafecito.
National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

Clinic Defense each Sat & Sat, Apr 3: NY Coalition for Abortion Clinic Defense Meeting

Call to Action! Clinic Defense!

A Call to Action from the New York Coalition for Abortion Clinic Defense (NYCACD)
The New York Coalition for Abortion
Clinic Defense (NYCACD)!

The hard-won victories of feminists are under siege but women and their allies are fighting back from coast to coast.
Organizing has taken place around the murder of Dr. Tiller, the medical director of one of the few clinics nationwide to provide late-term abortions; the threat of healthcare legislation that denies federal funds for abortion and insurance coverage for undocumented immigrants; and the physical and emotional assault on female patients at Dr. Emily's Clinic in our South Bronx.
We support the fight to challenge these contemporary manifestations of centuries of abuse of women's reproductive, economic and societal freedoms, as well as those of our children.
It is urgent for us to form a militant city-wide inclusive coalition that embraces and seeks out all members of our communities to organize around legislative, societal, religious, economic and emotional JUSTICE for our women and children now!   A coalition that is committed to disrupting myths and misconceptions about women, abortion, restrictive health care and the way these contribute to the restrictions of a woman's control over her body; the realization of free abortion on demand; an end to non-consensual sterilization of women of color, mentally and physically differently abled and poor women; nationwide comprehensive sex education and a radical reprioritizing of our women's and children's care, health, educational and economic freedoms.

Defend, with us, the freedom of women at Dr. Emily's Clinic this Saturday and every Saturday from 8am-12pm, 560 Southern Blvd. (E149th St. Station (6) or BX19 bus).
Meet to build this movement for reproductive justice on April 3 at 1pm, Freedom Hall 113West 128th St., Harlem, NY  between Malcolm X (Lenox Ave.) and 7th Ave. (#2 or 3 to 125th St.) Contact us at

National Young Feminist Leadership Conference Day 1 Recap!

This post cross-posted on The Undomestic Goddess

I spent this past weekend in DC at the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference hosted by the Feminist Majority Foundation, and I'm still on an activism high. Not only was I happy to meet some other members of the NOW-NYS Young Feminist Task Force and feminist Twitter friends in the flesh for the first time, but it was energizing to be surrounded by passionate and smart young women looking to make a difference in this world. From the opening remarks, the auditorium became fired up over health care and the reiteration that our generation is indeed NOT indifferent to the issues around us. And it just got better from there.

The first session I attended was on International Family Planning Access as a Basic Right which focused on the United Nations' Millennium Development goals. These include reducing the maternal mortality rate by 3/4 and achieving universal access to reproductive health and family planning by 2015, as well as improving maternal health worldwide. The panel defined sexual health as encompassing physical, mental and social well being as well as having the access to make choices on said sexual health. They also spoke about the international confusion on Obama's repeal of the Global Gag Rule (and how we desperately need to make its removal permanent), and the need for the US to show the world the way on international women's rights.

The next panel I attended was on the appropriations process in legislation, mainly because I know so little about it, and considering all that goes into the process, I have great respect for all those involved making sure that money mandated in legislation gets to where it needs to go. In general, women and women's organizations never ask for enough money, so know your worth and not only ask but FIGHT for it!

The conference then convened with former President of NOW and current VP of FMF Kim Gandy, Andrea Camp and Gail Cohen of the Joint Economic Committee of the US Congress (follow them @jointeconcmte), and Latifa Lyles of the US Dept of Labor Women's Bureau to talk about Women, Jobs and the Economy. They explained how while men have lost more jobs in this recession (er, "he"cession, anyone?), they're also gaining them back whereas women aren't (unlike past recessions, where they actually had much to gain) and that we need to make sure women are prioritized in any recovery act.

I had to leave early the following day so unfortunately missed out on what looked like a great panel on women in media and a closing note from Shelby Knox, but I remain inspired by those conversations with other young leaders, be it in a more structured conference setting or over drinks or on a long car ride home, that reminds me WHY we do what we do, and gives us the fuel to keep going.

Feeling inspired to attend a feminist conference? The NOW Northeast Regional Conference will be held in April in Albany, and the National NOW conference will be held in Boston this year over the 4th of July weekend - sign up today and get your activism on. And also be sure to check out the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance's photos from this past weekend!

Posted by: Amanda ReCupido of The Undomestic Goddess

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Post-Stupak, California Will Test Political Women

Womens eNews
Covering Women's Issues -
Changing Women's Lives

Thursday, March 25, 2010


California's U.S. Senate and governor races are seeing bids by three women: Boxer, Fiorina and Whitman. Women are also running for statewide offices, meaning 2010 might be a high-water mark for political women, says Susan Rose.
Check out our Commentoon
Post-Stupak, California Will Test Political Women
By Susan Rose
WeNews commentator
Thursday, March 25, 2010
California's U.S. Senate and governor races are seeing bids by three women: Boxer, Fiorina and Whitman. Women are also running for statewide offices, meaning 2010 might be a high-water mark for political women.
Susan Rose (WOMENSENEWS)--Does it matter whether we have more women in office?
The battle over abortion funding in health reform and the regressive Stupak amendment in the health care bill seems to answer that question loud and clear. Yes.
Women's political organizations throughout the country are intensively recruiting candidates to run for office so women can really start having more control over their destiny.
But when more women run, do more women win?
With elections for both governor and U.S. Senate this November, much attention is focused on the key Democratic and Republican candidates for these seats. Out of seven seats in California, three are women.
U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer is running for a fourth term; wealthy Republican businesswoman Carly Fiorina is running in a June 8 primary race to unseat Boxer; and Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay, is making a bid for the governor seat being vacated by Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is termed out.
The 2010 elections could also result in a major increase in gender representation throughout state offices.
Declared candidates for statewide office include: Secretary of State Debra Bowen, running for reelection; Janice Hahn for lieutenant governor; Kamala Harris for attorney general; Gloria Romero for superintendent of schools; and Mimi Walters for treasurer. The face of California state government may look very different by 2011.

Boxer Running for Fourth Term

In the U.S. Senate race, Boxer is running for a fourth term. Beloved by liberals, she is a passionate environmentalist and women's rights advocate. She ran her first campaign as a grassroots operation that skeptics declared would never work. That network has served her well over the years and is up and running.
Depending on the Republican primary, Boxer could face Fiorina, whose claim of success as the CEO at Hewlett-Packard has been disparaged in the media. Her career there ended when she was forced to resign after an intense battle she lost with the company's board of directors.
After undergoing treatment for breast cancer, Fiorina, in public meetings and on her Web site, appears with a shaved head as a result of chemotherapy. She has spoken out against the recent federal taskforce limiting mammograms for women in their 40s. Gutsy, but will it translate into votes?
Fiorina's opponents on June 8 are Orange County conservative Chuck Devore and moderate ex-Congressman Tom Campbell. The latter is well respected in California governance circles but has had a difficult time making it through Republican primaries.
In her bid for governor, Republican Meg Whitman has crafted a three-part campaign message: jobs, education and government accountability--and she sticks to it. Whitman has developed a savvy media program that has inundated the Internet with outreach to women, Latinos, veterans, farmers and elected officials in an effort to bring these constituencies into the Republican fold.
Whitman faces ex-Governor Jerry Brown, who has evolved from years as a candidate for president, mayor of Oakland and currently California attorney general. Brown has experienced all levels of government--local, state and federal--and has not been afraid to get his hands dirty where it matters most to voters: the delivery of services. All of Brown's primary challengers have dropped out.

Different Styles, Experiences, Agendas

Different styles, experiences and political agendas are represented among the three women who have declared their candidacies for the U.S. senate and gubernatorial races.
Boxer has a long history in government and the public sector. Since her first run for Congress in 1982, she has consistently won the support of California voters. Boxer is known as a fighter and has a track record of getting legislation passed.
Whitman, vying for governor, and Fiorina for Senate, represent corporate success but have no credentials in governance.
Most recently, Fiorina put $2.5 million of her own money into her U.S. Senate campaign. Whitman's net worth is $1.2 billion and she seems committed to spending whatever is necessary to win. But California has a history of wealthy candidates who have flamed out.
Both Whitman and Fiorina have demonstrated a lack of civic engagement by admitting they have not voted in several elections. Their challenge is to convince voters that they represent change and not business as usual.
The current economic free fall in the state of California could conceivably affect the outcome of the 2010 elections.
Incumbents who want to hold their seats must persuade an unhappy electorate--divided over health insurance reform and frustrated by the administration's inability to fix an ailing economy--that public experience outweighs the need for new blood.
Sen. Barbara Boxer speaks out at a pro-choice rally on Capitol Hill.The inrush of female candidates throughout California recalls the national scene of 1992.
In that year, four women were elected to the U.S. Senate, tripling the number of existing members already in the upper house. It was the year that California senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, Patty Murray (Washington) and Carol Moseley Braun (Illinois) were elected, along with 24 first-term female Representatives. It became known as the "year of the woman."
The impetus for this sudden surge was likely the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. In October of 1991, when Anita Hill testified about her sexual harassment experiences with Thomas, millions of Americans sat riveted before their TV sets. Angry and frustrated women organized. Pink buttons sprang onto lapels with the logo "I believe Anita Hill."

Hearings Symbolized Lack of Power

Rep. Barbara Boxer and six of her House colleagues marched up the steps of the Senate to protest the actions of the Judiciary Committee. The hearings, with their all-male member committee, symbolized the lack of power and representation women had in the U.S. Congress.
The number of women in elective office has not increased significantly since that heady, high-water year.
Nationally, women hold only 24 percent of state legislative offices and 23 percent of statewide offices. In the U.S. Senate women hold 17 percent of the seats and in the House of Representatives the percentage is a tiny bit lower--16.8 percent--but when you round it off, it's ditto.
Since 1992, the number of women in the U.S. Senate has gone from six to only 17 members.
California has two women in the U.S. Senate, but numbers are down throughout the state. It currently has only 33 or 27.5 percent women in the state legislature, six of whom will be termed out in 2010, according to California List. Only one woman holds statewide office: Secretary of State Debra Bowen.
Term limits and the pattern of women running at a later age have slowed the number of women in the political pipeline.
Mary Hughes, nationally-known California political consultant, has created The 2012 Project in partnership with the Center for American Women and Politics, at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J., to achieve gender balance in elective office.
The project will target women over 45 years of age from underrepresented fields and industries to run for state legislatures and Congress and connect them to existing resources ready to help them become successful candidates.
The Clarence Thomas hearings may not have produced long-term change, but efforts like the Stupak amendment might result in more women running for office.
Watch and see. This year California will be a testing ground.
Susan Rose served eight years on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.
She is a former executive director of the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women and member of the California Fair Employment and Housing Commission, the state civil rights agency. She writes about local government and women and politics.

For more information:

California List
Facts on Women Officeholders, Candidates and Voters, Center for American Women and Politics
Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas Hearings

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wed, 3/24: Back up Your Birth Control NYC Day of Action

The time has come for the Back Up Your Birth Control NYC Day of Action!  Next Wednesday, March 24th NARAL Pro-Choice New York activists are hitting subway stations throughout the city to hand out condoms and information about emergency contraception and where to get it.

NARAL staff and interns are already planning to head out to 2 different subway stops and we would love for you to join us.  We will be at Union Square (14th st.) from 12-2 pm and Herald Square (34th and 6th) from 5-7 pm.  We've organized the materials and ordered the condoms, so all you need to do is let me know which time and stop works for you and I'll sign you up!  Once I hear back from everyone, I will send out a final confirmation with the exact meet-up location for each stop.

Last year we had a lot of fun and handed out so many condoms and EC info that we ran out!  I really hope you can make it and please feel free to invite your friends, networks and colleagues.  All are welcome! 


PS - If you or a friend wants to participate but can't make it to the stops and times we've organized please let me know.  You can pick up condoms and materials at the office anytime in the coming days so that you can head out to a stop that works better for you.

Lalena Howard, MSW
Community Organizer
NARAL Pro-Choice New York
Get Involved:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Immediate Feminist Responses to Healthcare Bill: Wed, 3/24: Multicultural Feminist Radio

Immediate Feminist Responses to Healthcare Bill
Wednesday, March 24, 11 am to noon

Feminist and women's groups respond to the newly passed healthcare bill. Guests: Terry O'Neill, President of the National Organization for Women; Loretta Ross, National Coordinator of Sistersong: A Woman of Color Reproductive Health Collective;
Elizabeth Barajas-Rom├ín, Policy Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health; Stephanie Poggi, Director of the National Network of Abortion Funds. (Guest list still in formation). We will also be taking your phone calls, comments and questions.

Lenses through which the bill will be examined, will include: what it means for women and working class people now and for the future; the policing of "separate money streams" for abortion and all other health services; Obama's Executive Order restating and expanding the Hyde Amendment; embedded discriminations against women, older people & immigrants; how and why the ultimate result of the Nelson-Reid Senate language will lead to the same gutting of abortion access as the Stupak Amendment would have; ideas and campaigns for fighting back

Joy of Resistance: Multicultural Feminist Radio @ WBAI covers "the ongoing and world-wide struggle for the liberation of women, as it continues to unfold dynamically in every country, society and culture on the planet." We are now heard on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, 11:00-11:55 am. You can phone us at (212) 209-2987 and email us at Our programs can be streamed live by going to and can be heard on the WBAI archives for 90 days @ .

WBAI, @ 99.5 fm has served the tri-state area since 1960 as part of the Pacifica Radio Network of non-commercial listener-supported radio stations that provide a much-needed alternative to corporate controlled media. It continues to exist only through your support, so please give generously during fund drives and visit to learn more about WBAI and how you can support its mission.

Wed, 3/24: Women Helping Women award ceremony

****Please note: :the NOW – NYS Young Feminist Task Force is non-partisan.

The Manhattan Young Democrats will be having their first annual event to honor women thought-leaders, activists, and philanthropists on Wednesday, March 24th from 7-10pm at popular establishment Nikki Beach Midtown in Manhattan. It's called Women Helping Women: Engendering Progress. This is a nonpartisan event and it's going to be spectacular, with a great crowd!

They are honoring Planned Parenthood's Political Action Group, Service Women's Action Network  (a group that has been advocating heavily for the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and LGBT veteran rights), and The White House Project with two special guest honorees to be announced soon.  They are expecting a strong showing of several hundred progressive young people and local elected officials.

MYD would like to invite you.  Tickets are $15 dollars or $20 for a yearly MYD membership plus free admission at the door.

The Morning After Health Care that is anti-women & anti-immigrants

The National Organization for Women
Dear Feminist,
Yesterday, the House of Representatives finally voted to pass health care reform.
But it's not over! In fact, our work is just beginning. While the bill passed by Congress offers many good solutions to our nation's critical health care problems, it fails in many important respects.
Please donate today so NOW can keep the pressure on for meaningful change. You know - - the kind that doesn't compromise or sacrifice the needs of one group for another.
Fact: There are 47 million uninsured people in this country. The bill only covers 31 million people. And with 31 million new customers, do you think the insurance companies will really treat them all fairly?
Fact: A large majority of people in this country want private insurance to cover abortion care, but under the bill's anti-abortion provisions, that coverage could be gone in a few short years.
Fact: With more than 45,000 persons dying each year and hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies due to medical bills, this bill is only a first step.
Fact: The National Organization for Women needs you more than ever to fight for true reform with universal coverage, realistically affordable rates and no discrimination against women's reproductive health needs. Congress still has a lot of work to do - - and so do we! Donate today!
There's only one way to ensure that politicians stand up to special interests and do the hard work of solving the country's most urgent problems. They have to feel the heat, hear the demands and see the support that only NOW can organize and lead. As the grassroots arm of the women's movement, we have the capacity to change the way Washington does business - - but only if you help.
For justice and equality,
Terry O'Neill
NOW President
Donate NOW

Sign Petition for Emergency Contraception & Back Up Your Birth Control Day of Action!

It's March which can only mean one thing…It's time to back it up! Tomorrow, Wednesday, March 24th is the 9th annual Back Up Your Birth Control Day of Action. Back Up Your Birth Control is a national campaign to expand access to emergency contraception (EC) by increasing education and raising awareness.

Wednesday would be a great day to remind your readers how to they can prevent pregnancy after sex and highlight all the victories we've seen in EC access in the last year: Over-the-counter access for 17-year-olds; FDA approval of the one-pill form of Plan B and the generic version; and the Pentagon's decision to finally allow EC on military bases worldwide.

You can also urge your readers to sign a petition to the FDA and the White House asking them to end unnecessary age restrictions on EC. Last year, a federal court ruled that the FDA should make EC available to 17-year-olds over-the-counter, and urged the FDA to re-review the evidence for over-the-counter access for all women at risk of unintended pregnancy. A whole year has gone by and it's high time the FDA heeds the court's advice and grants young women timely access to EC!

For more information about EC and the campaign, check out the website. Thanks for your help in making sure all women know how to back up their birth control!

The Back Up Your Birth Control Team

Samantha Levine
Director, Marketing & Media Relations
NARAL Pro-Choice New York / National Institute for Reproductive Health
470 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016
Follow us on twitter: 

Health Care Reform "Victory" at the Expense of Women & Immigrants

Last night, the House of Representatives voted 219-212 to pass health care reform.

The National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health commends Congress and the Administration for continuing to push for much-needed health reform and we encourage the Senate to pass the Health Care and Education Affordability Reconciliation Act that includes critical pieces affecting our community.

However, this battle was fought on the bodies of women and immigrants. In the eleventh hour, President Barack Obama caved to the demands of a handful of anti-choice Democrats by agreeing to use the lives of women as trade. He will use his pen to add weight to the already cumbersome abortion restrictions in the health care bill. Latinas, immigrants, and women of color are deeply affected by any language restricting abortion access - because women of color and immigrants are disproportionately poor, they are less likely to be able to pay for reproductive health care out-of-pocket, which puts them at risk for seeking alternative, unsafe abortion methods. While health reform might lead to more Latinas being covered, it leaves out a significant portion of the population.  By excluding and stigmatizing immigrants and women who need abortions, we are pushing them to the shadows of our health care system and placing unfair burden on the already-strained system of community health care centers and emergency rooms. Over half of all immigrants are women, and 53% of all immigrants are from Latin America; though it has yet to be signed by the President, this bill is outdated already.

NLIRH has been working tirelessly over the past year to ensure that the health care reform process was one that included the needs of women and families in our communities. Our activists have been engaged in unprecedented numbers - evidence that the women in our communities know more than anyone else how deeply health care reform is needed.

If passed by the Senate, reconciliation package will cover an estimated 9 million uninsured Latinos and increase funding for community health centers, which is a lifeline for many in our neighborhoods. In addition, 4.4 million Americans in Puerto Rico and territories will receive $6.3 billion in new Medicaid funding, increased flexibility in how to use federal funding, access to the Exchange and $1 billion in subsides for low-income residents. Finally, we also know that this bill will expand family planning under Medicaid, increasing access to preventative reproductive health care service.
However, that women were used as wedges in this process is absolutely unacceptable. Over and over, our needs were compromised away. The fact that health care reform has passed in the House represents a truly historic moment for the United States. That it is marred by the President's inability to protect the rights of women is truly disappointing.

NLIRH is the nation's leading voice for Latina reproductive health and justice and the only national Latina health and reproductive rights organization representing the increasingly diverse and growing Latina population.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Obama Makes Deal with Anti-Choice Zealots on Backs of Women. Openly Renegs on his Campaign Promise to be a Pro-Choice President.

Obama Makes Deal with Anti-Choice Zealots on the Backs of Women. Openly Renegs on his Campaign Promise to be a Pro-Choice President.

For Immediate Release
March 21, 2010

Contact: Marcia Pappas, 518-452-3944

National Organization for Women-NYS Denounces
"Health Care Reform on the Backs of Women"

ALBANY, NY (03/21/2010)(readMedia)-- NOW-NYS President Marcia Pappas is outraged about President Obama's "kowtowing to a handful of anti-choice zealots who, in spite of all evidence that the Health Care Bill prohibits federally-funded abortion, insisted upon it's reiteration in Executive Order." She says that it's "health care reform on the backs of women and at the price of women's health."

Pappas also objected to Obama's articulating a reinvigorated "conscience clause" through which many essential emergency services are denied. "For example, if a woman is raped, and she is brought to an emergency room, under the conscience clause she could be denied emergency contraception that she might so desperately need."

This executive order comes on the eve of the 38th Anniversary of Baird v Eisenstadt (3/22/10) a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing birth control for unmarried people in the United States. That ruling is the foundation for subsequent privacy cases such as Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas (for gay rights).

Pappas wondered: "Do the people of the United States realize the danger to their heath care rights rooted in the fundamental right to privacy? Do they realize that a small number of misinformed right wing extremists are determined to have the government force women to bear unwanted children?"

NOW-NYS joins with National NOW President Terry O'Neill, who stated: "Through this order, the President has announced he will lend the weight of his office and the entire executive branch to the anti-abortion measures included in the Senate bill, which the House is now prepared to pass. President Obama campaigned as a pro-choice president, but his actions today suggest that his commitment to reproductive health care is shaky at best. The message we have received today is that it is acceptable to negotiate health care on the backs of women, and we couldn't disagree more."


President Obama Breaks Faith with Women

NOW logo
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116; cell 202-641-1906
President Obama Breaks Faith with Women
Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill
March 21, 2010
The National Organization for Women is incensed that President Barack Obama agreed today to issue an executive order designed to appease a handful of anti-choice Democrats who have held up health care reform in an effort to restrict women's access to abortion. Through this order, the president has announced he will lend the weight of his office and the entire executive branch to the anti-abortion measures included in the Senate bill, which the House is now prepared to pass.
President Obama campaigned as a pro-choice president, but his actions today suggest that his commitment to reproductive health care is shaky at best. Contrary to language in the draft of the executive order and repeated assertions in the news, the Hyde Amendment is not settled law -- it is an illegitimate tack-on to an annual must-pass appropriations bill. NOW has a longstanding objection to Hyde and, in fact, was looking forward to working with this president and Congress to bring an end to these restrictions. We see now that we have our work cut out for us far beyond what we ever anticipated. The message we have received today is that it is acceptable to negotiate health care on the backs of women, and we couldn't disagree more. | Press Room | View Online | Subscribe |

URGENT: contact the NYS Judiciary Committee NOW!

Stop the Presses. We need you to contact the NYS Judiciary Committee NOW!

NOW-NYS Says Stop the Presses For No Fault!

Two weeks ago, NOW-NYS (National Organization For Women) President Marcia Pappas attended a New York State Senate Judiciary Committee meeting where she witnessed the defeat of the proposed Hassell-Thompson No Fault Bill (S3890). NOW-NYS considers the legislation is extremely dangerous in that it provides no protections for women and children. In a recent speech Pappas explained: "We all know that divorce often plummets women into poverty. And when women live in poverty, their children are affected too. All we are asking is that the NYS Legislature take steps to protect the lives of women and children in divorce situations." 
The No Fault vote outcome, at twelve to ten against the bill, was clearly announced at the meeting.  But twenty-four hours later, it was announced that there would be a "re-vote" due to "confusion."  Pappas asks: "What confusion?  The bill was clearly defeated. NOW-NYS sees this underhanded move as a clear sign there would be a lot of arm-twisting to get the vote that the Democratic leadership wants. This is unacceptable. Equally or more disappointing is that Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson (D) has not been open to amending this legislation in order to include protection for the lives of women and children." 
Now Pappas is asking women's rights supporters to stay on the case: "We at NOW-NYS are asking you to again contact the NYS Senate Judiciary Committee for this re-vote scheduled for 10 AM on March 23 in Capitol Room #124. We guess they will keep taking the vote until they get the results that they want, but this is NOT democracy."
Please copy and paste the emails below to send the committee a clear message that they must AGAIN VOTE NO on the Hassell-Thompson No Fault Bill (S3890), and to continue voting NO until the bill is amended. Please let the State Senate know that it is not acceptable to throw New York's women and children under the bus.

NOW-NYS strongly opposes A-9753/S3890. This bill has a large loop hole in the wording.   It states that "Except under exigent circumstances placed on the record by the court, no judgment of divorce shall be granted under this subdivision unless and until" certain conditions are met.  NOW-NYS questions this wording as we wonder who defines "exigent circumstances" and exactly what these circumstances might be.  Further this loosely worded legislation leaves a large window for abuse by the monied spouse (usually the husband). 

Health Care Reform = Tragic Setback for Women's Rights

NOW logo
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116; cell 202-641-1906
Health Care Reform Victory Comes with Tragic Setback for Women's Rights
Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill
March 21, 2010
As a longtime proponent of health care reform, I truly wish that the National Organization for Women could join in celebrating the historic passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It pains me to have to stand against what many see as a major achievement. But feminist, progressive principles are in direct conflict with many of the compromises built into and tacked onto this legislation.
The health care reform bill passed by Congress today offers a number of good solutions to our nation's critical health care problems, but it also fails in many important respects. After a full year of controversy and compromise, the result is a highly flawed, diminished piece of legislation that continues reliance on a failing, profit-driven private insurance system and rewards those who have been abusive of their customers. With more than 45,000 unnecessary deaths annually and hundreds of thousands of bankruptcies each year due to medical bills, this bill is only a timid first step toward meaningful reform.
Fact: The bill contains a sweeping anti-abortion provision. Contrary to the talking points circulated by congressional leaders, the bill passed today ultimately achieves the same outcome as the infamous Stupak-Pitts Amendment, namely the likely elimination of all private as well as public insurance coverage for abortion. It imposes a bizarre requirement on insurance plan enrollees who buy coverage through the health insurance exchanges to write two monthly checks (one for an abortion care rider and one for all other health care). Even employers will have to write two separate checks for each of their employees requesting the abortion rider.
This burdensome, elaborate system must be eliminated. It is there because the Catholic bishops and extremist abortion rights opponents know that it will result in greatly restricting access to abortion care, currently one of the most common medical procedures for women.
Fact: President Obama made an eleventh-hour agreement to issue an executive order lending the weight of his office to the anti-abortion measures included in the bill. This move was designed to appease a handful of anti-choice Democrats who have held up health care reform in an effort to restrict women's access to abortion. This executive order helps to cement the misconception that the Hyde Amendment is settled law rather than what it really is -- an illegitimate tack-on to an annual must-pass appropriations bill. It also sends the outrageous message that it is acceptable to negotiate health care reform on the backs of women.
Fact: The bill permits age-rating, the practice of imposing higher premiums on older people. This practice has a disproportionate impact on women, whose incomes and savings are lower due to a lifetime of systematic wage discrimination.
Fact: The bill also permits gender-rating, the practice of charging women higher premiums simply because they are women. Some are under the mistaken impression that gender-rating has been prohibited, but that is only true in the individual and small-group markets. Larger group plans (more than 100 employees) sold through the exchanges will be permitted to discriminate against women -- having an especially harmful impact in workplaces where women predominate.
We know why those gender- and age-rating provisions are in the bill: because insurers insisted on them, as they will generate billions of dollars in profits for the companies. Such discriminatory rating must be completely eliminated.
Fact: The bill imposes harsh restrictions on the ability of immigrants to access health care, imposing a 5-year waiting period on permanent, legal residents before they are eligible for assistance such as Medicaid, and prohibiting undocumented workers even to use their own money to purchase health insurance through an exchange. These provisions are counterproductive in terms of controlling health care costs; they are there because of ugly anti-immigrant sentiment, and must be eliminated.
Fact: The bill covers only 32 million of the 47 million uninsured in this country, does not contain a meaningful public option and provides no pathway to a single payer system like Medicare for all. Democratic negotiators crumpled before powerful business interests and right-wing extremists, and until they get a spine there will be no true competition to help rein in costs.
The bottom line is that everyone -- citizen and non-citizen, undocumented immigrant and visitor -- has a fundamental human right to health care. This right has been denied in the U.S. for far too long, while the rest of the industrialized world moved ahead to assure universal and affordable care for their people.
We call upon President Obama and elected officials in both houses to commit to a process of steady improvement of our health care system that will result in true reform with universal coverage, realistically affordable rates and no discrimination. We still have a lot of work to do before we can genuinely celebrate. | Press Room | View Online | Donate | Subscribe |