Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wonder Woman? I think not.

The original series aired in 1975. The new series is slated for 2011. Let me get this straight---the Wonder Woman costume comes out---and the only thing critics decry is that the costume is not authentic to the original series? An outcry goes out because she should NOT be wearing pants, but no one notices how the image on the left makes her waist and legs smaller than they are in the image on the right (where she is on set)?

Are we perhaps missing the point? Better yet, shouldn't the modern Wonder Woman not be a sexpot, but a feminist icon? Perhaps we should care less about the ratings and more about the messages we are sending?

Who's up for writing to the producers en masse?

The "Wonder Woman" costume, before (left) and after
NBC/Justin Lubin, Gaz Shirley/

Billboard, new law, highlight racial turn for abortion debate

As if America's debate over abortion weren't contentious enough, it's lately been stirred by the addition of another hot-button issue: race.

Yesterday, Arizona became the first state in the nation to outlaw abortions performed on the basis of the race or gender of the fetus. And an anti-abortion billboard that uses an image of President Obama to target Chicago's black community has sparked a furor.

The Arizona bill, signed into law on Tuesday by Governor Jan Brewer, a Republican, makes it a felony for doctors or other medical professionals to perform an abortion in order to help parents choose their offspring on the basis of race or gender. The law does not punish the woman having the abortion.

"Governor Brewer believes society has a responsibility to protect its most vulnerable -- the unborn -- and this legislation is consistent with her strong pro-life track record," a spokesman for Brewer told Reuters.

But opponents of the unusual measure contend there's little evidence that fetuses in Arizona are being aborted on the basis of gender or race. And they say the law could lead doctors to ask women about their reasons for having an abortion--something supporters of abortion rights view as a private decision.

About 1,700 miles away, in Chicago, a Texas-based anti-abortion group unveiled a billboard in the predominantly black neighborhood of Englewood. Next to a picture of Obama, it reads: "Every 21 minutes, our next possible leader is aborted."

The Chicago Abortion Fund, a pro-choice group, denounced the billboard. "The ongoing anti-choice movement to target women of color in cities across the country is both despicable and deplorable," it said in a statement. "Not only is the ad attempting to shame black women but placing a picture of the President Obama alongside the message is cynical and misleading."

The group behind the billboard, Life Always, says it plans 30 similar ones for the Chicago area. It recently placed a billboard in New York City's Soho neighborhood, reading: "The most dangerous place for African Americans is in the womb." It was taken down after protests.

Studies have shown abortion rates are higher among African-American women than among women of other races. That has prompted anti-abortion groups to target African-Americans with the argument that abortion is hurting the black community, with some even referring to its "genocidal impact." Pro-choice groups counter that the disparity means African-American women would be disproportionately harmed by further restrictions on abortion.

(Top image: An anti-abortion billboard in Atlanta targeted at African-Americans, similar to the ones that have caused controversy in Chicago and New York City.: John Bazemore/AP. Center image: Chicago billboard)

Devastating to New York

Dear MoveOn member,

Heads up: Congress is debating a budget plan that would be devastating to New York. Will you pass this along?

Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand need to hear from all of us about it right now, before they cut a deal in the next few days.

Please spread the word about all of these proposed cuts to New York:

  • $188 million would be cut from federal funds for clean and safe water in New York.1
  • 8,600 New York children would be immediately cut from Head Start, which provides comprehensive early childhood development services for at-risk children ages zero to five.2
  • $406 million would be cut from Pell Grants, affecting all 584,000 higher education students with those grants in New York.3
  • Job training and employment services would be effectively eliminated for 84,000 dislocated workers, 83,000 low-income adults, and 18,000 youths age 14 to 21.4
  • $7.9 million would be cut from law enforcement assistance, taking cops off the beat.5

It's especially galling when the same budget protects tax breaks for corporations like GE and the very rich.

Just last night the news broke that Congress may be close to striking a deal on the budget. Now is the only time we can influence the outcome.

Can you call Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand and ask them to oppose these cuts in the budget? You can pick one of the cuts in this list to highlight in your call.

Senator Charles Schumer
Phone: 202-224-6542

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Phone: 202-224-4451

Click to report your call. Then pass this email along locally!

The cuts that the Republicans are proposing would disproportionately hit those who can least afford it in New York, and it's up to us to stop them.

Thanks for all you do.

-Daniel, Amy, Milan, Tate, and the rest of the team


1. "House Bill Means Fewer Children in Head Start, Less Help for Students to Attend College, Less Job Training, and Less Funding for Clean Water," Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March, 1, 2010

2. "Projected Reduction in Children Served in Head Start Based on H.R. 1—Fiscal Year 2011 Continuing Resolution," Center for Law and Social Policy

3. "House Bill Means Fewer Children in Head Start, Less Help for Students to Attend College, Less Job Training, and Less Funding for Clean Water," Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, March, 1, 2010

4. Ibid

5. Ibid

National Organization for Women News & Action Summary: Wal-Mart, Ferraro, We-R-1

NOW News and Action Summary
National Organization for Women:
News & Action Summary
March 29, 2011

Women of Wal-Mart Deserve their Day in Court: Retail Giant is Not Too Big to Sue

Today the Supreme Court heard arguments in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, the largest employment class-action suit in U.S. history. The company's challenge seeks to halt the case, which represents more than 1.5 million women, before it even gets to trial. Read more.
NOW was out in force at the Supreme Court this morning, standing up and speaking out for the women of Wal-Mart. Check out the photos!

Ferraro Was a Trailblazer for Women

NOW President Terry O'Neill writes for "It was poignant to learn today of Geraldine Ferraro's passing just as the National Organization for Women Political Action Committee was meeting to discuss the upcoming 2012 election cycle." Read more.

We Are One: NOW Stands in Solidarity with Workers' Rights and Human Dignity

All NOW chapters, members and supporters are encouraged to find, or even register, local solidarity events on the We Are One national day of action taking place Monday, April 4, 2011. Read more.

Social Security: Tell Your Senators to Oppose Benefit Cuts

Conservatives want to severely cut Social Security, even though it has nothing to do with the deficit. NOW is pushing for the Social Security Protection Amendment that says "Hands off Social Security!" Take action today!

Petition: Help Protect Women's Economic Security

Sign NOW's petition to President Obama asking him to stand up to the enemies of Social Security and forcefully oppose schemes to cut and privatize the program. While he's at it, the president should back measures to strengthen the system for those who depend upon it the most. Sign the petition!
Conference Spotlight
2011 National NOW Conference
Daring to Dream: Building a Feminist Future

Join NOW in Florida this summer for an action-packed weekend of strategizing, networking and rebellious good times. Find out more about this year's conference and the compelling speakers scheduled. Online registration is open so start planning your trip today!
We are currently accepting workshop proposals. Don't delay -- the April 26 submission deadline is fast approaching! Learn more.

Your support is absolutely vital to NOW's ability to take on the right wing and push ahead on all of our important issues. Please consider contributing and if you're not a member joining NOW.

Find more on NOW's Media Hall of Shame and Say It, Sister! NOW's Blog for Equality

Twitter Facebook LinkedIn YouTube

Read more on NOW Read This

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Happy Back Up Your Birth Control Day of Action!

NOW NY State Young Feminist Task Force member David is leading NARAL's efforts for events in NYC

Today is the 10th annual Back Up Your Birth Control National Day of Action!  

Across the country, students, advocates, providers and activists like you are distributing emergency contraception (EC) materials, organizing educational events, and doing their part to raise awareness of EC in their communities. 

Here are a few easy ways you can help spread the word online today!
  • Blog for EC. Write a post reminding your readers about the importance of EC.
  • Create an EC e-card. Send a funny EC e-card to all your friends. Get some ideas by checking out our favorite EC e-cards here.
  • Donate your Facebook status. Join the Back Up Your Birth Control Facebook page and post an update reminding your friends to back up their birth control.
  • Join the conversation on Twitter. Tweet about EC using the #BackItUp hashtag. Add a "Back It Up" Twibbon to your profile. Follow us at @NIRHealth as we tweet facts about EC, debunk common myths, and highlight the best EC blog posts.
Even after 10 years of the campaign, far too many women and men still don't know that they can prevent pregnancy after sex. Thank you for working to change that and help ensure that everyone knows how to back up their birth control.

Let's make this year's Back Up Your Birth Control Day of Action the best of the decade!

The Back Up Your Birth Control Team

Apr 4th events: The Wisconsin spirit is spreading

Dear MoveOn member,

April 4, 2011 is shaping up to be one of the most important progressive days of action in nearly a decade.

It's the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., who was killed 43 years ago while traveling to Memphis to stand in solidarity with striking sanitation workers demanding their chance to attain the American Dream.

Now, in response to the new wave of Republican attacks on unions and working people, the entire labor movement has called for a massive national day of protests, vigils, and work site events on April 4. Virtually the entire progressive movement has joined in.

Can you help make next Monday an overwhelming day of solidarity for working people by attending an event in your area? Click here to find the April 4 event closest to you:

Working people in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana have inspired an activist spirit that's spreading across the country, and this is our chance to keep the momentum going. This is our chance to stand up to the Republicans and demand protection for workers' rights and the restoration of the American Dream for all of us.

The events are part of "We Are One," a grassroots effort led by a broad coalition of unions and progressive allies committed to realizing Dr. King's goal of economic justice for all. The events include actions, teach-ins, work site discussions, vigils, faith events, and more.

You can simply attend an event in your area or if you have creative ideas for an event in a public place like a park, in your work site, a teach-in at a college near you, or even something at your house, you can volunteer to host your own.

We need to keep building our strength until the American Dream can finally be attained by everyone. On April 4, we will keep the momentum going. And we will not stop.

Will you join us?

Thanks for all you do.

–Daniel, Justin, Julia, Robin, and the rest of the team

Fri, April 1st: Vigil for Jobs---Create a National Jobs Program: Joblessness and Service Cuts Must Not Become the New "Normal"

First Friday Vigil for Jobs - Come Stand With Us in Albany, Chicago, Dayton, Detroit,
Long Island NY, and New York City to Send a Message to Washington, DC
Create a National Jobs Program
Joblessness and Service Cuts Must Not Become the New “Normal”

Friday, April 1, 2011 • 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm •
in front of the Federal Building, Clinton Ave. and Pearl St., Albany
Friday, April 1, 2011 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm East 47th– 48th Sts.
in front of Senator Schumer’s Manhattan office, 757 Third Ave.
Friday, April 1, 2011 - 12pm to 1pm - in front of Congressmember
Peter King's office at 1003 Park Blvd., Massapequa Park
Friday April 1, 2011 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm - the Federal Building at
100 S. Clinton St., Syracuse

Join the Vigil for Jobs on the First Friday of every month BECAUSE…
This past year, one out of every four families in America has been affected by unemployment. In January 2011, close to 13.9 million persons were officially unemployed, and another 14.8 million persons, the “hidden unemployed,” wanted full-time work but were forced to work part-time or wanted a job but were not actively looking. The best way to solve this crisis is for the federal government to create a new national jobs program, similar to the innovative work programs created by President Roosevelt during the 1930’s Great Depression. Senator Schumer, as New York’s highest federal official, we urge you take our message to Washington.
Congress and the President must act immediately to:
· Pass H.R. 589 to extend emergency benefits for the long-term unemployed who have been jobless for longer than 93-99 weeks.
· Resume financial assistance to state and local governments to avoid massive layoffs in health care, education and other essential services and which will disproportionately affect women.
· Create “Green Jobs” in the United States and defund foreign wars and military bases.

Speakers at Vigil:
Bill Henning, CWA - Local 1180;
Barbara Garson, author;
Chuck Bell, National jobs for all Coalition;
Gaby Moreno, National Organization for Women-NYS
Endorsed by…
  • Americans for Democratic Action, NYC Chapter
  • Communications Workers of America, Local 1180
  • Democratic Socialists of America, NYC Chapter
  • Empire State Economic Security Campaign
  • Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition
  • Healing of the Nations Fndtn, Rev. James Forbes, Jr., Pres.
  • Hunger Action Network of NY State
  • Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, NYC Chapter
  • National Assoc. of Broadcast Employees & Technicians (NABET), CWA Local 16 • National Jobs for All Coalition
  • National Organization for Women – NYS
  • New York Jobs with Justice
  • Professional Staff Congress/CUNY, AFT Local 2334
  • The American 99ers Union
  • U.S. Labor Against the War, NYC Chapter
  • Veterans for Peace, NYC Chapter
  • Workers Defense League, Inc.
Individual Endorsements, (org. for identification only):
  • Tom Anderson, Vice Chairman, Organization of Staff Analysts
  • Keith Brooks, United Federation of Teachers
  • Leslie Cagan, Co-Founder, Organization United for Peace and Justice
  • Barbara Garson, author
  • Connie Gruber
  • Martin Melkonian, Adj. Assoc. Professor, Hofstra University
  • Ed Ott, former Exec. Dir. NYC Central Labor Council
  • Dorothy Savage, Former Dir. of Education & Leadership Ministries, The National Council of Churches
  • Julia Willebrand, delegate, U.S. Green Party Natl. Committee
National vigil coordinator Logan Martinez (937-433-8260 or 937-275-7259 or loganmartinez(at);
NYS vigil coordinator, Gaby Moreno, 212-580-2663 or

Compelling Speakers on National NOW Conference Agenda

2011 National NOW Conference, June 24-26 in Tampa, Florida

Compelling Speakers on National NOW Conference Agenda

What do a police chief, a plus-size model and a pollster all have in common? They are three of the compelling women scheduled to speak at the 2011 National NOW Conference in Tampa this June.

These fabulous feminists will be joined by a leader in South Florida's Haitian community, an actress/blogger and an expert on health and income security. And that's just the beginning! More exciting speakers and honorees will be announced in the coming weeks.

Marleine Bastien Jane Castor Lynn Chen
Marleine Bastien Jane Castor Lynn Chen
Kate Dillon Celinda Lake Dr. Maya Rockeymoore
Kate Dillon Celinda Lake Dr. Maya Rockeymoore

Learn more about these speakers and check back often to see who's been added to the agenda.

Maybe YOU could be part of the conference program! NOW is currently accepting proposals for workshops. Guidelines and the submission form are on the conference website -- but the April 26 deadline is fast approaching, so don't delay.

Start planning your trip today to the National NOW Conference, June 24-26 in Tampa, Fla. Online registration is open through June 10. Lots of attendees are registering early this year, so make your hotel reservations soon, before they get all booked up!

See you this summer!

  2011 Conference Home   |   Support NOW's Work

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Women of Wal-Mart Deserve their Day in Court: Retail Giant is Not Too Big to Sue

NOW Press Release

For Immediate Release
Contact: Lisa Bennett, 202-628-8669, ext. 123

Women of Wal-Mart Deserve their Day in Court:
Retail Giant is Not Too Big to Sue

March 29, 2011

Today the Supreme Court will hear arguments in Wal-Mart v. Dukes -- the largest employment class-action suit in U.S. history. The retail giant did not ask the high court to review the actual charges that Wal-Mart routinely discriminated against its women employees. Instead, the company's challenge seeks to halt the case, which represents more than 1.5 million women, before it even gets to trial.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld certification of the class-action suit three times, most recently in April 2010. But Wal-Mart argues that each employee should be forced to file their complaints on an individual basis because a group this large couldn't possibly have enough in common to constitute a class.

"Just like the banks that were too big to fail, Wal-Mart's lawyers are claiming the company is too big to sue!" exclaims NOW President Terry O'Neill. "The reason there are so many women in the suit is because Wal-Mart's discrimination has been widespread and persistent. And now the captains of this ship want to be let off the hook because so many women were affected? Well, guess what: When you're the biggest employer in the nation and the richest company in the world, and you get that way by paying unfair wages, you should expect to find yourself on the wrong end of a massive lawsuit one day. It comes with the territory, so Wal-Mart should stop trying to con its way out of court."

NOW named Wal-Mart a "Merchant of Shame" in 2002 for its notorious employment practices and workplace environment. Chapter activists held educational pickets outside Wal-Mart stores nationwide, handing out fliers explaining the facts about Wal-Mart's discriminatory ways.

Those shameful facts include: women earning nearly a quarter less, on average, than men, despite greater average seniority and higher performance ratings; women concentrated in lower-paying hourly jobs and being paid less even when they held the same jobs as men; women receiving raises at a slower rate than men, thus expanding the pay gap; women waiting longer for promotions and serving in management in proportions dramatically lower than the retailer's competitors.

"For years, the Wal-Mart empire has been built upon miserly wages that were even more pitiful for women," says O'Neill. "The Wal-Mart executives who have profited from these practices should have the guts to face in court the women they cheated. They know that if they succeed in breaking up this class, most of the women will be unable to proceed on their own or in smaller groups."

O'Neill concludes: "I hope the Roberts Supreme Court will set aside its usual pro-business stance to grant these women, as a class, the day in court they so richly deserve."

### | Press Room | Support NOW's Work

Arrested -33 CUNY Professors and Staff in Albany Budget protest

Please find below an email from Professor Tami Gold of Hunter College.

I want to share with you some of the press coverage from the PSC CUNY led protest on Wednesday, March 23rd in Albany.   It is inspiring that our union refuses to stand by quietly while New York's budget is balanced on the backs of working and middle-class New Yorkers. The protest drew hundreds of people. Thirty-three participants who peacefully sat down and blocked the doors to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office were arrested. Everyone from first-time protesters to seasoned activists said it was an empowering experience.

"I wish millionaires had to yell, block hallways and protest in public to get the tax cuts they seem to need so badly. Instead, we force teachers and professors to drive up to Albany just to try to get lawmakers to hear their case...."

Check out the video link and the press coverage.
And come to our next Hunter Chapter meeting on April 6th at 1:10pm.  It is critical that we are all involved.

Thank you in advance for your support.
Tami Gold, Hunter PSC Chapter Chair

Here's the address for the YouTube video of Wednesday's direct action in Albany:

Albany Times-Union:

Albany TV report:

Albany radio reports:

Associated Press story, on the web at Wall St. Journal, Newsday, Albany Times-Union, Syracuse Post-Standard and other upstate papers, & many more:

Protest featured on the three most widely-read blogs on NY State politics:
            We sparked a very active discussion on the Times-Union's blog, both pro & con.  Here's a sample: "I wish millionaires had to yell, block hallways and protest in public to get the tax cuts they seem to need so badly. Instead, we force teachers and professors to drive up to Albany just to try to get lawmakers to hear their case...."  Check the comments by "Corporatist Cuomo" & "George Bailey."

NY Post editorial attacks us, we must be doing something right:

NY1 report uses PSC protest to set the scene, and as a counterpoint to Cuomo's shutdown talk:

Rochester TV station's report (text only) calls protest part of push by "New Yorkers [to] put more and more pressure on Governor Cuomo to rethink his proposed budget cuts":

Protest was featured on NYC's ABC-TV affiliate in the 6:00 pm news, but that video's not online.  It's main item in their "politics" section on the web, with the original AP story:

Buffalo News takes same approach as NY1; also has some raw video:

Some good details on the demonstration, cited as part of "an uncommon level of protest" in Albany, in the final 1/3 of a different AP story that's an overview on where Cuomo's at.  NY Post, Newsday, Wall St. Journal, & other sites have picked it up:

List above not comprehensive-- the three AP stories detailing the protest got wide circulation, I've included only one link for each.  Protest also mentioned in other articles about the overall budget situation, & on some TV affiliates that didn't post that video online.

Monday, March 28, 2011

National Call-In Days 3/29 & 3/30, Hands Off Social Security

National Organization for Women
TELL CONGRESS: Hands Off Social Security
National Call-In Days: March 29 and 30
STOP! Hands Off Social Security!
To reduce the federal deficit, politicians in Washington are proposing deep cuts to your Social Security benefits. We need to stop them.
Social Security belongs to you. You pay for it in every paycheck. And it has nothing to do with the deficit!

Don't let Congress cut your benefits, raise the retirement age and reduce your COLA.

Call your U.S. Senators on March 29 and 30

Tell them: Hands Off Social Security! Vote YES on the
Sanders-Reid Social Security Protection Amendment!

Tell the person who answers the phone:
I am a voter/constituent in [your state]. I am calling to ask the Senator to:
   *Oppose all cuts to Social Security
   *Vote yes on the Sanders/Reid Social Security Protection Amendment. Thank you.
© 2010 National Organization for Women Support NOW's Work

88-year-old Canadian woman mayor: serving so far as mayor for 31 years

The following was sent to me by Sonia Fuentes, one of the founders of NOW.  The story below is a good defense against both sexism and ageism, while giving me hope to be an awesome 88-year-old.


TODAY: Urgent Call to Action! Protect Patients via Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Urgent and immediate action is required to keep Provider Prevails and request patient protections be included. We can still impact the final outcome as the Medicaid Provisions are being discussed right now. Send E-Blasts out to everyone immediately to make these calls. Copy and paste the message below into yours.

Assembly Speaker Silver at 518-455-3791
Assemblyman Gottfried 518-455-4941

Tell them to include Provider Prevails and include Patient Protections in the Budget language.

Senate Majority Leader Skelos 518-455-3171
Tell him to continue supporting Provider Prevails and include Patient Protections in the Budget language.

The budget process will end today. Making these 3 calls is critical in keeping patients safe. We have this small window of opportunity to influence the final outcome. Flood these offices with calls immediately. Thank you for continuing the fight.


Kathleen A. Arntsen
President / CEO
Lupus Foundation of Mid and Northern New York, Inc.
PO Box 139
Utica, NY 13503
315-829-4272 ph & fax

Action Alert: Subjecting rape and incest survivors to IRS investigations

    Republicans are waging an all-out war on women. The latest assault—a bill that would subject certain rape and incest survivors to IRS investigations—is simply inhumane. *Sign the petition from EMILY's List and today to tell Congress: Stop the War on Women! * Sign the petition
    Should rape and incest survivors be forced to prove to the IRS that they were assaulted?   What kind of question is that? 
    But a bill proposed by anti-choice lawmakers in Congress could force many sexual assault survivors to do just that.1   The bill would impose tax penalties on small businesses and individuals who buy abortion coverage with their own money—with exceptions only for cases of rape, incest, or when a woman's life is in danger.2   *The result? Survivors of rape and incest who seek abortion care could be forced to detail their assaults and provide proof to IRS investigators.*3   Reliving a horrific sexual assault to the police and in court is awful enough. Forcing women to prove that they were assaulted to IRS investigators is simply inhumane. And sadly, this bill is just the latest in a long list of Republican attacks on women this year, from anti-choice legislation to a budget that guts critical programs for women and their families. 
    *So with our friends at EMILY's List, a progressive group dedicated to electing Democratic pro-choice women, we've launched a "Stop the War on Women" campaign. Can you sign the petition today? * *Click here to sign the "Stop the War on Women" petition. *   
    Despite campaigning on job creation, Republicans have focused their agenda this year on attacking the rights and well-being of women. From pushing several anti-choice bills to cutting billions from health care, food aid, child care, and education, their attacks constitute nothing less than a full-scale war on women.   That's why and EMILY's List launched the "Stop the War on Women" campaign—to tell Republicans "no" to taking away the rights and freedoms of American women, "no" to threatening the health of millions of women and their families, and "no" to sneak attacks on women's right to choose. 
    Republicans clearly have no boundaries when it comes to attacking women's rights. But just like when they attempted to redefine rape, we can stop them from passing this anti-choice bill and subjecting rape survivors to inhumane interrogations—if we all speak out.   *Can you sign the "Stop the War on Women" petition today? Just click below—and share this email with your friends, family, and social networks today. *   
    Thanks for all you do.   
    –Kat, Wes, Joan, Peter, and the rest of the team   

Action Alert: Tell Your Senators to Oppose Social Security Benefit Cuts

NOW Action Alert
Social Security: Tell Your Senators to Oppose Benefit Cuts
After taking action, please support our work!
Please send a message to tell your senators you want Social Security benefits protected, not cut!
There is a raging debate going on in Congress right now about what to do with the federal deficit. Conservatives are using this opportunity to push for deep cuts to Social Security -- even though Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit.
NOW is working with allies and leading senators to push for the Social Security Protection Amendment (S.AMDT.207, as modified) that says "Hands off Social Security!" We need your help to contact senators ASAP to urge that they support the amendment.
When Congress has to vote in coming weeks on whether to raise the debt ceiling, conservative opponents of Social Security will also push to cut benefits and increase the retirement age to 69 (also a deep benefit cut). This must not be allowed to happen! To head off such a disastrous move, NOW and other progressive groups are organizing to build support in the Senate for an amendment that says "Hands off Social Security!"
The Social Security Protection Amendment, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), declares that Social Security benefits for current and future beneficiaries should not be cut and that Social Security should not be privatized as part of any legislation to reduce the federal deficit.
This amendment could be brought to a vote the week of March 28, and we hope that NOW members and allies will communicate with their senators about the need to support this amendment. Social Security has not contributed one dime to the federal deficit and, in fact, has a $2.6 trillion surplus that can pay benefits through at least 2037. Social Security keeps millions of older women (and men) in the middle class and out of poverty, supports families when a worker becomes disabled or deceased and, in general, contributes to a safety net for communities during rough economic times.
Millions of baby boomers are just beginning to retire and many face an uncertain future due to the losses in the value of their savings and investments during the recent recession. Our leaders ought to be working to strengthen Social Security by improving benefits, not cutting them or surreptitiously trying to end the program.
You should know that the debate over Social Security and cutting the federal deficit is just part of conservatives' plan to privatize the entire program. Billionaire right-wingers have poured tens of millions into a propaganda campaign designed to eventually require everyone to invest in the stock market for their retirement. They want your money -- and their shills are working overtime to get you to think you have to give it up!
Please send a message right away to tell your senators that you flat-out oppose reducing Social Security benefits or increasing the retirement age. Ask them to support S.AMDT.207 and to join an important group, the Senate's Defend Social Security Caucus.

take action and then donate

Tell a Friend | More Actions | Was this email forwarded to you? Subscribe to our emails.
© 2011 National Organization for Women | visit | Donate to NOW | Join NOW