WOW Works with Obama Administration to Advocate for Women and Families
Resource type: News
The Atlantic Philanthropies |
Following the U.S. Presidential Election, Atlantic grantee Wider Opportunities for Women has worked with the Obama Transition Team to advocate on a number of issues related to work, women and family.
In late 2008, as a result of a letter to the President-Elect regarding priorities for his first 100 days in office, WOW was delighted to be asked by the Obama Transition Team to coordinate a briefing on women, work and families that brought together approximately 20 organizations and experts.WOW asked, and the Transition Team listened: a few days after the meeting, the President-Elect announced that he was establishing a White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families. Since that time, WOW has participated in a meeting with Task Force leaders to prepare for its first regional hearing that will take place in Philadelphia in February. The second hearing will focus on retirement security.
WOW also worked in coalition with several allies on a number of issues important to women and other groups who could otherwise be left out of those jobs created by the stimulus package, which will help lift low income individuals and families out of poverty. WOW spearheaded a sign-on for job opportunities for women in the economic stimulus package, under the auspices of the National Coalition on Women and Job Training that they co-chair with WomenWork. More than 125 local and state organizations signed on. WOW, in conjunction with other allied organizations, including the Center for Law and Social Policy and the Center for Community Change, advocated for using funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) to support the transparency of the use of ARRA funds and to promote policies to train and hire a host of individuals such as low income individuals, ex-offenders, out of school youth and persons for whom working in construction would be construed as non-traditional. An immediate outcome of the effort was a “sense of the Senate” amendment introduced by Senators Kerry and Kennedy that addressed these goals.
WOW is also co-chairing the Coalition on Women’s Appointments to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Most recently, as the economic crisis increasingly impacts labor, families, and the elderly, WOW has released a white paper entitled Economic Security Across Generations: Background, Analysis, and Policy Recommendations.
With the passage of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, WOW will be releasing a series of short policy briefs on ARRA outlining achievements and related advocacy work that remains to be done.
It is encouraging to see that the President continues to seek input from a range of perspectives that will in turn influence his policies and programs.
WOW works nationally to build pathways to economic security for America’s women and their families and seniors. For more than 40 years, WOW has helped women learn to earn, with programs emphasizing literacy, technical and nontraditional skills, welfare-to-work transition, career development and retirement security. WOW is recognized nationally for its skills training models, technical assistance and advocacy for women and their families. Today, WOW leads two national initiatives that focus on strategies to build economic security within and across generations. Together, the Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Project (FESS) and the Elder Economic Security Initiative (EESI) are in place in 40 states and reach over 1,500 local and state organizations.