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politics & policy

New York Expands the Rights of Pregnant Women Not to Be Shackled

Today, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York signed into law a measure that greatly expands protection against the inhumane and risky practice of restraining women when they are pregnant or have recently had a baby.

Although New York enacted a law in 2009 to prevent the use of restraints on women during labor and childbirth, that did not put a stop to the practice. Research by the Women in Prison Project of the Correctional Association of New York found that 23 of 27 women who gave birth after the law took effect were still restrained.

Moreover, the Correctional Association heard harrowing stories from women of being shackled during hours-long bus rides between prisons and trips to see a doctor outside of prison, and of having to navigate stairs with their hands cuffed and their ankles chained together, a recipe for tripping and falling.

Wow, You Did All THAT in 2015? MomsRising WINS!

Celebrate Wins!

Sometimes it’s hard to see the many ways that small actions like signing a petition, sharing your personal experience, making a call, attending a local meeting, or playing a MomsVote debate game on social media add up over time and make a big difference.

They do. Because we are MomsRising together.

Your everyday actions (over a million in 2015!) added up to inspiring victories for moms and families this year:

Chicago prosecutor blocked justice for a year

Take Action!

No child should fall victim to violence at the hands of those sworn to protect them. Last week, Chicago government officials finally released the graphic video of Police Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times.

After a year of sitting on concrete video evidence, State's Attorney Anita Alvarez has charged Chicago Officer Van Dyke with 1st degree murder.

Why did it take so long?

*Click here to join us in demanding that State's Attorney Anita Alvarez resign and that a special prosecutor take over the Chicago police killing case of Laquan McDonald.

Top Six Ways Parents Can Push Back Against Harmful School Commercialism

Parents hoping to limit their kids’ exposure to excessive commercialism are understandably frustrated when marketers invade traditionally “commercial-free” venues outside the home, such as your child’s school. And school advertising abounds in many forms. Most of us are familiar with ads in yearbooks and newsletters, on team uniforms and vending machines, and even on the sides of school buses. But some schools now sell ad space in highly visible locations such as on class websites, cafeteria banners, bookcovers, and even homework folders. Even more worrisome is when marketing makes its way into the school curriculum. Here are six ways you can protect your child from harmful advertising messages:


Conversation Cafe with Marco Rubio

Talking with Marco Rubio in New Hampshire’s “Conversation Café”  

Hello again! It feels like I’ve hit almost every corner of New Hampshire in the last few months in my work to give voice to the Granite State’s families in the Presidential campaign and beyond. 

Last week, this work gave me a great opportunity – talking directly to Senator Marco Rubio - as part of the candidate “Conversation Cafés” organized by WMUR (our local TV station). WMUR are hosting candidate cafés with each of the candidates and a few members of the public. This was an informal gathering to get to know the candidate on a more personal level.  Click here to see a clip of the show.

PA Moms: Be Heard Tomorrow -> VOTE!

Tomorrow is Election Day in Pennsylvania! Have you made your plan to vote? It's really important for moms and dads like us to make our voices heard.  

We all lead busy lives, and squeezing in a few minutes to make it to the polls isn't always easy. Today's a great time to think about setting the alarm earlier, checking out public transportation options, and/or coordinating a carpool with friends. And here's a handy link to help you find your polling place.

All elections are important, and this one is no exception. We're voting to elect three judges on the State Supreme Court, who will ultimately have a BIG impact on education, voting, the economy and the environment in Pennsylvania. Read more about the candidates in this ballot guide from PA Voices

And as a special thank you for voting, check out these fun downloadable coloring sheets! 

This Professor’s Secret Could Save Your Life

Professors lead cushy lives. They get to stroll the grounds of stately, ivy-covered campuses, tailed by flocks of eager students who revere them as intellectual giants. Or so I’d always thought.

Then I met Susan. Susan is a smart, highly educated professor. She lives in the Tacoma area where she works hard preparing lessons, grading papers and quizzes, and faithfully responding to every student inquiry.  Students praise her teaching skills.

But none of these things matter to her employer.  Despite high performance reviews, Susan never knows if she will see another paycheck.  Unlike the tenured academics who enjoy secure jobs, steady pay, sick leave and good health benefits at many traditional universities, Susan is a so-called “adjunct professor” with a for profit corporation that runs an online university. She is paid a low hourly wage and her income fluctuates quite a bit from month to month.  She receives no benefits, or sick days. Her name has been changed to protect her innocence.

My Speech on Women and Work

Tomorrow I will be giving a speech about the state of working women. The event, which is sponsored by the National Women's Law Center, takes a look at both the progress we have made and what is left to be done to ensure women have equality in the workplace and our daily lives. Here are some excerpts in advance:

A Federal Program that Can Provide Support During the Critical Early Years

My youngest child just turned 12, but I can still remember how hard it was when my children were babies: the lack of sleep, the colicky evenings, the diaper blow-outs, the meals eaten with one hand, the worry when they ran a fever.

But I never had to worry about whether we’d have a place to sleep at night, or enough to eat, and I never tried to wash and reuse a disposable diaper because I couldn’t afford to buy more. For too many parents of infants, that’s not the case. In 2014, nearly one-quarter of all babies under the age of 1 were in poor families, as were more than one-third of Black and Hispanic babies.

Family First -- 3 Moms Document the Paid Family Leave Movement

Thank you to Mom-Mentum for graciously allowing this updated crosspost for National Work and Family Month:

In March of this year, Honolulu filmmaker Kimberlee Bassford and I had our first discussion about the project that would become FAMILY FIRST, a film that will interweave the movement to pass paid family leave with history, pop culture and contemporary portraits of working mothers and fathers in America. Though the issue of national paid family leave is finally gaining traction -- as evidenced by the recent Democratic Presidential debate -- when I first reached out to Kimberlee in May of 2014, this was definitely not the case.

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