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#MilitaryMonday: Dear New Teacher, It’s My Military Child’s First Day of School

Dear New Teacher,

Today my child enters your classroom for the first time in a new school. It might be the first day of the school year, or it might be inconveniently smack-dab in the middle of a grading period. He likely knows no one in his homeroom class, likely no other children in the school.

Every child has a story to tell, and mine is no different. I am hoping to share a bit of his story with you since you will be with him, teaching and guiding him, this year. His story includes attending preschools in three different states. He will be in second grade next year. And he will be preparing to move again to a new school, his third elementary school since Kindergarten.

Don't Let the NRA Get Its Wish

Last Sunday in Plano, Texas, a man fatally shot eight people at his estranged wife’s Dallas Cowboys watch party, including his wife. He was stopped after a police officer arriving on the scene heard gunfire, was confronted by the gunman, and shot him.

Two days later, the NRA got one step closer to realizing its wish to disguise the sound of gunfire. On Tuesday, the Republicans in Congress moved forward the Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, which would specifically deregulate silencers among a host of other alarming provisions for weakening federal gun laws. This is a very bad bill.

What I Told My Senator Face to Face About Childcare

My name is Jessica Honza. I’m a middle school teacher from the suburbs of Minneapolis, a mother of two young boys and a proud member of MomsRising.

My husband and I, like so many other families, have struggled to find affordable, quality child care for our kids. We tried to be financially responsible – we waited until we were in our 30s to have children and built up our savings. Despite numerous advantages, and the support of our families, when my first son, Abe, was born, we realized just how difficult it would be to find child care.

We started searching for in-home providers – we thought this would be our best option, given that infant care at an in-home center was less expensive. But we called more than 100 different providers and not a single one had any availability, or they were concerned that they would be unable to properly care for my son, who wore leg braces. So we gave up and started looking into child care centers. After months of searching, our son finally secured a spot somewhere – but nine months at the center would cost $18,000.

¡El Mes de la Herencia Hispana Empieza Hoy!

Desde el 15 de Septiembre hasta el 15 de Octubre conmemoramos el Mes de la Herencia Hispana. Esta observación que empezó en 1968 como la Semana de la Herencia Hispana fue luego extendida por un período de 30 días por el Presidente Ronald Reagan. En este mes se celebra las historias, culturas y contribuciones de ciudadanos cuyos ancestros provienen de España, Mexico, el Caribe, América Central y América del Sur.

El Mes de la Herencia Hispana es una gran oportunidad para dar a conocer más de nuestra cultura a nuestros amigos y vecinos. En este tiempo complejo que vivimos a causa del incremento de actos racistas y xenófobos y leyes que dividen a nuestras familias, es importante que como latinos podamos comprometernos a trabajar más por el bien de nuestra comunidad. 

Please join the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group for the #EndChildPoverty Twitterstorm this Monday, September 18th!

This week the U.S. Census Bureau released annual data on child poverty. Here is some analysis of the numbers, which you can read more about in this letter sent to Congress and in my blog post.

In addition, next week, the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group will be leading a Twitterstorm to share these data findings – and we want your voice included.

If you aren’t familiar, the U.S. Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) is a broad-based coalition of child-focused organizations dedicated to setting the goal of cutting the U.S. child poverty rate in half within a decade.  We are proud to include MomsRising as a partner! 

"We handled all the stress of moving, only to find ourselves in a child care desert."

No one actually enjoys moving, but it’s especially tough if you’ve got little kids. When you’re young and single, moving can even be a social affair – it’s famously easy to trick friends into lugging a futon, desk, or a few cardboard boxes up some stairs as long as there is the promise of free pizza or beer at the end of a hard day’s work. By and large, an interstate move as a family of four doesn’t work the same way.

I’m speaking from experience here, as last year my wife and I moved with our infant and four-year-old from Michigan to Washington, D.C. We’d gotten new jobs in the nation’s capital, and while we were excited to start a new chapter of our lives – finding a house where our kids would grow up and form lasting memories, getting to know a world-class city, taking our careers to the next level – mostly we were stressed out. From when we figured out we were definitely moving to our first day at work in DC would be a scant six weeks.

Pass the Child Care for Working Families Act Now!

The Child Care for Working Families Act, introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) and Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) today, would be a boon for our economy and for working families. At a time when many parents are struggling to make ends meet, this bill provides a comprehensive solution that would expand access to affordable, high-quality child care and pre-K for families while improving compensation and training for the child care workforce.
Right now, millions of families are in crisis, with low-income families under even greater pressure. Child care costs have risen 25 percent in the past decade, and, in 30 states and the District of Columbia, infant care now costs more than college tuition. In addition, approximately half of American families live in a ‘child care desert’, meaning they can’t access the quality child care they need. This often leaves working parents in an impossible position, having to choose between providing for their families and paying for care. Parents need safe, enriching places for their children to be so they can work; and children need safe, enriching early education so they can thrive.

On Health Care: Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Bill Is Reckless and Harmful

In yet another partisan, secretive attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Senators Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller and Ron Johnson today introduced a bill that would strip Medicaid funding, weaken protections for those with pre-existing conditions and lead to massive numbers of people losing the coverage they need. This bill is just as bad as – if not worse than – any of the repeal bills that came before, and threatens the bipartisan efforts to improve health care for millions that began last week. It is reckless and harmful, and its passage would devastate our families and our economy. Low-income women, families, people with disabilities, the elderly, and those who live in rural and medically underserved communities would suffer the most, with a compounding impact in Black, Latinx, Asian, Native American, and LGBTQ+ communities.

Progress on Equal Pay Has Been Much Too Slow

It’s again confirmed: Women are not making equal pay for equal work despite now comprising nearly half of the paid labor force. This is ridiculous. It hurts women, families and our economy. According to newly released U.S. Census Bureau data, the average wage gap for a woman working full-time year-round is virtually unchanged from last year at just 80 cents for every dollar paid to a man, with women of color and moms experiencing even harsher wage hits. It is astonishing that in 2017, more than 50 years after the Equal Pay Act was enacted, the average woman must work a full 15 months to earn what men earn in just 12 months.  

Working Families NOT Wall Street! Updates on the budget and tax fight.

A new, major fight is starting in the U.S. Congress this fall. The fight is on whether or not extremists in Congress will get their way and cut the programs that boost our families’ health care, nutrition, and education in order to pay for tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations. We need to make our voices heard: Congress must protect working families, NOT Wall Street!!!

The good news is we know, with your help, we can beat back these awful, harmful, heartless proposals! We know this because we won this summer when they tried to take away our health care. We called, wrote, shared our stories, visited congressional offices, and took to the streets. And it worked!! Now we need to join together again and make our voices heard!

We will be updating this space on a regular basis with what is happening and how YOU can take action.  Below, you will find info on what is currently happening in Congress on the fight for working families and a request to sign our letter to Congress.

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