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'We can't fix poverty without fixing housing'

It all began with a snowball.

Arleen’s 14-year-old son Jori and his cousin were throwing snowballs at passing cars. One driver took umbrage, slamming his brakes, chasing Jori into the family’s apartment and kicking down the front door.

When Arleen’s landlord found out about the property damage, Arlene and her two sons were evicted, out on the street.

It was viciously cold out, even for a January in Milwaukee. The temperature fell to ten below; the wind chill, 40 below. Local TV newscasts flashed frostbite warnings. But in Milwaukee, evictions, unlike baseball games, aren’t called just because of the weather.

Author Matthew Desmond shared Arleen’s story Thursday as part of a broader discussion about America’s housing crisis and his compelling and groundbreaking book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City.

Michigan Moms: Come to a screening of Katie Couric’s new film about guns!

Would you come with me to the movies the week of May 9th? MomsRising, along with our partners Michigan Million Mom March and the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, are going to be holding screenings across Michigan of Katie Couric’s new documentary, Under the Gun, about gun violence in America and we’d love to have you join us!

There will be free screenings in Ann Arbor, East Lansing, and Troy. Can you attend one of the events? RSVP here!

Under the Gun examines why, despite the increase in deaths at the hands of guns and the outpouring of shock and outrage that comes with it, our nation has failed to respond with meaningful action. Through the lens of families impacted by the mass shootings in Newtown, Aurora, Isla Vista, and Tucson, as well as daily gun violence in Chicago, the film examines why our national politicians are refusing to act and what is being done at the state and local levels.

What we crave: connection & community

Recently after speaking at a women’s leadership conference on work-life balance, I was approached by a woman from the audience, her eyes were filled with tears.

She said while sitting listening to me talk about the importance of building a support network (read more), she had a light bulb moment. Even though she attended a monthly girls’ night out, a book club meeting and was involved in her neighborhood association, what she is really missing is a deeper sense of connection and community with others. Her heart was longing for conversations saturated with meaning and authenticity.

I hear this everywhere I go from men and women all over the world: successful professionals, other parents, men who are seeking new ways of being and women at the retreats I lead.

Tell Congress: It’s time to make childcare more affordable!

I’m sure you’re not too shocked to learn that childcare costs often exceed the costs of housing, tuition, transportation, or food for most families. So many moms and dads are dealing with this!

But it doesn’t have to be this way! There’s a group of people who can assist our families in better affording quality childcare and early learning for our kids while boosting our economy: The U.S. Congress!

Congress is considering early learning funding RIGHT NOW! Write your members of Congress TODAY and tell them to support a significant increase in funding for high-quality, affordable childcare and early learning opportunities! Studies show this policy is good for moms, dads, kids, and the economy.

#Radio This Week: Signs O' the Times


On this radio show this week we cover the impact of the Zika virus and the opioid epidemic with the U.S. Surgeon General; discuss the passing of Prince and a terrific new book, How Exceptional Black Women Lead; cover tips for stopping discrimination against pregnant workers in the workplace; and talk about the passage of paid family leave in New York and what that means for the rest of the nation.  

*Special guests include:  

  • U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy; 
  • Dr. Avis Jones DeWeever, author and founder of the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women;
  • Liz Morris, Center for WorkLife Law; and
  • NYC Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo


When It Comes To Our Nation’s Children, Actions Speak Louder than Words

I grew up in a family that was long on challenges and short on money. To be frank, my parents were both alcoholics and had untreated mental health issues, and we didn’t have much money after my dad lost his job in the 1980’s and we moved to a small town in rural MN. 

Because of where I have been, and what I have been through, however, I find that I am an eternal optimist when it comes to the resilience, strength and potential in children and youth who grow up in difficult situations, whether it is abuse, poverty, or drug and alcohol addicted parents. I am also an eternal optimist that there are adults in this country who want to see these children succeed and will help them achieve their potential. That is why I am very disappointed by what is going on in Congress right now. It seems that while some speak of wanting to help people in poverty and create opportunity in our nation, their actions leave something else to be desired when it comes to children, including low-income and poor children, or children suffering abuse or neglect. 

#MilitaryMonday: Military Kids are the Force of the Future

No, not that “Force”... the “Force of the Future”, a hot topic recently within military circles, as Secretary of Defense Ash Carter has advocated a host of changes he hopes will bring the military personnel system into the 21st century. Secretary Carter called upon the Pentagon

to think outside our five-sided box and try to make ourselves even better at attracting talent from new generations of Americans.”

While the primary purpose of the personnel system is to recruit, train, and retain men and women to serve in our nation’s armed forces, there is a critical audience that is being overlooked as reform is being discussed; military children today and the impact their current healthcare will have on that “force of the future”. 

Two decades after the creation of TRICARE, the latest iteration of the military health system, 2016 is already being touted as the “Year of TRICARE Reform” by Congress and the White House.

#MilitaryMonday: Embracing and Empowering Spouses of Our Fallen Heroes

I once heard MAJ. Matthew “Bubba” Worrell’s spirited and brave surviving spouse say, about the loss of her husband, that, “There are two things that saved me…my kids and Special Ops Survivors.” And, at that moment, I was again reminded how vital community is, especially after a loss. 

Special Ops Survivors was established to embrace and empower the surviving spouses of our military’s fallen Special Operations personnel. We serve hundreds of surviving spouses across 37 states by offering resources and programming that helps to build their resiliency. The strength of these Gold Star spouses – widows and widowers of those killed in action - often comes from knowing that they are a part of a community that envelops them.

Maryland! We've got a lot to celebrate!

The 2016 Maryland legislative session came to an end at midnight on Monday, April 11th, and disappointingly, the Healthy Working Families Act did not pass. But we came so close, and we have a lot to celebrate.

Let’s take a moment to thank all of the state legislators who voted YES on the Maryland Healthy Families Act because we need them to vote YES again next session.

And let’s take some time to reflect on how we got here and what comes next.

Vote Needed: New bumper sticker!


A few weeks ago, we asked supporters like you to come up with clever ideas for our new bumper sticker. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, we sought a slogan to fire up and unite moms and show the power of our movement.

You delivered! More than 500 creative supporters submitted ideas for our new sticker.

They were funny.
They were clever.
They were incredibly inspiring.

We had a tough time picking the finalists. But in the end, these four slogans were our favorites. Now it’s YOUR turn to choose!

Vote for your favorite slogan and reserve the winning bumper sticker before the contest ends April 24!

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