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My Game Plan to Protect Kids from Junk Food this Holiday Season

On a recent Sunday in my church, a nice lady tried to feed my 18-month-old a piece of chocolate. She wasn’t happy when I politely said "no." “Come on, why don’t you give him a treat? It’s just a leftover Halloween candy,” she said, turned to my child, “I’ll give you a treat when mommy is not around.”

The incident made me think. Surely our culture is strutted with candy and other junk foods. Every so often, I feel that I’m fighting against the whole world just to protect my child from junk foods. But I cannot be the food police around him 24/7. That “leftover Halloween candy” remind me that, for this upcoming holiday season, I need a game plan to protect my little one from junk food. This is what I’m going to do:

We’re Showing Off, Taking a Bow and Celebrating #2014!

With the year coming to a close, we took a look back and can say unequivocally, it’s time to show off, take a bow and celebrate 2014 for all we accomplished, together, on food related issues.

 

We’re Showing Off…

In 2014, MomsRising and its Good Food Force members worked in support of healthy school lunch.

During the summer of 2014, Congress attempted to roll back the new nutrition guideline for school lunch that Moms supported through an amendment in the appropriations bill that allowed schools to opt out. Via #SaveSchoolLunch, MomsRising, and its members, voiced their displeasure, placing pressure on Congress. Not only did we earn upwards of 4 million impressions online, but member stories were also read, and featured, on the house floor during their debate.

MomsRising, and its members, helped block that amendment during Congress’ summer session.

Yet, our fight was not over.

Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays from all of us at the AFL-CIO. We wish you and your family a joyful, peaceful, healthy new year of justice and shared prosperity!

 

"We renew our condolences" A Statement from #BlackLivesMatter and more

The events of this weekend are tragic. 
 
We renew our condolences to the families and friends of those injured and killed this weekend. As those who stand with the victims of police violence, we know all too well the deep sense of loss that a community feels when they lose a loved one. They are in our thoughts and prayers as we continue our movement for justice. 
 
This is not a time for political grandstanding and punditry. Unfortunately, we continue to see elected officials and police leadership twist this tragedy into an opportunity for them to silence the cries for justice from families who have lost their loved ones to police violence. Our families matter, too. 
 
Those exercising their First Amendment rights to secure a justice system that works for ALL are being thrown under the bus by police departments and their union leaders who want to skirt their responsibility to our communities. 
 
This weekend, Patrick Lynch used his role as the President of the largest police union in New York to essentially declare war on Black communities. This is unacceptable and should be condemned.

Thanks to Four Bright Rainbows in Our National Clouds

As 2014 draws to a close, I wanted to celebrate four great rainbows for justice who passed away this year but left us a much better people and nation. My brother-friend Dr. Vincent Harding, much loved historian, theologian, social justice activist, and visionary, never lost sight of the “beloved community” his friend and colleague Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. believed our nation and world could become. A close confidant of Dr. King, he helped draft several of Dr. King’s most important speeches, including the landmark 1967 antiwar sermon “Beyond Vietnam.”  His books include the powerful essay collection Martin Luther King: The Inconvenient Hero, where he reminded us that too many of us enshrine Dr. King the dreamer and ignore Dr. King the “disturber of all unjust peace.” On his 81st birthday Dr.

QUICK signature needed to protect overtime pay!

Take Action!

As we head into the holiday season, many of us are putting in extra long hours, and for too many of us, this overtime is basically going unpaid because of outdated overtime regulations.

We can fix this!

*Take action by signing onto our open letter to the Department of Labor here: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/overtime/

Here’s what’s going on: Last March, President Obama directed the Department of Labor (DOL) to update and simplify the guidelines for overtime pay. The DOL is expected to make its decision soon on how it plans to change overtime guidelines. That means that right now is the time for you—and people across the nation—to make sure that the DOL knows we want our outdated overtime protections strengthened. 

Make storybook Christmas ornaments in 3 easy steps!

My favorite Christmas memory is from one of the toughest years of my adult life.

When my husband and I moved into our apartment together, our first winter living away from home was the hardest. We were in a new city with no family or friends in the area, we rarely saw each other because he went to school in the morning while I worked nights, and we barely had enough money to cover our basic expenses. With all the change, I was adamant that we try to have sense of normalcy during the holidays—which included buying our first (small) Christmas tree!

At first I figured we would make some paper snowflakes for ornaments, but one morning I walked by a Borders that was having a closing sale with children’s Christmas books on display and got the idea to make ornaments out of storybooks! Here's what I did:

Materials Needed

  • Children’s books of your choosing (thrift stores are a great place to find some affordable, vintage holiday books)
  • Craft scissors
  • A hole puncher
  • Some ribbon or twine

Process

Working in the Regenerative Economy

“If we want stronger communities and more fulfilling, connected lives, we’re going to have to build them – together.” – Sara Horowitz, Freelancers Union

 

Federal officials say the “Great Recession” ended in June 2009, 18 months after it started. But for many Americans, the recession’s ripple effects still linger: job insecurity and the housing bubble have rattled our faith in the leaders and institutions we came to rely on.

Despite the economic devastation it caused, the recession has given us a great opportunity too: the chance to redefine work culture and the “good life.”

In some American cities where economic hardship has lasted decades longer than the recent recession, the seeds of this new economy are sprouting.

Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland, Ohio is a collection of worker-owned businesses that do three great things: they provide workers with good wages and a voice in the future of the business; they inject money into the local economy; and they provide sustainable products and services. Win-win-win.

Say “No” to Holiday Stress

What’s the best holiday gift I have ever received? Not having to do the whole holiday thing.

 

Really, I’m not a Scrooge. I love picking out the right gift for a person and watching them open it.  Receiving gifts is fun, too. Oh, and let’s not forget all the homemade goodies. And decorating your home, both inside and out. And the many parties and family get-togethers. And the wonderful concerts and recitals that your family and friends invite you to attend. And the holiday cards with pictures of loved ones and maybe an annual newsletter. It’s all great, but it’s also just so, so stressful.

 

Welcome to the holiday season, an annual test of endurance for many women. Forget the walking machine for a cardiac stress test — just strap a monitor on most any woman during the week before Thanksgiving or Christmas.

 

What’s Fuglier than an Ugly Christmas Sweater?

Over the years, I’ve received a few ugly Christmas sweaters. My favorite was a bright red sweater with too many dancing reindeers that I received when I was about 10 years old. At the time, I didn’t know it was ugly. It had to be pointed out to me by a dear, older friend – she was 11 and I couldn’t refute her wisdom.  

Now, that the ugly Christmas sweater is fashionable, I’m feeling a bit lost. Does this mean that I was always fashionable and just didn’t know it? Or, that I was a trendsetter ahead of my time? And, most importantly, could I trust my instincts and answer the greatest question of the holiday time, “What’s Fuglier than an Ugly Christmas Sweater?!”  

So, I sat down and I made a list of what I think is utterly fugly. I’m sure I could add tons more but I’ll leave you with these. 

Btw, you know what's always in style? MOM POWER! Check out what Moms, and people who love them, have accomplished in 2014 and rejoice in the power of Moms.

 

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