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My remarks urging Attorney General Lynch to investigate the death of Sandra Bland

My name is Nina Perez and I am here today on behalf of MomsRising and our million plus members to say that we are heartbroken that yet another mother has had to bury her child too soon. No mother should have to face that tragedy, or have to live in fear that their child will be harmed at the hands of those charged with their protection.

More and more Americans are becoming aware of the ways in which the police racially profile, assault, or even kill Black men and women at significantly higher rates than White people and are calling for needed change.

Medicaid at 50: Five Decades of Working for Kids

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Medicaid, the program that provides health coverage for low-income kids and families, as well as seniors and people with disabilities.

Medicaid is funded jointly by the federal government and the states and provides cost-efficient and effective coverage for its beneficiaries by paying hospitals, doctors and other health care providers for the services they deliver to eligible patients.

Across the country, nearly 33 million kids get health care through Medicaid — that’s two out of every five kids in the United States. You can see how many kids and families in your state benefit from Medicaid here.

Coca-Cola deal with Monster Energy bad for children

A recent deal between Coca-Cola and Monster Energy reinforces some common challenges that parents face every day:

How do we protect our children from companies that spend so much time coming up with new ways to sell things to our children? How do we keep our children healthy when billions are spent every year marketing junk food to them?

We must take action when we become aware of new threats to our children’s health. Case in point: the Coke Monster.

Coca-Cola just purchased a 17% stake in Monster Energy for $2.15 billion dollars. This deal comes at a time when sales of traditional soft drinks are declining for the tenth straight year because parents like you and I are more aware of the health effects of sugary soft drinks. However, sales of energy drinks are on the rise even though they are sugary soft drinks with much more caffeine and other stimulants than regular soda.

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due for New Policies

Why does my inbox have messages saying that Maine’s new law against shackling pregnant women is an “accidental win”? True, the governor of Maine let this and a number of other progressive bills become law without his signature, and then claimed to have vetoed them. But if activists hadn’t run such an effective campaign to win hearts and minds in the legislature, the governor wouldn’t have had the bill on his desk in the first place.

Read my take over at RH Reality Check on the crucial role of advocacy in winning positive change.

#Radio: "We Do Not Live Single Issue Lives"

"There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives." -- Audre Lorde

Great ‪#‎radio‬ conversation this week that covered multiple overlapping issues from making sure everyone gets the overtime pay they deserve to raising the minimum wage; from ‪#‎BlackLivesMatter‬ and pay equity to childcare; from education, immigration and to even Trump with spectacular guests, including:

MN at one end, MS at the other: See How Your State Ranks for Child Well-Being

Five years ago, our country was in the midst of the Great Recession. At that time, 17 million children lived in low-income working families. Since the recession officially ended in 2009, our country has been slowly recovering. Many economic indicators, if not at pre-recession levels, are at least heading back in the right direction. However, according to the new 2015 KIDS COUNT Data Book from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 18.7 million children lived in low-income working families in 2013 – roughly 1.7 million more children than in 2008. Nearly a third of children lived in families where no parent was working full time in 2013. The report is an annual publication that assesses child well-being using 16 indicators in the areas of economic well-being, education, health and family and community.

What's up with the 'DARK Act'?

There are two names for H.R. 1599: The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 and the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act.

There’s no doubt in my mind which is the more accurate. The proposed law would do nothing to make our food safer and would prevent families from getting more accurate information—leaving us effectively in the dark about our food.

What's up with the 'DARK Act'?

There are two names for H.R. 1599: The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 and the Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act.

There’s no doubt in my mind which is the more accurate. The proposed law would do nothing to make our food safer and would prevent families from getting more accurate information—leaving us effectively in the dark about our food.

Lean on and Lead! An interview with Hawaii's Beth Fukumoto

Hawaii’s Representative Beth Fukumoto was elected to the Hawaii State House at the age of twenty-nine in 2012, and was immediately selected by her Republican colleagues to be House Minority Floor Leader. In 2013, she was listed as one of  "Nine Women Remaking the Right” by the Daily Beast.

In 2014, I interviewed Rep. Fukumoto for my interactive iBook, Lean On and Lead, Mothering and Work in the 21st Century Economy, which features diverse personal interviews with women and parents. While Rep. Fukumoto expressed concerns about policies that might negatively impact businesses, her vote in support of increasing the minimum wage and her understanding of the day-to-day issues facing working families provide insight into how non-partisan collaborations can be fostered to pass legislation in support of parents.

The following is excerpted from Lean On and Lead:

 

On Beth Fukumoto’s Background

Lying to My Daughter

My daughter has feared police for a long time.  Every time a cop would drive past or pull alongside us at a stop light she would get panicky. I would shake my head and dismissively ask her what was wrong.  Her response was always that the police scared her; mine was that she was doing nothing wrong so she had nothing to fear. In our family, like many other Black families, we spent more time talking to our son about what he should and should not do when stopped by a police officer (he never listened but that is an entirely different blog post).  It never crossed our mind's that our well-behaved, good-looking daughter had anything to fear.  I mean, after all, how many girls have you ever known to be harassed by the police?  Apparently more than most of us realize.

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