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Antibiotic Resistance: What It Is, What We’re Doing about It, and What You Can Do to Help

As a doctor, my greatest fear is to be unable to help a patient when they need me the most.  Likewise, I think the greatest fear of every parent is to see his or her child in pain and be powerless to help.  For too many doctors and parents, these fears are becoming increasingly real with the rising problem of antibiotic resistance – when germs outsmart the medicines intended to treat them.  Every year, antibiotic-resistant infections cause at least 2 million illnesses and over 23,000 deaths in the United States. If we do not take action to combat antibiotic resistance, those numbers will rise.

The Federal government has been tackling this problem head on. Last September, President Obama signed an Executive Order launching Federal efforts to address the rise in antibiotic-resistant bacteria, and the administration released its national strategy for combating antibiotic resistance. The President’s FY 2016 Budget builds on these and other recent work by nearly doubling Federal funding for combating and preventing antibiotic resistance.

Congress wants to cut Medicaid. Moms can’t let them!

Congress is only a few days into its new session and already vital health programs like Medicaid are in jeopardy.

Without strong public support, the new Congress may take steps to fundamentally weaken Medicaid, a program that provides health coverage to one in three low-income children and to 70 percent of all nursing home residents. Medicaid is a critical support for families, especially those of us who are caring for children, have aging parents, or have family members with disabilities.

Who Makes Our Food?

More than 100 years ago, after Upton Sinclair worked undercover in Chicago meatpacking plants, he revealed the abuse and exploitation of immigrant workers in the industry—including the tragic story of a worker who fell into a rendering tank. Public reaction to his great book, “The Jungle,” forced federal measures to make food safer—but not workers safer.

There shouldn’t be any separation between good food and good jobs, because working conditions in the food system are everyone else’s eating conditions.

Unions represent workers throughout the food system—farm workers, meat cutters, poultry workers, restaurant workers, grocery workers, workers who transport food products, food safety inspectors and others. What these workers win at the bargaining table affects what we put on the dinner table.

Wendy's, Soda, and Faith

So what does a soda in a kid's meal have to do with faith? 

We need your voice TODAY to raise the minimum wage!

Right now, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which means a full-time minimum wage employee earns $15,080 per year. This low wage hurts our families and hurts our economy. After all, when people don’t have the funds to spend in local stores, in our communities, then our entire consumer-fuelled economy suffers.

*It’s past time to raise the wage: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/minimumwage/

Everyone agrees that raising the minimum wage is important for our economy and families, even though some in Congress aren’t on board yet.

What Happens When a Tea Partier and Gay Rights Activist Come Together?

True story: I once set up a coffee between two friends that testified against each other in the heated marriage equality debate in New Hampshire. 

Also true: while they ended up friends, initially, I encountered a barrier increasingly common in American politics. The public is so divided ideologically that people won't talk to someone on the opposite political spectrum. Approach them about the idea and their reaction is consistently the same: Why? What good could ever come out of such a conversation?

For a long time that, too, was my reaction. But after having participated in a few of these conversations I can tell you that I have never regretted them. As an organizer, I've found it insightful to hear the stories of people who think differently than I do, to parse through the ideology and find common values and even common issues that we can work on. Such "transpartisan" dialogue and work is happening in areas such as criminal justice reform

'Dumped' Gripping from Beginning to End

Dumped touches a nerve from page one. It touches on a subject that all women know too well yet is too complicated and painful to articulate: the mourning, and sometimes redemption, that comes from being dumped – or in Facebook-speak, “unfriended” -- by a sister-like friend. 

The anthology is very well written by established authors and bloggers, and covers the gambit of being dumped by downright bullies to friends who simply grew apart.

At the start, I was appalled by some of the women’s stories. Let’s clarify: these women weren’t dumped. They were bullied. A couple of the women were isolated in high school and required therapy as adults. In perhaps the most chilling account, the whistle blower of the Steubenville, Ohio high school rape by star football players was publicly betrayed by her childhood best “friend” Kathy. Kathy publicly published the author’s secrets and home address on Twitter, and in cult-like fashion, had others bully her supporters.

Reducing Ozone is a Matter of Life and Death

Ozone, more commonly known as smog, is a type of pollution formed from the exhaust of power plants, factories, cars and trucks. It is linked to lung and heart disease, thousands of deaths each year and up to 1 million missed days of school.

Smog, contributes to asthma, a condition that increased significantly in recent decades. Asthma now affects 1 out of 10 children and is a greater problem in low-income communities and communities of color where people are more likely to live near power plants, factories and other sources of pollution.

REAL FOOD Money Saving Tips

Weekly I prepare real food meals for my family at least 6 nights of the week. I try to keep our weekly grocery bill at $150 which is very doable when following these tips.

REAL FOOD Money Saving Tips

Menu Plan – when making a menu plan you are not going into the grocery store and just picking up all sorts of foods off the shelves. When you menu plan you are only getting the foods you need for the week and are less likely to have foods go bad because you didn’t use them.

Use Foods You Already Have – Before you begin menu planning look through your pantry, fridge and freezer to see what you already have. When doing this, you not only save money on food but you use those fruits and vegetables that would go bad otherwise.

Leftover Night – We always have a leftover night later on in the week. By doing this, I don’t need to cook one night and we get rid of those extra meals just sitting in the fridge. It saves money because you only need to plan 6 meals instead of 7 for that week. The kids like this night too because they get to pick what they want to eat from the leftovers.

Open letter, closed door in breastmilk bank controversy

For-profit corporation Medolac has announced the cessation of their plans to launch a Mothers Milk Co-op in Detroit, Michigan in response to breastfeeding activists’ demands for public accountability. As a Clinton Global Initiative to increase breastfeeding and economic empowerment in Detroit, Medolac announced its plans to establish a Mothers Milk Coop. Under its plan, the Co-op would pay mothers $1/ounce for their breastmilk, which would be sold to hospital NICUs for $7/ounce. Details of the proposed plan were made public in a New York Times Motherlode piece, which generated concern about the unintended consequences of their program and the socio-historical context of African-American women and breastfeeding.

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