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MomsRising Radio this week: Off the Sidelines with Sen.Gillibrand, Rock the Vote, Author Justina Chen & more!


"Girls' voices matter. Women's voices matter. From PTA meetings and community boards to the halls of Congress, our country needs more women to share their thoughts and take a place at the decision-making table." -- U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand 

On the radio show this week we come Off The Sidelines with U.S. Senator Kirstin Gillibrand. Then our next segment covers voting-- and why your vote, and your friends and families votes, matter. Then the next interview is with the award-winning author of many books, including most recently, A Blind Spot for Boys. Hear how to be a good story teller and keep people riveted in conversations, speeches, and at the dining room table. Last but far from least, we discuss ROCK STARS, yes Rock Stars, with Rock the Vote.

Is Your Child At Risk? One in Three Schoolkids Are in a Chemical Danger Zone

We insist our kids wear bike helmets and seatbelts, and look both ways before crossing the street. We demand playground equipment that’s safe and schoolrooms without lead paint. So did you ever imagine when you send your child to school that he or she could be in the vulnerability zone of a toxic chemical facility? 


Over one in three kids in elementary and secondary school are.


At the Center for Effective Government, we’ve created an interactive map tool to allow you to zoom down and see if the school your child attends is in a chemical danger zone; it also shows the name and address of the facility that is putting your child at risk and actions you can take to change this.

At least 36 percent of the kids in public and private schools (pre-kindergarten to high school) are in a chemical facility danger zone – that equals 19.6 million children in nearly 40,000 schools.


It doesn’t have to be this way. There are actions to take to reduce the size of the danger zones and take our kids out of harm’s way.


“We are not held back by the love we didn’t receive in the past, but by the love we’re not extending in the present.”  ― Marianne Williamson

I once spoke at a girls empowerment conference to a group of three hundred ten to thirteen-year-olds. As I was waiting to go on stage, I overheard a small group of four twelve year-olds talking about their day. One of them was really on fire after learning about civil engineering, and she was inspired to share her career dreams with the others. I could see her face quickly shift from a state of open excitement and joy to one of embarrassment and withdrawal as the other girls subtly expressed their discomfort at seeing their young friend so clearly own and express her personal power. And just yesterday a successful author and dear friend poured out her heart to me, sharing through tears how a long-time mentor was suddenly threatened by her success and was now “shutting her out,” and challenging her very right  to be seen and heard.

This is so not ok. Not on any level. Not ever. And it needs to end NOW.

NC education cuts must stop.

My name is Stacy Eleczko and I am a teacher. Eight years ago, I moved to North Carolina from Florida because of the progressive direction of education in this state. I also didn’t scoff at the fairly significant raise I got by moving here. Now, teachers in Florida with the same level of experience are making roughly $5,000 a year more than me. By the way, they are also one of the worst paying states in the country so that’s not really saying much.

Frankly, I have had enough.

My husband begged me to stop reading articles about the current budget or legislative decisions in the evening because I end up tossing and turning all night. Of course I do… doesn’t over $250 million in cuts to education funding make you angry?

Affordable Health Care Would Spare Immigrant Women Crises Like Mine

Here is an overlooked fact. Despite the increased access to affordable health care provided by Obamacare, immigrant women continue to face multiple hurdles accessing even basic health care services. Some of these obstacles existed before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and some were added  after, but all must be removed -- even in the current anti-immigrant political climate -- if Congress is sincere about making ours a healthy and productive society and economy.

The barriers to affordable health care that immigrant women face are real; I have seen them firsthand and they have permanently affected me.

I remember when I first found out I would be unable to have children. My doctor said, “if only” I had only gotten my obviously out-of-the-ordinary menstrual cycle and ovarian pain checked out early, then treatment would have been more effective.  This was both sad and maddening. Yes, my family and I were aware that something wrong since I was 12, but how could I possibly ask to see a doctor when we had a hard enough time putting food on the table and paying the bills. The extra cost of seeing a gynecologist was out of the question.

Yeah, my kid votes. Does yours?

Not to show off, but my daughter always votes. Always.

Okay (shrug), I AM showing off... But, you know, I’ve tried to raise a responsible, engaged American, and I’ve worked hard to make sure she appreciates her privilege as a U.S. citizen to have a voice in our democracy, and her duty to exercise it. Since she turned 18, my daughter hasn’t yet wasted a single chance to use her voice. MY KID VOTES, and yeah, I’m proud of that!

There’s never been a more critical time for young people to vote. From climate change to the availability of good jobs to the shrinking middle class, America’s future – their future – is uncertain. The next generation needs to vote to help get our country moving in the right direction, towards a brighter future for themselves and all Americans. By voting, they are helping to speak up and fight for their lives, literally.

But in an analysis of 2010 registration and voting data, 24 percent of youth aged 18 to 29 said they didn’t register to vote because they missed the registration deadline or did not know where or how to register.

#FoodFri Tweetchat: Healthy Halloween Tips & Strategies


October brings shorter days, crisp apples, pumpkins and Halloween. It heralds in the beginning of the holiday season that will last until January. It also marks the beginning of Halloween candy, school parties and an onslaught of junk food that your kids are exposed to this time of year. Yet, we can avoid those sugar crazed Zombies and go bananas over healthy options!

Join #FoodFri on Friday, October 3, 2014, at 1p.m., EST, as @MomsRising chats with @400Moms about healthier Halloween alternatives.

Learn strategies that are fun, festive and healthy at this week’s #FoodFri tweetchat. Spread the word!

Tweet: Learn how to avoid sugar crazed Zombies this #Halloween w @MomsRising + @400Moms on 10/3 @ 1pmET. Info: #FoodFri


To join and follow the conversation on Twitter use the #FoodFri Hashtag in each tweet.

Texans should support access to care for women of childbearing age

Written by Steve Lowe, President and CEO Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council, March of Dimes Texas Chapter State Advocacy and Government Affairs Committee Member

We like to say that everything is bigger here in Texas, but that’s not always such a good thing. These days we have a Texas-sized problem with providing health insurance to women of childbearing age, and that means some babies are born less healthy than they could or should be.

If you’re a low-income woman between the ages of 19 and 44 in our state, your options for health insurance coverage are very limited. A woman isn’t eligible for Medicaid unless she’s pregnant.

Many Texas women of childbearing age remain uninsured. Over the years 2010-2012, an average of 33%, or one in every three, women of childbearing age in Texas had no health insurance, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, putting us near the bottom of the national rankings.

This situation represents a real missed opportunity, not only for those women but for their babies. The greatest opportunities to improve the health of a woman and her child during pregnancy occur before she becomes pregnant.

Good Food Force: Alicia Keys, #MomsVote, Lunch Box Inspirations and more!

Welcome to this week's Good Food Force Update! We have a special announcement this week ... please read on, and share! 
Announcing... #WeAreHere! 
HUGE news! Alicia Keys just announced she's contributing to @MomsRising & #WeAreHere partners! Find out more about #WeAreHere at:
Let's Get Out the #MomsVote! 
In most states, voter registration deadlines are just around the corner so there’s no time to spare. Click here to remind your friends to register to vote! 
Our “Mad Men” era workplace polices--unequal pay, lack of paid family leave, childcare that costs more than college, lack of paid sick days, the need to raise the minimum wage, and more--are getting some much needed attention lately, but the fact is that not a whole lot is being done about it in Congress beyond talking.
There is an election right around the corner and this is our chance to elect leaders who truly represent families.

#FoodFri Tweetchat: Learn more about Smart Snacks + Healthy School Fundraisers!


Sick of fast-food & candy fundraisers in schools? We are too! Thankfully, this year most states are turning to healthier school fundraisers.  Consistent with the USDA’s Smart Snacks that improve the nutrition of snacks and drinks sold through the a la carte line at lunch, school stores, and vending machines, school fundraisers hosted during the day are getting a make-over!

Join #FoodFri this Friday, Septemeber 26. 2014 at 1pm, EST on Twitter

While some states are providing some limited exemptions for school fundraisers, many are going with just healthy fundraising options. This #FoodFri tweetchat will be an opportunity to share resources, generate discussion, and draw attention to the issue. So, join us!

We want to hear from YOU.

Mark your calendars and share on Twitter by clicking below!

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