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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:

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

Title: Dumped: Stories of Women Unfriending Women

Price: $12.79

Release Date: March 15, 2015. To pre-order go to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or Indie Bound.

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.

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.

What does the employer mandate dispute have to do with moms?

A lot. A 2013 Pew Research study found that nearly half of all moms polled said, “that their ideal situation would be to work part time.”

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. When you add a 40-hour workweek to the demands of being a primary caregiver, the dual (triple? quadruple?) roles can leave you exhausted. And the reality is that for many parents, a 40-hour workweek just isn’t a legitimate option.

Some years ago I worked with an amazing mom who, because of the excellence of her work, was offered an increase in her hours by our company. But when asked, she told us she couldn’t work 40 hours a week even if she wanted to. As the parent of a special needs child, between bi-weekly (sometimes weekly) doctors’ appointments, therapy, specialized parent/teacher meetings, in addition to her regular parental responsibilities—there simply weren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done if she also worked a 40-hour week.

#FoodFri Tweetchat: Restaurant Kids' Meals, Food Marketing and YOU!


With more and more families eating out, children are getting about 25% of their alloted calories from fast-food chains and restaurants. Given the role that they play, parents are seeking healthier kids' meal options.  It's critical in the fight against childhood obesity.

Join #FoodFri on Friday, January 23, 2015, as @MomsRising chats with @CSPI about Wendy's recent decision to drop soda from its kids' meal and learn what this means for families and kids!

This tweetchat is a celebration, as well as an opportunity to discuss what we have planned in our battle for healthy children's meals.

Join us and invite a friend!

Tweet: Great news: @Wendys dropped soda frm its kids menu. Let's chat nxt steps @ #FoodFri 1/23 1pmET with @MomsRising @CSPI


The Family and Medical Leave Act: Making the Most of Your Protections

This February marks the twenty-second anniversary of President Clinton signing into law the Family and Medical Leave Act.  More widely recognized by its abbreviation, the FMLA provides a bevy of protections to employees who are – or have family members who are – suffering from an illness.  Perhaps most importantly, the FMLA provides that, over a twelve month period, eligible employees are entitled to take twelve workweeks of leave and return to their same position and under the same conditions. 

Though seemingly straight-forward, the FMLA can lead to disputes between employees who want nothing more than to return to their job and employers who would prefer simply to replace an employee who needs to take leave.  Indeed, the story is all too common.  After months of fighting, an employee finally overcomes whatever medical condition has ailed her.  All that is left is for some follow-up treatments and to return to work.  To the employee’s surprise, she now finds herself in a fight with her employer over the nature of your return.

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