So much is happening at Family Forward Oregon and across the United States when it comes to creating the change we seek in our country around work, family and caregiving.  This month we highlight for you what we think is most interesting and important in our work right now.

We hope that you enjoy it, share it, and RSVP for one of our great May events!

In this newsletter:


1 | Mother’s Day of Action | May 8th

Join us in Salem to talk with our state legislators about modernizing the public policies that affect Oregon mothers every day. You know they’re broken, we have solutions, and they need to hear both!


  • What: Mother’s Day of Action
  • When: Wednesday, May 8th | 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM
  • Where: Oregon State Capitol | Salem
  • Details & RSVP: Click here

The way we see it, the solutions are known, but the will to put them into place needs a serious nudge! From us. From you. From every Oregon parent and caregiver who suffers under our country’s outdated work & family policies that haven’t kept pace with the reality of today’s families. And what better reason than Mother’s Day to share our experiences and policy solutions with our state representatives?

2 | An Evening with Nancy Folbre | May 9th

In celebration of Mother’s Day, we invite you to join The Mother PAC for an evening with feminist economist Nancy Folbre.  

  • What: Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and the politics of caregiving
  • When: Thursday, May 9th from 7 to 8:30 PM
  • Where: The Hotel Monaco, Portland
  • RSVP & Tickets: Click here 

Folbre is a rockstar feminist economist who focuses on economics and the family, non-market work and the economics of care. She has written books about the care economy in the United States (The Invisible Heart and Family Time: The Social Organization of Care), a topic of paramount importance to mothers who provide a lot of unpaid care as mothers that has important economic impacts on their lives and their families. She is currently an economics professor at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

APPLY BY MAY 10TH | Work-Flex Award for Oregon Employers!

Sloan_Award_Clean1We know that creating a family-forward workplace takes courage and leadership.  That’s why we’re celebrating the Oregon employers who are operating flexibly and making work work for their employees.

Every year, the Family Forward Education Fund facilitates the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Excellence in Workplace Effectiveness and Flexibility. The Sloan Award is a prestigious national award program that recognizes employers who are successfully building flexible workplaces that really work for their employees.   What do we mean by flexibility?  Flexible workplace offer flexible hours, flexible places to work, part-time work options, and predictable work hours.

Apply by May 10th — just click here to get started today!


DSC_0220FFO staffers delivering $0.78 dollars to state legislators on Equal Pay Day. They may look bigger, but their value is a very real $0.22 smaller.

In honor of Equal Pay Day on April  9, 2013, FFO Executive Director Andrea Paluso authored a guest opinion piece in The Oregonian with Alice Bartelt of the League of Women’s Voters and Marcia Kelley of the Oregon chapter of American Association of University Women (AAUW). Equal Pay Day is the day each year when women in the U.S. finally earn what men did the prior year.  This year women caught up 99 days later.  Which is 99 days too many.  Read what we had to say about the importance of pay equity here.


Each month we select an article and a book that we think are so good we call them “required reading.”  We know all too well that parents rarely read books (especially when the kids are little!), which is why we also include a shorter article.  If you have the time, of course we recommend both!

Book of the Month | Red Families V. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creating of Cultureblue-redfamilies

This book gets at the heart of why understanding family culture across our country – and within our own state – is such an important piece of moving our family policies forward. What does it really mean to be a “red” family or a “blue” family?  And does it matter?  The authors say yes, because in their minds, “family values are at the center of the contemporary culture wars” in America. Not only are red and blue families leading different lives, that difference has big impacts on our family laws, many of which are made at the state level. Grab a copy from Powell’s, your local independent bookstore, or the library. No time for books?  Catch this 5-minute NPR story instead 🙂

Don’t Miss This Article | The Hell of American Day Care

Quite a title, huh?  And it’s no exaggeration, either.  This powerful article not only documents a single tragedy, it delves into the history of day care in the United States to find out why we have the  dangerously disorganized and underfunded system we have, when  3 of 4 mothers work and about 40% are primary breadwinners.  The author suggests that if we are to achieve equality for women in the workplace, we must improve our childcare system so that it ensures safe, education places for kids and reliable, affordable places for mothers who need to work.  Read it at The New Republic.


IMG_0794At FFA we work hard to convince our elected leaders to champion and vote for the policies we know Oregon families need. But it works best if they hear from you, too — especially if you make it personal!   The policy we need people to speak up about this month is paid sick days.  We helped get them for people working in Portland, but we think all Oregonians should earn paid sick time while they work.

Please take a moment to tell your state representative and senator that you support a statewide paid sick time law — and add a personal opening to really get heard.  They notice when people take that extra few minutes to personalize the message.  Just click here to send a message to Salem — and remember to add a line or two in your own words!

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