Happy Spring!

DSC_0392We are two months into our five-month state legislative session and there’s lots to report already — and lots more to come, too. We’ve been in the capitol building frequently to meet with legislators, attend and testify in hearings, and make sure that we are there to advocate for the bills we know Oregon families need. We hope you know that your support as a member is critical to us being able to do this work.  And honestly, we shudder to think what would — and wouldn’t — be happening if we weren’t at the table.

Thank you — it’s only together that we’ll get where Oregon families need to be. Here’s what you’ll find in this quarter’s member update — read it all or jump around to what interests you most.  Whatever you do, please mark your calendar to attend one of our (UN)Happy Hours on Equal Pay Day, Tuesday, April 14th in Eugene and Portland. We’re gonna have FUN!

  1. Upcoming Events: (UN)Happy Hours on Equal Pay Day in Eugene & Portland
  2. Our 2015 Legislative Agenda: Check Out Our “To Do” List for Oregon Families
  3. Fair Shot for All: We’re Shaping a new coalition for Economic Justice
  4. Full House for Paid Sick Time Public Hearing: Hundreds gathered to support paid sick time for all Oregonians
  5. Listen Up!: We recorded our recent “Tele Town Hall” about Unfair Scheduling
  6. Required Reading: So Many Great Articles!
  7. Watch This: Anne Marie Slaughter’s TED Talk on having It All

1 | Upcoming Events: Equal Pay (Un)Happy Hours in Eugene + Portland

Why an (Un)Happy Hour, you ask? Simple: We’re not happy enough to host a happy hour! Equal Pay Day is nothing to celebrate. When it takes women months (and months) of extra work to catch up to what their white male counterparts made during the year before, we’re UNhappy, to put it mildly. Especially because mothers and women of color experience a wider wage gap that makes it even harder for them and the families who depend on them to make ends meet and plan for a secure retirement.

equalpayforequalworkffoBut there’s something to be happy about, too: people are not only talking about closing the wage gap, they’re taking steps to fix the problem. Here in our state legislature there are several laws that, if passed, will help to close the gap. We also have some strong, forward-thinking legislators who are tackling this issue head on. And that’s something to celebrate! Plus, there’ll be special discounts for the ladies — you earn less, right? So we think you ought to pay less, too. We hope you’ll join us for a fun evening to raise awareness about a problem that affects every single Oregon woman — and the families who depend on us.

(Un)Happy Hour Details:

Bring friends! The more the merrier. Plus, there’ll be equal pay B-I-N-G-O!  With prizes.  And discounts for the ladies (because they don’t earn as much…).

2 | Our Legislative Agenda for 2015: Check out our “to do” list for Oregon families

??????????????????????????????The Oregon legislative session is about 1/3 complete (it runs February through June this year, one of our every-other-year “long” sessions) and we’re excited with all the forward movement on the bills we are working on this year, like paid sick time, equal pay, fair scheduling, a higher minimum wage, and a better pathway for retirement savings, among others. Check out our 2015 legislative agenda if you haven’t already — we hope you’re as excited as we are.

3 | Fair Shot for All: We’re Shaping a new coalition for Economic Justice

FAIRSHOT_logoEarlier this year we sat down with some terrific community and union partners to build the kind of power it takes to make our economy work better for more people. As a result, we co-founded a coalition focused specifically on economic justice and we’re calling it Fair Shot for All. We kicked off the year with a day-long conference and since then have been busy developing a shared agenda for the 2015 legislative session and then doing everything we can to make progress for every group at the table and their priority issue. The coalition’s shared priorities are:

  • “Ban the Box” on job applications, giving people with a criminal record a chance at employment
  • Create a secure retirement for all
  • End racial profiling
  • Expand paid sick time to all Oregonians
  • Raise the minimum wage

Learn more about the Fair Shot for All Coalition on our coalition web page — and of course, follow us on Facebook!

4 | Full House for Paid Sick Time Public Hearing: Hundreds gathered to support paid sick time for all Oregonians

On February 16th we packed five hearing rooms and the gallery in the state capitol with paid sick time supporters and listened to some powerful testimony from working people and employers from every corner of the state who believe that every working Oregonian should have access to paid sick time where they work. Of course, we also heard from opponents who are keen to deny their own employees and everyone else’s the right to paid time off to see a doctor, recover from illness, or care for a sick loved one. DSC_0021It’s our job now to make sure that we don’t let this vocal minority prevail when we know – and polls show – that a majority of Oregonians support a paid sick time law.

If you haven’t already spoken up for paid sick time, now really is the moment. We invite you to add your voice now to this fast-moving debate in our state capitol. Together we are changing the way work works for Oregonians. Click here to sign the petition for paid sick time across Oregon — and invite 5 friends to join you. It only takes a minute, but adding your name to our petition for paid sick time is one way to help us remind our state legislators how many Oregonians want them to do the right thing and extend paid sick time to every worker in our state. Then, once you’ve signed – ask 5 friends to sign, too. How else will our representatives know what we want? And if you don’t speak up, you can be sure our opponents are. Don’t let them drown us out.

Among the powerful testimony delivered to our state legislators in support of paid sick time in February, we think you’ll appreciate this clip of Jane Carlson, a school secretary in Molalla, sharing her support for a statewide paid sick time law. Take a moment to watch her 2-minute testimony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBJaTo4S5ps

5 | Listen Up! We recorded our recent “Tele Town Hall” about Unfair Scheduling If you couldn’t join us a few weeks back for our “Lunch + Learn” call about Unfair Scheduling, worry not: we recorded it so you can listen on your own time. Our Policy Director, Lili Hoag, hosted Liz Watson of the National Women’s Law Center to share information about the kind of unfair scheduling practices we are seeing more and more of in the retail and service sectors. Just click here the half-hour recording –and if you or a friend have experienced unfair scheduling, we’d love to hear about it. Our online form is here or just email Sharon@familyforward.org if you prefer — she’s happy to help!

6 | Required Reading: So Many Timely, Relevant Articles! The national conversation about how we combine work and family is escalating. One sign of the increased attention (which we’re thrilled about) is the sheer volume of ink spilled on the subject. For you, we’re recommending these four articles because they not only make important topics but represent a good sampling of relevant issues, from how we define family to the notion of parenting under capitalism and how a small start-up offers paid maternity leave. Click a few of these links and learn something new!

7 | Watch This! Anne Marie Slaughter’s TED Talk on having It All.

Remember way back in the summer of 2012 when Anne-Marie Slaughter’s article, Why Women Still Can’t Have It All, appeared on the cover of The Atlantic? Well now you can hear what she has to say about it in her TED Talk on the subject – it’s a really great 18 minutes! Thanks for reading!  If you have feedback or questions for us, please contact Lisa Frack at lisa@familyforward.org.