RELEASE: Momentum Builds Ahead of the White House Summit on Working Families as Organizations Host Lead-up Events in 15 States
Contact: Madeline Meth
Washington, D.C. — In anticipation of the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, national and local organizations hosted 15 lead-up events around the country to examine how our workplaces can enter the 21st century. More than 1,600 leaders and advocates attended the regional events, which spanned 13 states and helped build momentum for the Summit on Working Families hosted by the White House, the Center for American Progress, and the U.S. Department of Labor. A group of local officials, business leaders, workers’ advocates, working moms, dads, and young people who attended the regional events were nominated to participate in the June 23 convening.
The White House, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, and the Center for American Progress hosted regional forums in Colorado, Illinois, California, New York, and Massachusetts to examine how 21st century workplaces can meet the needs of businesses and working families. These regional discussions explored how all sectors can work together on key issues facing workers with families and the businesses that want to recruit and retain them. The conversations from the regional forums are informing the agenda of the national summit.
As part of this series of lead-up events, the Center for American Progress Action Fund organized three, day-long strategy summits on the economic agenda for women and families in Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Florida. The strategy summits focused on bringing together influential organizing groups, local elected officials, and activists to help build coalitions and plan, educate, and train organizers on how they can best contribute, locally and nationally, to the campaign for economic security and opportunity for hardworking women and families.
The strategy summit in Duluth, Minnesota, was held about a week after Gov. Mark Dayton (D) signed the Women’s Economic Security Act into law. The package included maternity leave, sick days, equal pay for state contractors and more. However, the more than 120 attendees at the summit were not prepared to rest on their laurels. The summit reengaged the group to continue fighting for more protections for women and families and brought together women and men from all corners of the state to continue to work together. Notable guests included Speaker of the House Paul Thissen, State Sen. Sandy Pappas, Duluth Mayor Don Ness, and 10 other local elected officials. The summit was featured in multiple media outlets leading up to the summit, the day of the summit, and post-summit.
Generation Progress worked with local groups in Georgia and Nevada to convene round-table discussions with young women about the economic challenges they are facing. More than 100 young women attended the events including students, workers’ advocates, nonprofit leaders, teachers, and small business owners. Over the next three weeks, Generation Progress will host additional roundtable discussions to strategize with young women about economic equality and security in Iowa and Ohio.
Other organizations that are hosting events or engaging their members around the issues that will be discussed at the national summit include MomsRising, Organizing for Action, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, WomenAdvaNCe, Ultra Violet, Religion Action Center of Reform Judaism, Legal Momentum, and Family Values at Work.
These events are all leading up to the June 23 White House Summit on Working Families, which will focus on elevating the ongoing national conversation about making workplaces work for everyone and ensuring that women have a fair shot to help their families succeed.
For more information about the Summit, visit workingfamiliessummit.org.
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