Americans across the country are struggling to put food on the table and keep a roof over their kids’ heads. The economic recovery is not improving conditions for everyone – in fact, it’s not even reaching those Americans who need it the most. The jobs these people are getting pay paltry wages, have poor benefits, and unpredictable hours.
There’s a growing awareness that something must be done. Our elected officials can no longer continue to ignore the realities of economic inequality and its very real impact on communities across this country.
That’s why on April 29, 2015 the Center for Community Change, Center for Popular Democracy, Jobs With Justice, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Working Families Organization launched a major economic justice initiative to bring jobs – good jobs – to everyone. (You can learn more and watch video from the launch event here.)
The core principles of our plan to advance this vision include:
- Building a Clean Energy Economy. Using the large-scale investments required for transition to a clean energy future to create millions of good jobs that are accessible to workers of color, women, and economically-distressed communities.
- Valuing Families. Ending the systematic devaluation of care work, which disproportionately keeps women in poverty, by making high quality child care available to all working parents, raising the quality of jobs in the early childhood education and care fields, transforming homecare and providing financial support to unpaid caregivers.
- Guaranteeing Good Wages and Benefits. Requiring every job in the United States to meet a minimum standard of quality – in wages, benefits, and working conditions – and offer unhindered access to collective representation and a real voice for workers.
- Unlocking Opportunity in the Poorest Communities. Investing resources on a large scale to restart the economy in places where racial bias and sustained disinvestment have produced communities of concentrated poverty.
- Taxing Concentrated Wealth. Funding new investments in job creation, care, and economic renewal by taxing those who benefit most from the current economic model – investors, financiers, wealth managers, and individuals in the highest income brackets.
This campaign will not only change the political discourse, ensuring elected officials and candidates hear the voices of those most impacted by their policies, but will create a new economy that puts families first and guarantees that those willing to work hard have a good shot at a secure job and a decent life. Read our campaign agenda summary now.
As the foundation for the Putting Families First: Good Jobs for All campaign, Dorian T. Warren, Associate Professor of International & Public Affairs at Columbia University and Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute, has released a groundbreaking report on the state of the nation for working families, to challenge the status quo and to put forward a bold agenda to address the evils of poverty, inequality, economic stagnation and shrinking opportunity for millions of Americans. Read the Putting Families First: Good Jobs for All report now.
Over the past two years, the Center for Community Change has worked with Anat Shenker-Osorio and Lake Research Partners to engage in an unprecedented messaging research project on how we talk about poverty in America, with the goal of identifying clear, compelling language to match the audacious change we are fighting for for all families. This research project focused on making their voices and insights of low-income people central to the message exploration and testing, and resulted in uncovering how people reason about the issues and what language comes naturally to affected communities. Read more on the Putting Families First: Good Jobs for All messaging research project — and to see how popular our messaging research truly is, read this memo from Lake Research Partners.
In case you missed it, check out the video of our latest message research webinar. Two years in the making, we made low-income people central to the message exploration and testing process—something that has never been done before—and uncovered breakthrough insights on how people reason about the economy and the bold changes they are willing to fight for. Watch the video to learn more about the results of this research and explore winning messages and best practices speaking about “inequality” and “poverty” in America.