Thursday, April 28, 2011

Women of the 5th Congressional District: Part Two

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Yesterday I shared highlights from Saturday's conversation between Congressman John Lewis, Dr. Beverly Tatum (the President of Spelman College who moderated the conversation), Dr. Cynthia Pierre, Dr. Julie Hotchkiss, State Representative Stacey Abrams, and Portia Wu. So that this blog article was not too lengthy I decided to split it up into a two-part post.

In part one of this series you read some mouth-dropping statistics from Dr. Cynthia Pierre and Dr. Julie Hotchkiss, and today I will share information from Representative Stacey Abrams and Portia Wu. Abrams and Wu switched places on the program before speaking as their talking points piggybacked each other on many levels.

Portia Wu, VP National Partnership for Women and Families
approached the podium after Dr. Tatum introduced her and she discussed facts about workplace disparities and the court system. Ms. Wu said that:

-Black women are making 60 cents on dollar compared to working white men
-Latina women are making 46 cents on dollar compared to working white men
-Nationally 4 out of 10 working women are bringing in more than half of household income; either as a single woman or married and bringing in their fair share of the income
-Pregnancy discrimination is higher against women of color
-Women get paid less when return from having child
-Men get paid more when return after birth of child
-Women being laid off from jobs because of their pregnancy but companies are saying that it is not because pregnant or because had to take time off for maternity leave.

Stacey Abrams, House Minority Leader for Georgia General Assembly and State Representative for 84th House District was next to speak and she also shared some powerful information including:

-We hold up half the sky but get underpaid and overtaxed for it
-Women earn less than men and the darker you are the less you make
-Women are dependent upon health and human services more than men because women are also responsible for taking care of children and families
-Women live longer and have less money to die with
-Tax reform means politicians reforming for them and not you

Buzz words that should scare you...
-Flat tax: means equal tax for matter if poor or rich all get same tax,
-Consumption tax: awful for the poor; only good for those who can control and afford what they buy
-Revenue neutral: is means "I'm taking your money and not mine"
-"Cutting government": cuts services to things we need like road repairs, lights, women's jobs (public sector jobs are government jobs)
-Pension reform: not bad idea unless talking about public sector
34 percent of women are public sector pension recipients; if you cut that then that leaves women broke and homeless
-Privatization: means giving jobs to private sector workers and taking jobs from public sector employees
Private companies goal is to make money not job creation; public companies are about job creation

Representative Abrams said that we should
1) Transparency
Models used on middle class and upper class white males, with perfect homes, perfect families, perfect cars with perfect gas mileage, and no health problems.

Information should be based on Roseanne Barr not wealthy ideal families
Who is the model?

2) Literacy
Every woman should be able to fluently speak taxes and taxation; become tax literate

Tax credits are great; recognize specific social policies like child care credit.
Earned income tax credit helps close wage want this
When people call EITC "welfare" then remind them then in that case Farm aid is also "welfare".

-Women represent more than 1/2 voting population but we are the lowest in participation when it comes to speaking up and speaking out about our country, taxation, etc

Congressman Lewis closed things out just as he opened the conversation- with passion and a clear vision. He said that women need to speak up and stand up and make noise, use the technology you have at your disposal such as Facebook and Twitter, and get the word out that you won't stand for being overlooked and underserved.

"We have a major fight on our hands...our seniors, children and our women...
without women we wouldn't be here and we have to save this planet for all of us..." Congressman Lewis said. He continued by saying that it doesn't matter our race, color, sex, political party, we're one family, one people, one house.

With that we left energized, enlightened, and empowered!

Copyright 2011. Younger Women's Task Force Atlanta Metro Chapter

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Report from the 5th Congressional District: Part One

By Natasha L. Foreman, MBA

Saturday I had the honor and pleasure of sitting in on an amazing conversation at Georgia State University's Rialto Center that included Congressman John Lewis, Dr. Beverly Tatum, Dr. Cynthia Pierre, Dr. Julie Hotchkiss, State Representative Stacey Abrams, and Portia Wu. 

I took plenty of notes and pictures, so I will try to share highlights of the discussion here but in a two-series post starting with the information shared by Dr. Cynthia Pierre, the Regional Director for Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. Dr. Pierre said that:

- More women now than in the past have never had child; almost double the rate than before. 
- Women are having fewer children now and at an older age. 
- Single mom households outnumber single father households
- Women more likely to end up in poverty than men
- Women outpaced men educationally in past 5 decades
- Women ages 25-34 more likely to hold degrees than men
- More HS diplomas held by women than men
- Women earn the majority of degrees including doctoral than men but less in science, tech, math, engineering
- Females ages 12+ report experiencing depression 
- Women ages 20+ being labeled as obese
- Women don't receive recommended preventive health screenings
- 2010 reports show that nearly 4,000 females have reported sexual battery and 800 reported rapes in high school alone 
- More than 1 in 10 high school girls have been forced to have sex by the time they get to college 
-Victims of sexual assault suffer from depression, post traumatic stress disorder, and oftentimes attempt suicide

After Dr. Pierre spoke the "baton" was passed on to Dr. Julie Hotchkiss; Federal Reserve Bank Economist and Adjunct Professor at Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. Dr. Hotchkiss discussed the impact of the economy and how it affected and still affects women. She noted that:

- Many of women's labor market decisions are impacted on the fact that we still have to factor in having children
-Women lost more than 500,000 jobs
- Men still down 4 million jobs since before recession; women down only half that amount 
-Women underrepresented in unemployment numbers
- Only 60 percent of women in labor force

Friday, April 8, 2011

We're Moving and Getting an Upgrade!

We're well into a new year and the Younger Women's Task Force Atlanta Metro Chapter (YWTF-ATL) wants a new look and feel as we take on new challenges, new initiatives, and new plans to fulfill our chapter's mission. We're excited to announce that we have decided to get a new blog running and ready to expose YWTF-ATL to more people, and allow more people to gain access to us.
Photo Source: 

We will still have the same inspiring and informative articles, just a new look and address. We are also excited to announce that we are broadening our horizons in social media and will be launching various channels that will allow you to stay connected with us through photos, video, and so much more. So stay tuned as we make our switch...

Photo Source:

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Restoring Georgia's Plant Life April 9th

Join the ladies of the Younger Women's Task Force Atlanta Metro Chapter as we assist EcoAddendum this Saturday, April 9th from 9:30am to 12:00pm at Freedom Park for a perennial planting of the eroded slope.
EcoAddendum's mission is to put Georgia's plants back into Georgia's landscape through native plant sales and environmental education. 
Photo Source: EcoAddendum Website

Freedom Park is the largest public park in Atlanta, linking the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, the Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, Poncey-Highland, Central Atlanta Neighborhoods, the Carter Center and the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library, Candler Park, Druid Hills, Virginia Highland, and Little Five Points.

With all of that history, how could you miss taking a part in adding to the park's beauty? Well you can also help the efforts of EcoAddendum by purchasing plants from the Oakhurst Community Garden plant sale Saturday from 9:00am to 4:00pm.
Photo Source: EcoAddendum Website

 We hope to see you at the planting Saturday morning!

Freedom Park
North Ave and Oakdale Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30301
(404) 875-7284

Oakhurst Community Garden
435 Oakview Road
Decatur, Georgia 30030

For more details about the planting or community garden plant sales visit EcoAddendum's website.