Friday, February 6, 2009

Working Families Have A Voice

President Obama and Vice President Biden held a news conference at the White House last Friday announcing the creation of the White House Task Force on Middle Class Working Families. Later, the President signed an executive order, solidifying its existence. This task force has great potential and is charged with helping working families get back on track toward economic security. It’s a brilliant aspiration and is the first of its kind.

Chaired by the Vice President, who was a stalwart in the Senate for working families, this task force is moving quickly with its first town hall meeting scheduled for February 27 in Philadelphia. The topic of the meeting is: “Green Jobs: A Pathway to a Strong Middle Class” and our Executive Director, Joan Kuriansky has been invited to attend.

Today, the Department of Labor released the new unemployment rate of 7.6%, the highest rate since 1992 equaling loss of about 600,000 jobs in the last month. The elder unemployment rate reached an all-time 31-year high of 5.1% last month. When people are not working it usually means they have less income and drift further away from economic security. These staggering statistics make the Task Force on Middle Class Working Families that much more important.

Wider Opportunities for Women is pleased with the creation of the task force in step with our recommendations sent to the President .We especially are looking forward to the second town hall meeting, which will focus on retirement security and address issues advocated for by the Elder Economic Security Initiative. We are anxious to see how the task force operates and what it achieves in moving families toward economic security.

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