Friday, January 29, 2010

Update on the Fast-Track Commission

The continuing story line of a fast-track debt-reduction commission continues to unfold this week, as the President announced in his first State of the Union address that he would enforce an Executive Order to create a commission responsible for developing recommendations to reduce the federal deficit. The original commission, proposed by Sen. Conrad and Sen. Gregg was defeated in the Senate this week by a vote of 53 to 46.

WOW joined advocates across the nation in opposition to the defeated commission because it focused target cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other critical income support programs.

Rather than cut, Social Security must be strengthened, particularly for vulnerable populations. According to the Elder Index, one in four elders lives on Social Security alone, and this is not enough for them to make ends meet. Prior to the vote on the commission’s establishment,a unanimous amendment was adopted to exempt Social Security from the jurisdiction of the Congressional commission.

The recommendations of the originally proposed Congressional commission would have been subject to an up or down vote, circumventing the democratic process and disallowing the opportunity for open debate. Though the exact form of the President’s Commission is unclear its recommendations would not be binding and would warrant an open and democratic process, unlike the Congressional commission proposed in the Senate.

Friday, January 22, 2010

President Holds Intergenerational Conversation on MLK Day

This week, we celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. The President and his Administration held an intergenerational conversation to mark the occasion, inviting to the White House both elders who participated in the Civil Rights Movement, and young Americans who benefited from their work.

See below for a video of the event.

WOW’s mission of creating economic security across the generations is achieved through our two national programs (the Family Economic Self-Sufficiency Project and the Elder Economic Security Initiative), and our local programs. Intergenerational conversations are a crucial step to effective change, because it allows for members of each generation to share their own experiences, begins to break down barriers of misunderstanding, and creates commonality between young and old.

WOW applauds the Administration for holding this particular conversation on such an important day, and we look forward to holding our own conversations about economic security across the generations, as part of our new Building Bridges Campaign. The Campaign will kick-off later this year and focuses on implementing key messaging and advocacy strategies to promote economic security for all.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Take Action – Say NO to a Fast-Track Commission

Today is national call-in day to oppose the creation of a proposed fast-track deficit reduction commission that will target cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other federal programs needed to ensure economic security for elders and their families. The Senate votes on the fast-track commission tomorrow.

Here's what you can do to voice your opposition:

1. Watch the "Social Security Matters" video created by our friends at the Older Women's League.

2. Call 1-800-998-0180 and tell your Senator to vote NO to the undemocratic commission.

3. Sign the petition, sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future and Frances Perkin Center, opposing the commission.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Request for Proposals: Elder Economic Security Initiative

Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) is pleased to announce the release of our Request for Proposals for the Elder Economic Security Initiative™ (Initiative).

WOW seeks lead state organizations (LSOs) with whom to launch and implement the Initiative.

In collaboration with WOW, these LSOs will:

• Build a diverse statewide coalition;

• Provide input into the tabulation of the state Elder Index;

• Develop a statewide policy agenda to promote elder economic security; and

• Coordinate the launch and implementation of their state’s Initiative.

Applications are due Friday, March 5, 2010.

For more information contact, Stacy Sanders, Associate Director at

Friday, January 8, 2010

Happy New Year: Update on the Initiative

Happy New Year! The Elder Economic Security Initiative team would like to thank all of our partners and friends for your help in making 2009 such a success! The Initiative launched in four more states in 2009 (Michigan, New Jersey, Minnesota and Connecticut) and invited an additional three states (New Mexico, New York, and West Virginia) to carry out the project. Each of these states will officially launch later this year!

In 2010, the Initiative looks forward to expanding our team by hiring a Field Coordinator. We will also be expanding our reach through a new messaging campaign, Building Bridges to Economic Security, funded by the Atlantic Philanthropies. WOW received funding to create a new framework for public policy and public discourse that can be used to set both aspirational and concrete measures through the broad lens of economic security across the generations. The project will be grounded in the voices and experiences of individuals that lay the basis for organizing and advocacy on policies and programs deemed necessary by local communities to assure that their residents are on a path to economic well being. During the course of the project, we hope to find language that will bridge race, class, age, and gender differences so that we can build a messaging frame work that will be embraced by communities as a whole.

Lastly, we will soon release our 2010 Request for Proposals to allow additional statewide organizations to apply to be a part of this project. Stay tuned, we anticipate 2010 to be a great year!