“Make It Work” Campaign Aims for Positive Change

Amber_Hutton_webAt one time in my life, I was single trying to support both of my daughters on my own. During this time I was unable to work, due to the fact I had been in several major car accidents while I had been pregnant with both of my girls.

I did, for at time, try to look for work, but no one wanted to hire me because they felt I would be an insurance liability issue for them because of my injuries. At the same time, trying to find daycare and paying for daycare, to find a job would have taken all the money I had to pay for our rent.

After a year on my own, my oldest daughter went to stay with her other grandma and my youngest daughter, who was three at the time, and I ended up living out of our car for several weeks. After I had moved in with my mom, to help her by paying her house payment, my mom and step-dad had got into an argument over me. As a result of that argument my mom assaulted me in front of my three-year-old daughter by hitting me and strangling me. During the time I was living out of my car, I ran out of all the money I had. To get emergency food stamps takes seven to ten business days.

I had not eaten for a week to make sure my daughter could eat. Eventually, I felt I had no choice and went to Wal-Mart to steal food for us to eat back-to-back days in a row. Each day I was caught for stealing food. The last day the police officer was nice enough to give me money to get my daughter and myself food. He told us where the violence shelter was for us to have somewhere to stay and get help.

I now own my home and I am currently in school to get my degree as a Medical Office Specialist to continue to better my life for my family and me.

I support organizations like Make It Work, who are trying to make a difference with issues that have affected my life in extreme ways and would never want my children to have to suffer through that again or have anyone else suffer through it.

Make It Work campaign is made of people who believe that hardworking Americans shouldn’t have to choose between being there for their family and earning a living. Their current policies that they want to be brought current to the 21st century for work and family include:

Their website states, “men and women should be paid an equal pay for equal work; Affording child care shouldn’t require a second job or a second mortgage- this means child care costs must be no more than 10 percent of pay; Every working person should get at least seven paid days a year to recover from an illness or injury or care for a sick family member; Men and women should be able to be able to be with our loved ones when we’re needed and not sacrifice a paycheck to do it; And every person should get paid a decent wage that allows them to determine their future.” The policy solutions they are looking for are paid family leave, paid sick days, flexible and predictable scheduling, an increased federal minimum wage, affordable quality child care, and equal pay.

Why are they fighting for these changes? “Currently for every dollar a man of white color makes a woman working full-time is paid 78 cents.” “For women of color it’s even worse it is 64 cents for an African American and 54 cents for a Latina woman.” “On average, that’s $11,000 per year lost simply because she isn’t a man.”

“In 60 percent of families, the mother makes at least half the money, so that pay cut can be the difference between making ends meet and coming up short.”

A parent working full-time on minimum wage while supporting two children, still falls short thousands of dollars below the poverty line.

More than half the workers who would receive the raise would be women, and one-third of those are mothers.” More than 60 percent of moms and 90 percent of dads have a job; while two-thirds of women struggle to juggle work and family demands, and 58 percent say it’s partially due to the lack of affordable child care.”

The check that most parents are worried will bounce is the child care check. The average rent payment costs less than child care in nearly half the country.

“Nearly 75 percent of people say that an illness or a new child, for themselves or a family member, would cause them financial problems.”

“40 percent of the current workforce is not covered and the ones who are only get unpaid leave.” “Two in five workers are denied a single paid sick day.” In the last four years, because a low wage worker was sick or a family member was one in seven were fired.

“At some point in time, 75 percent of women will be pregnant and employed.” “Today, more woman are the main breadwinners for their families than ever before, but if nothing is done, women in the United States won’t see equal pay until 2058.”

Make It Work is asking all politicians repeatedly what they are going to do about these issues. How you can help is by filling out a pledge online. Giving a testimonial sharing your personal story to appeal to the politicians giving them more than just a list of names.

Finally, by volunteering with Make It Work. It is paid work. You go around to get pledges and testimonials.

This is a great way to get involved in politics without having to choose a candidate and try to decide what is the truth and even if what they say is truthful if they will do all they promised to do when elected.

For further information or more of its statistics go to makeitworkcampaign.org.

Organizations like this will help to make life better, not only for me and my family, but for millions across the country suffering to make ends meet like I was.

If more people can help to spread the word of this campaign to get more support so one more family does not end up homeless like I did, I can feel as if I helped to make a small difference that can lead to a big change.

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