by Sarah van Gelder
| || Every family needs a place to live. When banks use our homes and mortgages to make bets in the global casino, we wind up with predatory lending, financial bubbles, crashes, and foreclosures: |
| || Government stimulus spending should be aimed at a recovery that can support families, communities, and the natural environment. Green and locally based jobs are our best bets: |
| Many families care for disabled children and spouses, and elderly parents. Here are ways we can support them: |
| || Time is essential to good family life. Children, couples, and elders need companionship, vacations, and time to respond to life’s crises. In Europe, workers have at least four weeks paid vacation, and in Germany and the Netherlands, they have the right to switch to part-time hours: |
| || One in five children live in poverty in the United States. Many children attend failing and even dangerous schools. Our kids deserve better: |
| || Health and health care costs are big worries for American families. |
| Making our tax system more equitable could bring down the deficit; sustain family-friendly local, state, and federal government programs; and help reduce vast inequality, which threatens the health of all families, rich and poor. |
| || Our children, grandchildren, and great-grand-children deserve to inherit vibrant ecosystems, a strong democracy, and opportunities for a good life |
| || ... by making it available to all committed couples, gay or straight. |
Sarah van Gelder wrote this article for What Happy Families Know, the Winter 2011 issue of YES! Magazine. Sarah is YES! Magazine's executive editor.
Editorial interns Tiffany Ran and Alyssa Johnson contributed research to this article.
CITATIONS AND RESOURCES
SAFEGUARD OUR HOMES
- Center for Community Change on Housing Trust Funds, a source of funding for shared equity housing
- Shelterforce, a great resource on affordable housing and activism
- Green for All campaigns for jobs in energy efficiency and renewable energy for low-income people.
- Moms Rising advocates a fair deal for all mothers
PROTECT VULNERABLE FAMILY MEMBERS
- Move On’s campaign to protect Social Security
- AARP study on policies that would help older people “age in place.”
- Caregiving in the U.S.: A Focused Look at Those Caring for Someone Age 50 or Older [pdf], produced by the National Alliance for Caregiving.
- L.A. Times article on job challenges facing veterans with PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.
- Testimony of Stacy Bannerman, M.S., author of “When the War Came Home: The Inside Story of Reservists and the Families They Leave Behind” (2006) to the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health's hearing on Mental Health Impacts of Iraq War on the Families of Guard/Reserve Veterans.
BALANCE WORK AND LIFE
- Conversation with author, filmmaker, and activist John de Graaf, national coordinator, Take Back Your Time.
- Moms Rising on why paid sick time is needed.
GIVE KIDS A BREAK
- Children’s Defense Fund (CDF)
- CDF’s Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline campaign
- Center for a New American Dream on kids and commercialism
PROTECT OUR HEALTH
- Medicare for All (single-payer health care)
- The President’s Cancer Panel’s recommendations on protection from environmental sources of cancer
- Former secretary of labor Robert Reich’s recommendations
- “Taxes: Myths And Realities,” from Campaign for America’s Future
PROTECT OUR FUTURE
- Overturn Citizens United Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited campaign spending
- Alliance for Democracy is working on the Citizens United issue.
- Also, of course, YES! Magazine