Hello, Congress? Make Women a Priority!

This week Congress is focusing on two things: 1) passing a bill that will address the crisis that led to the near collapse on Wall Street, and 2) hearing from individuals and organizations on funding programs for the next fiscal year. Addressing the problems and actions that led to the problems on Wall Street and the resulting government bailout of banks is an important role for Congress. But so too, is ensuring that government funds are spent wisely and on important programs and services that help women, children and families struggling on Main Street. Please join us this week as we tell Congress: Make Women and their Families a Priority!

Call your member of Congress toll-free at (202)224-3121. You will have to make three calls: one to your Representative and one to each of your Senators. To find the names of your elected officials click here.

My name is _________ and I am a constituent. I am calling to urge the Representative/Senator to support funding two vitally important programs that help women and children throughout our state; transitional housing programs and child care.
I am asking the Representative/Senator to support, at a minimum, $25 million dollars for transitional housing programs for victims of domestic violence, and to consider fully funding the program at $40 million. I am also asking the Representative/Senator to support $1.6 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant.
As your constituent, I believe that although these are tight fiscal times, now is not the time to cut back on funding these vital programs. Thank you.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 funded a variety of programs, services and initiatives designed to stimulate the economy, invest in future economic growth of the nation, put people back to work, and fund critical human needs programs that are vital to the well-being of women, children and families during a recession. Two of the programs funded under ARRA that are important to the YWCA, women, girls and families are: 1)transitional housing programs for victims of violence, and 2)child care. ARRA provided $50 million dollars for transitional housing programs for victims of violence, and $2 billion dollars for child care.

President Obama released his Fiscal Year 2011 (FY11) budget on February 1st which built on his commitment to these programs and the women and children they serve. The President’s FY11 budget proposed providing $629.1 million or programs that help survivors of violence and their families and $25 million, specifically, for the transitional housing program, which is $7 million above last year’s FY10 level of $18 million. The President’s budget request also proposed providing $1.6 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant or CCDBG. The YWCA strongly supports funding for these initiatives.

Thursday is the 2010 YWCA USA Capitol Hill Day where YWCA Executive Directors, Board Members and other organizational leaders are coming to Washington to speak up for women and families. YWCA Advocates will be urging their members of Congress to make funding these programs a priority in the Fiscal Year 2011 (FY11) appropriations process. As an organization dedicated to the elimination of racism and the empowerment of women, we know that these programs are a crucial investment in the lives of women and children, including those served by the YWCA, throughout our nation.

To learn more about transitional housing programs and child care programs. Click here.