Tuesday, November 25, 2008

a working mom in the White House!

A few weeks before the election, Michelle Obama wrote in a U.S. News & World Report editorial that her top priority as first lady would be to advocate for working families and military families. For years, Michelle was a working mom and, once on the campaign trail, she talked to working parents across the country to find out they need from Washington.

Michelle discovered that working mothers in all 50 states have the same needs: affordable child care, paid sick days, pay equity, and more time to care for their children.

Read Michelle's full article here.

She said, "As first lady, I'd continue these conversations with working women and military spouses, and I'd take their stories back to Washington to make sure that the people who run our country know how their policies touch their constituents' lives."

What are you waiting for? Tell Michelle your story! Michelle understands the struggles that come when you have to balance your job and your family. Tell her your story so she can be YOUR advocate in Washington. Take the first step to create the kind of change YOU need!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Women Spoke Out!

On November 4th, women spoke! Women took the polls and voted for Barack Obama in strong numbers! Nationally, 56% of voting women elected Obama while here in Georgia, 54% of voting women did. Great credit should be given to African American and Latina women, whose HUGE voting percentages, helped him win. 96% of African American and 68% of Latina women voted for Obama-Biden.

How many of you studied the agendas of both candidates before voting? Now that we have spoken, hopefully President-Elect Obama and Vice-President Elect Joe Biden will listen. We can’t forget that we need help from Congress to pass their agenda. Let’s contact our local and national representatives to tell them that our vote counts and we want to see changes like these! Call on 9to5 Atlanta if you need any help in contacting your legislator.

Obama and Biden have outlined an agenda of issues for working women and families that could bring big changes and relief to many working moms. Here are a few items they would like to do, taken directly from their new website, http://www.change.gov/. Read through them and let us know which items would be most helpful to you, as working mother!

· Provide a Making Work Pay Tax Cut for America's Working Families: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 150 million workers the tax relief they need. Obama and Biden will create a new "Making Work Pay" tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family. The Making Work Pay tax credit will completely eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans.

· Raise the minimum wage: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will raise the minimum wage, index it to inflation, and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit to make sure that full-time workers earn a living wage that allows them to raise their families and pay for basic needs.

· Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit: As president, Obama will reward work by increasing the number of working parents eligible for EITC benefits, increasing the benefit available to parents who support their children through child support payments, and reducing the EITC marriage penalty which hurts low-income families. Under the Obama-Biden plan, full-time workers making minimum wage will get an EITC benefit up to $555, more than three times greater than the $175 benefit they get today. If the workers are responsibly supporting their children on child support, the Obama-Biden plan will give those workers a benefit of $1,110.

· Extend Paid Sick Days to All Workers: Half of all private sector workers have no paid sick days and the problem is worse for employees in low-paying jobs, where less than a quarter receive any paid sick days. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will require that employers provide seven paid sick days per year.

· Expand the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The FMLA covers only certain people who work for employers with 50 or more employees. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will expand the FMLA to cover businesses with 25 or more employees, and to cover more purposes including allowing: leave for workers who provide elder care; 24 hours of leave each year for parents to participate in their children's academic activities at school; leave for workers who care for individuals who reside in their home for 6 months or more; and leave for employees to address domestic violence and sexual assault.

· Expand High-Quality Afterschool Opportunities: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children. They will include measures to maximize performance and effectiveness across grantees nationwide.

· Expand the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit: The Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit provides too little relief to families that struggle to afford child care expenses. Barack Obama and Joe Biden will reform the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit by making it refundable and allowing low-income families to receive up to a 50 percent credit for their child care expenses.

· Expand Flexible Work Arrangements: Barack Obama and Joe Biden will address this concern by creating a program to inform businesses about the benefits of flexible work schedules for productivity and establishing positive workplaces; helping businesses create flexible work opportunities; and increasing federal incentives for telecommuting. Obama and Biden will also make the federal government a model employer in terms of adopting flexible work schedules and permitting employees to petition to request flexible arrangements.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Runoff Election FAQ

The runoff has been confirmed! If you haven't already, please mark your calendar for TUESDAY, DECEMBER 2nd. This election is just as important as the first election! Three important races are still up in the air: the Senate race, the District 4 representative to the GA Public Service Commission, and the Georgia Court of Appeals race.

Who can vote? Every registered voter in the state of Georgia can vote in all three elections!

How can I vote? You can vote on Tuesday, December 2nd, at your regular polling place OR you can request an absentee ballot or early/advance vote!

To vote absentee: Download an application for an absentee ballot here - and send it in immediately! Applications must be returned to your county Board of Registrars Office. Find contact info for your county's office here.

To vote early or in advance: According to the Secretary of State's website, early voting will take place Monday, November 17-Friday, November 21 and advance voting will take place Monday, November 24-Wednesday, November 26. Polls will be closed that Thursday & Friday because of Thanksgiving. To check your early/advance voting locations, please click here.

Who's running?

Saxby Chambliss
Jim Martin
Public Service Commission:
Lauren ("Bubba") McDonald
Jim Powell
Court of Appeals:
Sara Doyle
Mike Sheffield

Note: 9to5 is sending out weekly election update emails until the runoff election. If you'd like to be added to the list of people receiving these emails, please let us know!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

It's still unclear whether Saxby Chambliss and Jim Martin will have to campaign for another month, before settling their race in a runoff election next month. Votes are still being counted across Georgia, and neither candidate has received a clear majority of the votes. CNN is reporting that Chambliss currently has 50% of the vote, while Martin has 47%. A majority of 50% plus one is needed to win the race.

If this race needs to be settled in a runoff, it will take place on Tuesday, December 2nd. Also on that day, the race to elect representatives to the District 4 Public Service Commission and the Georgia Court of Appeals will be decided. Neither race saw a candidate win a decisive victory. In the District 4 race, Democrat Jim Powell is running against Republican Lauren ("Bubba") McDonald, and in the Court of Appeals race, Sara Doyle and Mike Sheffield are on the ballot.

It's important that you cast a ballot in this runoff election! The outcomes of these elections could be vital in determining public policy in the state of Georgia and across the nation in the coming years! If getting to the polls again on December 2nd will be difficult for you, please vote absentee. You can download a printable application for an absentee ballot here. Complete the application and mail or fax it to your county Board of Elections office. Contact information for this office is available here.

Congratulations to all on a record turnout at the polls in Georgia on Tuesday -- extra congrats if you were a first time voter! This was a big election, and only time will tell what the outcome will be for working Americans.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Connection continues...

The 2008 election is over, but it looks like 9to5's Election Campaign will continue on. The Georgia Senate race is so close - neither candidate has the necessary vote of 50% plus one to win - so there will likely be a run-off election next month between the incumbent Saxby Chambliss and his challenger, Jim Martin.

Please check back tomorrow for further updates about what this next phase of the Election Connection will entail!