48.8 million Americans—including 16.2 million children— live in households that are food insecure. In particular, food insecurity is especially present in communities of color. Nearly one in four (24%) Latino households are food insecure and over than one in four Latino children (30%) live in food insecure households. In addition, of the top 10 US counties with the highest child food-insecurity rates for children, three are majority Hispanic counties. Hunger also disproportionately impacts African American communities. One in four (25 percent) African American households are food insecure and African American households are over two times as likely to be food insecure as white, non-Hispanic households. Further, counties with majority African American populations are disproportionately represented among the top 10 percent of counties that have the highest rates of food insecurity.
This morning, we welcomed the reintroduction of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, key legislation to ensure pregnant workers have the workplace protections they deserve. Rachel Laser, Deputy Director of the Religious Action Center, issued the following statement to celebrate the bill’s reintroduction: Read more…
Raising the minimum wage is central to ensuring our society is one of economic justice. This is why efforts to raise the wage are being forged to on local, state and the national level.
In fact, states and localities are leading the federal government in raising the wage, to amounts significantly higher than the current federal level of $7.25/hour. Although there have been some setbacks, these successful campaigns to raise the wage are creating the momentum we need to give hardworking citizens across the country a higher baseline wage.
We know all too well that women on average earn just 78 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make. On April 14, we marked Equal Pay Day, the day in the new year until which women would have to work to earn what their male counterparts earned in the previous year. On June 4, more than a month later, we mark Moms’ Equal Pay Day, when mothers’ average earnings catch up to fathers’. This gap symbolizes that mothers who work full time, year round earn on average $40,000 a year compared to fathers’ $56,999—only 70 cents on the dollar. For comparison, women without children make 90 cents on the male dollar, and single moms make just 60 cents. Read more…
The record-breaking floods over the past week in Houston sadly remind us all of the fragility of our homes and refuges in the face of extreme weather. Many homes were destroyed in the severe flooding in Houston, along with two synagogues. Help support the people affected by the floods in Houston through the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston here. The floods also remind of the many individuals whose were not lost, but who were experiencing homelessness before and now will have to face even greater challenges to be safe and secure in a home of their own. While we reach out to and try to support those in Houston, we must also take action to ensure accessible, affordable housing for all people through legislative advocacy.
Rabbi Jonah Dov Pesner, Director of the RAC, will be speaking at a panel today at the Center for American Progress called “Harnessing Faith to Work for Justice.” Rabbi Pesner will be joined on the panel by Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Senior Pastor at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL, and it will be moderated by Jocelyn Frye, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.
During the panel, Rabbi Pesner and Rev. Moss will discuss how their faith inspires their work on key social justice issues, and how they overcome challenges in their work. They will also focus on issues such as economic inequality, racial justice, work-family policies and more.
Read more about the event and watch the livestream at 12PM ET today here.
On Tuesday, the country’s second largest city, Los Angeles, voted to raise its minimum wage from its current wage of $9 an hour to $15 an hour by 2020. This raise will impact over 40% of the city’s workforce, which is currently earning less than $15 an hour. This increase passed with a vote of 14-1 in the City Council and exemplifies the momentum that is being felt around the country along with local efforts to raise the minimum wage. Seattle, Chicago, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, San Diego, San Francisco and Oakland have all had recent minimum wage increases. In addition, there are proposals on the docket in Louisville, Washington, D.C., New York City, Kansas City, Missouri, and Portland, Maine.