At this pivotal moment, YWCA Tri-County Area, along with over 200 YWCA’s across the country, is poised to advance policies and legislation that are central to women’s health, safety, and economic opportunity, and that address the underlying gender equity and racial justice tensions that are so deeply embedded in our nation. Central to this moment is the broad support among women–across perceived differences of race, class, education, and political party affiliation—for the issues and priorities within YWCA Tri-County Area’s advocacy agenda.
YWCA Tri-County Area’s mission-based advocacy programming raises awareness, offers issue education, and builds social capital around women’s empowerment, racial and social justice and inequities, and safe and healthy communities.
Once again, communities have been devastated by mass shootings involving military-grade weapons. In El Paso, Texas and, less than a day later, Dayton, Ohio, two additional communities were traumatized by these senseless tragedies involving guns.
On February 12th, the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act (S. 463 / H.R. 1185) was re-introduced in Congress by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Rosa DeLauro. The FAMILY Act provides crucial support for working women and families, particularly low wage workers who are disproportionately women and people of color.
Over 50 years after the introduction of the Equal Pay Act and 10 years since the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the wage gap for women still remains with Black, Latinx, and Indigenous women facing the largest pay disparities. On January 30th the Paycheck Fairness Act (S.B. 270) was introduced by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and aims to strengthen the Equal Pay Act by providing robust protections against gender-based pay discrimination.
Our historic new Congress has an opportunity to enact the critical change necessary to ensure that all women in this country receive equal and adequate pay, can build wealth, and can support their families.
A strong bipartisan reauthorization bill for the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) was introduced on July 24 by Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK).
The Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvent Act of 2019 (S.2259) would:
- Continue support to prevent and respond to domestic and dating violence.
- Meaningfully invest in prevention by bringing evidence-informed, community-based preventions intitiatives to more communities across the country.
- Create a new grant program for underserved populations.
- Generally recognize the diverse needs of survivors by strengthening and creating programs to address culturally-specific needs of survivors in states, territories, and Tribes.
On April 4th, H.R. 1585, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019 (VAWA), passed through the House of Representatives with a 263-158 vote! This critical and lifesaving legislation maintains the safety, resources, and protections crucial to all survivors, particularly women of color and other marginalized communities, and makes modest, but vital, improvements.