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Shannon Watts, Everytown For Gun Safety: Fight Gun Violence With Your VOTE.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Mayors Against Illegal Guns/Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America.

 

If our elected officials won’t change our gun laws, it’s time to change our elected officials.

I was in the Senate gallery one year ago today when a minority of U.S. Senators blocked a bill to expand criminal background checks. They caved under pressure from the Washington gun lobby instead of standing up for more than 90% of the American people who supported the bill. They made the wrong choice.

That’s why I’m proud to announce the launch of Gun Sense Voter, an unprecedented initiative to mobilize Americans in all 50 states to fight gun violence with their votes.

I’m writing to ask you to pledge to vote for candidates in local, state and federal elections who support common-sense laws to reduce gun violence. And, at the same time, help us show others the door.

Will you take the pledge to become a Gun Sense Voter today?

Are you a Gun Sense Voter? Here’s how you’ll know:

 

  • You believe that felons and domestic abusers shouldn’t have access to guns.
  • You think guns don’t belong in places like churches, schools and playgrounds.
  • You think our elected officials should be as passionate about the safety of our communities as they are about the right to bear arms.
  • You understand that each and every vote matters when it comes to reducing gun violence — and you’re not afraid to use yours to create change.

 

If you’re a mom, a mayor, a survivor, a police officer, or a concerned citizen who thinks that our elected officials must do more to stop gun violence, then you’re a Gun Sense Voter.

 

Make it official and take the Gun Sense Voter pledge right now:

 

http://www.GunSenseVoter.org/

 

I’ve taken the pledge, and I hope you will too.

 

It’s the most important thing you can do to make sure we finally get the common-sense gun laws that will keep our fellow Americans safe from gun violence.

 

Thank you,

 

Shannon Watts
Founder
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense In America

P.S. — When you take the pledge, please make sure you check the box if you can volunteer in your community. The Gun Sense Voter team will be reaching out to some volunteers all across the country to organize trainings in the weeks ahead, and we hope to see you there!

Everytown for Gun Safety is a movement of Americans fighting for common-sense gun policies. We are moms, mayors, survivors, and concerned citizens. 



We depend on contributions from supporters like you to fund our important work to reduce gun violence.

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WHAT IS GUN SENSE?

 

Gun Sense is the simple idea that we can do more to keep our families and communities safe from gun violence. It’s the belief that we, as Americans don’t have to tolerate 31,000 deaths from gun violence every year.

If you believe that felons and domestic abusers shouldn’t have access to guns; if you think guns don’t belong in places like churches, schools and playgrounds; If you think our elected officials should be as passionate about the safety of our communities as they are about the right to bear arms: You have Gun Sense.

DOWNLOAD ORGANIZING TOOLS

We have everything you need to start organizing in your community. Download pledge cards, sign-in sheets, posters, and informational flyers.

  • DOWNLOAD

    Print these posters to show that you’re a Gun Sense Voter.

  • DOWNLOAD

    Got a clipboard or going to an event? Download this sheet to collect many pledges at once.

  • DOWNLOAD

    Print your own cards for people to pledge to be Gun Sense Voters.

  • DOWNLOAD

    Full of facts and info. Print these out to tell your friends and neighbors about gun sense.

NAVIGATION

New AD on Gun Safety: ‘Moms Demand Action’ For Gun Sense in America

 

 

 

Michael Bloomberg Announces $50 Million Project to Fight Gun Violence

 

Published on Apr 16, 2014

Billionaire and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to spend at least $50 million this year to combat gun violence in the United States through a new lobbying group, Everytown for Gun Safety.
Bloomberg said in a New York Times article published Tuesday evening that he plans to spend the $50 million — at least — through Everytown’s advocacy work as well as “personal expenditures.”

 

“I put $50 million this year, last year into coal, $53 million into oceans,” he told the Times about the causes he supports. “Certainly a number like that, $50 million. Let’s see what happens.”

 

The group will have kick-off events in several cities across the country on Wednesday to spread the word and launch the “Gun Sense Voter” campaign that aims to mobilize 1 million voters to support officials and laws that tout gun safety.

 

 

 

 

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Reforming America’s Job-Driven Training Programs: Barack & Joey B. Visit Community College of Allegheny County in Oakdale, Pennsylvania.


 

By Jueseppi B.

 

Reforming America’s Job-Driven Training Programs

 

In this year’s State of the Union address, President Obama announced that Vice President Biden would lead a reform of America’s job training programs, making sure that these programs “train Americans with the skills employers need, and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now.”

 

This afternoon, the President and Vice President visited the Community College of Allegheny County in Oakdale, Pennsylvania to announce progress on that reform.

 

 

 

The President and Vice President Speak on Skills Training for Workers

 

Published on Apr 16, 2014

President Obama and Vice President Biden deliver remarks on the importance of jobs-driven skills training in a 21st century economy. April 16, 2014.

 

“CCAC is an outstanding model of the kind of job-driven training we’re trying to encourage all across the country,” said President Obama. “You’re doing something right that is making a difference in people’s lives — and we want to spread the word.”

 

The President first announced a nearly $500 million competition in which the federal government will award grants to community colleges and employers partnering together to develop job-driven training programs.

 

We’ve asked more community colleges to do what you’ve done here at Allegheny, and that is to figure out what skills local employers are looking for, and then partner with them to help design the curriculums and to prepare the students for those jobs. We want a seamless progression from community college programs to industry-recognized credentials and credit towards a college degree.

And today I’m announcing that we’re going to award nearly $500 million to those institutions who are doing it best in all 50 states — using existing money to create opportunity for hardworking folks like you.

 

He also announced a $100 million competition for American Apprenticeship Grants, which will expand the types of apprenticeships that help put young people and experienced workers on an upward career trajectory.

 

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker tour a classroom at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker tour a classroom at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., April 16, 2014. Students Zach Kuzma and Stephanie Womack demonstrate equipment that teaches students how to manipulate gears, pulleys, sprockets, etc. to adjust the speed and/or torque of a motor or system. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

“When it comes to training our workers,” the President said, “not all of today’s good jobs require a four-year college degree. But I promise you, there’s not a job out there that’s going to pay a lot if you don’t have some sort of specialized training. So our best bet is keeping ahead in the skills race.”

 

Learn more about how the federal government — as well as employers, unions, and foundations — are supporting job-driven training.

 

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FACT SHEET – American Job Training Investments: Skills and Jobs to Build a Stronger Middle Class

 

 

Obama, Biden coming to CCAC

 

Published on Apr 15, 2014

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will visit the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center Wednesday to spotlight what they call “jobs-driven skills training.”

 

 

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Barack & Joey B. & Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto & Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald at 171st Air Refueling Wing

Barack & Joey B.
& Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto & Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald at 171st Air Refueling Wing

 

 

The President Tours The Community College of Allegheny Training Center

 

President Barack Obama tours a classroom with Paul Blackford, instructor of the Mechatronics Program, at Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center

President Barack Obama tours a classroom with Paul Blackford, instructor of the Mechatronics Program, at Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden tour the Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center with students in the Mechatronics program

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden tour the Community College of Allegheny West Hills Center with students in the Mechatronics program

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Barack & Joey B. talk with Tyron Baltimore and Melissa Ayers, students at CCAC West Hills Center.

Barack & Joey B. talk with Tyron Baltimore and Melissa Ayers, students at CCAC West Hills Center.

 

 

The President and Vice President Speak on Skills Training for Workers (Full Transcript)

 

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President Barack Obama is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., The visit was to announce $600M in grants as part of the administration’s Opportunity for All program to train the work force for careers in fields with a growing demand.

President Barack Obama is introduced by Vice President Joe Biden as he arrives at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale, Pa., The visit was to announce $600M in grants as part of the administration’s Opportunity for All program to train the work force for careers in fields with a growing demand.

 

Hello, Allegheny County! (Applause.) Joe and I decided it was time for a guys’ trip. (Laughter.) Actually, Michelle and Jill wanted us out the house. (Laughter.) So we decided to take a little road trip. And we are thrilled to be back here with a lot of good friends and folks who are doing terrific work every single day.

 

 
We brought with us some people who are doing some important work, trying to make sure that we’re building on the kind of success that we’re seeing here — first of all, Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is here. Give Penny a big round of applause. (Applause.) We’ve got a great friend and an outstanding Senator — Bob Casey in the house. (Applause.) Congressman Mike Doyle is here. (Applause.)

 

 

One of the biggest Steelers fans we’ve got. (Laughter.) We’ve got County Executive Rich Fitzgerald here in the house. (Applause.) Outstanding Mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto is here. (Applause.) And your college president, Quintin Bullock is here. (Applause.)

 

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And of course, all of you are here. (Applause.) Yeah! Yeah! (Laughter.) Now, we’re here because CCAC is an outstanding model of the kind of job-driven training we’re trying to encourage all across the country. And Joe and I just spent some time checking out the machines and motors that are being used here to train folks in mechatronics. Now, I have to say that before I came here I didn’t know there was such a thing as mechatronics. (Laughter.) Sounds like something that Godzilla would be fighting. (Laughter.) It turns out it has to do with engineering, how stuff works. And we saw firsthand everything that you are doing to train more workers for new jobs and better jobs — jobs companies need to keep growing.

 

And what we want to do is we want to replicate your model across the country. You’re doing something right that is making a difference in people’s lives — (applause) — and we want to spread the word. (Applause.) So that’s why we’re here today in Allegheny County, because I’m taking some new action to expand this kind of job-driven training to all 50 states.

 

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And Joe talked a little bit about why we have to do this — because in today’s economy, it’s never been more important to make sure that our folks are trained for the jobs that are there — and for the jobs of the future.

 

Now, we’ve spent the past five and a half years fighting back from the worst economic crisis in our lifetimes. The good news is our economy is growing again, our businesses are creating jobs. We’ve created nearly 9 million jobs over the past four years. We’ve cut our deficits by more than half. Our manufacturing sector that used to be losing jobs, just hemorrhaging jobs, is now adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s. (Applause.) The first time since the 1990s. High school dropout rates are going down. College attendance rates and graduation rates are going up. Our troops are coming home. (Applause.) We’re seeing an energy boom all across the country. And more than 7.5 million people have been able to sign up for health care, many for the very first time, through the Affordable Care Act. (Applause.) And 7.5 million people, by the way, is about the number that it would take to fill up Heinz Field 115 times.

 

So there are a lot of good trends that are taking place. And a lot of that has to do with the great work that our outstanding Vice President is doing. (Applause.) It has to do with the great work that folks like Mike and Bob and Rich are doing, and your outstanding Mayor in Pittsburgh and all he’s doing to help transform the economy there.

 

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But here’s the challenge — and a lot of folks here know it. A lot of people don’t feel that progress in their own lives yet. So the stock market is doing great. Corporate profits are soaring. Folks at the very, very top are doing better than ever. But too many Americans, if they’re lucky enough to have a job, are working harder and harder just to get by, much less to get ahead. For too many middle-class Americans, it feels as if the same trends that have been going on for decades are continuing. You’re working hard, but wages flat-line, incomes flat-line, cost of everything else going up.

 

So we’ve got to reverse those trends. We’ve got to make sure that we have an economy that’s not just growing from the top down — because it doesn’t really grow when it’s just from the top down. We’ve got to have an economy where it grows from the middle class out, and from the bottom up, and everybody has a chance. (Applause.)

 

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That’s the idea of America — if you work hard, you can get ahead. That’s the promise at the heart of this country. If you’re responsible, you’re willing to put in some sweat, you can get ahead. You may not be fabulously wealthy, but you can support a family; you can buy a home; make sure your kids are doing good and they can go to college; have something left over for retirement; have health care you can count on; maybe take a vacation once in a while — (laughter) — just the basics and knowing that you’re part of a community that is growing for everybody, not just some.

 

Restoring that idea is the defining issue of our time. And so the truth is — Joe and I, we were talking about this the other day — we sometimes sound like a broken record because we’ve been talking about this for six, seven, eight years, ever since we’ve been in public office. But it’s more urgent than ever now that we move forward. And we know what to do.

 

We’re pushing a four-part opportunity agenda. And the first part is more good jobs paying good wages — manufacturing jobs, construction jobs, jobs in energy, jobs in innovation, jobs in infrastructure, rebuilding our roads and our bridges — putting people back to work. There’s a lot more we could be doing.

 

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Number two, we’ve got to train more Americans with the skills to fill the jobs that are there, just like you do here at CCAC. Number three, we’ve got to guarantee every young American a world-class education. And number four, when people do have a job, we’ve got to make sure that job pays a decent wage and that you have savings you can retire on and health care you can count on. (Applause.)

 

These are the things we’ve got to be doing. You know it; I know it. That’s what would put our unemployment rate down faster. It would pull our wages up faster. It’s what we could do to create more jobs and economic security for a lot of families that have been reaching for it for years. And every single person you send to Washington should be focused on that issue. That’s what America needs right now.

 

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Today, the reason we came here is to focus on that second part of that agenda — training Americans with the skills that they need for the good jobs that are going to be here today and tomorrow.

 

Around here, you know better than most how in recent decades the economy hasn’t always worked for middle-class families. You saw outsourcing. There was a time when finding a good job in manufacturing wasn’t all that hard. If you were willing to work, you could go to the local factory, maybe the factory your dad was working in, and say, I’m ready to go, and they’d sign you up.

 

And over time, the economy changed, part of it because of globalization, some of it because of new technologies. And you’ve seen, sometimes painfully, where technology shutters factories and ships jobs overseas, and even makes some jobs obsolete.

 

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But you know what, we’re not going to reverse all those trends. We can’t stop technology. And you’ve got a global economy now where we’ve got to compete. We live in a 21st century global economy. Jobs know no borders, and companies are able to seek out the best-educated, most highly-skilled workers wherever they live. And that’s where the good jobs and the good pay and the good benefits is going to be.

 

Other countries know this. Countries like Germany, China, India — they’re working every day to out-educate our kids so they can out-compete our businesses. And each year, frankly, it shows that they’re making more progress than we are. We’re still ahead, we’ve still got the best cards, but they’re making some good decisions. We’ve got to make those same decisions.

 

And when it comes to training our workers, not all of today’s good jobs require a four-year college degree, but I promise you, there’s not a job out there that’s going to pay a lot if you don’t have some sort of specialized training. So our best bet is keeping ahead in the skills race.

 

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And you see what happens when we put effort into making sure workers have new skills — the education that’s required for this 21st century economy. At a time when traditional manufacturing is back on the rise, Pittsburgh is seeing new factories manufacturing new technologies across the board. And I know you’re County Executive and your Mayor and steel workers –everybody is — we’re focused on bringing jobs back. And the good news is they’re coming back. The problem is we’re having trouble filling some of those jobs.

 

I mean, there’s been great progress in this area. You’ve earned a great nickname — “Roboburgh” — because you’ve got high-tech plants and workplaces that are adding jobs faster than workers can fill them. That’s a good problem to have. But we’ve got a lot of Americans who are still looking for work or underemployed and not getting paid enough. That’s where what you do here is making a difference.

 

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America has got a choice to make. We can do nothing — which is the strategy that some folks in Washington seem to have — or we can do what we’ve always done best: We pull together; we fight back; and we win. (Applause.) That’s what we do best.

 

So earlier this year, I asked Joe to work with Penny Pritzker and Tom Perez, our Labor Secretary, to lead an across-the-board reform of all of our federal training programs to make sure they’ve got one clear mission: Train Americans with the skills employers need. Not something that looks good on paper, but doesn’t give you a job; find out what are the jobs that need to be filled and make sure folks are being trained and matched to those good jobs.

 

We’ve got to move away from what our Labor Secretary, Tom Perez, calls a “train and pray” approach. We train them and we pray that they can get a job. (Laughter.) Because the problem there is students, when they go to a community college, they go to a four-year university, they’re taking out debt. They’re straining their budgets. We got to make sure that it pays off for them. So we need to take a job-driven approach. And that’s what you’ve done here in Allegheny County. That’s what you’re doing here. (Applause.)

 

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So we’re rewarding high schools that redesign their curriculums to help students gain ready-to-work skills even earlier because there’s no reason why you got to wait for college. Our high schools could be providing more relevant education and making kids more job-ready. (Applause.)

 

We are supporting partnerships between employers and local governments and nonprofits to help unemployed workers who’ve been sidelined for too long, help them get the skills that they need, help to connect them to the jobs that require those skills. We’re working with a bipartisan coalition of governors and mayors across the country to make job training partnerships a reality for more Americans.

 

But we could be doing a lot more. And I’ve asked Congress to invest in serious programs that connect ready-to-work Americans with ready-to-be-filled jobs. (Applause.) And in fairness, Mike Doyle, he’s supportive of that and Bob Casey is supportive of it. But, unfortunately, there are some other folks in Washington that haven’t acted yet. They haven’t been getting the job done so far. And Americans can’t afford to wait.

 

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So today, I’m taking two significant actions that don’t require Congress — (applause) — that don’t require Congress. First, we’ve asked more community colleges to do what you’ve done here at Allegheny, and that is to figure out what skills local employers are looking for, and then partner with them to help design the curriculums and to prepare the students for those jobs. We want a seamless progression from community college programs to industry-recognized credentials and credit towards a college degree.

 

And today I’m announcing that we’re going to award nearly $500 million to those institutions who are doing it best in all 50 states — using existing money to create opportunity for hardworking folks like you. (Applause.) That’s good.

 

Second — and this is related — we’re launching a $100 million competition for what we’re calling American Apprenticeship Grants. Now, these are awards that are going to expand the kinds of apprenticeships that help young people and experienced workers get on a path towards advancement, towards better jobs, better pay, a trajectory upwards in their careers.

 

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And apprenticeships are a way to link more Americans to jobs in some of our in-demand fields, like IT and health care. They let you earn while you learn. And sometimes it makes — it’s possible for them to also create college credits on the job, even as you’re pursuing a degree or a better job.

 

Right now, nearly nine out of 10 apprentices — folks who are in apprenticeships, they get hired when they’re finished — which makes sense, right? You get an apprenticeship; you’re there, you’re learning on the job. People see that you’re serious about working. So nine out of 10 folks, once they get an apprenticeship, they get hired. And by the way, they make an average of $50,000.

 

So we’re streamlining efforts by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Labor to help veterans access their GI Bill benefits for apprenticeships. Businesses, unions, community colleges, nonprofits — we’re getting them to work with us as well. The UAW is joining with the Big Three and John Deere and others to add nearly 2,000 apprentices. Some of the biggest manufacturers are partnering with community colleges in North Carolina and Texas and California on high-skill training programs.

 

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And now we want to work with national industry associations to help partnerships like these take root all across the country — so that anybody, in any city, any state, can earn the training they need to get the good jobs of tomorrow. So the bottom line is if you’re willing to put in the work to get a job or earn a promotion in today’s economy, America’s job-training system should give you every possible chance.

 

And you’re doing it here. When we took that tour, we saw young people and some not-so-young people — I won’t say who. I don’t want to offend. (Laughter.) But these are folks who — many of them were in a job right now, but they saw that it was a dead-end and they wanted to make sure that they could get a better job. Some of them were just getting started. But either way, their investment and their effort was being rewarded.

 

One person we met is a gentleman named Tim Wright. He was showing us some of the computer systems that folks are working on. Now, Tim worked as a shift laborer for 13 years, loading rail cars, moving equipment, working nights, working weekends. And he always had his eye on moving into industrial maintenance so he could repair and oversee the factory’s equipment, but he couldn’t pass the skills test. I love this about Tim. He did not give up. He didn’t say, well, I guess I can’t get to my dream. Instead he started on this mechatronics training at CCAC.

 

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So he’d squeeze in classes whenever he could, while he was still working his shifts. And after six months of hard work, he graduated as an industry-certified mechatronics technician. He re-took the test. He passed the test. (Applause.) Today, Tim is doing what he set out to do. (Applause.) So today he’s working on a factory floor, making sure the machines do what they’re supposed to do. He earns more money, he works better hours. He has more time to spend with his family.

 

And I want to read what Tim said here about this. He said, “That extra training made all the difference in the world. Those were the skills I needed to get to the next level.”

 

So I couldn’t be prouder of Tim. Those are the victories — they don’t get a lot of publicity. Tim’s name won’t be in the papers — although now it may be because I just talked about him. (Laughter.) But that’s what America is all about, each of us working to try to move forward. And by each of us moving forward, we all move forward. And then, we reach back and we help other folks.

 

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Companies that are represented here today — like Alle-Kiski and Schroeder and Aerotech — they’re helping. They want to help even more of their workers to take their skills to the next level, whether it’s through a community college partnership like Tim’s, or working with organizations like New Century Careers here in southwestern Pennsylvania. (Applause.) More workers getting apprenticeships. We know it works. And if it worked for folks like Tim and some of the men and women who are standing behind me here today, who took the initiative to upgrade their skills and stay ahead of the jobs curve and prepare themselves for a new job or a better job, then it can work all across the country.

 

We want that for every American. Everybody who works hard and takes responsibility deserves a chance to get ahead. That is what this country is built on. That’s what the moment requires. That’s what Congress should be working on. (Applause.) That’s what Joe is working on. That’s what I’m working on. That’s what you’re working on. And if we keep on working, we’re going to move forward.

 

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Thank you, everybody. God bless you. God bless America. (Applause.)

 

 

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The Teflon Dons On The Tarmac Before Boarding Their Respective Planes Home

The Teflon Dons On The Tarmac Before Boarding Their Respective Planes Home

The Smile That Makes Females Swoon.

The Smile That Makes Females Swoon.

The best selfie ever taken

The best selfie ever taken

Barack Landing At Andrews Air Force Base

Barack Landing At Andrews Air Force Base

Compassion was his thing even back in 1995 as he read to neighborhood children in his days as a community organizer.

Compassion was his thing even back in 1995 as he read to neighborhood children in his days as a community organizer.

Somebody explain to me, Where were these concerned Bundy Ranch protesters when a mentally ill homeless BLACK man was killed by New Mexico cops two weeks ago.....ain't THAT the gubmint taking away his freedom to be on public land?

Somebody explain to me, Where were these concerned Bundy Ranch protesters when a mentally ill homeless BLACK man was killed by New Mexico cops two weeks ago…..ain’t THAT the gubmint taking away his freedom to be on public land?

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A New Feature On WhiteHouse.gov: Tools You’ll Use.


 

 

By Jueseppi B.

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There are a lot of .gov websites out there. But with so many, you might miss some of the ones that are most useful for you.

That’s why we’re launching WhiteHouse.gov/Tools: It’s a collection of tools from across the government that can make your life easier.

And those are just some of the tools we’re spotlighting.

 

 

TOOLS YOU’LL USE

 

Spotlighting government tools that make your life easier.

 

 

COLLEGE SCORECARD

 

I want to find a college that’s a good fit for me or my kids.

You can use the scorecard to get a sense of a college’s affordability and value – helping you make an informed decision about which college to attend. Additionally, you can get scorecards based on programs or majors offered, location, and enrollment size.

 

College Scorecards in the U.S. Department of Education’s College Affordability and Transparency Center make it easier for you to search for a college that is a good fit for you. You can use the College Scorecard to find out more about a college’s affordability and value so you can make more informed decisions about which college to attend.
To start, enter the name of a college of interest to you or select factors that are important in your college search. You can find scorecards for colleges based on factors such as programs or majors offered, location, and enrollment size.

 

 

 

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Assess the energy efficiency of your home and see how it measures up:

 

EPA‘s Home Energy Yardstick provides a simple assessment of your home’s annual energy use compared to similar homes. By answering a few basic questions about your home, you can get:

  • Your home’s Home Energy Yardstick score (on a scale of 1 to 10);
  • Insights into how much of your home’s energy use is related to heating and cooling versus other everyday uses like appliances, lighting, and hot water;
  • Links to guidance from ENERGY STAR on how to increase your home’s score, improve comfort, and lower utility bills; and
  • An estimate of your home’s annual carbon emissions.

Learn more about how the Home Energy Yardstick works.

See a sample results page.

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Getting Started:

To calculate your Yardstick score, all you need is some basic information about your home:

  • Your ZIP code;
  • Your home’s square footage;
  • Number of full time home occupants;
  • A list of all the different fuels used in your home (e.g., electricity, natural gas, fuel oil); and
  • Your home’s last 12 months of utility bills (usually found in the 12 month summary provided on your bill or through a Green Button file ?).

Having trouble with the Home Energy Yardstick? Contact us at yardstick@energystar.gov.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass

 

With the tools below, learn about how USDA and our federal partners support local and regional food economies; see communities putting these resources to work; and explore the map to find out what’s happening near you. Use the tools and get involved!

 

 

Welcome to the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass

 

Uploaded on Feb 28, 2012

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and USDA Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan introduce the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass, an electronic document and interactive map that will help you support local and regional food systems.

 

 

 

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To select different vehicle pairs including non-hybrid models or to consider additional cost factors, visit the Vehicle Cost Calculator at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center.

Note: This tool compares hybrids to their non-hybrid counterparts in very simple terms—only fuel costs and MSRP are considered. Other factors, such as insurance, maintenance, or resale value, are not considered since they can vary widely.

Every effort was made to match each hybrid vehicle with a conventional vehicle from the same manufacturer that is as similar as possible in terms of amenities and utility. For unique hybrids with no conventional counterpart like the Toyota Prius, Prius c and the Honda Insight, a different model was chosen from the same manufacturer if it appeared to be reasonably similar. Ultimately, consumers will have to judge for themselves how similar the vehicles are.

 

 

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We developed a shorter, simpler credit card agreement that spells out the terms for the consumer. Note that this is not a model form, and use is not mandatory. Our prototype is shown here. We believe our approach will help consumers better understand their credit card agreements. Tell us what you think of it.

 

Review the sample agreement below. (You can also view a PDF copy.) The terms that are underlined in the agreement are defined in a separate list of definitions of credit card contract terms. Click any section of the agreement to learn more about it. Then leave your comments about the agreement or the definitions at the bottom of the page.

 

If you want to see what current agreements look like, check out our Credit Card Agreement Database.

 

 

 

 

Been Sued or Gotten a Demand Letter?
Answers To Common Questions About Abusive Patent Litigation

Received a letter about or been sued over a patent? You’re in the right place. See below for answers to common questions:

 

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In June 2013, President Obama ordered the creation of this website to empower those who have received a demand letter or may be threatened with a patent lawsuit with information about their options. In response, the USPTO has created this site.

The information presented on this site does not constitute legal advice. It should not be considered to replace advice from an attorney. Reference to any specific organizations, attorneys, law firms, corporations, or websites does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the USPTO.

We welcome your comments and suggestions in the box below.

 

 

Have you seen something we should feature here? Tell us about it.

 

See something you think we should spotlight? Tell us here. And for even more, go to USA.gov.

 

 

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Equal Pay Day At Barack’s House. There Is NO Glass Ceiling At THIS White House.


 

By Jueseppi B.

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Taking Action in Honor of National Equal Pay Day

 

 

President Barack Obama signs executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women, at an event marking Equal Pay Day, in the East Room of the White House, April 8, 2014.

President Barack Obama signs executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women, at an event marking Equal Pay Day, in the East Room of the White House, April 8, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Today, President Obama signed a new Executive Order to prevent workplace discrimination and empower workers to take control over negotiations regarding their pay.

 

Just over two months after President Obama raised the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contractors, he is again leading by example and taking action to protect American workers from retaliation if they broach the topic of unequal compensation. This is a problem facing a broad range of American workers, but women in particular are too often on the receiving end of subtle or overt penalties for even mentioning their pay.

 

In addition, the President is asking the Secretary of Labor to require federal contractors to submit data on employee compensation by race and gender — which will help employers take proactive efforts to ensure fair pay for all their employees.

 

President Obama is committed to ensuring equal opportunity and empowering women in the workforce. Shortly after taking office, he signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and established theNational Equal Pay Task Force. His commitment to women’s equality stems not only from his experiences as the son of a single mom, a husband, and the father of two daughters, but also as our nation’s leader, focused every day on strengthening our economy and maintaining our competitive edge in the world.

 

Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Signing

President Barack Obama signs into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in the East Room of the White House. January 29, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Joyce Boghosian)

As the President said in his most recent State of the Union address, “when women succeed, America succeeds.” We truly can’t afford to have women held back or prevent them from reaching their full potential if we hope to maximize the strength and productivity of our workforce.

 

Fifty years ago, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law to combat gender-based wage discrimination, and in the decades since, women have made extraordinary progress. But there is still a great amount of work that needs to be done. Women still make just 77 cents on average for every dollar a man earns, and continue to face prejudice in the workplace. And that number hasn’t improved — the pay gap has stayed constant since 2002.

 

Women now make up roughly half of America’s workforce and graduate at a higher rate than men from college and graduate schools — but even professional women make less than men in the same occupation with equivalent degrees. And the wage gapgets worse as they get older: Until they turn 35, women earn roughly 90 percent of what men make; after that, women typically earn about 75 to 80 percent of what men make.

 

This June, the President will host the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families to discuss issues ranging from fair pay and the minimum wage to childcare and flexible workplace policies to ensure that parents can be productive workers while handling their responsibilities at home.

 

The summit will convene a diverse group of business leaders, advocates, parents, and stakeholders from across the country to share best practices, identify strategies that work, and take those ideas to scale.

 

The summit and Executive Order will build on President Obama’s ongoing commitment to strengthen the middle class, maximize opportunity for all, and put every hardworking American in a position to succeed.

 

 

Presidential Actions

 

Executive Order — Non-Retaliation for Disclosure of Compensation Information

 

 

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President Obama Speaks on Equal Pay for Equal Work

 

Published on Apr 8, 2014

Following an introduction by Lilly Ledbetter, President Obama announces two new executive actions to strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws for women.

 

 

President Barack Obama is introduced to speak by Lilly Ledbetter at an event aimed at increasing transparency about women’s pay during an event at the White House. The first law President Obama signed after taking office in 2009 was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extended time periods for employees to file claims for wages lost as a result of discrimination.

President Barack Obama is introduced to speak by Lilly Ledbetter at an event aimed at increasing transparency about women’s pay during an event at the White House. The first law President Obama signed after taking office in 2009 was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which extended time periods for employees to file claims for wages lost as a result of discrimination.

 

 

 

 

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Remarks by the President on Equal Pay for Equal Work

 

 

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East Room

11:58 A.M. EDT

 

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THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, everybody.  (Applause.)  All right.  Well, thanks to my friend, Lilly Ledbetter, not only for that introduction but for fighting for a simple principle:  Equal pay for equal work.  It’s not that complicated.  And, Lilly, I assure you, you remain the face of fair pay.  (Laughter.)  People don’t want my mug on there.  (Laughter.)  They want your face.

 

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As Lilly mentioned, she did not set out to be a trailblazer. She was just somebody who was waking up every day, going to work, doing her job the best that she could.  And then one day, she finds out, after years, that she earned less than her male colleagues for doing the same job.  I want to make that point again.  (Laughter.)  Doing the same job.  Sometimes when you — when we discuss this issue of fair pay, equal pay for equal work, and the pay gap between men and women, you’ll hear all sorts of excuses about, well, they’re child-bearing, and they’re choosing to do this, and they’re this and they’re that and the other.  She was doing the same job — probably doing better.  (Laughter and applause.)  Same job.  Working just as hard, probably putting in more hours.  But she was getting systematically paid less.

 

And so she set out to make sure this country lived up to its founding, the idea that all of us are created equal.  And when the courts didn’t answer her call, Congress did.

 

The first time Lilly and I stood together in this room was my tenth day in office, and that’s when we signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.  (Applause.)  First bill I signed into law.  And some of the leaders who helped make that happen are here today, including Leader Pelosi and Senator Mikulski and Congresswoman DeLauro.  (Applause.)  I want to thank all the members of Congress and all the state legislators who are here  and all the advocates who are here, because you all contributed to that effort.  And I want to give a special thanks to the members of the National Equal Pay Task Force, who’ve done outstanding work to make workplaces across America more fair.

 

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We’re here because today is Equal Pay Day.  (Applause.)  Equal Pay Day.  And it’s nice to have a day, but it’s even better to have equal pay.  (Applause.)  And our job is not finished yet. Equal Pay Day means that a woman has to work about this far into 2014 to earn what a man earned in 2013.  Think about that.  A woman has got to work about three more months in order to get what a man got because she’s paid less.  That’s not fair.  That’s like adding an extra six miles to a marathon.  (Laughter.)  It’s not right.

 

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Ain’t right.

 

THE PRESIDENT:  Ain’t right.  (Laughter.)  It’s not right and it ain’t right.  (Laughter.)

 

America should be a level playing field, a fair race for everybody — a place where anybody who’s willing to work hard has a chance to get ahead.  And restoring that opportunity for every American — men and women — has to be a driving focus for our country.

 

Now, the good news is today our economy is growing; businesses have created almost 9 million new jobs over the past four years.   More than 7 million Americans have signed up for health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act. (Applause.)

 

That’s a good thing, too.  I know it’s Equal Pay Day and not Obamacare Day — (laughter) — but I do want to point out that the Affordable Care Act guarantees free preventive care, like mammograms and contraceptive care, for tens of millions of women, and ends the days when you could be charged more just for being a woman when it comes to your health insurance.  (Applause.)  And that’s true for everybody.  (Applause.)  That’s just one more place where things were not fair.

 

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We’ll talk about drycleaners next, right — (laughter) — because I know that — I don’t know why it costs more for Michelle’s blouse than my shirt.  (Laughter.)

 

But we’ve got to make sure that America works for everybody. Anybody who is willing to work hard, they should be able to get ahead.  And we’ve got to build an economy that works for everybody, not just those at the top.  Restoring opportunity for all has to be our priority.  That’s what America is about.  It doesn’t matter where you started off, what you look like — you work hard, you take responsibility, you make the effort, you should be able to get ahead.

 

And we’ve got to fight for an opportunity agenda, which means more good jobs that pay good wages, and training Americans to make sure that they can fill those jobs, and guaranteeing every child a world-class education, and making sure the economy rewards hard work for every single American.

 

And part of that is fighting for fair pay for women — because when women succeed, America succeeds.  (Applause.)  When women succeed, America succeeds.  It’s true.  I believe that.  (Applause.)  It’s true.  It’s true.  It’s true.

 

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Now, here’s the challenge:  Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns; for African American women, Latinas, it’s even less.  And in 2014, that’s an embarrassment.  It is wrong.  And this is not just an issue of fairness.  It’s also a family issue and an economic issue, because women make up about half of our workforce and they’re increasingly the breadwinners for a whole lot of families out there.  So when they make less money, it means less money for gas, less money for groceries, less money for child care, less money for college tuition, less money is going into retirement savings.

 

And it’s all bad for business, because our economy depends on customers out there, and when customers have less money, when hardworking women don’t have the resources, that’s a problem.  When businesses lose terrific women talent because they’re fed up with unfair policies, that’s bad for business.  They lose out on the contributions that those women could be making.  When any of our citizens can’t fulfill their potential for reasons that have nothing to do with their talent or their character or their work ethic, we’re not living up to our founding values.  We don’t have second-class citizens in this country — and certainly not in the workplace.

 

So, tomorrow, the Senate has the chance to start making this right by passing a bill that Lilly already alluded to — the Paycheck Fairness Act.  (Applause.)  They’ve got a chance to do the right thing.  And it would put sensible rules into place, like making sure employees who discuss their salaries don’t face retaliation by their employers.

 

And here’s why this is important.  There are women here today who worked in offices where it was against the rules for employees to discuss salaries with one another.  And because of that, they didn’t know they were being paid less than men — just like Lilly didn’t know — for doing the exact same work.  For some, it was years before they found out.  And even then, it only happened because a manager accidentally let it slip or, as in Lilly’s case, a sympathetic co-worker quietly passed a note.  She only found out she earned less than her male colleagues for doing the same work because somebody left an anonymous note.

 

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We can’t leave that to chance.  And over the course of Lilly’s career, she lost more than $200,000 in salary, even more in pension and Social Security benefits — both of which are pegged to salary — simply because she was a woman.

 

And Lilly, and some of the other women here, decided it was wrong, set out to fix it.  They went to their bosses; they asked for a raise.  That didn’t work.  They turned to the law; they filed suit.  And for some, for years after waiting and persisting they finally got some justice.

 
Well, tomorrow, the Senate could pay tribute to their courage by voting yes for paycheck fairness.  (Applause.)  This should not be a hard proposition.  This should not be that complicated.  (Applause.)

 
And so far, Republicans in Congress have been gumming up the works.  They’ve been blocking progress on this issue, and of course other issues that would help with the economic recovery and help us grow faster.  But we don’t have to accept that.  America, you don’t have to sit still.  You can make sure that you’re putting some pressure on members of Congress about this issue.  And I don’t care whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican.  If you’re a voter — if you’ve got a daughter, you got a sister, you got a mom — I know you got a mom — (laughter) — this is something you should care about.

 

 

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And I’m not going to stand still either.  So in this year of action I’ve used my executive authority whenever I could to create opportunity for more Americans.  And today, I’m going to take action — executive action — to make it easier for working women to earn fair pay.  So first, I’m going to sign an executive order to create more pay transparency by prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their pay with each other.  (Applause.)  Pay secrecy fosters discrimination and we should not tolerate it — not in federal contracting or anywhere else.

 

Second, I’m signing a presidential memorandum directing the Department of Labor and our outstanding Secretary of Labor, Tom Perez, to require federal contractors to provide data about their employee compensation so pay discrimination can be spotted more easily.

 

Now, I want to be clear:  There are great employers out there who do the right thing.  There are plenty of employers out there who are absolutely certain that there’s no pay discrimination happening in their offices.  But then sometimes when the data is laid out, it paints a different picture.  Many times they then do everything they can to fix the problem, and so we want to encourage them to fix these problems if they exist by making sure that the data is out there.

 

So everybody who cares about this should pay attention to how the Senate votes tomorrow on this paycheck fairness act, because the majority of senators support this bill, but two years ago, a minority of Senate Republicans blocked it from getting a vote.  Even worse, some commentators are out there saying that the pay gap doesn’t even exist.  They say it’s a myth.  But it’s not a myth; it’s math.  (Laughter and applause.)  You can look at the paychecks.  You can look at the stubs.  (Applause.)

 

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I mean, Lilly Ledbetter didn’t just make this up.  (Laughter.)  The court, when it looked at the documents, said, yep, you’ve been getting paid less for doing the same job.  It’s just the court then said, you know, it’s been — as Lilly said — it’s been happening so long, you can’t do anything about it anymore — which made no sense and that’s why we had to sign another bill.  It’s basic math that adds up to real money.  It makes a real difference for a lot of Americans who are working hard to support their families.

 

And of course, the fact that we’ve got some resistance from some folks on this issue up on Capitol Hill just fits with this larger problem, this vision that the congressional Republicans seem to be continually embracing — this notion that, you know what, you’re just on your own, no matter how unfair things are.  You see it in their budget.  The budget the Republicans in Congress just put forward last week, it’s like a bad rerun.  It would give massive tax cuts to households making more than a million dollars a year, force deep cuts to things that actually help working families like early education and college grants and job training.

 

And, of course, it includes that novel idea of repealing the Affordable Care Act.  (Laughter.)  Fiftieth time they’ve tried that — which would mean the more than 7 million Americans who’ve done the responsible thing and signed up to buy health insurance, they’d lose their health insurance; and the 3 million young adults who’ve stayed on their parents’ plan, they’d no longer have that available; take us back to the days when insurers could charge women more just for being a woman.

 

On minimum wage, three out of four Americans support raising the minimum wage.  Usually when three out of four Americans support something, members of Congress are right there.  (Laughter.)  And yet here, Republicans in Congress are dead set against it, blocking a pay raise for tens of millions of Americans — a majority of them women.  This isn’t just about treating women fairly.  This is about Republicans seemingly opposing any efforts to even the playing field for working families.

 

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And I was up in Michigan last week and I just asked — I don’t understand fully the theory behind this.  I don’t know why you would resist the idea that women should be paid the same as men, and then deny that that’s not always happening out there.  If Republicans in Congress want to prove me wrong, if they want to show that they, in fact, do care about women being paid the same as men, then show me.  They can start tomorrow.  They can join us in this, the 21st century, and vote yes on the Paycheck Fairness Act.  (Applause.)  Vote yes.

 

And if anybody is watching or listening, if you care about this issue, then let your senators know where you stand — because America deserves equal pay for equal work.

 

This is not something we’re going to achieve in a day.  There’s going to be a lot of stuff that we’ve got to do to close the pay gap.  We got to make it possible for more women to enter high-paying fields that up until now have been dominated by men, like engineering and computer science.  Women hold less than 6 percent of our country’s commercial patents — that’s not good enough.  We need more parents and high school teachers and college professors encouraging girls and women to study math and science.  We need more businesses to make gender diversity a priority when they hire and when they promote.  Fewer than five percent of Fortune 500 companies have women at the helm.

 

I think we’d all agree that we need more women in Congress. (Applause.)  Fewer than 20 percent of congressional seats are held by women.  Clearly, Congress would get more done if the ratio was — (laughter) — evened out a little bit.  So we’ve got to work on that.

 

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And we’ve all got to do more to make our workplaces more welcoming to women.  Because the numbers show that even when men and women are in the same profession and have the same education, there’s still a wage gap, and it widens over time.  So we’re going to keep making the case for why these policies are the right ones for working families and businesses.  And this is all going to lead up to this first-ever White House Summit on Working Families on June 23rd.

 

So, ultimately, equal pay is not just an economic issue for millions of Americans and their families.  It’s also about whether we’re willing to build an economy that works for everybody, and whether we’re going to do our part to make sure that our daughters have the same chances to pursue their dreams as our sons, and whether or not we’re willing to restore to the heart of this country that basic idea — you can make it, no matter who you are, if you try.

 

And that’s personal for me.  I’ve said this before — I’ve got two daughters and I expect them to be treated just like anybody’s sons.  And I think about my single mom working hard, going to school, trying to raise two kids all at the same time.  And I think about my grandmother trying to work her way up through her career and then hitting the glass ceiling.  And I’ve seen how hard they’ve worked, and I’ve seen how they’ve sucked it up.  And they put up with stuff and they don’t say anything, and they just take care of their family and they take care of themselves, and they don’t complain a lot.  But at a certain point, we have the power to do something about it for the next generation.  And this is a good place to start.

 

So, for everybody out there who’s listening, ask your senator where you stand on paycheck fairness.  (Applause.)  If they tell you that there’s not a pay gap out there, you tell them to look at the data, because there is.  It’s time to get this done.  And I’m going to do my small part right now by signing this executive order and presidential memoranda.  (Applause.)

 

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FACT SHEET: Expanding Opportunity for All: Ensuring Equal Pay for Women and Promoting the Women’s Economic Agenda

When women succeed, our families succeed and America succeeds. President Obama believes that ensuring that women earn equal pay for equal work is essential to improving the economic security of our families and the growth of our middle class and our economy.  Women compose nearly half of the American workforce – yet, according to the latest U.S. Census statistics, on average, full-time working women still earn 77 cents to every dollar earned by men.

The first piece of legislation that the President signed into law after taking office was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which empowers women to recover wages lost to discrimination by extending the time period in which an employee can file a claim.  Yet a central challenge that remains to enforcing equal pay laws is that many women do not even know that they are underpaid, and therefore cannot take steps to ensure equal pay for equal work.

That’s why the President is taking two new executive actions to help combat pay discrimination and strengthen enforcement of equal pay laws:

  • The President is signing an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation.  The Executive Order does not compel workers to discuss pay, nor does it require employers to publish or otherwise disseminate pay data – but it does provide a critical tool to encourage pay transparency, so workers have a potential way of discovering violations of equal pay laws and are able to seek appropriate remedies.

 

  • In addition, the President is signing a Presidential Memoranduminstructing the Secretary of Labor to establish new regulations requiring federal contractors to submit to the Department of Labor summary data on compensation paid to their employees, including data by sex and race.  The Department of Labor will use the data to encourage compliance with equal pay laws and to target enforcement more effectively by focusing efforts where there are discrepancies and reducing burdens on other employers.

 

This week, the Senate is considering the Paycheck Fairness Act, which the President believes Congress must pass to ensure the standards put forward by the executive order he will sign are applied to all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act.  The President is using the power of his pen to act where he can on this issue, and will continue to urge Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure all employers are held to the same high standard working women deserve.

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Building on Progress

Since day one, President Obama has been laser-focused on ensuring women have the fundamental rights they deserve when it comes to earning a fair and equal wage.

For example, President Obama has fought for an increase in the national minimum wage, including signing an executive order that will raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for federal contract workers.  Raising the national minimum wage would give millions of hard working Americans a raise and would especially benefit women:

  • While women account for about half of the workforce, 55 percent of non-tipped workers benefiting from increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour are women – and women are even more disproportionately represented in predominantly tipped occupations.

 

  • Women account for a higher concentration of workers in low-wage sectors of the labor force such as food preparation, sales and personal care workers.

 

  • Raising the minimum wage would increase the average wage among the bottom quartile of female workers by 93 cents (from $8.78), compared to 60 cents (from $9.65) for the bottom quartile of male workers.

 

Women are the primary breadwinners in 40 percent of U.S. households but are bringing home 23 percent less than their male counterparts – which means less for families’ everyday needs, less for investments in our children’s futures, and, when added over a lifetime of work, substantially less for retirement.   And the pay gap is significantly greater for women of color, with African-American women earning 64 cents and Latinas earning 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man. That is why the Obama Administration is:

  • Combating pay discrimination.  The President made the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act the first bill he signed into law, which extended the time period in which claimants can bring pay discrimination claims and enabled countless victims of pay discrimination to seek redress where they otherwise could not.

 

  • Created a National Equal Pay Task Force.  In 2010, the President created the National Equal Pay Task Force to crack down on violations of equal pay laws.  Under this Administration, the government has strengthened enforcement, recovered substantial monetary recoveries, and made critical investments in education and outreach for both employers and employees.

 

  • Promoting the Paycheck Fairness Act.  The President continues to call on Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, commonsense legislation that would give women additional tools to fight pay discrimination.

 

  • Encouraging State Paid Leave Initiatives. In addition, the President’s Budget provides support for States that are considering establishing paid leave programs, as California, New Jersey and Rhode Island have done.

 

  • Leveraging Technology to Close the Pay Gap.  DOL, in conjunction with the Equal Pay Task Force, launched the “Equal Pay App Challenge” and invited software developers to create applications that provide greater access to pay data, deploy interactive tools for early career coaching or online mentoring, or disseminate data to help inform pay negotiations.  The winning teams created tools that (1) provide easy access to U.S. wage estimates by city, state and job title, empowering employees or applicants for employment with reliable and specific compensation information to support informed salary negotiations; and (2) supply users with current wage data and interview, resume and negotiation tools, as well as connect users to relevant social networks.

 

  • Expanding the EITC for Childless Workers. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a proven tool to increase and reward work among low-income families with children.  However, childless workers – including noncustodial parents – can receive only up to $500 and must be at least 25 years old, so the credit does little to encourage work, particularly during the crucial years at the beginning of a young person’s career. The President has proposed doubling the maximum credit to $1,000, raising the income eligibility standard so the credit is available to a full-time minimum wage worker, and lowering the age limit from 25 to 21. The proposed expansion would be fully paid for within his budget and would benefit 13.5 million workers, including 6.1 million women.

 

 

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Some House Republicans Press For Vote On Unemployment Extension


 

By Jueseppi B.

The Democratic-led U.S. Senate agreed by a voice vote to begin debate on a bipartisan bill to renew expired jobless benefits for 2.2 million Americans.

The Democratic-led U.S. Senate agreed by a voice vote to begin debate on a bipartisan bill to renew expired jobless benefits for 2.2 million Americans.

 

The action cleared a second Republican procedural roadblock in as many weeks and moved the bill toward anticipated Senate passage later this week.

 

But the White House-backed measure is expected to die when it reaches the Republican-led House of Representatives.

 

House Speaker John Boehner, the top Republican in Congress, has called the bill “unworkable,” citing concerns by state administrators.

 

BUT there my be some hope.

 

From 

 

Some House Republicans Press for Vote on Unemployment Extension

 

 

The bipartisan five-month unemployment insurance extension pending in the Senate appears to be driving a wedge between segments of the House Republican Conference.

 

Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio and other House leaders portrayed the extension as unworkable after a three-month break in such benefits, and they are arguing for GOP alternatives to spur growth and job creation. But Rep. Peter T. King of New York said Thursday he and Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo of New Jersey had sent a letter urging Boehner and his team to move the Senate proposal (HR 3979) or an alternative.

 

“We want it extended,” King said. “We respectfully request that the House immediately consider this bill or a similar measure to restore unemployment benefits to struggling Americans,” the letter said.

 

The Senate voted, 61-35, to invoke cloture on the measure Thursday, clearing the way for passage Monday, leaving House Republicans to decide on how to deal with it.

 

Five Republicans besides King and LoBiondo signed the letter asking Boehner to bring something to the floor: Joe Heck of Nevada; Jon Runyan and Christopher H. Smith, both of New Jersey; and Chris Gibson and Michael G. Grimm, both of New York.

 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rogers of Washington, head of the Republican Conference, said party leaders had not decided how to handle the measure and would discuss it next week. “There will be a conversation. We’re waiting to see what the Senate actually passes,” she said.

 

For some Republicans, the Senate measure presents an enticing vehicle for a flock of stalled proposals to cut taxes, curb regulations and undo mandates under the health care overhaul (PL 111-148, PL 111-152). If leadership decides to attach such provisions, they will have to weigh how far they believe they can go in pushing Democrats into a corner to accept the package before they invite criticism that they are obstructing the bill.

 

Rep. Steve Southerland II of Florida, a member of the leadership team, said the idea of adding GOP proposals had strong appeal. “I am always for doing things that get good policy done for us,” he said.

 

But he added that many conservatives favored allowing expiration of broader unemployment benefit that were created in 2008 in response to the financial crisis. “You have to overcome that argument. We need to do the right thing: allow the economy to create jobs,” Southerland said.

 

Democrats made clear Thursday they would press for quick House floor action on the Senate package, without changes. Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada said he had no plans to open talks with House Republicans to tweak the package.

 

“I want them to pass this,” he said. “They can do whatever they want. … Find out what they do, then I’ll react to it.”

 

Some Republicans have urged leaders to use the bill for action on a House-passed proposal (HR 803) by Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., to meld job training programs. The Foxx bill faces strong opposition from Senate Democrats including Labor, Health, Education and Pensions ChairmanTom Harkin of Iowa, who has advanced a separate job training plan (S 1356).

 

Rep. Charlie Dent of Pennsylvania, a leader of the centrist Tuesday Group of Republicans, said he was urging party leaders to combine the Senate measure with at least one of a trio GOP priorities. They include medical device tax repeal, approval of the Keystone XL pipeline and an increase (HR 2575) in the work-week trigger for the employer mandate to cover full-time employees under the health care overhaul. “I offered three suggestions. If I got one, I’d be happy,” Dent said.

 

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., said she doubted any of them would be acceptable as add-ons to the measure.

 

Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island, the Democrats’ point person on jobless aid, said any negotiations likely will be handled in the House. Assistant Minority Leader James E. Clyburn of South Carolina said Democrats were not planning to open talks on any changes, for now, and instead would press House leaders to allow a floor vote on the Senate package.

 

Thank you .

 

 

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