New Women’s Initiative Focuses on Income Inequality,
Health and Retirement Security
“Eleanor’s Hope” continues Roosevelt legacy of social progress
Oct. 11, 2014 - A new national initiative, Eleanor’s
Hope, to help bring an end to the disparity between men’s and
women’s income, health and retirement security, was launched this week
by The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. A
“press call” announcement included Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA),
Congresswoman Gwen Moore (D-WI), NOW President Terry O’Neill and Tufts
Health Plan President/CEO, James Roosevelt, Jr.
“Women have a lot at stake in November’s election
and beyond,” said Max Richtman, NCPSSM President/CEO. “Through
grassroots advocacy and education in our communities and on Capitol
Hill, the Eleanor’s Hope project will raise awareness, recruit and train
new activists, highlight female leaders who are making a difference and
generate national interest in women’s health and retirement security
issues leading up to the 2014 and 2016 elections.”
The National Committee will also hold a
Congressional staff briefing, Tuesday, October 14, on the issues and
policy prescriptions needed to address the income inequality, retirement
insecurity and health inequities facing women.
Then on October 15,
representatives of the initiative will join members of the nation’s only
all-female Congressional delegation in New Hampshire to talk about the
“Eleanor’s Hope” initiative.
A statement from The National Committee said,
“Nationwide, our activists are already in the field educating,
advocating and collecting Eleanor’s Hope pledges from women who have
promised to get out and vote in November and beyond. We’ve also engaged
our membership and active on-line communities to convince Washington
that now’s the time to address the retirement crisis facing millions of
American women and their families.”
The National Committee says it was founded in
1982 by Eleanor & Franklin Roosevelt’s son, former Congressman James
Roosevelt. It is that Roosevelt heritage, and in the spirit of Eleanor’s
work on women’s and social issues, that this new project will honor her
name, according to The National Committee.
“Social Security has contributed to the
financial well-being of almost every American family and is among my
grandparents’ greatest legacies,” said Roosevelt.
“My grandmother’s activism for women’s
equity, poverty prevention and other social issues was based on her
boundless optimism that the American people could move mountains if only
freed from the fear of want and destitution.”
Roosevelt added, “Her hope has yet to be
fully realized for too many Americans -- I believe the Eleanor’s Hope
initiative will help to change that.”
In a press release following the
announcement, The National Committee said:
“While Social Security is a program that is
vitally important to all Americans, it is especially important to the
financial security of women. Not only do women, on average, live longer
than men they also earn less in Social Security benefits. These fiscal
realities facing millions of American women increase the risk that they
may outlive their savings, impoverishing them and their families.
"We are on the front edge of a retirement
crisis, which means that protecting and expanding Social Security is an
increasingly important part of improving retirement security. Because
women earn less than men, they are more vulnerable in
retirement," Senator Warren said.
“I’m happy the National Committee to Preserve
Social Security and Medicare is focusing on this issue through the
Eleanor's Hope initiative
“Social Security is all that stands between
them and poverty. We must keep our commitment to our seniors by
strengthening Social Security, so that after a lifetime of hard work,
everyone has a chance to retire with dignity.”
Congresswoman Moore, said in her statement,
“The time is now to address and improve the fiscal outlook for Social
Security and extend the solvency of the system. Women, people of color
and low-income families are counting on us to update and improve this
critical social safety net. This is why the National Committee’s
'Eleanor’s Hope' initiative is so vital.
“Through advocacy, recruitment, and training
programs, America’s female leaders are given a valuable platform to
raise awareness around the health and retirement security issues of our
American women and girls. I'm proud to be a part of this important
“Women are the sole or primary breadwinners
in nearly half of all families in the U.S. – yet, two-thirds of minimum
wage workers, and nearly 80 percent of sub-minimum wage tipped workers,
are women. Candidates for office need to realize that women, along with
the men in their lives, will vote for those who support wage equality
and policies that ensure their retirement security,” added NOW President
The goal of Eleanor’s Hope is to raise
awareness through community–based and on-line education, recruit and
train new activists, and bolster Congressional leaders who are making a
difference on women’s income, health and retirement security issues.
We’ll advocate for legislation that addresses the inequities threatening
millions of retired women. Some of the National Committee’s proposals
for improving benefits in Social
Security andMedicare include:
Providing Social Security credits for
Improving Social Security survivor benefits
Equalizing Social Security’s rules for disabled
Strengthening the Social Security Cost of
Boosting the basic
Social Security benefit of all current and future beneficiaries
Building on preventive care provisions in the Affordable
Care Act and expanding coordination of care for
beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions.
The National Committee, a nonprofit,
reports to be a nonpartisan organization acts in the interests of its
membership through advocacy, education, services, grassroots efforts and
the leadership of the Board of Directors and professional staff. The
work of the National Committee is directed toward developing
better-informed citizens and voters.
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