Reaction to Last Night’s State of the Union
March 2, 2022
Women Employed is committed to the bold social goal of closing the wealth gap at the intersection of race and gender. Working women and their families urgently need policies and supports that ensure that they can not only weather economic uncertainty and rising costs but also to make the choices that allow them to build a better future.
While watching last night’s State of the Union address, we were heartened to hear President Biden focus on many of those long-term recovery policies that particularly have an impact on low-paid women and Black and Latina/x women: a long overdue commitment to paid leave, a $15 federal minimum wage, stronger protections through the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Equality Act, an increase to Pell grants, support for HBCUs and community colleges, critical investments in child care, and more access to apprenticeships and training for high-paying sectors.
We will advocate for these policies to be bold and transformative, rather than limited and modest. Because in order to create the economy of the future, we need these policies to be inclusive, equitable and expansive: for paid family and medical leave to be universal and permanent, for the rise to a $15 minimum wage to include the elimination of the abysmally low $2.13 subminimum wage, for the Child Tax Credit to be permanently extended, for investments in child care not only to lower costs but to support the essential workforce that cares for the youngest members of our society.
We appreciate President Biden’s vision of growing the economy by investing in workers and the supports our families need. We look forward to working with the administration as well as lawmakers in Congress and Illinois to make good on these commitments. By doing so, we can advance ambitious, lasting solutions that acknowledge the critical role working women play in our communities and our country.