(WASHINGTON, DC) – January 2, 2015 - Women In Government celebrated the launch of its updated Economic Stability and Opportunities (ESO) Toolkit by urging state and federal law makers to enact policies to help address overall income inequality and help support the financial stability of low-income, working families, individuals, and youth. The updated toolkit will include fact sheets, constituent letters, sample OpEd, social media how-to, townhall how-to, awareness and outreach activities, and many more useful resources for legislators. Check it out here.
Families across the United States need policies that help them overcome the economic, social, and policy barriers to achieving financial stability, particularly in these tough economic times. This stability is vital to encouraging the prosperity of future generations of Americans.
The poverty rate, or the percentage of people whose income fell below the poverty threshold, is typically utilized in order to evaluate the current economic condition within communities. In 2013, around 48.8 million people or 15.8 percent of the entire U.S. population had income below the poverty level. Utilizing the 2012-2013 Community Survey Data, most states in the South and West regions had higher poverty rates, while Northeastern and Midwestern state maintained lower rates.
After increasing for 4 consecutive years between 2007and 2011, the poverty rate has remained steady for the second year in a row (2012-2013). Yet despite this leveling off following the recession, there is still much work to go in making this rate decrease even further.
In partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, WIG has developed the Economic Stability and Opportunities (ESO) Toolkit designed to provide a comprehensive resource to state legislators pursuing policies to strengthen the economic well-being of their people. For instance, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) lifted about 6.5 million people out of poverty in 2012, including 3.3 million children. States can take action to strengthen their own EITCs to supplement the federal credit.
Women In Government’s partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation began in 2003 when we hosted our first Task Force titled Economic Empowerment for Low-Income and Working Families. Since then WIG has worked with the Casey Foundation to ensure that economic issues were presented to women state legislators in diverse ways. The partnership between WIG and Annie E. Casey has been a fruitful one, producing quality newsletters, holding engaging conferences on pertinent economic issues, and promoting information that allows legislators to make sound policy designed to enhance the financial opportunities and knowledge on their constituents.
The Women In Government ESO profile currently includes the following topics:
- Asset Building and Financial Literacy
- Earned Income Tax Credit
- Pay Disparity
- Predatory and Payday Lending
- Workforce Development
- Affordable Housing
- Juvenile Justice
- Youth and Foster Care Transitions
- Child Welfare, Community, and Permanence
Learn more about ESO policies by accessing our toolkit. Stay connected with us via social media on Facebook and Twitter.
About Women In Government
Women In Government (WIG) based in Washington, D.C., is a national, non-profit, non-partisan organization of women state legislators that provides leadership opportunities, networking expert forums, and educational resources to address and resolve complex public policy issues .With over 1700 elected women state legislators, WIG leads the nation in empowering and mobilizing all women legislators to effect sound policy.
Bishaw, Alemayehu & Fontenot, Kayla, “Poverty: 2012 and 2013,” American Community Survey Briefs, United States Census Bureau. Issued September 2014
“Policy Basic: The Earned Income Tax Credit,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=2505