Washington, D.C. — Too many working families in Virginia struggle with stagnant wages and live paycheck to paycheck. But a new fact sheet released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund shows that key policies—such as paid family leave, earned sick leave, equal pay, access to affordable child care, and a livable minimum wage—would help strengthen families in Virginia so that they can get ahead, not just get by. The fact sheet, which was released ahead of Saturday’s summit in Richmond, Virginia, also shows that more than 61 percent of Virginia mothers are the sole, primary, or co-breadwinners in their families.
“While the wealthy few get ahead, Virginia women and families are falling behind,” said Anna Scholl, executive director of ProgressVA. “We need economic and workplace policies, such as paid family leave and sick days and increasing the minimum wage, to ensure every family gets off on the right foot and has the opportunity to succeed.”
Saturday’s day-long summit, hosted by the Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition and CAP Action, will bring together policymakers, advocates, and elected officials to organize and strategize how to enact common-sense policies that support women and families in Virginia. The event will feature:
“Virginia needs policies that provide everyone an opportunity to get ahead. Women and families deserve a fair shot at achieving economic security and success, especially in this still recovering economy,” said Jocelyn Frye, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund. “Businesses and elected officials have the tools to bring our workplaces into the 21st century. A year after the White House Summit on Working Families, Virginia advocates are ready to take action, and Saturday’s summit is just the beginning.”
CAP Action’s new analysis also finds that nearly 41 percent of private-sector workers in Virginia—or 1.1 million people—do not have paid sick days. Furthermore, the analysis shows that nearly half a million Virginia women are in need of publicly funded family planning services and supplies. Find the report here.
“Reproductive freedom is more than just a health issue—it is a pocketbook issue, a civil rights issue, and a family issue,” said Tarina Keene, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia. “Yet time and again, we see out-of-touch legislators in Richmond interfering in Virginians’ personal, private medical decisions that have a direct impact on families economic security and women’s ability to fully participate in society. We still have a long way to go, but I can assure you that the Virginia Women’s Equality Coalition will not rest until we achieve full equality for the commonwealth’s women and girls.”
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, contact:
Emma Shapiro, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-481-8182
Anna Scholl, email@example.com, 540-460-1269
Alena Yarmosky, firstname.lastname@example.org, 240–595-2972