YWCA USA Responds to the 2014 State of the Union Address
Washington, D.C. – After President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address, Dara Richardson-Heron, M.D., CEO of the YWCA USA, issued the following statement:
“In his fifth State of the Union address tonight, President Obama delivered an ambitious agenda that will positively impact the lives of women and their families. The President elaborated on key economic and fiscal challenges in the coming year, citing the importance of raising the federal minimum wage, reducing income inequality, and expanding early education nationwide. We were particularly pleased with the President’s strong commitment to making sure that women earn equal pay for equal work, have the opportunity to raise a family without sacrificing her job, and can benefit from fair workplace policies. As the world’s oldest and largest multicultural organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women, we firmly agree with the President when he says ‘when women succeed, America succeeds.’
“Four in 10 American households with children are supported by women who are the primary or sole breadwinners. Given how family dynamics are changing, policies that support women and their families, such as access to health care services and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit, are now more critical than ever before.
“The YWCA also proudly stands with the President in his renewed commitment to passing comprehensive immigration reform. 2014 provides us a unique opportunity to bring 11 million aspiring citizens out of the shadows, many of whom are women and girls. The YWCA will continue advocating for immigration reform that provides a fair path to citizenship, keeps families together, and protects victims of violence and human and sexual trafficking.
“While we applaud the President’s ambitious agenda for our country and his ardent support for our men and women in uniform, we believe that ensuring fairness and justice for victims of assault is yet another true opportunity to protect our service members and veterans. We look forward to learning much more about the President’s plans to address the prevalence of rape and sexual assault across the nation, particularly in the military.
“The YWCA continues to support legislation that helps women achieve economic self-sufficiency, fights racial discrimination, and alleviates poverty. We will work actively with Congress to ensure that legislation supports YWCAs across the United States in their provision of critical human services.”