The Intersection of Guns and Domestic Violence

By Chelsea Parsons
Director, Crime and Firearms Policy, Center for American Progress

The issue of domestic violence has received a lot of attention in recent weeks, in large part due to the Ray Rice case. Millions of Americans saw the graphic video depicting the type of violence against an intimate partner that usually occurs only behind closed doors. That case has brought home to many across the country a fact that domestic violence prevention advocates confront every day: domestic violence remains prevalent in the United States. While violent crime in this country has steadily declined over the past two decades, a significant proportion of the violence that remains occurs in the context of domestic or intimate partner violence, a burden that overwhelmingly falls on women. Although women are murdered less frequently than men, they are much more likely to be killed by domestic or intimate partners than men are. From 2001 to 2012, 6,410 women were murdered in the U.S. by an intimate partner using a gun—more than the total number of U.S. troops killed in action during the entirety of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.

White House Summit Highlights Issues Facing Working Families

By Danielle Marse-Kapr
Senior Advocacy and Policy Associate, Economic Empowerment, YWCA USA


Danielle Marse-Kapr

Earlier this week, 10 representatives from the YWCA joined over 1,000 attendees at the White House Summit on Working Families. As anticipated, the summit highlighted issues facing working parents – particularly mothers who do paid work. There was no shortage of clout in the room as President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden all delivered remarks. They were joined by House Leader Nancy Pelosi, Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez, and White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and the First Lady’s Chief Of Staff Tina Tchen, both of The White House Council on Women and Girls. Prominent business leaders and celebrities also attended to show their support for an agenda of public policy and cultural change that helps working families.

When Women Succeed

By Matt King
Director of Employment & Regional Services, YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish

“When women succeed, America succeeds.” It’s not just common sense; it was also the theme of the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23.

President of the Center for American Progress Neera Tanden spoke at the White House Summit on Working Families. Photo via US Department of Labor on Flickr.

A Clear Message at YWCA USA Annual Conference: More Women Need to Run for Political Office

by Amberlie Phillips
Chief Development Officer, YWCA Utah

The YWCA USA conference a few weeks ago was full of inspiring speakers, great networking, and wonderful educational opportunities. I learned so much during each portion of the conference – from watching my CEO and a YWCA USA Board Member gracefully navigate an advocacy day meeting with an unsympathetic legislator, to getting insights into how different generations approach their philanthropy. It was three days of reinvigorating immersion into the power of persimmon!

3 Questions to Ask About the FY2015 Budget

By Danielle Marse-Kapr
Senior Advocacy and Policy Associate for Economic Empowerment


Danielle Marse-Kapr

It’s that time of year again: Congress and the White House are producing federal budget proposals. The President, and House Republican and Democratic committees, have all released their budgets. Senate proposals from each party will likely come out later this month. Appropriators are working to allot funds to various budget lines.

Our job as advocates is to remind legislators to pass a fair and responsible budget that protects women and families. Here are three questions to ask when interpreting the federal budget and advocating for what women and children need the most:

Take Action: Tell Your Senator to Pass the Minimum Wage Fairness Act!

By Danielle Marse-Kapr
Senior Advocacy and Policy Associate, Economic Empowerment

Danielle Marse-Kapr

Danielle Marse-Kapr

Every year that Congress fails to increase the federal minimum wage, the value of the minimum wage declines considerably, driving more families into poverty. This is why it’s critical that the Senate brings the Minimum Wage Fairness Act (S. 2223) to a vote today and passes the bill

Top Five on Friday: December 13

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

What does the YWCA want the most this holiday season? We’re got five things we’re hoping for — policy decisions that will help empower women, reform that will truly support racial equality, and your continued support for our local associations who are working hard in communities all over the country.

1. Although there have been considerable setbacks, passing comprehensive immigration reform that protects women and keeps families together is still possible, and there are still many activists who are continuing to beat the drum for a vote. We’d like to make sure that the momentum isn’t lost by next year, and that there’s a real chance for reform in 2014.

CDBG is a Critical Lifeline for Our Community

By Rachel Libelo
Advocacy and Outreach Coordinator, YWCA Greater Baltimore

To end the government shutdown, Congress will have to pass a Continuing Resolution that extends funding levels from the last fiscal year long enough to agree on what the funding levels for this upcoming year should be. During these negotiations, one of the spending bills in question will be the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) bill, which includes funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and other programs that support services for people struggling with poverty and homelessness. Countless organizations across the country rely on CDBG funds to provide lifesaving services such as emergency and transitional housing for homeless families, economic assistance programs, and services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.

The Affordable Care Act: A Pivotal Chapter for the Uninsured

By Desiree Hoffman
Director of Advocacy, YWCA USA

The spectacle to defund, replace, repeal or halt the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues in Congress.

Even though House leadership has now voted 42 times to repeal or otherwise undermine Obamacare, they are at it again. In a ping-pong style match, the House and Senate have come to an impasse over efforts to defund and delay the ACA, resulting in a government shutdown that went into effect at midnight last night. The last shutdown, which occurred during the Clinton administration more than 17 years ago, comprised a total of 28 days and cost the nation more than $1 billion, according to congressional researchers. This one, depending how long it lasts, could have huge costs, both economically and otherwise.

Top Five on Friday – Sept. 20

By Katie Stanton
Social Media & Online Engagement Manager, YWCA USA

Last night, the House of Representatives narrowly approved cutting funding to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by $40 billion in a bill that would remove nearly four million Americans from receiving assistance.

As the looming Congressional fight over government spending approaches, the YWCA will continue to advocate for policies and bills like SNAP that will support women and their families. We hope you’ll join us!

1. More and more Americans are turning to food stamps each day, despite the economic recovery.