Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Women’s Economic Empowerment

After previously serving in the House of Representatives since 2006, Kirsten Gillibrand was sworn in as Hillary Clinton’s replacement as New York State Senator in January 2009, and was later re-elected in November 2010 with 63% of the vote. Since her days as a lawyer taking on pro bono cases defending battered women, to working with Hillary Clinton to encourage women to enter politics and leadership, Gillibrand has always taken a strong stance towards the advancement of women and girls.

Gillibrand was formerly the leader of the Women’s Leadership Forum, and now as Senator, she has launched, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women realize the potential impact they can have on our country. Whether it is through political office, advocacy, or by simply taking a more active role in their community, Off the Sidelines provides women with the resources needed to make their voices heard.

Yesterday, Gillibrand’s office released Women’s Economic Empowerment Summit, a research paper highlighting the economic plight of women in America, and how women can be utilized to help improve our nation’s economy. The full paper can be downloaded at and it is full of some very sobering statistics, reminding us all that there is still so much work to be done to level the economic playing field between women and men.

You can also find this research paper in the resources section of this website. We’ve recently expanded and updated this section to include literally hundreds of research papers, articles, books and websites, as well as fact sheets for various women’s issues. Check back to this section often, as we are continuously updating as new information becomes available.

written by Laura Moore (the incredible cousin of Jacki Zehner)

President Obama on Creating Jobs in America

Here is my recount of the speech tonight.  Where possible, I quoted. Thoughts at the

“We meet at an urgent time in our country. We still face the impact of the Financial Crisis and Political Crisis that has made things worse.”The U.S. has thrived under the basi concept that if you worked hard, you could make it in this country. That has eroded.“There are steps we can take right now to make a difference.”“American Jobs Act” – pass it right away. (most repeated line of the night) “Everything in this bill will be paid for. Everything. Point to put more people back to work, and more money in the pockets of people who are working. Small businesses are where most jobs are created.” Payroll tax credits for small business. Next. Spend money on schools. We will spend money on infrastructure.  Tax credits for hiring veterans. Tax credits for hiring young people. Tax people who have been looking for a job for longer than 6 months. Extend unemployment insurance. No tax increases on the middle class.

Now… how to fund.

I will release a more ambitious deficit reduction plan next week… which includes increasing taxes on families earning more, as well as corporations. Medicare reform needed. “We need a tax code where everyone pays their fair share.”Says we can do this.
Create jobs and pay for it. A question of priorities. We need to out innovate companies in other countries. We need to shorten the patent process. Make exporting easier and more cost effective. We need to strengthen American company’s competitiveness. “Made in America.” ( lots of cheers) Training. Internships. Ra Ra.

“We can’t afford wasteful spending. We can’t burden business. I ordered a review of all government regulations. What we can’t do is let this economic crisis be used to wipe out basic protections that Americans have counted on for decades.” He rejects a lot of ideas…. (all good) “America should be in a race to the top.” ( lots of cheers)

“We built America together.” Members of Congress we need to meet our responsibilities. Everything I laid out will be paid for. ( really????)

Ended with a huge and passionate call to action. We cannot wait to pass this jobs bill.

My commentary…

Overall a really great speech.  Big picture he spoke well to the issue of job creation, but it is the actual policies and practices that matter. Sounded great. Problem is that based on what I have read there is not enough money in taxing the rich and closing loopholes for corporations to fund new programs and tax breaks, let alone narrow the deficit. This was a pep rally for all things American, and it was good. We do have to come together to solve problems. Many are in serious need and to help.  Agree.

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Debt. Debt. Debt.

Debt. Debt. Debt. That was all we heard about this summer and with good reason. The US is in horrible shape and the numbers below put it all in perspective.

Here is why S&P downgraded the US credit rating.

* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000

* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000

* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000

* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000

* Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000

Now let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget.

* Annual family income: $21,700

* Money the family spent: $38,200

* New debt on the credit card: $16,500

* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710

* Total budget cuts: $385

This Thursday the President is being called upon to explain how is going to get the economy going again.  Unlike the last go around, his options are more limited.  Because of the numbers above which we have all been living and breathing for the fast few months,  he does not have the ability to keep spending, nor should he.  The public is demanding jobs but the problem is that our economy was fueled by spending financed through debt, and that has all but dried up. It is time to get creative and provide incentives for the private sector to invest and thus create employment opportunites.  We are likely going to be in this slow to no growth scenerio for a while.  For those expecting miracles, you may have a long time to wait.