All Together Now: Working for Families in 2019

March 21, 2019 | Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community

With historic demographic shifts in Congress this year, there is even more momentum to address broken policies that can improve the lives of families across our nation. The Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community (Family Prosperity) is bringing policy, practice, philanthropy, research, and private sector leaders together to capitalize on the energy and opportunities materializing at the local, state, and national levels to improve family-supportive policies.

Family Prosperity is discussing how family-supportive policies like paid family and medical leave and child care help working families thrive. And it was a conversation heard across the nation: California Governor Gavin Newsom and state senator Hannah-Beth Jackson announced a new bill that, if passed, would be the boldest state paid leave policy in the country, mandating up to six months of paid leave for people who work to bond with a newborn or care for a sick family member. The policy is bold in part because several members of Family Prosperity had a hand in shaping it, including California-based Legal Aid at Work and the National Partnership for Women and Families. Connecticut and New Hampshire also are considering state paid leave proposals that give people who work the time they need to care for their families. 

Bold ideas, possibilities, and potential are visible on Capitol Hill, as well: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut have reintroduced the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, which would provide Americans up to 12 weeks of paid leave at 66 percent of their monthly wages. Federal paid leave has support in the White House as well. During his State of the Union Address, President Trump said he was proud to include in his budget “a plan for nationwide paid family leave, so that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child.” 

This year is an opportunity for governors, state legislators, municipal leaders, and members of Congress to catalyze change for the people they serve. Policymakers at the local, state, and federal levels and across party lines can make those outcomes real by implementing policies informed by research, policy expertise, and the voices of families. That is where Family Prosperity is playing a vital role: We are on the frontlines of working to make innovative policy change happen, bringing together leading organizations, including national policy organizations and those working in communities across the country, that are dedicated to incubating and inspiring new and different ways to support families who are striving to climb out of poverty. 

We have an opportunity – and an imperative – to advance bold strategies that will strengthen parents’ and families’ employment, economic security, health, and well-being; policies and supports like paid family and medical leave, quality and affordable child care and health insurance, and access to programs like Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

Because we know these are the foundation for thriving families: knowing your children are well-cared for and having access to job training that can lead to quality jobs that pay enough to cover the bills and allow you to take paid time off to care for yourself or a loved one. For too long, working families have faced multiple structural barriers on the path to prosperity. For the first time in more than a decade, we are seeing a significant increase in the number of uninsured children in the U.S. Across the country, less than half of people who work are eligible for unpaid leave under the outdated Family Medical Leave Act. And a new report from Harvard Business School reveals a growing “caregiving crisis” in America that’s hurting employees who need to care for their children or other relatives. We need to rethink our policies and systems to catch up with the realities of today’s families and open new doors for multi-generational strategies that work for caregivers and children.

Family Prosperity Partners are sharing knowledge and learning from one another on equal footing. Collaboration is one of Family Prosperity’s greatest assets, and it is helping us build a portfolio of strategies that can transform the lives of working families. From innovative outreach and engagement with employers for paid family and medical leave programs and research on family supportive practices in the sacred sector, to on-the-ground financial literacy programs for caregivers and children, to exploring universal basic income as a tool to create greater economic equity, our partners are breaking through old ideas about how to support working families. These critical relationships enhance our shared work and make Family Prosperity an even stronger partner to new leadership at all levels of government  as we work together to make the United States a place where parents and children can thrive.

With a groundbreaking class of 2019 in Congress and state houses across the nation, this year feels especially ripe with possibility. Family Prosperity is ready to bring strategies and solutions to new places and situations, share our expertise with leaders, and bring about real change for families.

Anne Mosle is vice president at the Aspen Institute and executive director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute.

Related Posts

As an organization with a vibrant Early Head Start program and a two-generational approach to alleviating poverty, All Our Kin has been a proud partner in Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s Family Prosperity Innovation Community. Being part of this group among 20 partnering organizations has given All Our Kin the opportunity to bring its innovative model …

Mom and Son Duo Reflect on Family Prosperity Convening Read More »

Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation CommunityAugust 11, 2022
For many of us with young children at home, the pandemic hasn’t just disrupted our lives — it’s turned them upside down, erasing the boundaries between home and work. We’re seeing more and more stories about parents, especially mothers and specifically mothers in low-wage jobs, struggling to balance being a breadwinner and a caregiver. Only 1 …

Breadwinning and Caregiving Don’t Have to Be Incompatible Read More »

Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation CommunityFebruary 21, 2022
Poverty is the result of poor policy choices. These choices reflect our national values and decide who deserves access to opportunity to achieve their dreams and who does not. This flawed mindset has led to persistent inequities and a hollowing of our shared humanity. Change is possible. The choice is ours.
BlogNovember 2, 2021
In an op-ed co-authored by Aisha Nyandoro of Springboard to Opportunities and Trene Hawkins of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Ascend’s Marjorie Sims states the need to honor Black women with bold policies so that future generations can truly thrive. For even as we are achieve historic successes, racist and sexist systems, structures, and narratives persist and prevent our equity and dignity. …

Centering Black women in policy is key to future families’ prosperity Read More »

Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation CommunityJuly 26, 2021
On Tuesday, June 1st, 2021, Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s Family Prosperity Innovation Community hosted a panel discussion about the recently proposed federal legislation on paid leave. This webinar presented how and why this proposed legislation matters and shared opportunities to advance paid leave locally and nationally. Watch Now https://vimeo.com/557745729 Presenters and Panelists Vicki Shabo …

Webinar: Accelerating Paid Leave for Families Read More »

June 3, 2021
Black History Month is a time for celebration and an intentional moment to pay tribute to generations of Black Americans who have contributed to our society. It is also a time to look inward, asking if the work that we are doing today helps to further advance Black communities, or if it instead stifles. Is what we are doing enough to break through rigid obstacles and nurture an environment that truly gives space for families and individuals to meet their full promise and live their values; and in turn, have communities thrive?
BlogFebruary 26, 2021
In the last year, families have endured and adapted to myriad unknowns, and too often they’ve had to figure it out without basic support and resources. Yet, as new research conducted by Ascend at the Aspen Institute (Ascend) and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) discovered, there is widespread support across political ideologies for solutions that …

Centering Families in Policy Solutions in 2021 and Beyond: What Parents Know Read More »

BlogFebruary 8, 2021
Earlier this year, Ascend launched the Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community, our initiative for breakthrough innovations and collaborations that position families to reach educational success, economic prosperity, health and well-being. As we look toward 2021, opportunities and challenges abound for work-family supportive policies – namely, the future of child care. More than ever, families are …

Family Prosperity: 10 Minutes with a Leading Early Childhood Researcher on Home-Based Care and Opportunities Ahead Read More »

BlogNovember 9, 2020
familyphoto
Our world has changed. The wave of uncertainty touched off by the pandemic is becoming an ongoing process of relearning how to live, work and care for our families. A powerful national movement for racial justice around the world is making clear that we need a new social contract. Our nation faces a reckoning with …

Announcing: New Community of Family Prosperity Innovators Read More »

BlogJuly 28, 2020
[et_pb_section fb_built=”1″ admin_label=”section” _builder_version=”3.22″ custom_padding=”9px|||||” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_row admin_label=”row” _builder_version=”3.25″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” global_colors_info=”{}”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″ _builder_version=”3.25″ custom_padding=”|||” global_colors_info=”{}” custom_padding__hover=”|||”][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” _builder_version=”3.27.4″ background_size=”initial” background_position=”top_left” background_repeat=”repeat” global_colors_info=”{}”] Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s Family Prosperity Innovation Community is a collaborative, multilayered community that develops breakthrough innovations to strengthen parents’ and families’ access to employment opportunities, economic security, and health and …

Family Prosperity Advisors: Second Phase Read More »

July 26, 2020
Smiling Family With Parents Giving Children Piggyback Rides In Garden At Home
Contact: Lindsay Broyhill Ascend at the Aspen Institute lindsay.broyhill@aspeninstitute.org  Bold Leaders to Advance Innovative Strategies for Families’ Health and Economic Prosperity  Aspen Institute Launches New Partners and Advisors in Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community  Washington, DC – Ascend at the Aspen Institute is proud to announce the new partners and advisors the Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community, Ascend’s initiative for breakthrough innovations and collaborations that position families to reach educational …

Bold Leaders to Advance Innovative Strategies for Families’ Health and Economic Prosperity Read More »

BlogJuly 22, 2020
Family
The last few weeks and months have been profoundly challenging, and illuminated clearly the need for a sea change in the way our country engages with and supports families and communities with low incomes. At Ascend, we are particularly focused on deepening and elevating our efforts to address structural racism, including how systemic inequities impact …

New Report: Principles and Innovations to Drive Family Prosperity Read More »

BlogJune 16, 2020
Family prosperity isn’t what it could be in America – and we are looking for partners ready to change that in meaningful and groundbreaking ways. The Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community (Family Prosperity) is a learning and action community committed to finding the most effective and innovative solutions to problems that affect working families with …

RFP Submission Guidelines for Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community Read More »

BlogApril 2, 2020
family_header1
Family prosperity isn’t what it could be in America – and we are looking for partners ready to change that in meaningful and groundbreaking ways. The Aspen Family Prosperity Innovation Community (Family Prosperity) is a learning and action community committed to finding the most effective and innovative solutions to problems that affect working families with …

Calling All Innovators: Apply to Family Prosperity! Read More »

BlogFebruary 4, 2020
Tuesday, February 4, 2020Contact: Lindsay BroyhillAscend at the Aspen InstituteTel: 202.721.5596lindsay.broyhill@aspeninstitute.org The Aspen Institute and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Join Forces to Advance Innovative Strategies for Families’ Health and Economic Prosperity Organizations Invited to Apply to Second Phase of Ascend at the Aspen Institute’s Learning and Action Community Washington, DC – The Aspen Institute’s Ascend …

Announcing: The Next Phase of Family Prosperity Read More »

BlogFebruary 4, 2020