The organizers of the White House Conference on Families yesterday announced their strategy for implementing some of the conference's final recommendations: more flexible work schedules, a revision of the "marriage tax" and myriad other proposals.
"The key to this conference is whether these recommendations generate enough political momentum to get action," Jim Guy Tucker, the conference chairman, said.
A business task force, composed of the 100 largest employers in the country, and headed by Donald V. Siebert, the chairman of J.C. Penny, will meet early this fall to discuss the conference's top recommendations for family-oriented personnel policies such as flextime and shared jobs, Tucker said.
Vice President Mondale, Stuart Eizenstat, the president's chief domestic adviser, and Coretta Scott King were also present yesterday at a reception to voice their support for the conference recommendations.
Mondale said the administration will make sure that the results of the conference "don't just gather dust on some bookshelf," calling the work of the conference a historic effort.
King, the conference's deputy leader, said she would help to build a national coalition for family issues similar to the one for the Humphrey-Hawkins "full-employment" legislation.
"With all the consciousness-raising done around this issue it would be a pity to let it dissolve," she said.
Eizenstat said the elimination of the extra tax that two-income married couples must pay, a position supported by more than 92 percent of the conference delegates, was discussed in a presidential meeting devoted to tax legislation before Congress.
"We'll be taking your recommendations and seeing if we can't turn them into public policy," he said.
The remarks came at a two-day meeting of more than 100 delegates in Washington to write the final conference recommendations and to plan a strategy for their implementation.
The conference will maintain a staff of about 10 through 1981 to work with volunteer groups and business, labor and religious organizations who support the recommendations.
Conservatives who gathered under the "pro-family" banner appeared outside the Old Executive Office Building to denounce the conference and its recommendations.
"This entire White House conference has been stacked and rigged from the very start to promote Jimmy Carter's views on gay rights, abortion and more federal government in our lives," said Dan Richey, a Louisiana state senator.
The conference leadership tried to stress throughout the two-day meeting that the recommendations focused on "Mainstream family issues," not on the more controversial ones.