Despite a strong economy, working families in America are struggling. The cost of housing, child care and health care continues to rise and many families are finding it hard to make ends meet.
On Feb. 26 at 9 a.m., The Washington Post will bring together key government officials, academics and advocates for an in-depth look at the plight of working families and low-income workers in the United States. Discussions will include such topics as the rising cost of health care, the gender wage gap, the debate over raising the minimum wage, and what government, businesses and nonprofits are doing to address the issues facing working families.
Rep. Ro Khanna
Congressman Ro Khanna represents California’s 17th Congressional District, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, and is serving in his second term. Rep. Khanna sits on the House Budget, Armed Services, and Oversight and Reform committees and is first vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. He also serves as an Assistant Whip for the Democratic Caucus. Rep. Khanna is committed to representing the people and ideas rooted in Silicon Valley to the nation and throughout the world. For each job created in the high-tech industry, another four jobs are created. The tech multiplier is even larger than the multiplier for U.S. manufacturing. Rep. Khanna will work to ensure the technology sector is at the forefront of U.S. economic policy and strive to provide opportunities to those our changing economy and technological revolution has left behind. To do so, the U.S. must implement policies that will not only create tech jobs in Silicon Valley but across America. This includes job training programs, economic development initiatives, re-wiring the U.S. labor market, and debt-free college to help working families prepare for the future.
Mayor Greg Fischer
Louisville, Kentucky; Vice President, United States Conference of Mayors
Greg Fischer was elected Louisville’s 50th mayor in 2010 -- and was sworn in for a third four-year term on January 5, 2019. During Mayor Fischer’s tenure, Louisville has experienced a renaissance, adding 83,000 jobs and 3,000 new businesses, with unprecedented investments in affordable housing. In addition, 20,000 Louisvillians have worked themselves out of poverty or into the middle class. More than $15 billion dollars in capital construction is planned or underway, including 25 new hotels built to support the city’s thriving bourbon and local food tourism, also known as Bourbonism. Louisville has been named an International Model City of Compassion four times and was a 2018 Top 15 city for attracting millennials. Mayor Fischer is married to Dr. Alexandra Gerassimides, the daughter of Greek immigrants who were uprooted during the Greek Civil War. The couple have four adult children.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms
Atlanta, Georgia
Keisha Lance Bottoms is the 60th Mayor of Atlanta. A lifelong public servant, Mayor Bottoms is the only Mayor in Atlanta’s history to have served in all three branches of government, serving as a judge and City Councilmember before being sworn in as Mayor. Leading with a progressive agenda focused on equity and affordable housing, Mayor Bottoms serves as Chair of the Community Development and Housing Committee for the United States Conference of Mayors. Among Mayor Bottoms’ notable accomplishments to date include the establishment of the City’s first fully-staffed Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the appointments of a LGBTQ Affairs Coordinator and a Human Trafficking Fellow, the citywide elimination of cash bail bond, the closure of the Atlanta City Detention Center to ICE detainees, and the rollout of the most far-reaching financial transparency platform in the City’s history – Atlanta’s Open Checkbook. Mayor Bottoms is the daughter of Sylvia Robinson and R&B icon Major Lance. She resides in historic Southwest Atlanta with her husband, Derek W. Bottoms, their four children- Lance, Langston, Lennox and Lincoln, and their family dogs Ace and Zeus.
Ai-jen Poo
Co-founder and Executive Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance
Ai-jen Poo is an award-winning organizer, social innovator, author, and a leading voice in the women’s movement. She is the Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Co-Director of Caring Across Generations, Co-Founder of SuperMajority and Trustee of the Ford Foundation. Ai-jen is a nationally recognized expert on elder and family care, the future of work, gender equality, immigration, narrative change, and grassroots organizing. She is the author of the celebrated book, The Age of Dignity: Preparing for the Elder Boom in a Changing America. Follow her at @aijenpoo. She has been recognized among Fortune’s 50 World’s Greatest Leaders and Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World, and she has been the recipient of countless awards, including a 2014 MacArthur "Genius" Award. Ai-jen has been a featured speaker at TEDWomen, Aspen Ideas Festival, Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, Skoll World Forum, and the Obama Foundation Inaugural Summit. She has made TV appearances on Nightline, MSNBC, and Morning Joe, and her writing has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, TIME, Maire Claire, Glamour, Cosmopolitan and among others. Ai-jen has been an influential voice in the #MeToo movement and attended the 2018 Golden Globe Awards with Meryl Streep as part of the launch of #TimesUp.
Councilmember Kendra Brooks
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Kendra Brooks' lived experiences guide her focus on the Philadelphia City Council. Kendra was raised in Nicetown, Philadelphia, where she still proudly resides with her four children. As a young single mother, Kendra started working to pay her way through Philadelphia Community College as a nursing assistant. She was a proud member of 1199C and grew to understand the importance of the labor movement to working families. She received her undergraduate degree from Temple University and went on to receive a Master’s in Business Administration from Eastern University. For seventeen years, Kendra worked at Easterseals, where she connected families with disabilities to important community programs and resources. She focused on neighborhood coordination of summer programs for kids with special needs. Kendra Brooks is the first Working Families Party member elected to Philadelphia City Council in history. She has deep roots working across movement-building organizations throughout Philadelphia, where her work has focused on the implementation of restorative justice practices in schools and communities, fighting school privatization efforts and gun violence in Nicetown, and organizing with 215 People’s Alliance on their Steering Committee. Her legislative commitment as a councilmember is to lead and support work that will stabilize families and communities.
Julianna Goldman Gottlieb
Former Bloomberg and CBS News Correspondent
Julianna Goldman is an award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in TV and print. Last year, she authored “It’s Almost Impossible to be a Mom in Television News,” a widely acclaimed article for The Atlantic about the motherhood penalty in TV news. From August 2014 until May 2018, she was a Correspondent at CBS News. Prior to that, she was a White House Correspondent for Bloomberg News and Bloomberg Television. She’s now venturing into the entrepreneurial space as the founder of MamaDen, a wellness and community-building club for moms. Based in Washington, D.C., Goldman is a member of the Board of Trustees at Imagination Stage, a non-profit children’s theatre in Bethesda, Maryland. She graduated magna cum laude from Barnard College/Columbia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science.
William A. Darity
Samuel DuBois Cook Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, Duke University
William A. (“Sandy”) Darity, Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics at Duke University. He is the founding director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity, and he has served as chair of Duke’s Department of African and African American Studies. Darity’s research focuses on inequality by race, class and ethnicity, stratification economics, schooling and the racial achievement gap, North-South theories of trade and development, skin shade and labor market outcomes, the economics of reparations, the Atlantic slave trade and the Industrial Revolution, the history of economics, and the social psychological effects of exposure to unemployment.
Janell Byrd-Chichester
Director, Thurgood Marshall Institute, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
Janell Byrd-Chichester is the Director of the Thurgood Marshall Institute of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF). The Marshall Institute, inspired by the work of Justice Marshall at LDF and launched in 2015, conducts social science research, targeted advocacy campaigns, and public education initiatives in pursuit of racial justice. This is Ms. Byrd-Chichester’s second tenure at LDF. She served as an LDF Assistant Counsel from 1987-2001, during which time she litigated school desegregation, affirmative action in higher education, and employment discrimination cases, led LDF’s educational policy work with a focus on high-stakes testing, and managed LDF’s Washington, DC office. She also did the foundational work to develop the concept for the Marshall Institute at LDF. Ms. Byrd-Chichester comes to this position with a more than 30-year career as a civil rights litigator and public policy advocate who has used social science research extensively on a broad array of civil rights issues – including fair housing and lending, consumer protection, school desegregation and educational testing, affirmative action, employment discrimination, police misconduct, and public accommodations.
Melissa Bradley
Co-Founder, Ureeka
Melissa L. Bradley is a co-founder of venture backed Ureeka, a community where small businesses gain unprecedented access to the expertise needed to grow their business. The Ureeka mission is to democratize economic opportunity by enabling community and by reducing the cost and risk associated with growing a small to medium business (SMB). She is also founder and Managing Partner of 1863 Ventures, a business development program that accelerates New Majority entrepreneurs from high potential to high growth. In this role she created a community of over 10,000 New Majority entrepreneurs in three years. Melissa also serves an advisor the New Voices Foundation and New Voices Fund, as well as the Halcyon Fund. Melissa is the former Co-Chair, National Advisory Council for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and was recently named one of The Most Entrepreneurial Women Investors in 2018.
Content from The Rockefeller Foundation
Rekindling and Reimagining the American Dream
A conversation with Dr. Rajiv J. Shah, President of The Rockefeller Foundation and NPR’s National Political Correspondent, Mara Liasson, on the power of partnership, innovation, and policy reforms to fight on every front to expand opportunity for America’s working families.
Dr. Rajiv J. Shah
President, Rockefeller Foundation
Dr. Shah brings over 20 years of experience in business, government, and philanthropy to The Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with an unparalleled track record of success carrying out its founding mission: to promote the well-being of humanity around the world. Over its century-long history, the Rockefeller Foundation has embraced scientific frontiers to lift up vulnerable children and families.
Interviewed by Mara Liasson
National Political Correspondent, NPR
Mara Liasson is a national political correspondent for NPR. Her reports can be heard regularly on NPR's award-winning newsmagazine programs Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Liasson provides extensive coverage of politics and policy from Washington, DC — focusing on the White House and Congress — and also reports on political trends beyond the Beltway.
About Washington Post Live
Washington Post Live is the newsroom’s live journalism platform. Top-level government and business leaders, emerging voices and newsmakers discuss the most pressing national and global issues of the day.
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