Moms Come Together to Demand Basic Income for Parents is Made Permanent
By Stacey Rutland
Income Movement is driven by the mission to elevate voices of the grassroots — to make sure they are both heard by those in power, and have a significant impact on policy.
We recently had the opportunity to check all of these boxes with a partnership between our organization, the Magnolia Mother’s Trust and the Marshall Plan for Moms. While all our groups work on different issues, we have a shared goal of empowering people through cash. The Marshall Plan for Moms, which focuses on policy to support mothers who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, had the idea to send a letter to the White House calling for the Child Tax Credit expansion to be made permanent. They decided to approach the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, the only guaranteed income program in the world to focus specifically on Black women and the longest-running pilot in modern U.S. history. From there, the idea was born to find 50 mothers in 50 states to sign onto the letter.
That’s where Income Movement comes in.
While our goal is to ultimately provide an income floor for all who need it, we also understand the need to center solutions on groups who have been most impacted by both our systemic economic inequities, and the ways in which those inequities were exacerbated by the pandemic. And the data show mothers — particularly those of color — have been shouldering some of the heaviest burdens. Almost one million mothers have been pushed out of the workforce since the pandemic began — with Black, Latinx and single mothers among the groups most impacted. And it’s not just a financial toll: nearly 70% of mothers compared to about 50% of fathers say the pandemic has increased their stress and anxiety.
Given this reality, we were thrilled to bring the power of our grassroots community to this effort. Thanks to the engagement of our base, we were able to swiftly sign up mothers from all over the country, with 46 of the final 50 mothers coming through our network. And just like the demographics of this movement, the group was diverse: racially, urban and rural, immigrants, single parents and two parents, one child up to families with five or more kids.
We also had many people sign up who are fortunate to be affluent enough to not qualify for the expanded CTC, but who support its permanency because they know that unrestricted cash is good for their neighbors, their friends, their society. “While my family’s income is above the threshold for the expanded CTC, I am still whole-heartedly in support of it,” said Melissa, a mom from Massachusetts. “It helps the families in my community, and I hope that the Biden-Harris administration will make that help permanent.”
Thanks to the combined work of the three groups organizing the push, the letter was sent to the White House on July 15, the day the first payments of up to $300 per child were deposited into the bank accounts of nearly every parent in America. We were thrilled to see the voices of these 50 moms lifted up by several national media outlets, from NBC Nightly News to Ms.