The “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” phrase is everywhere. But let’s name it for what it is: a bully phrase that insults millions of working families living on a razor’s edge every day.
If you pay attention to stories and statistics, you know that working families are already pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.
- 78% of families on Medicaid include a family member who works.
- Of families who receive SNAP, the federal food assistance program, 55% are working families, and 71% of families who turn to food pantries have a household member who is working.
- Demanding, critical careers like home health aides (averaging $23,600 per year) and child-care workers (averaging $21,170 per year) pay too little to cover basic costs like rent or childcare.
Veronica, a member of our community, shared, “The bureaucracy is astounding when it comes to families applying to ‘child care subsidies,’ even a mom with three children who is working and earning $18 an hour can’t afford child care, and if she does, it’s not available after 5:00pm, half an hour earlier than what she needs, because of her work schedule!”
Bootstraps are clearly not enough.
We need comprehensive, research-backed strategies to dramatically reduce poverty—strategies that meet the needs of California’s hard-working families.
Our next generation is depending on us. Join us.