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Hi all -- if there is a New York City group, can this be posted there? I will be at this event and would love to meet local Kossacks. Thanks! -Elisa

foodpower photo foodpower.jpg

I am writing on behalf of the organization I work for,, to invite the Daily Kos community to an inspirational gathering of our staff members, parents, influential bloggers and award-winning filmmakers. This event is free -- and kids are welcome!

We hope you can join us in New York on March 2nd and RSVP here.

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 photo GirlwithFlagBig.jpgHi all, I know, long time no hear. I was in Las Vegas last week to hear the President's announcement for comprehensive immigration reform. This is the outreach that resulted -- the first time that the organization I work for,, has reached out to our members regarding this issue. It would be SO great if you all could sign the petition and pass along to two or three friends. Many thanks! -Elisa

As I listened to the barrage of news this week on immigration, I kept thinking about an 8-year-old girl I met in Georgia in 2011.

Melanie is a star student and Girl Scout. Her mother bravely spoke about how Georgia's treatment of immigrants was affecting families. Melanie clung to her mother and cried while her mother told us how difficult it was when she had to tell Melanie that they might be forced to move back to Mexico if Georgia passed a harsh new anti-immigrant law. Melanie's mother also proudly told us that Melanie took it upon herself to write Georgia's governor:

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Para espanol, haga clic aqui.

I am really proud at how this blog carnival turned out so I thought I would share. It is a collage, really, of the many Latino leaders, policy experts, parents and others who support family-friendly policies like the Affordable Care Act, paid family leave and clean air. I included a few stories from some of the categories, although we published, much, much more. For the rest of the stories, click here. Enjoy! Elisa

It's Hispanic Heritage Month and is celebrating by hosting a blog carnival that highlights the many, spectacular contributions our members and allies in the Latino community have made on the MomsRising blog and in the media. Hispanic Heritage Month is also a moment for us to reflect on the upcoming elections and the work that lies ahead to make our families, communities, and country even stronger together.

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SAN CARLOS, Calif. --€“ Considering that Paula Osorio has multiple jobs and no paid sick days, the nosebleed could not have come at a worse time: right before her shift caring for an elderly woman in a private home.

In a nursing home or hospital, she would be able to lean on other caregivers. But the patient in her care, 91-year-old Elda Frank, has just her:€“ Osorio, an immigrant from El Salvador.

Thankfully the two women, who have spent a lot of time together for five years, share a deep bond. Osorio cooks Frank's favorite meals, bathes her and reminds her to take her medicine. Sometimes Osorio even visits Frank on her evenings off because she knows Frank is alone and needs help.

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(Photo: MomsRising just delivered 50,000 signatures and plush storks to remind members of Congress that all families need access to paid leave. The petition can be signed here.)

Ten years ago when a coalition of legislators, labor leaders and family advocates promoted and successfully passed a paid family leave law in California -- the first in the nation! -- the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business interests opposed it.  They claimed that allowing workers to take six weeks of family leave at half their pay would lead to abusing the system and killing jobs.

The opposite has been true.

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Sat May 12, 2012 at 02:41 PM PDT

What I Really Want For Mother’s Day

by Elisa

As the publisher of a respectably large community of mothers I am usually hit this time a year by a barrage of e-mail pitches telling me what I want for Mother’s Day: books, flowers, a trip to the spa, serums and snacks to make me look younger or give me more energy – okay, I’d like some samples of those, thank you – trips to exotic locales, you name it.

It all reminds me of a funny Facebook message I received from a co-worker with a series of photos of what marketers think moms want – like a Lexus with a red ribbon on it– and what moms really want, which is more time to sleep. Or eat dinner without any fights at the table. Yesss!

I’d add some respect, too. And not lip service of family values and how much we love moms in this country, but a country that actually values moms and families.

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Once again, I find myself shaking indignantly at my church’s leadership and at the same time contemplating what I should do for this year’s annual "Bishop’s Appeal" that supports our inner city Catholic schools, clergy and ministries in our parish. God, I hate Catholic guilt!

And make no mistake. I am Catholic to my core. I am a political progressive who has never voted for a Republican in her life and lives in the equally progressive enclave of Berkeley, California. Nothing has turned heads more here than the revelation that I attend mass every Sunday with my children and that I am active in various ministries at my Catholic church.

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Para leer este artículo en español, haga clic aquí.

If there is something I pride myself on it is my work ethic. The importance of hard work is something that was instilled in me by my parents who sometimes worked multiple jobs each to feed our family of six.

In college, I, too, worked three jobs to make ends meet. I wrote articles for two weekly newspapers, answered phones at my school and worked as a waitress. The last job was the most lucrative of the three, which means I put in as many hours as I could. Sometimes I had to go to work sick.

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I know long time, no hear.  

I've been busier than ever, and even celebrated a personal achievement. I was just awarded the "Best Activist Blogger" glass trophy for the Latinos in Social Media Awards. I know that many of you here and at my various communities,, and, voted for me. Thank you so much! I was in good company, and it was a thrill to see the results live via Twitter with my family.

Among the many causes I have championed in the last year has been clean air and immigration. As the daughter of a Cuban immigrant father and Puerto Rican mother who grew up speaking Spanish and around immigrants with and without the right paperwork, I am very passionate about the latter. Because I have seen how hard undocumented immigrants work and understand that we ALL benefit from their labor whether they live here or abroad, I am bothered by the vitriol against them, injustices against their humanity, and our refusal even to address the root cause of why so many of them, economic refugees, flee to our country.

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No matter where we were born or how we feel about controversial immigration enforcement bills like Arizona's SB 1070 or AB 87, surely can all agree that all people, including immigrants who lack the right paperwork, should not have their human and civil rights violated in this country.

We are -- or should be -- above treating newcomers as if they are invisible or less than, which is why and other women's groups for social justice are in Georgia right now casting a spotlight on the stories of women who have had their civil rights violated due to AB 87.

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Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 03:20 PM PDT

Clean Air...Place and Race Matter

by Elisa

Yes, I've been gone for a while -- maybe a month? My sister is sick in the hospital and I've been grappling with a new work schedule. But I am still here and advocating for clean air.

If you haven't already, please call your representative to oppose HR 1705, which would weaken the Clean Air Act. Unfortunately, even some Dems have fallen for the right-wing talking point that clean air kills businesses. That is if it hasn't killed us first.

From an environmental, health and social justice perspective, here is yet another reason to support clean air:

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I recently helped the non-profit family group collect stories by members who depend on the government-run healthcare program, Medicaid, to care for themselves, their elderly parents and/or disabled children. Here are the stories. Please leave comments in support.

Well, whenever we publish such powerful stories, we always get folks defending private insurance profits and CEO pay over a safety net for our families. I thought I would share with you the latest right-wing talking points regarding Medicaid. And yes, I am aware that these are well-coordinated and come from somewhere -- FOX News? -- as we'll get three people saying the exact same thing, like this:

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