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Fwd: A letter from Joan

Dear MoveOn Member,

Good news: MoveOn’s sister organization, MomsRising, is offering a free Motherhood Manifesto DVD as a gift to MoveOn members, in honor of Mother’s Day. MomsRising is working to get out the word about the challenges mothers face in America. The Motherhood Manifesto is a funny, powerful and intensely engaging film that uses personal stories to make the case for a revolution in the way America treats moms.

Few people realize that mothers make about 27 percent less than a man with equivalent education and experience, and single mothers make about 40 percent less. Or that there are 40,000 kindergartners home alone after school in this country. Or that of the world’s top 20 industrialized nations we are the only one without paid sick days for workers. The wonderful thing is, once people understand, they act.

Order your own copy, for free, and spread the word. Just click here.

As a founder of MoveOn, I know the power of citizen engagement.

Just a year ago, on Mother’s Day, I helped launch MomsRising.org, along with the publication of The Motherhood Manifesto, a citizens guide to the challenges faced by mothers in America. One year later, we’re taking it to the next level. The Motherhood Manifesto is now a film, and will be showing on PBS stations across the country for Mother’s Day, and we’re making the DVD available for FREE to MoveOn members, because you’re such an important part of the progressive movement, and because we hope you’ll watch this and pass it on.

Collect your gift from MomsRising, or look up when it is playing on your local PBS station.

The birth of a child simply should not be the top cause of families falling into poverty in America.

MomsRising is already racking up victories. Just this week, Washington became the second state in the union to provide paid leave to new parents. This is happening in large part because of MoveOn-style citizen engagement on the part of the more than 80,000 MomsRising members. We are thrilled. It’s real progress. The United States is one of only four countries in the world that doesn’t offer some form of paid leave to new mothers. We join Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Liberia with that dubious distinction. It’s time to support mothers in America.

Motherhood issues speak personally to citizens across partisan, cultural, and economic lines and are a key motivator for citizen engagement. We all have mothers. We all support motherhood. The bridges we build on family issues are going to help us move forward as a nation.

So let’s move the conversation on motherhood, for Mother’s Day. Order your DVD now. It’s too late to get the DVD to you or your mother by Mother’s Day—it’ll take a few weeks—but we do have a really cute online Mother’s Day card for you to send to the moms in your life. See it on the MomsRising web page.

How can MomsRising afford to give out tens of thousands of DVDs for free?

Well, the truth is kind of beautiful. We’ve found that when we give away something of value like this, and then ask for contributions to support the effort, the donations often cover the cost of producing and mailing the free items to everyone else. But if we don’t get enough support to cover the costs, Wes and I have agreed to cover the costs of up to 30,000 DVDs. Because we think it’s so important to get out the word. So collect your gift from us, and please consider supporting MomsRising in making this possible.

Thanks for all you do,

–Joan Blades, cofounder MoveOn.org Civic Action
Friday, May 11th, 2007

P.S. LATE BREAKING: Our friend Robert Greenwald has just announced another important progressive Mothers Day initiative.

Go to MothersDayForPeace to see a new short video eCard in honor of Mother’s Day. The video, featuring Felicity Huffman, Vanessa Williams, Alfre Woodard, and Christine Lahti, celebrates the original meaning of Mother’s Day, founded during the Civil War as a call upon women to unite for peace in the name of children everywhere. The video is being distributed virally over the internet by Robert Greenwald’s Brave New Foundation via YouTube in partnership with a large coalition of groups, including MoveOn and MomsRising.

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