The U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 1309, the Workplace Violence Prevention for Health Care and Social Service Workers Act. This legislation will provide protections for caregivers like nurses and social workers.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provides no enforceable standards that would require employers to implement a workplace violence prevention program for health care and social services workers. Employees in these industries are four times as likely to experience workplace violence, and that number is even worse for public employees in the field. Over the last ten years, workplace violence incidents for the health care and social service sectors have increased by 69 percent. In hospitals, violence grew by 123 percent, and in psychiatric settings, by 201 percent. H.R. 1309 represents a critical step forward by requiring OSHA to develop workplace violence prevention programs, and provides other vital protections for our nation’s caregivers.
We owe a great debt to health care and social service workers. And like all Americans, they are entitled to a safe and dignified workplace environment. Check to see how your Representative voted on H.R. 1309 by visiting www.congress.gov. If your representative voted “Yes,” email or call with a note of thanks. Also important: If you find a “ No” vote, ask why. Then contact your Senators and ask for their support.
Secondly, we are researching the process for federal workers to have a trial by a federal jury.
We had a very successful breakfast earlier this month in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho with Tai Simpson and Paulette Jordan speaking to the audience. Tai Simpson’s talk about the MMIW movement was potent and the IDWC supports the efforts to bring awareness to the plight of indigenous women across Idaho.
As President Gini Ballou stated, “we don’t have to be Native to care about our indigenous sisters.” According to the most recent American Community Survey, the Native American population comprises 1.1% of the total population of Idaho. Yet this population, especially among Native women, are known to experience some of the highest rates of murder, sexual violence, and domestic violence. Promoting awareness of issues that affect those who are vulnerable in our state is an important step in making progress.
Tai is a social change advocate with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence and a member of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho. She is an organizer for the Indigenous Idaho Alliance and fierce champion who uses storytelling to make a difference in her community. Her presentation was powerful and emotionally charging while it also educated the audience about the MMIW movement.
The MMIW movement is about the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women across the nation, including Idaho. Idaho has five recognized native tribes that have felt the impact of this tragedy across each of their communities. Tai reported that there are currently between 15,000 and 17,000 unsolved cases involving indigenous women. Often times, these cases are not categorized correctly and do not receive much media attention if any. Lack of data and attention hinders the efforts of families and friends to find their loved ones and to see justice served.
Paulette Jordan, the 2018 Democratic candidate for Governor of Idaho and a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, also spoke briefly at the breakfast. She spoke about the MMIW movement as well and the impact that it has had on tribal communities. She said, “if we don’t take care of indigenous people here, then who are we as humanity?” She also spoke about the efforts made by some legislators across the country to formulate legislation to address this issue. These efforts continue to be ongoing at this point in time.
We would like to thank our fabulous speakers for their contributions to educating us about the plight of indigenous women across Idaho and our nation. The Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus would also like to thank those who came to the breakfast in order to help support our efforts in getting more Democratic women elected into public office.
NFDW has made ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment our priority. Three pieces of new ERA legislation are pending in Congress, and our sources are telling us that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has indicated that the House Resolutions will come to the floor for a vote. Therefore, we want all members of Congress to sign this legislation.
You can check the resolution co-sponsors by clicking on the links below to see who has signed. There is a section to the left of the page where you can click on your state and that is quicker than scrolling through the entire list of legislators.
H.J. Res 38 by Congresswoman Jackie Speier removes the deadline for ratification of the original legislation. H.J. Res 35 by Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney begins a new process to pass the ERA. This is backup legislation that begins the process again should the existing legislation be challenged in court and there is a ruling against letting the original legislation stand.
There is also hope for Senator Ben Cardin’s Senate Resolution because two Republicans are co-signers for S.J. Res 6. Cardin’s legislation removes the deadline for passing the original ERA legislation.
“Call your Senators and Representatives two or more times a week until you know that they have signed these resolutions. Make your voice heard as we ratify the ERA,” said President Jenks.
The Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus wholeheartedly invite Democratic Women throughout Idaho to the IDP Clint Stennett Conference breakfast with Tai Simpson. The event is on Sunday, October 6, 2019, from 7:30 am to 9 am at the Best Western Plus Coeur d’Alene Inn, which is located at 506 W Appleway in Coeur d’Alene. Tickets to the breakfast are $30.00 per person and can be bought using this link.
We are proud to announce that our featured guest will be Tai Simpson, a 2019 TEDxBoise speaker. Tai is a Nez Perce tribal member and a social change advocate with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. She will be discussing the Protecting the Sacred: A Primer on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), which is a movement to raise awareness about the number of missing and murdered Native American women in Canada and the United States. The US Department of Justice reports that Native American women face murder rates that are more than ten times the national average. Tai Simpson is a wonderful storyteller who has participated in the 2019 Indigenous People’s March in the nation’s capital.
Come enjoy the Full Sunrise Traditional breakfast, which includes country red-skinned potatoes, honey glazed ham, brown sugar bacon, maple sausage links, fluffy scrambled eggs, chilled orange juice, coffee, teas, seasonal fruit, muffins, and pastries, before you head back home from the conference. We look forward to seeing everyone at the breakfast and encourage attendees to buy their tickets online to speed up the check-in process. As a reminder, this event helps raise funds to help get more Democratic women elected in Idaho.