YEO Policy Books 2013 Policy Reader - Page 4

Policy Reader YEO Network Policy Councils 2013 In order to improve and expand our policy support for YEO Network members, we have created five Policy Councils focusing on key issue areas. These issues were identified as priorities by YEOs in our annual membership survey, and represent shared policy interests and goals. This approach of targeting specific issue areas will contribute toward strengthening the impact that young electeds can have on promoting the American values of freedom, fairness, and opportunity for all in their communities, and as a collective force in the progressive movement. Building a Healthy and Inclusive Society While the passage of the Affordable Care Act marked a historic step in the effort to provide quality health care to all Americans, the states continue to face a number of threats to public health and well-being. State and local governments now face the complex challenge of implementing and funding the ACA’s reforms, while addressing continued health disparities and inequalities, from food deserts to lack of health care access for many immigrant communities. We also continue to grapple with threats to public health in the form of unchecked gun violence. Meanwhile, progressives face persistent attacks on reproductive health and rights by conservative state lawmakers. While we struggle to ensure freedom and equality for the LGBTQ community, we see progress as more states support marriage equality and take active steps toward ensuring the rights of all families. Page 5 Defending Workers and Families Conservative lawmakers all over the country have taken aim at the rights of workers and families, and at the services and benefits on which many Americans depend. In recent years, we have seen a wave of policy initiatives aimed at busting unions, cutting employee benefits, lowering minimum wage standards, and cutting workers’ compensation claims. We continue to struggle with damaging “Right to Work” campaigns and fight to extend basic benefits to workers, including paid sick days and leave. We also continue the battle for economic and social justice for all Americans, in debates over pay equity and equal benefits for LGBTQ or non-traditional families. The Obama administration has voiced its support for raising the minimum wage and emphasized the importance of balancing deficit reduction with progressive reforms that promote growth. Page 9 2