Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dear Mr. President

Barack Obama is calling for people to submit their stories about the economic crisis on his website. I am sure there are millions of people hurting who are submitting their stories, in the hopes that someone will hear, and care about what they are saying. Here is what I put up, along with the picture here:

I am a single mother and journalist in Portland, Oregon. For the past five years I have worked as a producer and writer for a local television affiliate. When I got my current job three years ago, I negotiated a living wage which has afforded me and my daughter a comfortable living. Nothing extravagant, but just enough to ensure that she has the preschool education she deserves, the health care she needs, and the healthy food that is essential to raising a growing child. At the end of each month, I have little saved, but it is enough to survive. But as I said, I negotiated the living wage three years ago, so in this current economy that living wage seems to my employer to be too much, when people just out of college will work for much less. As my contract expires this April, my company, Meredith Corporation, has decided it is too much to continue to pay me. I will be out of work in two months, meaning we will not have health insurance, and likely be unable to pay our reasonable rent. I am appalled and angered, considering that my company still continues to make money -- something like 21 million last year -- but they believe a harworking, talented, skilled single mother is not needed in their place of business.

I believe the fear about what is to come is making companies like mine feel all right in cutting jobs, to cover themselves just in case, even if that means the economy will suffer further because I am unable to pay for my daily needs. I feel part of the decision is because I am unable to put in extra time, beyond my regularly scheduled hours, because I am the only one taking care of my child and finding somewhere for her to be while I am at work.

In my case, the most vulnerable people in our workplace are being targeted as unnecessary. I have written much about this on my personal blog, and wrote this post the day after I found out about my pending unemployment:

I am a supporter of Barack Obama and have hope his administration will find ways to help people like me. I believe part of it is doing away with the fear that causes companies like mine to lay people off, even while they continue to make millions. Let's find a way to stop the fear and bring back the confidence in our economy! Thank you.


modernsinglemomma said...

So impressed by you mama!
Looking forward to our radio interview tomorrow.
p.s. Welcome to iHeart!
and, I'm adding you to my blog roll, more people need to read your writing!

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