The Power of Global Networks - Blog Series

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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Member Spotlight: Women's Fund of the La Crosse Foundation and the White House Rural Tour

On July 16th, the White House Rural Tour - a series of events featuring top Obama Administration officials discussing how communities, states, and the federal government can work together to help strengthen rural America - stopped in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Women's Fund of the La Crosse Foundation was there to welcome Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Trasportation Secretary Ray LaHood to La Crosse and ensure that the well-being of women and girls was included in the day's discussion.

Diane Raaum, President of the Women's Fund, had the opportunity to speak out. "...Over 80% of those seeking transportation help today are women. We know this administration is about solutions. The Women's Fund is also about solutions and doing work at a community level. There are [145] women's funds throughout the world that are effecting social change in their communities. [In Wisconsin] women only earn $.71 for every dollar that a man earns. Furthermore, the current economic downturn has disproportionately impacted women and their families. We had almost $70,000 in grant requests this year from our community but were only able to fund $19,000. Many of these requests were going to meet basic needs. So we would like to know how you are proposing to include women as a solution to these problems and how you are going to help women and families in need in the La Crosse area," Raaum said.

The Secretaries responded that President Obama "gets it" and has passed that message on to his cabinet. They noted that President Obama passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and that supporting women and children is a priority for this administration. The Secretaries also noted the administration's goal to eliminate child hunger by 2015.

Congratulations to The Women's Fund of the La Crosse Foundation for making their voices heard and seizing this unique opportunity to raise the visibility of women's funds and the plight of women and girls during the economic downturn!

Post by Amy Moy, Interim Director, Communications and Marketing, Women's Funding Network

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