Promoting Equitable Income for Evanston Families

Although family income has grown as a whole, it has declined for bottom third of working families. I’m committed to supporting working families, providing parents with multiple pathways to financial stability, fostering their asset developments and integrating additional supports and resources.

How the Stability of Working Families has Weakened
Family income has grown an average of 37% between 1975-2011, but has declined for the poorest third of families with children, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

One-third of American workers who earn below poverty wages provide the bulk of their family’s income.

African-American and female-headed households earn significantly less than white and male-headed households.

Working families undergo extreme hardships whether they rely on cash assistance, work or a combination of both.

More than 72% of low-income families earning twice the poverty line undergo a significant hardship, such as lack of affordable housing or childcare, within a 12-month period.

Earnings from government assistance programs and low-wage jobs don’t provide an adequate standard of living to low-income families, requiring parents to choose between necessary expenditures.

A child’s future earning potential is closely correlated to their parents’ earnings, according to the OECD and Economic Policy Institute.

Low-income families are persistently at risk of tapping out their resilience, resources and coping mechanisms securing basic necessities.

Providing Parents with Multiple Pathways to Financial Stability
Create opportunities for parents to develop the skills necessary to earn family-supporting wages by providing access to education and training programs.

Build inter-agency bridges between career pathways and quality childcare to allow working parents.

Address the barriers that make it difficult for women to reenter the labor market after having children.

Strengthen Programs & Policies that Equip Families with the Tools Needed to Succeed
Provide affordable and accessible early childcare beginning at infancy.

Build on programs that allow parents with limited education and job skills to earn family-supporting incomes.

Ensure families can readily access state and federal programs that boost income and improve child achievement, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

Offer incentives to businesses to adopt policies that give parents needed flexibility at work.

  • Paid time off for family and sick leave
  • Family-friendly scheduling policies that notify employees of work schedules in advance to help them balance family commitments

Incorporate opportunities for parents to build peer-support systems, take active roles in their children’s education and better cope with the internal and external stresses that limit their capacity to react constructively to the strains of raising children and cause conflict a spouse or partner.

Work with existing childhood, adult and neighborhood programs to build platforms to offer cross-program resources such as childcare assistance, financial coaching, job training and health care.

Promote Programs that are Structured to Respond to the Realities Facing Working Families
Align policies and programs to ensure that public-benefit policies help families move toward financial stability, instead of raising unintended obstacles.

Improve the efficiency of program and assistance benefit delivery.

Call for child- and adult-focused agencies to integrate their data systems to streamline administrative costs, assess whole-family effectiveness and better inform policy reforms.

Encourage agencies use existing eligibility data to automatically enroll eligible families into qualifying ancillary programs.

Foster Asset Development for Working Families
Increase pathways to homeownership.

Support employment programs that link low-income parents to stable employment, work incentives and supports.

Increase access to the social capital needed to gain financial stability.

Integrate Family & Neighborhood Supports
Improve access to parent and early childhood education programs.

Increase access to crisis intervention services.

Establish increased collaboration between committees.

Invite and incentivize resident participation.