Push To Get Heidi Hartmann For Labor Secretary

Isaiah J. Poole

The Campaign for America’s Future ‘s Roger Hickey today joins a long list of leaders who are calling on President Obama to name Heidi Hartmann, the founder and president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, to be the next Secretary of Labor.

“The next Secretary of Labor must be a visionary leader dedicated to ensuring that everyone who wants to work can learn the skills necessary to find a job that will offer them financial security,” the letter to President Obama said. “The Secretary of Labor should be a creative problem solver committed to helping employers find qualified, productive candidates while understanding the changing nature of work and family life in the U.S.  Heidi Hartmann has the characteristics necessary to be a successful Secretary of Labor.”

Hartmann founded the Institute for Women’s Policy Research in 1987, and she is also an economist who teaches at George Washington University. Recently, she was one of the principal signers of the Campaign’s “Jobs and Growth, Not Austerity” statement, which called for “presidential leadership — and Congressional action — to spur jobs and growth, not dangerous austerity.”

The letter notes that Hartmann “has studied and written on a vast array of labor issues such as employment standards, job training, technological change and skills development, entrepreneurship, unemployment and economic growth, the role of labor unions and worker health and safety.  In 1987, she provided a key economic analysis illustrating the financial benefits for working women and their families of the then-proposed Family and Medical Leave Act. Additionally, she helped the late Sen. Edward Kennedy develop the Healthy Families Act and worked with Sen. Kennedy and Rep. Rosa DeLauro to retain the women worker data series of DOL’s Current Employment Statistics program.  In 2008, she assisted the Obama campaign in producing the first report by a presidential campaign on the economic status of women.”

The letter concludes that Hartmann “is the perfect leader to help you achieve the goals set forth in your inaugural address, to achieve fairness and economic security for all.”

Organizational leaders and individuals who want to show their support for Hartmann can do so by emailing Janice Erickson at govtrel@now.org.

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