Minnesotans chime in at Working Families Summit

MINNEAPOLIS - The negotiation in America is getting less negotiable as work and family often feels more like work versus family. That was impetus for Monday's White House Summit on working families.

"I was relieved to hear Michelle Obama also struggles trying to figure out how to balance it," said Children's Defense Fund Executive Director Peggy Flanagan.

She attended the summit to talk about issues families in the Twin Cities are facing when it comes to being able to work and parent on a low-wage income.

The key issue of the summit was how to get actual reform to allow families to go to work and afford child care and parent in the best way possible.

Nancy Lyons runs a small business in Minneapolis and she was asked to present her ideas Tuesday in a meeting with President Barack Obama's senior advisor, Valerie Jarrett.

Nancy is the CEO of Clockwork Media Systems and for years she has allowed her staff to work and be present in their families, so flexible schedules and more time off are normal.

A very different model from the very American model.

"We have this definition of work and it doesn't align. It equates to butts in seats and it equates to a sort of lack of flexibility," Lyons said of the typical work environment that she doesn't use at Clockwork.

Flanagan said she was there to talk about how important it is to make it affordable for parents to go to work in the first place.

"In Minnesota 8,000 families are on the waiting list for the Child Care Assistance Program.These are families that want to get back to work and want to just get to work," Flanagan said.


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