Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) at The Brookings Institution  
Jan. 13, 2014-Addressing the "Social Mobility Summit" at The Brookings Institution, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand highlighted five points she believes will improve upward mobility for Americans, particularly among women.  First, Gillibrand advocated for the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act, legislation she recently introduced to provide for paid family and medical leave, for example to help care for an new baby or an ailing parent.  Gillibrand said her proposal, based on successful state models, is a self-funded, earned benefit that would cost about as much as a cup of coffee a week.  Secondly, Gillibrand called for raising the minimum wage; a bill in the Senate would raise the minimum wage from the current $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour.  Gillibrand said this would help 33 million Americans and would also be good for business.  Third, Gillibrand said, there is a need for affordable child care.  Fourth, she called for universal pre-kindergarten education.  A fifth key is equal pay for equal work, which Gillibrand said would be "a huge economic engine."
Isabel Sawhill, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution and co-director of its Center on Children and Families, leads the discussion.
E.J. Dionne, Jr., a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution, poses a question.
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