This election season, Black women say that economic security is their most important issue. The news comes from a survey Higher Heights, “an organization exclusively dedicated to harnessing, organizing and mobilizing Black womens political power making sure they have the tools to effectively engage, advocate and lead,” recently conducted.
On the heels of Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which took place yesterday and marks the additional time it takes for Black women to earn what White men earn in a year, Higher Heights released its survey indicating that of 556 Black women polled, 49 percent stated that economic security was the most pressing issue that will drive their voting decisions come November. Further research indicates that Black women have to work a year and seven months to make what White men made in just one year.
The survey we did was an informal online/offline poll made up of women across the socio-economic spectrum. On a monthly basis, weve been gathering women in their living rooms and church basements to talk about our civic engagement, Glynda Carr, co-founder of Higher Heights, told TNJ.com in an interview.
Additional research indicates that according to 2013 U.S. Census data, 71 percent of Black women are in the labor force (69 percent for women overall). And, they are more likely than women nationally to work in the lowest-paying occupations (like service, health care support, and education) and less likely to work in the higher-paying engineering and tech fields or managerial positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the percentage of Black women who are full-time minimum-wage workers is higher than that of any other racial group.
The results of our survey were exactly in line with what we had heard in our work around the country. Black women are extremely concerned about pocket book issues. A recent poll conducted by the Center for American Women in Politics shows that 42 percent of Black women are concerned about someone in their household losing a job; concerned about not having enough money for childcare; concerned about the rising costs in affordable housing, she notes.
Carr says that economic issues are umbrella issues for Black women and something that is wholehearted at the forefront of what they want to hear candidates talk about.
We will be releasing the poll results in a broader form later this week and penning an open letter to all of the presidential candidates stating the results of the poll and stating that we are looking for candidates that are going to have economic security with a racial and gender lens at the forefront of their platform, she says.
(CLICK HERE for a related article about women and money.)