Sunday, September 27, 2009

Being Frances Perkins

Frances Perkins (April 10, 1880 – May 14, 1965) was the first female and longest serving Secretary of Labor in our history. In 1933 she was appointed by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was the writer of New Deal legislation, including minimum wage.

In 1934 FDR appointed Perkins as chairwoman of his Committee on Economic Security. In this capacity the Social Security Act of 1935 was passed which included unemployment insurance. In considering our current situation in relation to where we were then there are more safety nets in place during an economic downturn because of her work.

Frances Perkins is inspiring and her accomplishments are many. Affordable health care was something she fought for valiantly for many years. She said that because "the experts couldn't get through with health insurance in time to make a report on it," legislation couldn't be passed. Well, we need to stop staling on this important issue. It's pass time.


septembermom said...

Frances Perkins' dedication towards the pursuit of affordable health care was admirable. Thank you for highlighting this hardworking, intelligent woman who is a great example of an American devoted to her country.

Judith Ellis said...

Kelly - I love her for her diligence and hardwork in a period in our country among men that must have been extrordinary to deal with; yet, she seems to have done so with grace and fortitude. She was essentially the power behind The New Deal. President Roosevelt seems to have been the spokesperson of her ideas. This is amazing! I was so happy to discover her this week in my efforts to educate myself on the history of the health care crisis in the US. I love your words here about her example and devotion to America. We could stand to have many more Frances Perkinses today and less individualism.