Nearly 49 mil­lion Amer­i­cans strug­gle every day to meet their basic needs.

It’s time for fair­ness for families.

They work as care­givers – but can’t afford health care insur­ance or to take time off when they are sick.

They put food on our tables and build our houses – but strug­gle to feed and house their own families.

They care for other people’s chil­dren – but can’t afford child care for their own children.

Though their num­bers are many, poor fam­i­lies have largely been ignored in pol­i­cy­mak­ing that directly affects their lives.

Until now.

On May 20, Mar­guerite Casey Foun­da­tion and its grantee orga­ni­za­tions host the first online Equal Voice national con­ven­tion. The goal: to cre­ate the 2012 Equal Voice for America’s Fam­i­lies National Fam­ily Platform.

Through the use of tech­nol­ogy, tens of thou­sands of fam­i­lies will come together – across geog­ra­phy, cul­tures and issues – to call for an Equal Voice in the deci­sions that affect their com­mu­ni­ties and their families.

They will dis­cuss the essen­tials every fam­ily deserves – good schools, healthy chil­dren, afford­able hous­ing, eco­nomic oppor­tu­nity and safe and strong com­mu­ni­ties – and how to make the Amer­i­can Dream achiev­able for all families.

From churches, cof­fee shops and com­mu­nity cen­ters across the coun­try, we’ll hear from par­ents, grand­par­ents and youth. From domes­tic work­ers and child care work­ers. From farm work­ers and fac­tory work­ers. This is more than a single-issue move­ment or story. It’s each family’s story. And all fam­i­lies’ stories.

Through their national fam­ily plat­form, fam­i­lies will speak with One Voice – a Strong Voice – demand­ing an Equal Voice in their future.

America’s fam­i­lies are the back­bone of our nation, and its bright­est hope. What they have to say mat­ters to us all.

We need fam­i­lies to pro­pel the nation.

On May 20, join fam­i­lies across the coun­try in cre­at­ing and adopt­ing a national plat­form that puts fam­i­lies first.

Equal Voice is your voice. And 45 mil­lion other voices.  

Go to EqualVoice2012 to learn more