Episode 209: The Cost of Child Poverty: Direct Payment in a Time of Need


In this special episode, we bring you a recorded version of our third in-person conversation, presented with The Bridge Project at Roosevelt House

Carol Jenkins and Jeff Madrick host a discussion focusing on the future of children in the United States. They are joined by various guests who are actively involved in finding solutions and supporting mothers and babies to thrive in the country.

“Direct payments to children and families in need are not a handout but a lifeline.” - Former Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney


Carolyn Maloney: Former Congresswoman and Eleanor Roosevelt Distinguished Leader in Residence at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute.

Holly Fogel: Founder of The Bridge Project, a program supporting healthy development for babies during their first 1,000 days of life.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha: Associate Dean for Public Health and C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine.

Daniela Gutierrez: A mother who has benefited from the Bridge Project's program.

Dr. Catherine Monk: Founder of the Perinatal Pathways Lab at Columbia University Medical Center.


Holly Fogle read written remarks from Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who shares her personal story of poverty as a young, single mother and states, “In this richest country in the world, poverty is a policy choice.” Her political history exemplifies her dedication to creating policy solutions to end child poverty.

Congressman Dan Goldman, who was our guest on Episode 6, provided recorded remarks on the status of the Expanded Child Tax Credit. He and his fellow representatives passed a bill that would reinstate an Expanded Child Tax Credit, and he urges that the Senate make moves towards passing the bill that will provide direct payments.

Key Points Discussed:

Child Poverty Statistics: The United States Census Bureau reported a child poverty rate of 16.3% in 2022, affecting over 13 million American children.

Impact of Child Poverty: The discussion highlighted the challenges faced by families living in poverty, emphasizing the need for support and solutions to ensure the well-being of children.

The Bridge Project: Holly Fogel, the founder of The Bridge Project, shared insights into the nation's first and largest unconditional cash program for babies, supporting healthy development during the first 1,000 days of life.

RX Kids: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha discussed the RX Kids program in Flint, Michigan, which provides cash support to every child born in Flint, starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy, to address economic vulnerability and support child development.

Public-Private Partnerships: The episode highlighted the importance of public-private partnerships in addressing child poverty and providing essential support to families in need.

Personal Stories: Daniela Gutierrez shared her experience as a beneficiary of The Bridge Project, emphasizing the positive impact of financial support on families and children's well-being.

Investing in the Future: The discussion underscored the significance of investing in children and families to create a better future and empower marginalized communities.


This forum sheds light on the critical issue of child poverty and the innovative solutions being implemented to support families and children. Through public-private partnerships and community initiatives, there is a collective effort to address the challenges faced by vulnerable populations and create a more inclusive and supportive environment for all.

Stay Tuned:

Join us for future episodes as we continue to explore stories of resilience, community support, and initiatives aimed at creating positive change for families and children.

Carol Jenkins:
Thank you very much for being the hardy ones who made it through the blockades and to join us here today. I'm very excited about this discussion that we're having because it is the future of our children, indeed the future of our country, based on what happens to the small people that we bring into the world. And as you know, I always say, tell me about 13 million children in the United States who live in poverty. Why is that? How can that possibly be? And how can it possibly continue? 

And how can people possibly turn their backs to them? So the people sitting on this stage are not doing that. They are actively engaged in finding solutions and supporting mothers and babies and making sure that from inception, they have what they need to thrive in this country. So you're in for a treat. We would like to start this program by having my very dear friend, my ERA buddy, the Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, to start us off.


Carolyn Maloney:
First of all, thank you, all of you, for coming to this important meeting tonight at Roosevelt House. And I'm former Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, but I'm currently the Eleanor Roosevelt Distinguished Leader in Residence at the Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute. And we have a very, very special event tonight, the third and final event in our Child Poverty Series here at Roosevelt House called the Invisible Americans. 

And we will hear how the private sector can step in and do what the government should be doing and hopefully inspire them to do the right thing. As Carol said, the United States Census Bureau Their American survey said that in 2022, the child rate poverty in the United States was at 16.3%. That's at least 13 million American children who are currently living in poverty in our great country. The Child Care Tax Credit was passed by Congress as part of American Rescue Plan in March of 2021. It was marked up and reported favorably out from the Committee on Oversight and Reform, which I chaired at the time. I got it through. It went to the floor and passed. It was so important for millions of families suffering during COVID. 

In particular, we made the credit fully refundable and expanded its application to millions more low-income families. This forum tonight is so critical for not only raising awareness, but also to bring together like-minded people who can actually make a difference today for those families going forward. We have some of them here with us tonight, leaders who understand that direct payments to children and families in need are not a handout, but a lifeline for their life and for their health. I am now turning it over to Carol Jenkins. 

To introduce the full panel and to moderate us tonight, Carol is the co-host of the Invisible American podcast, along with Jeff Madrick. Is Jeff here tonight? Thank you. Thank you so much, Jeff, for this. She is chairwoman of the ERA Coalition. She is an Emmy Award winning news correspondent. former television host. She is a co-founder of the Women's Media Center, a nonprofit created to increase the participation of women in all forms of media. And she is a trailblazing women's rights activist. 

And what I really like about Carol, she's not afraid of anything or anyone or any challenge. She is always ready to go forward. I now recognize my good friend, the great and outstanding Carol Jenkins.


Carol Jenkins:
Thank you so much. And as you know, the only reason, Carolyn, we're all so brave is that you were in the very beginning and you continue to be. Thank you so much for that welcome to Roosevelt House. And we want to thank the Roosevelt House director, Harold Holzer, Basil Smikle, who is the director for public policy, Jessica Neuwirth, who is director of the Human Rights Program here. And we love, as we say, making history in this room. which is full of history. You actually are in the former home of the Roosevelts and you'll be able to see afterwards some of the rooms that they inhabited, the library and all. So we are standing and sitting in hallowed ground and thrilled to be here. 

Our goal today is to talk about the growing trend of direct and automatic cash payments to support our children, not just by the federal government, because we all know that that's not working so well, but by states, by cities, and by private donors. To do this, we're joined by Holly Fogel, who is the founder of the Bridge Project, Daniela Gutierrez, a mother in the Bridge Project and the mom of Jeremiah, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of RX for Kids in Flint, Michigan, and Dr. Catherine Monk, founder of the Perinatal Pathways Lab at Columbia University. So thank you all. Thank you all so much for being here. 

Well, Jeff Madrick, and I'm glad to know that Jeff made it here. Thank you so much for braving the protests and everything else that's going on in the streets. Jeff and I created Invisible Americans podcast because of our passion. And he, of course, was the author of a book called The Invisible Americans. the tragic cost of child poverty. And it was Jeff who was writing about cash payments to people, give the mothers the money, long before anyone else was. And he, in fact, was funding researchers to make sure that this happened, that the child tax credit actually got to be. So Jeff, we want to thank you so much. 

And you raised your hand back there for this tremendous, tremendous work. And I just want to let everybody know that we are now a 501c3 nonprofit communications project. And in addition to the podcast, we have a website and events like this. This is the third event in our child poverty series here at Roosevelt House. And all of the events can be found on our website. It's theinvisibleamericans.com. And we are so thrilled to be collaborating with Holly Fogel and the Bridge Project in tonight's event. And Jeremiah, thank you for joining us. Hi, come. We're thrilled to have you because you're the reason we're here. Exactly.  

And I'm only jealous that I'm not cuddling, but I'll try to get my turn. Holly Fogle is the founder of Monarch Foundation and The Bridge Project, the nation's first and largest unconditional cash program for babies. It supports healthy development for babies during their first 1,000 days of life by providing their mothers with consistent, unconditional cash on a biweekly basis. In just three years, The Bridge Project has added 1,300 babies and mothers to the program, scaled its presence to all five New York City boroughs, Rochester, Buffalo, and now Milwaukee. She's committed over $35 million of her own money by starting $35 million directly into the hands of New York's families. And over the next two years, the Bridge Project will expand to three new regions of the United States and add more than 2,000 more babies to its program. Holly, we are so pleased to have you with us and thank you so much for your contribution.


Holly Fogle:
Carol, I am thrilled to be here. It's always a pleasure to be with you in, as you said, hollowed ground. And I think we were sitting in a room that they hashed out the New Deal in at one point. And it just feels very fitting to think about investing in our country's future in this place, which is really what we're going to talk about tonight. And it's a huge honor to be on the stage with this group of women, some real heroes among us, and Jeremiah, too, of course, who might fall asleep there, Daniela. It looks like it. I think we are big believers in preventing versus undoing. And that was really the genesis of all this. 

So that means babies, not after school programs. And fundamentally, when we started to think about this, Jeff and I started the Bridge Project at the time, incubated within our foundation, simply as a way of how are we going to move our own resources deep into the hands of women who are pregnant and who could use a little extra help because they, for all kinds of reasons, are where they are and just need a little bit of a hand up. 

And so that's where we had started. I think what we quickly realized is that we were on to something much bigger than how to move our resources, that we could also help other people who care about women and children and babies in this country move their resources. And so we spun the bridge project out. And I think that's led us to two important things, because a lot of times I get the question of, where does this go? How is this sustainable? I think the first thing we would say is, well, private philanthropy can actually make a pretty big difference in the short term in this space. 

And as Congresswoman was saying, sometime private philanthropy needs to lead and put some pressure back on government in terms of what we should be doing for our littlest. If nothing else happens in my life, but we're able to help a bunch of women do what they need to do for their children, I will die content. But I'm a dreamer. And so it's not going to stop there. Right. And that's why I'm so thrilled to be on the stage with these women, because it also means We need to harness our collective voices. Dr. Mona, in the research she's doing, very fundamentally what you'll hear about that could lead to real additional public policy changes at the federal and state levels. 

And Dr. Mona, who is already a, yes, we were just joking, because as you said, the largest cash program. Mona's passing me up, and as she said, it's not competitive, but it is. That was the little exchange we're having. We will take that competition all day long. And I think she's harnessing private and public dollars. We have a rivalry going on here. Good, it's good. Who's feeding more babies? Exactly. And I think this idea, though, of how do we harness private-public partnerships going forward to push. And Mona's going to talk to us about that tonight. So that is all really exciting to me. A couple of just quick stats I'll put in your mind that I think are exciting to us at Bridge. 

So as Carol said, we now have over 1,000 moms, almost 1,300 moms across New York State. Milwaukee, we just launched a few weeks ago. What gets us excited are tidbits like this, that 70% of our moms who are in transitional housing at the start of Bridge are out. at nine months. That's huge in terms of a woman being able to save first and last month's rent deposit and be able to move out onto her own. That 17% of our moms have gone back to school, either in a part-time or full-time way, and not just to get a GED, to get a bachelor's degree, et cetera. So I think that gets us pretty darn excited. We see mental health scores go up, and fundamentally, people have cash to buy food and diapers, which feels like we shouldn't have to think about that in this country, but we do. 

So ultimately, we have to continue to push our governments to take care of our littlest and most vulnerable neighbors. But until then, we need to keep pushing all of us in this room, which does lead us to talk about the child tax credit, Carol, as we were saying. And Congresswoman Barbara Lee sent in a message for us that I would like to read. And for those of you who don't know her, she had introduced Resolution 551 in the House, which was a comprehensive deal to think about child poverty. So this is her statement from tonight. 

Good evening. I wish I could be here with you all in person today, but please accept my deepest thanks to the Invisible Americans podcast for inviting me and holding this important series of convenings. Visible Americans has become a valuable voice in the fight to end poverty through just systemic policy change. While we all come from different backgrounds, our goal is the same, end the silent epidemic of poverty affecting millions of children. Ending poverty is personal for me. During a difficult period as a young single mother, I received public assistance while attending college and raising my two sons. 

I know what it's like to struggle to put food on the table, and the fact that 11 million children across the country are experiencing that kind of poverty today is devastating. We know it doesn't have to be this way. In this richest country in the world, poverty is a policy choice. I spent my time in Congress fighting to make our economic and social policies more just, from leading the Democratic Caucus Task Force on Poverty to fighting for SNAP and WIC on the Appropriations Committee. It's not just a moral failure, it's a threat to our nature's future well-being. Today, we say to children across America, we see you, and we will not leave you behind. Thank you, and keep up the great work.


Carol Jenkins:
Thank you. Thank you so much. Thank you, Congresswoman Lee, for that. Well, on our podcast, we've interviewed many people. We're in our second season. And some of them are in office. And some of them have been fighting against homelessness and against food insecurity and for the child tax credit. And one of those is New York Congressman Dan Goldman. We've talked with him a few times. and he's a member of the Dad's Caucus. I don't know whether you know that. Let's have a listen to Congressman Goldman.


Dan Goldman:
Hi there, everyone. I'm Congressman Dan Goldman from New York's 10th District in Lower Manhattan in Brooklyn. As you are all well aware, child poverty is an unacceptably large problem in our country. In fact, nearly one in three children live in poverty for at least some part of each year. This is far more than just a policy failure. It is a moral failure. No child in America should go to bed cold or hungry. No child in America should worry whether they can see a doctor or not. 

And no child in America should worry about whether they will even have a bed to sleep in at night. Children in America should be worried about going to school, making friends, just being a kid, nothing else. As a founding member of the Congressional Dad's Caucus, I am proud to be a part of the fight to end child poverty. We're pushing for policies that will support working families across the country. We must expand access to high-quality, affordable child care and early childhood education to give all children the tools they need to succeed. 

Studies show that children with access to child care and early child education have far better outcomes than those who do not. I'm also fighting for paid family and medical leave because no one should have to choose between a paycheck and taking care of their loved ones. And we are all aware of the most successful tool that we have to combat child poverty, the Child Tax Credit. During COVID, an expanded Child Tax Credit lifted more than 40% of children out of property. That's 3 million children. After Republicans let it expire, child poverty rose quickly. Along with my Democratic colleagues in the House, we made sure that an increase in the child tax credit passed in this body, and now it is time for the Senate to act. 

Congress must also look to protect the most vulnerable among us, unaccompanied migrant children who are often forced to navigate a complicated system in a foreign country all by themselves. My Children's Court Act would reform our immigration system and make sure that every unaccompanied migrant child has access to the legal services and additional support they need to navigate our system. I will not stop fighting until all children in America, regardless of their background, have an equal opportunity to pursue the American Dream. Thank you, Invisible Americans, for all of your efforts to end child poverty. It is an honor to do this work alongside you.


Holly Fogle:
Now, let's get to the business here. So Dr. Mona, my pleasure to introduce you. She was like, I'll give you the short version. And I was like, it's really important to say who you are, because this is one of three rock stars on this stage. But she's the Associate Dean for Public Health and C.S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine. She's the founding director of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative and Innovative Partnership of MSU and Hurley Children's Hospital in Flint, Michigan. 

You might have heard her, now you're getting some clues, Flint. Dr. Mona was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World and recognized as one of USA Today's Women of the Century for her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading the recovery efforts. the author of What the Eyes Don't See. Invisible theme, What the Eyes Don't See. 

A story of crisis, resistance, and hope in an American city and maybe for this country. Winner of the Pan American Freedom Expression Award, she and Dr. Luke Schaefer, who I also think is amazing, have created RX Kids, a first in the nation public private program that provides cash support for every child born in Flint, beginning at 20 weeks of pregnancy. Thank you.


Dr. Mona:
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. It is so exciting to be here, Carol , Holly,  everybody. It is a pleasure to be here. It is an honor to be in this space. I'm a huge Roosevelt fan, an Eleanor fan, a New Deal fan. I think the work that we are all talking about is the work of social security. Social security is investing in our old, but really social security is investing in our babies. It is investing in our young. So that is definitely kind of how I see this work and to be in the place where social security was born, where Francis Perkins led the charge to bring forth that new deal to uplift. our nation. It's wonderful, wonderful to be here. 

So I am a pediatrician and I have the best job in the world because I get to hang out with these guys. I get to hang out with these guys all day long. And it is an absolute joy. I pinch myself when I wake up and I go to work. Because so much of my work is about making sure they're healthy today, taking care of their snuffles and their fevers and their broken bones. But my work as a pediatrician is to make sure that our kids have the brightest future possible. And that's hard. That is hard work to do. It's hard to do in Flint. It's hard to do in so many cities and communities in this nation. when from the moment our children are born, it is a fight. It is a fight to succeed. 

Flint's child poverty rate is 69%. We just heard it as a nation is about 16%. It went down to 5% during the expanded child tax credit. But in Flint, we are the poorest city in our state. We're actually the poorest city in the nation. When my babies come to see me in clinic, and they're wide-eyed, and they're gorgeous, and they're beautiful, and they're staring at me, it breaks my heart that I have no tools in my doctor's bag, that there is nothing that I can prescribe to take away the toxicity of poverty. So for a long time, I have wished for something, an antidote to poverty. 

And that's how RxKids was born. We've been doing lots of amazing things in Flint, especially since our water crisis, really trying to wrap our children and families with goodness, with evidence-based child and family development, promoting interventions. For example, since the water crisis, we have been working around the clock to put into place Things like high-quality childcare, home visiting programs, parenting support, nutrition services, nutrition prescriptions, trauma-informed care, 24-hour mental health things. 

So the list, Imagination Library, Dolly Parton's literacy program, it's so awesome. And then we, Reach Out and Read, VIP is a parenting program that came here from NY. So the list goes on and on of all the good things that we do for our kids. And when I'm taking care of a kid in the family, I'm throwing all these things at them. I'm like, sign up for this, do this, do that, do this, do that, read more to your kid. And I feel so guilty when I'm telling a family who is living in the poorest city in our nation to read more to their kid. I am tired of asking our children to be resilient when we as a nation aren't building a resilient community. So that's what RX Kids is about. It is about building a resilient community so our kids can just be kids. 

So they don't have to shoulder so many burdens and do so much more because we have failed to take care of them and to prioritize them and to build these child-centric policies. So learning about BRIDGE, and learning about the Expanded Child Tax Credit, and learning about all the other efforts in the country, literally seeing the success of the Expanded Child Tax Credit, like amazing, like proof that we can do big, hard things as a nation. We can do this. We developed a universal mom-baby cash prescription program. So in Flint, every single pregnant mom gets prescribed $1,500 in mid-pregnancy, every single pregnant mom. And then once a baby's born, it's $500 a month for their first year of life. 

So it's $7,500 total. And it hasn't been done before, a universal program, because we had to raise a lot of money. So we needed to raise about $11 million a year to do this in a universal way. In a year, my partner and I raised $43 million. Amazing. We're not done yet. We still have more to go. So come talk to me. But the beauty of what we've been able to do, and like was mentioned, it is a public-private partnership. Our first funder was the Mott Foundation, which is based in Flint, and they gave us $15 million as a challenge grant, saying, here's $15 million, but you have to go raise another $15 million to unlock this. So it's been a really busy year. But the beauty of our work, and what I want to spend a minute on, is that we were able to leverage TANF dollars. Does anyone know what TANF is? Some folks. 

So TANF is a product of the 1996 welfare reform, when President Clinton said, we're going to end welfare as we know it, really because of Reagan. It was a creepy history. OK. So we changed welfare in 1996, and we made it a work-first program. And by and large, what that means is that nobody gets cash anymore. So they became state flexible block grants, so states get a chunk of money, and they get to decide how to use that money. It was intended for cash assistance, but because of its flexibility, states by and large have used it as budget fillers. 

In Michigan, before RxKids, only 6% of our TANF budget went to cash assistance. It went to other things like college scholarships and funding the child welfare system. This is also where that Brett Farr scandal in Mississippi. So lots of states have misused this money. So we knew we needed more money. We wanted a public-private partnership. Philanthropy cannot do this work alone. This needs to be the work of government. This is about reimagining the social contract and fundamentally how we care for each other. So we pitched to the state, what if we leveraged TANF dollars? And there's a provision in TANF, and please stop me if I get too wonky. There's a provision in TANF called non-recurring short-term benefits, or NRSTs, where you can give people cash for four months without triggering work requirements or lifetime limits. But you can only give people cash if it's an acute economic crisis. 

Do you guys know when families are the poorest in their whole life course? Guess. Childbirth. Childbirth. Childbirth is when families are the poorest in their whole lives. Can you believe it? Families are the poorest. Moms are pregnant. They often have to come out of the workforce. Babies are expensive. They need stuff. And we have very limited things like paid family leave or support. And that persists for that first year of life. So, families are the poorest at childbirth, and that continues. 

And when I heard that, like, I went crazy, because as a pediatrician, and we'll learn more science, that is the most important developmental time. Your brain doubles in size in your first year of life, and that's when families are poorest. So, we use childbirth as an acute economic crisis, and so we were able to leverage TANF dollars through this non-recurring short-term benefit provision. So, we got $16.5 million from the state to do that, and it went through our budget process. So we have built this beautiful public-private partnership. ARC's Kids launched in January to much celebration, to art, and to music, and to murals. 

We had a public party on Valentine's Day because this is all about Love. It's about love. It's how we love our mamas and our babies. So we're also actively working to change the narrative. Because of the success of RX Kids, our governor, Governor Whitmer, included $24 million in her next budget, also as a TANF redirection, to expand RX Kids to Detroit, and Saginaw, and to Kalamazoo, and to the Eastern Upper Peninsula, which represents rural poverty. It's still a public-private partnership, so we're still working to raise more money to make this happen. But it is exciting. It is joyful. It is beautiful. It's impactful. And we already have so many wonderful stories to share, and also early data, which is exciting. Oh, my goodness.


Carol Jenkins:
Thank you so much.


Dr. Mona:
Five minutes? I only had five minutes.


Carol Jenkins:
You know that Dr. Mona is the Taylor Swift of the pediatric world. You need bracelets. This is that cash era. Yes, I know. I'll tell you. And when she says, if I get too nerdy, no, we're definitely nerds. We're like, tell us more about TANF. We want to hear every single thing. Thank you, Dr. Mona. I would like now to introduce Sebastian's mom, Daniela Gutierrez, who is a 30-year-old mother of a two-and-a-half-year-old son, and as you can see, has another baby on the way. She is half Mexican, half Salvadoran. Daniela was born and raised in New York City. You're actually a neighbor of mine, you know? I mean, yeah, we're neighbors. 

So that's one thing I loved about Holly is that she started her program in my neighborhood. I said, thank you. Hamilton? Yes. Hamilton Heights. I'm on 150th. Oh, 145th. We're right around the corner. Literally. Now that we've settled that. She holds a bachelor's degree in English and currently works for the New York Public Library. Daniela is one of the many moms that have benefited from the Bridge Projects program, part of their inaugural cohort launched in 2021. And Dr. Catherine Monk, PhD, founder of the Perinatal Pathways Lab at Columbia University Medical Center. And I told her that she has so many titles that are so complicated. 

And what was your answer? Was that you don't get paid that much, so you do get… You do get the titles, right, right. And she studies the connection between stress and pregnant people and the eventual mental health of the child. Dr. Monk's research brings together the fields of psychopathology, developmental psychobiology, developmental neuroscience, and perinatal psychiatry. I didn't even know that was a thing, right? to focus on the earliest influences on children's developmental trajectories and those that happen in utero and how to intervene early to prevent mental health problems. And thank you both so much for joining us. 

And I think they need to give you more money, Dr. Monk, but you know. It's all about money anyway. It's all about money. It's all cash, right? Daniela, I want to start with you because you were in the first class of the Bridge Project. And tell us a little bit about what that has meant to your life, to the change.


Daniela Gutierrez:
Oh, it's been a huge, huge change to my life, mostly because I get to be full-time mom to this little boy, Jeremiah.


Carol Jenkins:
Say hi. If you can't see him, if you're listening to this, is so adorable.


Daniela Gutierrez:
Yeah. So before that, I was really stressing out on what I was going to do and how I was going to work and also provide for him. And it was like around the post-pandemic kind of sort of 2020. So life was a little bit more chaotic than it is now. And so receiving this assistance changed my life because it made me become a more dedicated mom and a more present mom, which also allows me to notice a lot of things in Jeremiah. a lot of things that he needs, and I'm able to support him in every way that I can. 

Because at the end of the day, we are their advocates until they can finally speak up for themselves or make decisions for themselves. And thanks to this program, I'm still doing that with him. And now I'm able to become a mom to a brand new baby on the way. Yeah, so I'm very grateful for the program. It changed both our lives entirely.


Carol Jenkins:
Right, so the second baby is going to have a totally different life.


Daniela Gutierrez:
Yeah, because in a way I acquired tools to become the mom that I am now. It allowed me the time that instead of working, go to programs for babies, take motherhood classes, nutrition classes. So these are just things that people don't talk about or see, The time that I had is basically a lesson for the next baby. And those are tools that are like forever. They're forever tools.


Carol Jenkins:
That's wonderful. That's wonderful. Dr. Monk, I'm sure that you are approving of what you hear here. Talk to us about your work.


Dr. Catherine Monk:
Absolutely. And I'm really thrilled to be here also and appreciate being on the stage with all of you and especially Jeremiah. It's really special. You know, you've heard a little bit about the work that we do and I'm, um, Daniela, I don't, maybe I'll ask you a little bit of a question. You can tell me if I'm on base here because so we study stress and depression and anxiety, uh, in pregnancy. 

And not only what it's like for the person who's pregnant, but the possibility, in fact, there's good data from our lab and others that it actually, that kind of stress is communicated to the developing child through different biological pathways such as, and I'll get very specific for a minute, there's an enzyme in the placenta that turns off active cortisol, the stress hormone. as it passes into the fetal compartment. 

And what we've seen is that when women are under huge amounts of stress, that gene is what's called methylated, so it's turned off. So then more cortisol gets into the fetal compartment and may affect, it's a contributing factor for that child's future. So it's not deterministic, but it's one of these factors that we could pull back. If we were supporting people in pregnancy they didn't have that kind of stress and anxiety, we would be helping two generations. the pregnant person, and also the future child. So I'm wondering, because Holly and I are starting a study together, if by chance is the bridge project, has that helped your stress levels at all?


Daniela Gutierrez:
Oh, yeah. I know that they say not to compare pregnancies, but with Jeremiah, it was in 2020. I was under a severe amount of stress. He actually was born the size of a preemie baby at week 39. They actually wanted to pull him out at week 37 just because I was just not okay mentally. And the placenta kind of gave out after a certain time period. So he was born very small. And the difference that I noticed is that now the baby that I'm having now is double the size of him. 

And there haven't been any complications in the pregnancy. stress free, no hypertension, which is one of the things I had with Jeremiah because I was just on hinge all the time. And yeah, like the because of the bridge project and because of everything that changed for me in my life, that stress reduced highly. And I am definitely seeing the difference in this pregnancy compared to my first one.


Dr. Catherine Monk:
That's great. So how you're doing and the baby is wonderful. Wonderful. So just one more comment to say that this is exactly what Holly and I and her team and my team are going to be studying is I've spent about almost 30 years looking at the negative. What happens if that stress doesn't have an intervention, the depression doesn't have an intervention, how that's a risk factor for future children. So not only the pregnant person is suffering, but it puts the future child at risk for their own mental health problems, flip that around, look at this program that can be really reducing the kind of stress, the demoralization that goes with poverty, that feeling neglected and left behind, and that goes with depression and anxiety. 

What if we remove that, and women are really, and other pregnant individuals are really feeling cared for, taken care of, they can take care of themselves and their child What kind of birth outcomes do we see? I'm hoping, ultimately, we can do the kind of work I want to do also. What do we see in brain development? We look at the MRIs. So, we have big plans, and I think this can have an impact with policy. I wish this weren't the case. I'm sure, Dr. Mona, you've seen this, too, that oftentimes, and I'd be curious about your views, members of Congress can pay a lot of attention to biological data. It can capture them. So we need all kinds of data to make our points.


Carol Jenkins:
So it makes absolute sense, right? You know, it's irrefutable in a way, and yet there are people who are refuting it. Many states and cities who are now against, again, as I spoke, I didn't even know this was a thing. You could be against giving cash to, you know, to people who need it, you know. So just as some states are not accepting lunch money for their kids this summer, they're not allowing cash brokers, what do you say in this environment where it just doesn't make any sense?


Dr. Mona:
I think that's a great question and something that we've been vigilant to look out for, the opposition, the backlash to giving an entire city of pregnant moms and babies cash. This is, once again, one of the largest cash transfers that's happening. And you know what? We're waiting for the backlash. And it hasn't happened yet. Don't go out and create it. But it hasn't, and I think, so working with my colleagues who've been in this cash space for a long time, they're like, this is really weird. Every other design of a program or everything else in the cash space, child tax credit, there's always backlash. And I think there's a sweet spot in this design that we're talking about. It starts in pregnancy. 

And that, in this bizarre post-Roe world that we live in, has excited the right side of the aisle. And then it ends at 12 months. And so gone are the traditional arguments against cash and welfare that it creates a lifestyle or a dependency. You know, here's some guardrails. We have not gotten that backlash. And we have actually gotten interest from red states. and red communities who want to do this. It's also low cost. 

We should be doing the expanded child tax credit. We should be doing something like all other countries do until like 18 years of age. But we, kind of for feasibility and replicability, laser focused on this window, this mom-baby window, because it's such a critical window neurodevelopmentally, and once again, because of that economic vulnerability. So this window is actually a small window. It's cheap. It's a low-cost thing compared to other things that we fund. 

So that's also kind of excited, you know, folks that it's really not as expensive as other things. And then I would add a couple more kind of reasons we haven't gotten as much pushback. This work is economic development work. This is stimulus work. By and large, the $9 million a year that we are giving moms in Flint are going back into the local economy. So this is a way to revitalize local economies in a very trickle-up kind of fashion. 

And this is how it's also been researched and done globally. It creates entrepreneurship. It creates all of these, it supports small businesses. And so we're also kind of going to be looking at that kind of return on investment and what it does to the community. So I know there's a movement to ban guaranteed income pilots. There's a few states that have already banned guaranteed income pilots. But in this world, which we very much like to call child allowances, which is in a very different space, it's a different body of research, it's a massive global and domestic evidence base, there has not been that much pushback.


Carol Jenkins:
Holly, talk to us about that because it seems to drive certain people absolutely insane that the application process is so simple and… Or it's just mama tested, 10 minutes, that's it. I know, I mean, people just go nuts, you know, that you say, no, we don't ask them to, you know, turn over their life history. It's a very simple two question, whatever, do you need it?


Holly Fogle:
Well, and I think, I mean, I grew up in Appalachia on the Ohio-West Virginia border, and I think this idea of women coming together to trust other women is sort of deep inside of me. I mean, as Mona says, though, there is actually also a lot of other evidence out there that says when you give people, not even mothers, when you give people cash, they tend to do really good things with it. They get out of homeless situations. They actually pay off cell phones in bad debt. They do a lot of good things. So I think when we were thinking about this early on, we thought, if this is true for the general population, what if we were to give it to pregnant women who are thinking about a new child and where their life is going? And so I think for me, it was a no-brainer in those early days. 

But it does drive people kind of crazy. And I mean, people will say to me, you're very, very radical. And I thought, well, we're radical in that we are trusting a mother to do what she needs to do for her children, backed up by a huge amount of academic research that says people spend this money really, really well. I think the one thing we do struggle with in Bridge, and Daniela, you might be able to speak to this as well, is when we were first working with Penn, the Center for Guaranteed Income Research, a lot of guaranteed income programs want to talk about people in the workforce. 

And as you're attesting to, with mothers, that's not always the best investment for our country's future. If you were a single guy in a guaranteed income program, yes, we might like to see that you've been back in the workforce. I think in this country, what is important to think about is how are we giving moms the time they need If you're cleaning a house or you're holding different jobs, there's no guarantee you're going to have paid family leave to be able to take off time to even heal from a cesarean section or some serious medical things. And so this idea that a mother has choice and freedom to do what she needs to do for her baby and her body feels pretty Radical.


Carol Jenkins:
It does seem radical, right?


Dr. Mona:
No, it's not. It's been around for so long. I was looking up a quote from the 1920s when they started family allowances in England, and they were also debating, like, we have to tell the moms how to spend their money. We can't just let them spend the money. And there's a beautiful quote that, like, women in poverty, moms in poverty know how to stretch a dollar, and they have learned economics in the hard school of motherhood. So moms know what to do. But I think, like you said, we are also co-opting some words and really leaning on them. 

This is about freedom and choice. Cash in America started by Milton Friedman, a libertarian in the 1940s. Like he was the one that was talking about cash. Cash is about Giving people cash, unconditional cash, is really, if you're a fan of small government, let people have that freedom and choice. There's less administrative burden. Because our program is universal and unconditional, we don't have to do anything on the back end, very little. It's very low cost administratively. You add criteria and guidelines and income levels, that makes the program more expensive. And I think something else that we've really leaned on, this is patriotic. Like we're having a baby parade on the 4th of July. We are going to have all our babies in a parade. 

But that heart, I think that's so cute. It's so cute. I get strollers and those baby things. But this is, I'm a huge fan of history. So we had baby parades in like 1917 when we created the Children's Bureau. So it was a movement led by amazing settlement house women that said, hey, we need to do better on behalf of kids. So they were elevating the issues of babies, and they had baby parades. And it was patriotic. It was for the war effort. And that's what birthed some very maternalistic policies before the New Deal, post-Civil War, including mothers' pensions. So we have a long history of kind of doing this kind of work. But I think we have to lean on things like freedom and choice and patriotism, which it is, to get this stuff going.


Carol Jenkins:
Right, right. Well, if you listen to our podcast, you'll hear Jeff and me saying every 30 seconds or so, give them the cash. Just give it to them, you know? And all of the kids, former kids that we've interviewed, tell horror stories about being with their mothers, trying to fill out the forms in the Social Security office, in the whatever, and how it drove their mothers crazy. Or if they were having mental health issues, it made it worse, you know? I mean, it's just.


Dr. Mona:
The stigma and the shame of these forms, of anything that is means-tested, whenever you have anything in society where there's haves and there's have-nots, where there's a line, you create animosity because there's folks that are just beyond that that didn't get it. I had a five-day-old in clinic the other day who was part of the program, And they got it in pregnancy, and they use it to buy a car seat, and a monitor, and all these things. And I asked the dad, and the dad was so cute. First time parents are so cute. He's like, I have ADHD. Can you test the newborn for ADHD? I'm like, I can't do that yet. But anyways, I'm like, what do you love the most about this program? 

And he's like, I love that it is for everybody. He's like, we are all struggling. If you make $18,000 a year, you can't qualify things. I love that this is for everybody. So the universality, just how we're making universal school lunches, it removes that stigma. It says to people that we are walking alongside you. We see you, we hear you, we know how hard it is to raise a family and a child, and we are here for you, alongside you. This is that social contract work that will hopefully rebuild trust in government and institutions.


Carol Jenkins:
Daniela, what do you think about all of this?


Daniela Gutierrez:
I love that. I love it for the future of our kids because I feel like we don't realize but we have to invest in something that will keep going even when we're not here because that's like the whole point. We're leaving our knowledge behind and hopefully filling their little brains up lead the way once we're not here. And so I love that because it makes me feel safe as like not only a mom but a human being as a woman.


Carol Jenkins:
Catherine, your further comments.


Dr. Catherine Monk:
Just nodding and smiling. I mean, in essence, this approach is doing what our system should be doing, right? So it's philanthropy leading the way, and then you brought in government. And I'm hoping we can pitch in with some good new papers that will help on the policy end. And this is the direction we need to go in.


Carol Jenkins:
So Holly, the whole idea of what you're doing, and also, Dr. Mona, it's a public-private thing. Do you find that you have more philanthropists? Because the people with money really get a bad rap for just collecting their money and building. I think, was it you who told me in one of our earliest conversations with some billionaire who got a new yacht? And with that yacht, he could have what? Fed? What, all of New York City or what?


Holly Fogle:
You know, I mean, you guys may have seen that statistic that came out last week that the top three people in our country now hold as much wealth as the bottom 166 million. And so I think just this notion of we are so rich as a country and how, you know, I think this again goes back to my upbringing of, you know, when you've gone somewhere, you have to remember where you came from and turn back around and lend a hand. And I think, like Daniela, you're going to go forward and lend other hands to other people. 

And I think that's just, to me, what is being patriotic and all of these things. But I do think we need to push the government, but we also need to push philanthropists. A lot of this, speaking with my philanthropy hat on, we love to have control. We love to have lots of reports and metrics and all of those things to come back. And at the end of the day, I would like to push us to say, let's trust and invest in our next generation of Americans. And I think that feels to me like a pretty smart investment. But we have work to do, both publicly and privately, Carol.


Carol Jenkins:
So Holly is the Mackenzie Scott of babies, right?


Holly Fogle:
I would love that. I wish I had Mackenzie Scott's money because we would have a lot more babies over here but I would be winning.


Carol Jenkins:
If you know Mackenzie Scott who's giving away, I mean she just gives it away.


Dr. Mona:
But philanthropy is excited. We have over probably a dozen foundations and family foundations and folks I have signed on. Folks I've never even heard of, never stepped foot in Michigan, but they are joyfully excited about this work. They're like, you know, we've been funding things in mental health and nutrition and security and housing and stability. Like just as I was frustrated to be band-aiding and being reactive, they're like, we could just fund this. And it's intersectional. We've had some foundations like, well, we don't do early childhood. I'm like, this is economic justice. 

This is democracy. We're actually going to measure the impact of this on civic engagement and voting. We think something like this is going to restore democracy in our communities. But it's also, you know, it's economic justice, it's maternal infant health, it's health equity, you know, it's arts and humanities, it's a little bit of everything. So I think the foundation sometimes like to work in buckets. So doing something that's so intersectional often causes people off guard. But I found that they've also been very excited and are like, oh, finally, you know, we're not into something that's not reactive, something that's super preventative.


Carol Jenkins:
I know, you see, she needs the bracelet that says, it's economic justice, not giving food to babies, right? No, it's something else. Do we have time to take a couple of questions from the audience? We have a microphone, great.


Audience Member: 

Just a point of clarification, is it that the money will be directly provided to anybody who is pregnant? There's no limitations whatsoever? And how do you distribute the funds or make a determination if you only got a limited amount of funds, giving it to the people who really need it? And is a person allowed to, another question, sorry, is a person allowed to, in the case of like Danielle, reapply and get another source of funding to continue on? you know, for additional babies? How does that work? Just mechanics of that.


Holly Fogle:
It's a good question. Yeah, I'm happy to start. And our programs are a little bit different. So with the Bridge Project, we fund for three years. 

So it's about 1,000 days of life. And our criteria is simply you have to live in whatever zip codes we're working in or whatever city we're working in. You have to live below $52,000 of household income. And you have to be pregnant, obviously. And I think beyond that, then those applications happen. We take that and we do a random selection of the moms.


Dr. Mona:
So, and then our program is different. It kind of follows this concept of targeted universalism. So, it's targeted to poor communities, but it's everybody in that community. So, we looked at kind of vital records, birth certificates. So, we've raised enough money to meet the full denominator of births in our community. And people just have to be a resident of that community and then either be pregnant or have a baby and they upload kind of verification of those things. Very short, less than 10 minute application. Our program is administered by the international leader in cash transfers, an organization called GiveDirectly. So they do this globally, they run many of the US kind of cash transfer pilots. So they are the ones that help enroll, verify, do safeguarding and fraud detection.


Audience Member: 

Is there an adjustment based upon the person's financial need? So, for example, if somebody's below that threshold, way below, who may need more funds, would get that as opposed to somebody who's higher up than you?


Dr. Mona:
For our program, no. So everybody gets the same amount. We also have been able to work closely with the state. A little bit of philanthropy blended in the cash transfers protects public benefits. So this money that they're getting from us doesn't count as income. It counts as a gift. So it doesn't, for example, kick them off of WIC or SNAP or Medicaid or something.


Holly Fogle:
Yeah, we don't adjust either. And the average household income of our families in New York City is $16,000 a year. Yeah. So think of that as $16,000. $16,000.


Carol Jenkins:
I'm going to up you.


Dr. Mona:
So we have some of those numbers. I know, I know. Uh-oh, here we go. Here we go. Over 60% of our families, the annual household income is less than $10,000 a year.


Daniela Gutierrez:
Less than $10,000.


Dr. Mona:
And so they're getting $7,500. So for some families, it's a 75% increase in their income.


Carol Jenkins:
Just 10,000. Great. Do we have another question from the audience? Over here, I guess.


Holly Wortman: 

My name is Holly Wortman. I work with WINNYC. I have some questions specifically about getting money as a non-recurrent benefit. And I was wondering about the process of getting childbirth counted as an emergency and that time to be viewed as an emergency from a political standpoint and kind of what that was like, both politically but also emotionally.


Dr. Mona:
So once again, we leverage TANF dollars. We use this provision called non-recurring short-term benefits. Other states have used this, for example, for winter or for heating costs, and they give people four months of cash for any kind of acute issue. So we had to work closely with our state TANF office, and they agreed that, yes, look at the data. Childbirth is when families are poorest. And then they had to get it approved by ACF, the Federal Administration for Children and Families. 

And that is actually still in process, but it's almost done. And the reason it's still in process is because they're covering the prenatal and the first three infant allowances. Those are the four allowances that they're covering. And they're covering the prenatal allowance, which gets us into this whole milieu of personhood and viability. So they wanted to make sure that it was so legally sound that if we have a future administration that's not excited about this work, it would be OK. 

Then once it's approved, whatever use of NRSTs, it has to go into the TANF state plan. Every state is different. Every use of TANF dollars in Michigan has to be legislated. So it had to go through our budget, but that doesn't have to be the case in other states. We are working on a playbook to help other states do this, and we're happy to work with other folks. We're helping folks in Philly and on other places.


Carol Jenkins:
Great, great. Well, I think we are nearing the end of our program. I would like to have everybody give a wrap up. I mean, we need to do this again because you all are just phenomenal. Dr. Mona, if you could. Now, we're all coming to your lab, by the way. We want to see what goes on there, you know, if you can give a tour.


Dr. Catherine Monk:
Parenting begins before birth and we really need to be supporting the pregnant individual and if they have a partner in that period for how they're doing and for the future generation.


Carol Jenkins:
And he's busy reading our program too. Very nice work, Daniela.


Dr. Mona:
Brain development of the program.


Daniela Gutierrez:
Thank you. He's just recognizing the pictures on it. He's like pointing all of us out.


Holly Fogle:
Oh, thank you. Daniela, maybe say one quick word when you wrap up around how you're raising your voice to help other mothers in this way with advocacy and other things, because I think you're quite special in this way and you haven't told us about that.


Daniela Gutierrez:
Thank you. I'm usually using social media to just expose all the things that we've been doing at the bridge, talking to my old friends that are like turning mothers as well, and just kind of spreading the word to everyone that I know. If they say what do you do, I don't only include my job, I also include the bridge as well because I feel like it's a part of my life now and it's my job as one of the very lucky moms to spread this out to everyone so that people know that this is a thing and also there's a lot of child poverty going on in New York City whether we like it or not. 

We kind of tend to like hide the ugliness of it and people get a little bit surprised about it. That's basically been something that I've been doing is sharing it to the world through whether it's through mouth, social media, friends, family, kind of like educating them on what we're doing because they are like clueless of what's going on. I feel like that's a good part and a good role that I'm taking in. 

Even my own family is aware of it and they're so proud because they're like, we didn't know that this was a thing you can do and we're happy that you're doing this for your kids. And I feel so grateful to be a part of this because Whether it happens or not, we're still making history. We still did the work, and we're here to make the change. And we're already changing lives anyway. Like, look at my son. He's, yes. And I appreciate you guys for everything. He is amazing.


Carol Jenkins:
Thank you.


Dr. Mona:
Thank you. All of our work in Flint with this project is also very much mama-driven. It's community-partnered. I have a parent-partner group. We have a group of pregnant moms who have been advising us from the very beginning of this work and really driving this work. So thank you. They've become mama activists, and they've done media training and interviews, and we try to value their time and their input. So thank you for really kind of helping kind of create that playbook. Thank you, Holly. Thank you, Carol. 

Thank you for everybody for being here, for caring about this. Thank you for recognizing that we don't have to shrug our shoulders and be okay with the status quo, that we are making the impossible possible and that we absolutely, we saw we can do this as a nation with the Hispanic Child Tax Credit. We have to keep this work in the public imagination. So I'm grateful for all of you for being in solidarity here. Thank you.


Holly Fogle:
I would just say, I've been telling everyone, if you haven't seen the movie Pray the Devil Back to Hell, Jeannie and I were talking about it earlier, I would put it on your list. It's about the common market women in Liberia that after decades of war, it's an Abigail Disney movie, rose up and said, enough. Enough murder, enough rape, enough burning of our homes, enough war. And as the women of this community, it's enough. 

And I thought, these normal just market women join forces, protest, and they get men who are pretty scary looking with like AK-47s, right? Like true warlords, they get them in these rooms and they get them to negotiate a peace settlement. And so I think my dream is when I sit on a stage with women like this, for us collectively as Americans to say enough. 

Like enough of our babies not having food, enough of our babies not having diapers and access to child care in the way that we all deserve for these children to have. And so that's my dream for us to say enough and to put the pressure on the people who have power to help us change that. Thank you.


Carol Jenkins:
Thank you, Holly. Thank you. Thank you all so much for being with us and this panel discussion, so moving. You brought so much for all of us. Thank you for being here and thank you for caring too about our children. 

This will be up on our website, theinvisibleamericans.com shortly. as well as the first two programs that we did here at Roosevelt House. And we thank you all so much. Listen, you know, we've got to feed our children. We have to give them homes. This doesn't make any sense. It's not necessary. Let's end child poverty now. Thank you all so much.

Holly Fogle

Co-Founder & President of The Bridge Project

I grew up in a small town in the Appalachian foothills on the border of Ohio and West Virginia. My family founded the county in 1803 and remain there today. It is a place of deep poverty. As a child, I watched my parents help others: taking a tuna casserole with a Ritz Cracker crust to a sick friend, following an ambulance with other family members in tow, and volunteering their time at church.

At the age of 18, I wanted to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 Company (I have always been a dreamer!) so I went to the local library and looked up the best undergraduate business schools in the country. When I set foot on the campus of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, I quickly realized that the world was a very big place and I knew very little!

I started my professional career at McKinsey & Co., a global management consulting firm, and eventually became a Senior Partner, advising those very same CEOs I had dreamed of being. And I kept dreaming, but found my dreams began to change. I came to understand that I am meant to help the most vulnerable, not the most powerful. I want to be proximate to people and really listen to what they need (not what I think they need). So I left McKinsey after 13 years and found myself working to help immigrant mothers with babies living below the poverty line at Nido de Esperanza in New York City. Leading with my Appalachian heart and my McKinsey-trained brain, I dove in to understanding early childhood poverty—how to prevent, not just undo.

After these last five years of on-the-ground experiences at Nido, I continue to be most fulfilled by partnering with grassroots organizations that face insurmountable odds and persist with grit and determination. I am drawn to women leaders whose voices are not heard enough. I spend a lot of time trying to really “see” people… I am still a dreamer and love to hear mothers’ hopes and dreams for themselves and for their children.

Grounded in these values and principles, our foundation has launched The Bridge Project, a guaranteed income program in NYC for mothers of young children. We are putting cash directly in the hands of women with no strings attached. No patriarchy. No pretending that I know best. I trust these mothers to do what they need to do for themselves and their family—they have the answers within them. We have started with 100 mothers and will continue to expand it in the coming months.

My upbringing gave me so many examples of people showing up for other people and the power of community. Every day I have a choice as to how I spend my energy. Every day, I reflect on “Who am I showing up for in this world?” I lean into my discomfort, and try to act with humility, to listen, and to trust.

Women helping women in community feels like a great place to ground myself. This is why I am so excited to make my #GetEqual commitment to realizing a gender equal world.

Daniela Gutierrez

Bridge Project recipient

A 30-year-old mother who was born and raised in New York City. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English and currently works for The New York Public Library. Daniela is one of the many moms that have benefited from the Bridge Project’s program, as part of their inaugural 2021 cohort.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

co-director of RX Kids

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is the Associate Dean for Public Health and C. S. Mott Endowed Professor of Public Health at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. She is the founding director of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative, an innovative partnership of MSU and Hurley Children’s Hospital in Flint, Michigan. She is reimaging how society can come together to eliminate infant poverty with a first-in-the-nation program, Rx Kids. A pediatrician, scientist, activist, and author, Dr. Hanna-Attisha was named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World and recognized as one of USA Today’s Women of the Century for her role in uncovering the Flint water crisis and leading recovery efforts. Dr. Hanna-Attisha is the author of the widely acclaimed and New York Times 100 most notable book, What the Eyes Don’t See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.

Catherine Monk, Ph.D

Founder of the Perinatal Pathways Lab at Columbia University Medical Center

founder of the Perinatal Pathways Lab at Columbia University Medical Center, who studies the connection between stress in pregnant people and the eventual mental health of the child.

Congressman Dan Goldman

Congressman representing New York's District 10

Congressman Dan Goldman and his wife, Corinne, live in lower Manhattan where they are raising their five children. In 2019, Dan Goldman served as lead counsel for the impeachment investigation of President Donald J. Trump for abusing his office for his personal interest regarding Ukraine. In that role, Goldman led depositions and questioned witnesses in public hearings, and testified before the House Judiciary Committee.

Prior to that, Goldman served for a decade as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. In that role, he held powerful actors accountable and made our city safer. He took on some of the office’s biggest and most consequential cases: prosecuting violent criminals and gun trafficking, mafia bosses and Russian organized crime, and landmark insider trading and major corporate fraud cases. In law school, Goldman contributed to Michelle Alexander’s seminal book, The New Jim Crow, which addressed the inequalities in our criminal justice system.