In the News

Ann O’Leary in the news:

Edley rebounds, renews fight for social equity

Christopher Edley, Jr., and Ann O’Leary cited in Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, March 3, 2016

“This new organization is combating the cycle of poverty with a cycle of opportunity, attacking the obstacles to success at critical stages in life,” Edley said. “Our approach to complex challenges is unique. We work across traditional issue silos and disciplinary perspectives, using an exceptionally broad range of tools to promote change at the local, state and national levels.”


The other co-founder of Opportunity Institute is Ann O’Leary, a senior policy adviser to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Obamacare: California can use the ACA to improve its economy and people’s lives

Ann O’Leary and Jeffrey Selbin write for San Jose Mercury News, September 13, 2013

Under the ACA, California has created a health care marketplace, Covered California, where individuals and families can enroll in Medi-Cal, get financial assistance to purchase health coverage or compare private health plans. Obamacare will extend health care coverage to millions of uninsured Californians, but it also is a chance to increase participation in other safety net and work support programs.

Childhood programs need state’s support

Ann O’Leary writes for San Francisco Chronicle, June 16, 2013 (registration required)

Helping young children in need once was considered only a moral issue; now it is an economic imperative for our state and the country to mitigate the pernicious and long-lasting effects of childhood poverty. Studies on successful early education programs show that the return on investment is anywhere from $7 to $13 for every $1 spent. These savings are seen in more productive citizens, less crime and reduced rates of teen pregnancy— along with the increased earning power that reduces the chance of poverty later in life.

Hillary Clinton’s next big thing? Early childhood project called ‘Too Small’

Ann O’Leary quoted in The Christian Science Monitor, June 14, 2013

Just under half of America’s low-income children start school ready to learn. The rest “start school lacking the vocabulary and math skills that they need to succeed, and they also often are not provided the type of nutrition and health needed from the very start,” said Ann O’Leary.

Ann O’Leary Applauds Hillary Clinton’s Speech

San Francisco Chronicle, September 17, 2011 by Stacy Finz

Ann O’Leary, a lecturer at UC Berkeley’s law school who attended Clinton’s speech, was particularly impressed by how Clinton used data and research to make her point.  “It was incredibly pulled together,” O’Leary said. “And her goals are realistic.”

Ann O’Leary Addresses Economic Instability of US Families

The Washington Post, Conversations, August 11, 2011 by Ann O’Leary

We need to consider the basic fact that small children need care, as do ailing and elderly family members…. But cuts are cutting programs that provide in-home services to the elderly and child care for low-income workers.  Employers often do not have policies for workers that allow them to take leave when needed to provide critical care.  We can’t think of these two problems in silos, but need to consider them together.

Ann O’Leary Reveals GOP Maneuver to Block Funds for Rape Victims

Mother Jones, May 3, 2011 by Nick Baumann

“Unfortunately, it is sometimes the practice on Capitol Hill for Members of Congress and their staffs to use [committee] reports … to try to manipulate the meaning of the language passed by Congress,” says Ann O’Leary…. “It is clear here that the committee report tries to narrow the meaning of rape.”

Ann O’Leary Wants Policies that Accommodate Working Families

Webmaster Radio, Purse Strings, January 25, 2011 Host Maria Reitan

“We’ve laid an important groundwork, and the administration is beginning to do some simple but important things such as collecting good data, so that we know what’s happening with workers in the United States: when are they taking family leave, how is it impacting their family economic security, what’s happening with workplace flexibility, how can we do a better job to highlight some of those issues?”

Ann O’Leary Notes Limits of Executive Power

Monterey County Herald, December 5, 2010 by Steven Thomma

“It’s a careful balancing act for presidents. They have this authority, but they can’t overreach,” said Ann O’Leary, a lecturer at the University of California-Berkeley School of Law. “Presidents want to make sure they have the legal authority, but also that they don’t anger Congress.”

Ann O’Leary and Gillian Lester Propose New Family Security Insurance Plan

The Sacramento Bee, December 2, 2010 by Jessica Glenn Hallstrom

“Current access to paid time off for health and caregiving comes nowhere near to meeting the demand for it. During volatile economic times, many families simply can’t afford to take unpaid time off even for the most pressing and important health and family events,” explained Ann O’Leary.

Gillian Lester, Professor of Law at UC Berkeley and a contributor to the report said, “Addressing the lack of access to paid time off through national social insurance makes good economic sense…. More people need to take time off to care for themselves or a loved one, but few are able to afford the time away from work. This is exactly the kind of problem that social insurance was designed to address.”

Ann O’Leary Studies Alzheimer’s Impact on Families

ABC News, This Week, October 17, 2010 Host Christiane Amanpour

“It’s a tremendous burden on families. We estimate that families are spending 56-thousand dollars a year—they’re paying out of pocket. We don’t have any insurance for this. One of the great things about the health reform bill is we’re going to start. There’s going to be long-term insurance now that’s going to be provided to people through their employers, but there’s so much more we can do to relieve that financial burden.”

Ann O’Leary Calls for Executive Order to Improve Labor Standards

The American Prospect, September 2, 2010 by Ann O’Leary

The power delegated to the president by Congress under the Procurement Act is very broad. The president can develop policies that have a real impact in improving labor and employment standards among workers employed by federal contractors. With nearly a quarter of the workforce affected by such conditions, these policies will surely have a ripple effect across the economy.

Ann O’Leary Calls for Updated Labor Standards and Laws

The Washington Times, November 4, 2009 by Andrea Billups

“We’ve come a long way, but not far enough,” said Ann O’Leary, the study’s co-author…. Miss O’Leary called on government and businesses to step up and help workers through updated labor standards and laws that are comprehensive enough to meet the emerging needs of both men and women.

Ann O’Leary Explains Findings of The Shriver Report

-NBC Today, October 20, 2009 Hosts Al Roker and Natalie Morales

“Parents feel like this is their own private struggle and it’s so frustrating for them. They’re afraid to go to their employer and say, ‘Listen, I need some flexibility, or I need to know when I’m going to work.’ We’re the only industrialized country that doesn’t have paid maternity leave and we’re one of just a handful that doesn’t have paid parental leave for fathers.”

-KCRW, Which Way, L.A.? October 21, 2009 Host Warren Olney

“One of the things that has changed so much is not only that women are half the workforce, but also mothers are breadwinners in two-thirds of families, meaning they’re making as much or more than their husbands, but they’re doing it on their own, or they’re contributing significantly to the family income. So, as you suggested, it changes everything about how we structure our daily lives and how we structure our work places.”

-The Montel Williams Show, October 22, 2009 Host Montel Williams

“Even though women are half the work force, they still are largely concentrated in jobs that are lower-paying. They are in the health care fields, and they are in the education fields, and our teachers and our health aids are just not paid the same respect that we should be giving them. So it’s a start, but we have a lot of work to do to ensure that women get paid what they should be for these jobs.”

Ann O’Leary Believes Public Input Essential in Health Care Debate

San Jose Mercury News, May 13, 2009 by Michael Torrice

The health care debate has happened largely behind closed doors in Washington without public discussions about policies’ advantages and disadvantages, said Ann O’Leary, executive director of the University of California-Berkeley’s Center on Health, Economic and Family Security. O’Leary believes politicians need to start discussing plans with the public. “A lot of this work could be undone without educating the public and growing public support,” she said.

Ann O’Leary Advises Maria Shriver on the Status of Women

Los Angeles Times, April 16, 2009 by Tina Daunt,0,5879875.story

This new project aims to produce a “Shriver Report” that also will assess the status of women in government, business, faith institutions and healthcare…. Shriver plans to take a hands-on role in the effortֽ but has enlisted a couple of pretty high-powered co-editorsֽ Center for American Progress senior economist Heather Boushey and Ann O’Learyֽ executive director of the Center on Healthֽ Economic & Family Security at the UC Berkeley School of Law.

Ann O’Leary Urges Obama to Strengthen Workplace Equity Legislation

San Francisco Chronicle, February 4, 2009 by Ann M. O’Leary

“Obama’s first bill signals the administration’s commitment to workplace equity. But in order to make serious progress on women’s equity and close the wage gap, Obama should urge Congress to act swiftly to expand job-protected family leave, ensure that workers have access to paid sick days, and provide incentives to states to follow California’s lead and adopt paid family leave (but make it even better than California’s law by ensuring that workers’ jobs are protected if they take the leave).”

Ann O’Leary Applauds Obama’s Signing of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

KPIX-TV, January 30, 2009 by Joe Vasquez

“It was a bit of a ridiculous notion that you would have to sue from the moment in which you were discriminated against, even though you had no knowledge whatsoever that you were being discriminated against…. One of the things that I was really heartened by today was that First Lady Michelle Obama made very clear that this bill was really just the cornerstone of their agenda for trying to help working women.”

Ann O’Leary Predicts Palin Will Disappoint Women Voters

San Francisco Chronicle, September 7, by Ann O’Leary
“Women will look to Palin not just for

her views on abortion or to see whether she is an individual success story as a working mother. They’ll want to know whether she will be a voice for women who are economically struggling to provide for their families…. But Gov. Palin has yet to show leadership or even take a position on key economic issues for women, including quality affordable child care, flexible workplaces, paid sick leave, extended family leave or equal pay.”