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The safety net is -- Our way of protecting the most vulnerable among us -- A social insurance program, not an entitlement program -- A tradition as old as humanity. It is currently under attack. At stake is the kind of society we want to live in -- and bequeath to our children.
Gloria Steinem's words capture the spirit of this event: "At my age, in this still hierarchical time, people often ask me if I'm 'passing the torch.' I explain that I'm keeping my torch, thank you very much...and I'm using it to light the torches of others. Because only if each of us has a torch will there be enough light."
Prior to 1977 there was a quota for women firefighters in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY)—that quota was zero. It did not matter if you had won an Olympic gold medal, had been named the “strongest woman in the world” or held the world-record in the marathon—if you had been born female, you could not even apply to take a test to become a New York City firefighter.