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3 Boss Women On How To Finesse Moving To A New City For Work

Relocating for work can be a job in and of itself.

Workin' Girl

If you've moved at any point in your life from one part of your city to another, you know that the experience can be just as stressful as it is rewarding. It's not just a change in living space – it's a new route and schedule for work, the need for a new stylist, nail tech, church and neighborhood happy place. Now imagine the complexity of moving to a new city for a new job?

If you're thinking of spreading your wings to fly to a new city, take a look at some helpful tips from some boss women who've made the move.

Skyra Thomas, Founder of Flip The Zip/Director of Operations and Support Services

Skyra Thomas, a Brooklyn native relocated to Houston in 2016 and was enticed by the city's weather, climate, lifestyle, entrepreneurship opportunities and culture for black women. But amidst her moving, she realized there simply were not a lot of resources for black women moving. This probed her to create Flip The Zip, an online platform that provides resources, empowerment guidance and support to those in various stages of relocate.

Take Advantage of Your Circle

"Unless you're moving to Timbuktu, it's very likely that someone in your network knows someone where you're going… All that you need is probably in your circle. You just have to be intentional with stating what you need and making that clear and a little more frequent because people forget."

Prior to moving, a fellow colleague at her job at the time recommended her to an older couple in Houston who ultimately helped her transition with housing for six weeks while she job hunted and solidified a place to stay.

Plan Ahead for Your Move

Skyra began packing and adjusting her lifestyle four months ahead of her actual move. She cut back on cable and moved in with her best friend the last few weeks, and went roughly three months without paying rent, lived off of her last month's rent, and then lived off her security deposit and last month's rent prior to her move. She also got rid of boxes of items she did not need and bedroom furniture. In addition, she had $20,000 saved prior to her move. "I know that moving is such a hassle and I wanted to scale back as much as possible."

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Kamali Burke, Account Director/Communications Strategist

Kamali Burke is an Orlando native, but began her move for work between Miami and New York City in 2013. Her first move was from her job with a lifestyle PR agency in Miami to New York City to run a one-man show at the firm's satellite office. Since then, she has worked with three different companies between the two cities.

Ask About Relocation Benefits

"I would highly recommend if any company is asking you to move, that you're negotiating that as part of your benefits package, like asking them if they'd be willing to offset those costs. Or use it as an opportunity to negotiate an increased salary. More times than not, they have something in their budget or they'd be willing to offer you some other benefits for your transition."

Other benefits can include your work schedule flexibility, vacation and sick days. "Asking for that as part of your package is also highly recommended so that they're giving you the availability that you need or letting you work from home or letting you feel as if you can take the time that you need to get settled."

There May Not Be Time to Prepare

Remember that time you went out for a job and said you'd be ready to leave your current job as soon as possible for their offer? If there's a job vacancy that impacts a company's operations and that vacancy becomes filled, you better believe their concern is about filling that gap as soon as possible. Kamali found this to be true when she moved from New York to Miami with a short turnaround time.

"They wanted me to start right after the new year in January, and I had already booked a flight home for the holidays for Christmas. But I just decided there's no point in coming back, they want me to start this job so it was days before. I wasn't prepared," said Kamali.

Save, Save, Save!

It's better to be over-prepared than under-prepared. "There's things you take for granted like how much a mover is going to be, packing supplies, finding boxes, if you have to get storage temporarily, flights for you, extra charges for bringing a few more suitcases and things you'd like to ship. I'd definitely recommend saving a couple thousand dollars if you can."

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Maria Hurley, Educator

Maria Hurley made a major coastal move to follow her dream of living a different coastal experience from New York City to sunny California.

Cultural Clashes May Exist

Be prepared for a potential culture shift if it's contrary from where you're coming from. "I found that people talk about race more openly in California than in New York City. People are also much kinder, so it was a shift where if I didn't talk to someone, it came off as rude. But being from New York City, it's what I'm used to."

Be Prepared for Unexpected Air and Travel Cost

If you have a pet, make sure you know how they will get to your destination. "Some airports have specifications on pets and don't allow certain breeds to fly. "

Vehicles can be costly as well. "If you have a car and bring it, make sure you have a plan for getting your vehicle registered, because when that registration goes up in the state you're in and you have to register in that state, then that's an expense you have to be prepared for."

*Some responses have been edited and condensed for clarity.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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