I went for an early morning run in my neighborhood, and was the victim of a hit and run.
If you find yourself talking to a policy maker, business owner, or anyone in your neighborhood who finds the idea of an employer tax or truly universal paid leave disagreeable, I present the following points in response...
The period of the omer is a great metaphor for where we are in the Paid Family Leave campaign. In February we had an incredibly powerful public hearing on our paid family leave bill. For so many of us who are here tonight, that hearing felt like the start of a joyful journey toward a policy that will bring healing and stability to our city. Since then, we have been marching together to help turn the promise of that policy into law. Like the Israelites who wandered in the desert, we don’t exactly know what’s coming or what the final law will look like, but we and our community are working hard to make sure that this city receives the best possible legislation.
May was Mental Health Month. Considering how misunderstood and stigmatized mental illness is in our society, it’s a wonderful opportunity to reflect on how we can better support people who struggle with mental health issues.
Some big lobbyists would love for you to believe that paid leave is bad for business. Apparently, our local business community didn’t get the message. They’re joining the DC Paid Family Leave coalition in droves—because caring for your employees is good business. These businesses recognize that life happens to all of us, and nobody should have to choose between caring for themselves, a new child, an elderly parent, or a sick partner, and earning a paycheck.
The Washington Post ran an in-depth look at the Paid Family Leave debate in the US. Unsurprisingly, the Paid Family Leave community had something to say. Since the Post does not accept Letters to the Editor regarding online content, we compiled some letters here so we can still raise our voices.
For Immediate Release
April 12, 2016
Contact: Rebecca Ennen
During last month’s State of the District address, Mayor Bowser committed to raise the minimum wage by 2020. Today, local economic justice advocates are calling on the Mayor and the Council to go further and support a complete agenda for working families. At a time of enormous national momentum for policies that meet the needs of 21st century working families and catalyze strong local economies, DC should be a model jurisdiction in creating more good jobs that enable struggling people and families to earn a decent living.
For Immediate Release
April 4, 2016
Contact: Rebecca Ennen
“We congratulate our fellow activists in New York who worked tirelessly to achieve this momentous victory for working families, and salute the elected leaders who listened to their voices and took action. Today’s families need both higher wages and paid leave to pay the bills, care for children and loved ones, and have a fair shot at a decent life. We’re excited to see New York lead the way– leadership we hope the DC Council and Mayor Bowser will follow."
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2016
Contact: Josh Nanberg, 267/242-7268
EXPERTS TELL COUNCIL: COST OF PAID LEAVE FOR ALL LOW,
BUSINESS AND COMMUNITY BENEFITS SIGNIFICANT
Days after DC area was named “most expensive place to raise a family,” Council hears testimony on plan to offer 16 weeks paid family and medical leave to DC residents and employees.
It's simple: Strong leave policies are good for businesses. Just read the words of Susan Wojcicki in the pages of the Wall Street Journal last year. Seventeen years ago, she was the first employee to take maternity leave at a small startup called Google.
It's the holidays, and many of us are looking forward to spending the season with our loved ones. But while we can plan around calendared holidays, there are many times that our families need us unexpectedly. So before Mayor Bowser goes on vacation, will you take a moment to remind her that we need her leadership on Paid Family Leave?
Please take 5 minutes to write a personalized note about why you support paid leave for everyone living or working in DC. Personal emails, as opposed to form letters, are more likely to be read and responded to.
"Paid family leave is vitally important to building and maintaining healthy families and strong communities in DC."
That's the crux of a blog post by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute that came out today. DCFPI Executive Director Ed Lazere argues that a strong paid leave program will especially help low- and moderate-income DCers remain financially stable even when life circumstances are anything but.
Last Wednesday, several dozen invited experts testified before the DC Council about our paid family leave bill, the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015. One witness was Jacob Feinspan, Executive Director of lead coalition partner Jews United for Justice.
Jacob spoke movingly about his own experience caring for a premature newborn, and how this inspired him to offer paid parental leave to the JUFJ staff. Read the rest of Jacob's testimony below.
Exciting news: Public Policy Polling just released a survey of DC voters, and an overwhelming majority - 80 percent! - agreed that DC needs paid family and medical leave.
Of those voters, most supports the full 16-week period of paid leave called for in the paid leave bill currently before the DC Council.
Last Thursday, partner group MomsRising helped organize a lobby day at the DC Council. Moms, moms-to-be, and some precious cargo told Councilmembers why DC needs paid family and medical leave. The National Journal was there to capture some of the advocates' stories. Read them here.
The Washington Post's Editorial Board wrote a misguided and inaccurate editorial about the bill for Paid Family Leave in DC. In response, several people wrote letters to the Washington Post Editor with corrections to show why they care about Paid Family Leave for DC. Here are some of the letters that show why DC needs Paid Family and Medical Leave.
Click to read more
It's been a pretty wonderful week here at the Paid Family Leave coalition. On Tuesday, seven District of Columbia Councilmembers joined together to introduce the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015, which would provide family and medical leave for everyone who lives or works in the District.
There's a reason so many small businesses and nonprofits have signed on to the Paid Family Leave coalition. Strong, fair leave policies benefit workers AND bosses. David Alpert is a local writer who covers urban policy for Greater Greater Washington. He's also a father and an employer. Here's why he supports paid family and medical leave for everyone who works or lives in DC.
This past week at the Sixth & Wee event, a monthly gathering for young families at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, moms, dads and babies came together to learn about Paid Family Leave and write letters to the DC council members!