Sunday, June 17, 2007

Support Paid Family Leave!

From Mom'sRising:

The New York State Legislature is buzzing with talk about paid family leave, but the Assembly and Senate both have to pass a Paid Family Leave bill off the floor by Friday, June 21st! So, now's the time to contact your State Legislator to express your strong support for this policy. Even if you contacted your State Legislator on this issue several weeks ago, it's time to do it again!

*To quickly fax your State Legislator today, click here.
(Here's how it works: Just click the link above, fill out the form with your name and address so the database can match up to your legislative district, edit the freshly drafted sample letter (or not), then hit "Submit." This will send your email directly to your legislators without you ever needing to look anything up. It's nearly magic!)

THIS JUST IN: After passing paid leave in Washington, we're seeing momentum in New Jersey and Oregon too! Help keep it going!

ENCOURAGEMENT FROM THE ASSEMBLY: Here's what New York Assemblymember Cathy Nolan (a strong proponent of Paid Family Leave and the prime sponsor of a version of the bill) has to say, "Thank you so much for your work on this important issue! It's critically important that your legislators hear from people like you who will directly benefit from this new program. With your help, we can make Paid Family Leave a reality in 2007. Please email your legislators today."

Let's do it! Let's pass this legislation this year!

THE FACTS: The Paid Family Leave bill would provide up to twelve weeks of wages (up to $170 weekly) for employees in the case of birth, adoption/foster care, or a serious illness of the member of the worker's family. Currently, the federal Family & Medical Leave Act provides job-protected leave to large employers, but it is unpaid. The program would be funded by an extremely small employee paycheck deduction, not from employers, which ensures families are supported when they need it most without harming businesses. A similar program is now in effect in California, and was recently passed by the Washington State legislature.

Working together we truly can make a difference--and the more people we have involved, the bigger the impact we'll make!

Thank you! Best - The MomsRising Team

p.s. In case you want some inspiration for action, here're a few facts to ponder:

* The United States is one of only 4 countries in the world that doesn't offer some form of paid leave to new mothers--we join Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, and Liberia with that dubious distinction. It's time to catch up with the rest of the world.

* Paid family leave has been shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20% (and the U.S. ranks a low 37th of all countries in infant mortality), as well as to help keep families out of poverty.

* Right now, having a baby is a leading cause of "poverty spells" in this country (poverty spells are a time when income dips below what's needed for basic living expenses like food and rent). And a full quarter of families with children under six years old live in poverty here. We need paid family leave to help New York's families, to decrease poverty, and to lower infant mortality.

p.p.s. The New York Times did a piece about this Paid Leave just last week!

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