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Celebrating Netsy Firestein, a Leader in Paid Family Leave

September 16, 2013


Friends of Netsy Firestein wanted to honor her work with something beautiful and enduring, like the impact of her decades of organizing. So we commissioned artist Favianna Rodriguez to create this drawing.

A long-time activist for labor unions and working women, Netsy Firestein founded the Labor Project for Working Families twenty years ago to deepen and make more visible the engagement of labor in work and family issues. Under her leadership, the group has served as a clearinghouse for best practices in bargaining, organizing and participating in labor-community coalitions to win new public policies like paid sick days and family leave insurance.

Netsy led the successful fight in California to establish the first statewide paid family leave program in the nation. Because she knew activists in other states wanted to establish similar programs as well as to win paid sick days, Netsy helped create the network that became Family Values @ Work, to ensure resources could go directly to grassroots initiatives. She gladly shared her insights and experience with leaders in other coalitions and helped spark a wave of wins.

Although she is moving on from the Labor Project, whose national work is now housed at FV@W, Netsy will continue to be a leader in this fight. We’re honored to count her as sister.




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