Family Values @ Work Activists Celebrate Wins at National SummitJuly 21, 2011
“Energized for the next efforts.”
“Proud to be part of this movement.”
“Grateful for the opportunity to share my story at the Congressional Reception. That will be something I will always remember.”
These were just a few of the comments shared by the 150 delegates from Family Values @ Work states who attended the National Summit on Paid Sick Days and Paid Family Leave in Washington, DC, July 11-12. In all, nearly 240 people from 23 states and the District of Columbia gathered for the chance to celebrate our wins and share successful strategies for expanding them.
The Summit, co-hosted by Family Values @ Work and the National Partnership for Women & Families, showcased the diversity of our movement. Union members joined business owners, worker activists, and leaders from movements for racial and gender justice, an end to violence, the rights of children, seniors and those with disabilities. They talked with national allies, researchers and policy experts, while sharing their own expertise.
Workers like Donald Bentley from California, Paula Broderick from Connecticut and Amador Rivas from New York City spoke to participants about the human costs of not having paid sick days. Donald described the extensive care he’s proud to provide to his brother, George. “I’m humbled and saddened to hear so many stories of others who struggle with caring for their loved ones and for themselves … but with no ability to tap into a paid leave program like I have,” Donald said.
Among the business owners presenting were Makini Howell, a restaurant owner from Seattle, Jim Houser, who runs an auto repair shop in Portland, and Dewetta Logan, owner of a child care center in Philly. All of them agreed: providing paid sick days is the smartest way to retain valuable employees. As Makini Howell put it, “the cost I can’t afford is losing good employees. And I, for one, don’t want to serve you up H1N1 with your fries.”
At a reception on Capitol Hill, Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Women’s Bureau Director Sara Manzano-Díaz praised the work being done by these activists and pledged their support for policies such as paid sick days.
Click here for more stories from workers and business leaders active in Family Values @ Work.