Family Activists

Yair Buendia, Oregon

Yair was a high school student and member of Juventud Faceta, a Latino youth group in Eugene, when he learned of the paid sick days campaign. This was an issue that deeply affected families in his community. Because his mother

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David Deary, Rhode Island

Life changed dramatically for David and his wife when their second son, Caleb, was born with a rare genetic brain malformation that left him profoundly disabled. Early on they met a parent advocate from the RI Parent Information Network (RIPIN)

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Nancy Yarbrough, Wisconsin

Nancy Yarbrough knew exactly where she should be when her mother’s health deteriorated – at her side in the hospital. That meant a month without pay. So when she met the head of Wisconsin 9to5 and heard their coalition was

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Natasha West-Baker, Seattle

Natasha learned about the Seattle paid sick days campaign while working at a major grocery store in 2010. Although workers earned paid sick days, she says, “it was almost unusable; you had to be sick for three consecutive days to

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Kim Schofield, Georgia

Kim first heard of the Family Care Act, which would ensure those who earn paid sick days can use the time to care for family members, from her state senator, who referred her to Atlanta 9to5. As someone who’d been

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Sara Orris, Connecticut

Sara Orris, a teacher for 14 years, has an 11-year-old daughter Natalie with a rare genetic condition. Last year after a grueling surgery and hospital stay, Natalie needed around-the-clock care for six weeks. Sara had five “critical illness” days and

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Safiyyah A. Muhammad, New Jersey

Safiyyah remembers walking by a NJ Citizen Action table at a NJ Black Issues Convention, where she was receiving an award for peer support to parents of kids with special needs, and the word “SICK” caught her eye. Saffiyah knew

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Emanuel McCray, Baltimore

Having cancer is stressful enough – but it’s even worse when you have no paid sick days to see a doctor or receive treatment without being docked your pay. Outside of the military, none of the jobs Emanuel McCray has

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Inneshia Hart, New York

Inneshia first heard about the paid family leave insurance (PFLI) campaign in New York at an 1199 SEIU conference for home health aides. When an organizer asked people to share their stories, Inneshia described what happened after the birth of

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Fabiola Gonzalez, Denver Colorado

Fabiola had been working at her retail job for four years when her dad became ill. She took a week when he had surgery, but had to go back because she couldn’t afford unpaid time. Her dad never regained consciousness.

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