POTUS Action Helps Working Families Succeed as Caregivers and ProvidersJanuary 21, 2015
President Underscores Commitment with Invitation to Maryland Paid Sick Days Sponsor
Following President Obama’s State of the Union remarks on paid sick days and paid family leave and recognition of First Lady Michelle Obama’s guest State Sen. Catherine Pugh, sponsor of the Maryland paid sick days bill, Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work, applauded the President for his initiatives to advance these policies and congratulated the Family Values @ Work network of coalitions that helped trigger the President’s actions.
State Sen. Catherine Pugh’s guest at the address is Melissa Broome, a member of Family Values @ Work, head of Maryland’s paid sick days campaign and a parent who was able to be with her son following a surgery because of her access to paid sick days.
“The President’s remarks tonight are game changing,” said Bravo. “We celebrate his unprecedented call for a package of measures to help the millions of families across the country without access to paid sick days and paid family leave. These steps move us closer to a future in which workers aren’t forced to send their kids to school sick, leave their parents at the hospital to recover alone or fall into bankruptcy when they have a baby.
“As we continue to fight for these policies nationally and on the local level across the country, it’s incredible to have President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama recognize one of our own by inviting Maryland State Sen. Catherine Pugh to the address as their guest. And it’s a great honor and a testament to the Family Values @ Work Maryland coalition’s work that Sen. Pugh brought its leader Melissa Broome with her to the State of the Union.
“Millions of working families already know what a difference these laws and programs can make for their ability to be good caregivers and good providers. These issues are at the core of families’ financial stability and the health of our economy. They flesh out the President’s call for higher wages and an end to inequality. Paid sick days and paid family leave are about jobs and income – ways for families to stay employed and hold on to their wages.
“After a year of historic wins on work-family issues like paid sick days and paid family leave, President Obama has taken up the torch of so many workers, business owners, advocates and families in our network who have been fighting for these basic workplace protections for years. And he has called for elected officials at the national, state and local level to heed his warning and follow his lead. He understands no parent should have to make the gut-wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home – and so should every elected leader. As he pointed out, these issues won wherever they were on the ballot in November – and should be put to a vote in Congress.”
Following years of fighting for paid sick days and paid family leave nationally and in cities and states from Seattle to Orlando, from California to Massachusetts, 2014 marked a historic year of wins for the Family Values @ Work network, including a sweep of ballot measures in the midterms. Currently, three states and 15 cities have passed paid sick days laws, and three states have paid family and medical leave programs.
Family Values @ Work members in all 21 states in the network sent letters to the President asking him to take the very steps he laid out in his State of the Union address.
Family Values @ Work is a network of coalitions in 21 states fighting for policies that help Americans be good providers and good caregivers.