DC Council: Implement the Universal Paid Leave Act now
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I want to tell you about my hero -- my son, David. He’s 14-years-old, and he lives with me in Washington Highlands in Ward 8 in Washington, D.C.
In our family, we talk about abilities, not disabilities. David is famous for his ability to make people laugh, and to make them feel less insecure around people with different abilities. That’s the incredible nature of my child -- he brings joy to everyone he meets.
He also faces challenges. David has Multiple Sclerosis, is partially deaf, and has seizures. And it means that he has to go to the doctor, a lot. When he has an emergency, I need to be with him. I’m the only support for my son.
I was so excited when DC passed the Universal Paid Leave Act last year because it would provide the support me -- and so many families in DC -- need.
But now our paid family and medical leave law -- which was widely supported by DC voters and businesses -- is under attack because some of our council members are working with corporate lobbyists to weaken and delay paid leave protections for DC families.
Just a year and a half ago, my son had to be rushed to the hospital after a seizure. My boss at the time called me while I was at the hospital demanding to know when I was coming back to work. I have a new job now, with a supervisor who is very supportive of my family and paid family leave. But I remember the days when I worried about how to balance being a mom of an incredible son with special medical needs and not lose my job and the income we depend on. Without the Universal Paid Leave Act, for many families in my community and across the District it’s an impossible balance.
Without the protections of paid family leave, every day is a challenge to keep my family afloat, and I can’t provide the care my son needs without the ability to support us.
Council members are being pressured nonstop by corporate lobbyists to repeal and replace the bill that provides the best solution to our city’s caregiving crisis. Gutting protections for working families is shameful. We elected the DC Council to represent us, not lobbyists. Let’s send a message to the DC Council -- sign my petition today.
Paid family leave helps protect our livelihoods so DC families can provide much needed care to our love ones. Families with medical needs can’t wait. Implement the Universal Paid Leave Act now.
--Kim White, DC Resident in Ward 8
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