Target: Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser
Goal: Mandate 16 week paid family leave for D.C. workers.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has yet to stand behind a local bill that would grant the majority of Washington, D.C. employees 16 weeks paid family leave. Though she has not explicitly come out against it, Bowser has yet to clarify her position on this vital bill for local families. As per the 1993 Family Medical Leave Act, the majority of American employees are guaranteed 12 weeks unpaid leave. That basically only insures they will have a job to return to after their hiatus. The proposed bill by council members David Grosso (I-At Large) and Elissa Silverman (I-At Large) would be a revolutionary and monumental step for women and families across the U.S.
The United States is the only wealthy western country that does not allow for long term paid family leave. Various studies have shown the first weeks of an infant’s life are vital to their future development. Infants who spend the first few months bonding with their parents come out ahead in development compared to those whose parents return to work with in weeks of birth. A poll from The Washington Post shows that 82% of voters are behind the bill, which is similar to Medicare. D.C. residents, federal, and private employees would contribute. The fund would pay 100% of the first $1,000 a week and 50% for any additional weeks at a maximum of $3,000.
If the D.C. bill passes, it will be an important stepping-stone and one which will pave the way for a similar national bill. We need to acknowledge the importance of family and offer adequate support to mothers and families. By singing this petition you are showing your support for a basic fundamental issue our country desperately needs to insure healthy stable individuals.
Dear Mayor Bowser,
I’m sure you are familiar with the bill proposed by council members David Grosso and Elissa Silverman, which would grant D.C. employees 16 weeks paid family leave. There is apprehension concerning this controversial bill, but please consider the positive outcomes not only locally but also nationally.
A number of different studies have shown that infants who are given ample bonding time with their parents in the first year of life thrive. The outcome for those who are only given a few weeks is less positive. Imagine the stress on a new family who are adjusting to a new addition, and also must concentrate on being productive employees. Though some adjustments may have to be made, the passing of this bill would provide much needed support for local families. The hope would be that one-day mandatory paid family leave will be the norm.
Please consider approving this bill and providing a much-needed first step to building a more supportive, productive, and thriving country.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Andrés Neito Porras