BlogEconomic Justice
October 11, 2012

Moms with Babies Roll on City Hall

Photo courtesy of Monifa Bandele/Mom's Rising
Photo courtesy of Monifa Bandele/Mom’s Rising

Last week, MomsRising.org along with over a hundred New Yorkers rolled on City Hall for a stroller brigade in support of working parents and their children. They came from all over the city with babies in tow to deliver more than 50,000 petitions and a message to New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn: Bring the paid sick days legislation to a vote!

Why were these babies and mamas fired up? There’s a bill sitting in the New York City Council with 37 sponsors that would allow more than a million New Yorkers to earn paid time off to use when they are sick or to take care of sick child, spouse or parent. We know we have the votes to move that bill and there is overwhelming public support for it but Speaker Quinn is holding it hostage.

Earned sick days make good public health policy. When people go to work sick or send their children to school sick, they spread germs and other people get sick. What’s more, people who don’t have earned sick days are more likely to be in jobs where they are in regular contact with other people, with children, with older adults or with food. Almost 90% of workers handling food, and 43% of workers in close contact with children and the elderly do not have paid sick time.

It’s not hard to do the math there.

Earned sick days are good for the economy too! They would help to reduce health care costs, reduce the spread of contagion,

Photo courtesy of Monifa Bandele/Mom's Rising
Photo courtesy of Monifa Bandele/Mom’s Rising

protect people’s jobs and financialsecurity, and boost businesses’ productivity. Seattle, San Francisco, and Connecticut have successfully enacted paid sick days policies. And in San Francisco, a recent survey has shown that paid sick days have NOT had the negative consequences opponents feared, the policy was easier to implement than anticipated, and employees are not abusing the system – in fact, employees are taking less than half the days they have earned.

No worker should ever, ever have to choose between losing a day’s pay and staying home to recuperate from illness or to care for a sick child. A majority of the New York City Council members recognize this and are prepared to vote to support earned sick days. Speaker Quinn’s refusal to allow a vote on this bill is unfair to the more than a million New York workers, many of them moms, who have to face the impossible choice between their families’ health and their jobs.

Join the call and sign today! http://action.momsrising.org/sign/NYC_paidsickdays/

 

This blog was originally posted on Momsrising.org.

About this author

Monifa Bandele

Monifa Bandele

Monifa Akinwole-Bandele is a blogger, human rights activist, community engagement consultant, and a co-founder and coordinator for 10 years of the Black August Hip Hop Project, an international activist/artist alliance, with ties in Cuba, South Africa, Tanzania, Venezuela and Brazil. Black August is one of the many programs of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM). As an activist with MXGM, Monifa works on issues of police brutality and political prisoners. Monifa currently serves as the food and economic security campaign director for MomsRising.org, an organization of more than one million members, and the senior training advisor for the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP). Prior to joining NCBCP she led a national campaign to expand voting rights to people with felony convictions in 15 states as the national field director for the Brennan Center for Justice Right to Vote Campaign (RTV) effectively expanding voting rights to more than 250,000 people. A little known fact about Monifa is that her first husband was the artist formerly know as Prince! ;)

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