Dear DC Councilmembers,
I am disappointed that the DC Council did not advance the DC Universal Paid Leave act before the legislative session wrapped up. When the Council reconvenes in September, I expect paid family and medical leave to be made a top priority. We can't afford to wait any longer! Here's why:
DC has the highest infant mortality rate of all capital cities in the developed world. Studies show that paid leave reduces infant mortality rates.
Thousands of DC families are living paycheck-to-paycheck and not having access to paid family and medical leave means that when a new baby arrives or a serious illness strikes, their economic security is in great danger. In fact, nearly half of Americans would have trouble finding $400 to pay for an emergency, let alone an emergency on top of missed paychecks.
1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime – and that’s just one disease. Everyone facing a life-threatening disease deserves to be able to take paid medical leave when they are receiving treatment.
Mental health is as real of a health concern as anything else. 1 in 7 women experiences postpartum depression in the year after they give birth. Some new moms need access to paid family and medical leave to treat mental illness and longer maternity leave reduces the risk of developing postpartum depression. This is why we need 16 weeks of paid family and medical leave!
Thank you for all that you do. Please #LeadonLeave in September!