We’re Just 1 Vote Shy of Winning 12 Weeks Paid Parental Leave for City Workers! Urge Councilmembers to Support 12 Weeks Paid Parental Leave, Pack City Hall for Final Budget Votes! – Monday, Nov 23 @ 2 pm
This week our movement won many important budget victories. We doubled funding for Career Bridge, youth apprentice programs, and for the tenant education and organizing at the Tenants Union and Solid Ground. We helped win an additional $2.3 million to address homelessness, while also increasing funding for YWCA shelters and creating the first U District Urban Rest Stop. But the budget battles are not over.
We can still win 12 weeks paid parental leave for City of Seattle employees – we only need one more vote!
Councilmembers were split 4 -4 on the issue of 12 weeks paid parental leave for City of Seattle employees. Kshama was joined by Councilmembers Nick Licata, Mike O’Brien, and Sally Bagshaw in voting YES. Councilmembers Tim Burgess, Jean Godden, Tom Rasmussen, and John Okamoto voted NO, and Councilmember Bruce Harrell was absent.
Final Budget votes are happening this Monday, November 23, 2 pm at Seattle City Hall.
We need one more vote to win! Here’s how you can help out:
1) Come to City Hall for these Critical Final Budget Votes – Monday, November 23, 2 pm
Councilmembers will vote on whether or not to fund 12 weeks paid parental leave for City of Seattle employees. We need to pack Council Chambers to convince one more Councilmember to vote YES!
2) Email Councilmembers NOW! Urge them to support the budget amendment funding 12 weeks of paid parental leave for City of Seattle employees.
Nicole Grant, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the M.L King County Labor Council, supports this because, “Not only does paid parental leave help buy groceries and pay rent, it saves families upwards of $2000 a month that they would have spent on childcare for their infant.”
Here is a wonderful email, based on a letter she wrote to the City Council. Please copy, paste, and send it to all Councilmembers at: firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBJECT: Support 12 Weeks of Paid Parental Leave for City of Seattle Employees!
Dear Seattle City Councilmembers,
I am writing to urge you to support the budget amendment to fund 12 weeks of paid parental leave for city employees.
Research shows that direct contact with parents during the first three months is crucial to the immediate and long-term health and development of a child. Yet thousands of working people in Seattle, including City employees and their newborns, do not enjoy adequate paid parental leave.
12 weeks of paid parental leave is a feminist issue. Women in Seattle earn just 73 cents for every dollar a man earns. The economic difficulties created from this discrimination are worsened when women take leave from the workplace to care for their newborn children, but do not receive paid parental leave. For single mothers, this situation is particularly difficult.
This is also a question of racial justice for Seattle’s working people. 45% of Black children and 25% of Latino children under the age of five live in poverty, compared to 6% of White children. Parents are largely unable to take the amount of time off work, unpaid, that’s needed to provide the direct contact that experts say is so important to a newborn’s health. Councilmembers now have the chance to change that for City employees.
The City of Seattle took an important first step this year when it approved four weeks of paid parental leave for all City workers. Now it should take the opportunity to fund 12 weeks of paid parental leave for City employees. In doing so, Seattle will provide a strong positive example to private employers and give momentum to help us achieve an even bigger goal of winning paid parental leave for all workers in Seattle.
Please support the budget amendment funding 12 weeks of paid parental leave for city employees.
3) Call Councilmembers Now!
Tell them: “I support 12 weeks of paid parental leave! For workers, women, people of color and our newborn children – vote ‘Yes’ to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for City of Seattle employees.”
BRUCE HARRELL – 206-684-8804; TIM BURGESS – 206-684-8806;
JEAN GODDEN – 206-684-8807; TOM RASMUSSEN – 206-684-8808
JOHN OKAMOTO – 206-684-8802
If our movement succeeds in showing how important this is for women, people of color, and all working people in Seattle, then we can win 12 weeks paid parental leave for City of Seattle employees. That would be a crucial first step towards winning 12 weeks paid parental leave in Seattle as a whole, in Washington State, and across the country.
What: Final Budget Votes
When: Monday, November 23, 2 pm
Where: Seattle City Hall, Council Chambers, 600 Fourth Ave, Floor 2