While DC’s Paid Family Leave officially takes effect today, without funding, advocates warn that D.C. residents won’t be able to access benefits until after 2020. And having paid family leave can be the difference between life and death, says Kimberly White (right), a private security officer and member of SEIU 32BJ. White’s 14-year-old son David has already been to the hospital several times over the last year due to multiple sclerosis and seizures. “I thought David’s life and my life would change under the Universal Paid Leave law that provides eight weeks of paid parental leave, six weeks of paid family leave and two weeks of paid medical leave,” said White. “Little did I know that more than half a million workers in the District, including me, could be years away from these benefits and that they are in jeopardy of being out of reach for many of us.” The DC City Council is now delaying this program and attempting to replace it with a weaker version backed by corporate lobbyists. “Those of us who live below the poverty line desperately need a truly universal paid family leave program to ensure families struggling to make ends meet receive the support they need,” says White. Read more here. Working Families Party senior advisor Valerie Ervin will discuss DC Paid Family Leave on WPFW’s "Arise!" show this morning with guest host Chris Garlock. Listen at 89.3FM or online; Also on the show will be NNU Co-President Jean Ross, on the future of health care.
DC LABORFest 2021