This month California is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its first-in-the-nation Paid Family Leave (PFL) program, which has helped more than 1.5 million parents. But despite the track record, too few parents are taking advantage of the program, and those parents who may need it most are least likely to sign up.
We need a living wage so workers can be effective on the job and at home. We need to close the wage gap so working women and minorities aren't discriminated against and have more money to spend as consumers. And we need paid sick days, which are not only morally right, but are sound fiscal and business policy.
Let's celebrate with the same spirit as the women whose activism sparked the holiday in the first place. Let's celebrate by taking action. Support the women around us. Fight for family-focused public policy. Lift up women in office who are writing these policies, and elect more women like them. A card is nice. Change is better.
The shifts in our economy have shown how easy it is to fall into poverty, and how hard it is to climb out. There is no upside to the fraying of the social safety net, no matter how some policymakers attempt to defend it. The consequences can be disastrous for families, disruptive to communities and a drain on the economy.
As a father of two in a family where both parents work outside the home, I know how difficult it is to be both a good parent and a good worker. The good news is that the FAMILY Act would be low cost for employers and employees.This policy is not just good for families and businesses -- it also makes economic sense.