On Tuesday December 20, the DC Council gave us another reason to celebrate this holiday season, voting 9-4 in favor of Paid Family Leave. Led by At-large Councilmembers Silverman and Grosso, as well as Chairman Mendelson, and joined by Councilmembers Allen, Bonds, Cheh, McDuffie, Nadeau, and Robert White, the final bill passed 9 to 4, with Councilmembers Alexander, Evans, May and Todd voting No.
The “employer mandate” amendment introduced by Councilmember Evans, which would have crippled the bill and eliminated its essential character as a social insurance program, was voted down 8-5 (the same line up as above, except for Councilmember Cheh, who voted in favor of this harmful amendment). While Mayor Bowser has said she will not sign the bill, it appears that she will not veto it, given the veto-proof vote. Read more here…
What a tremendous victory for DC workers, who will enjoy 8 weeks of paid leave for a baby, 6 weeks for a family member, and 2 weeks for personal sick leave! How heartening it is to know that a handful of large businesses, while exercising undue influence in our government, nevertheless do not enjoy a complete stranglehold when ordinary citizens are active and mobilized.
DC4D was proud to be a member of the DC Paid Family Leave Coalition, which led this campaign. We owe a particular debt of gratitude to Jews United for Justice (JUFJ), one of our consistent progressive allies, in leading this effort.
If you were one of the many DC4D members who phoned, emailed, tweeted, lobbied or were present in the Council chamber for the vote, you deserve the thanks of every DC resident. You showed that it is not sufficient to vote in elections; we must actively support good policies (and oppose bad ones). It also showed that electoral campaigns are crucial to enlightened policies. We are proud of our role in helping elect Councilmember Silverman, who was instrumental in passing this legislation, and in Councilmember Robert White’s upset victory this year.
So as you celebrate this holiday season, drink a toast to our win on Paid Family Leave!