I’ve been an advocate and organizer in the United States for nearly 20 years and have spent much of that time focused on the problem of achieving equality for women. I've found that this country's lack of paid time off—paired with the unequal distribution of unpaid family care responsibilities—is at the root of women’s inequality and family instability.
Because this country lacks a national paid leave policy, 1 in 4 women
are back at work within 10 days of giving birth. And 1 in 7 low-wage workers
say they have lost a job due to a personal illness or needing to care for a child or parent. Federal paid leave policy in the United States is long overdue, and the only thing standing in our way is the political will to win it.
Building political will is what I do. Over the course of my career, I’ve been a part of countless winning campaigns that have had real impact on people’s lives – ending the Boy Scouts of America's anti-gay policy, getting dangerous chemicals out of consumer products, passing paid family leave in the state of New Jersey and paid sick days in Connecticut, and so much more. Four years ago, impatient about the lack of paid leave in the United States, I asked myself “What would it take to win paid leave in the United States?” And I wrote a plan.
That plan became PL+US: Paid Leave for the United States, a national campaign to win federal policy by 2022.
Our approach is straightforward:
Step 1: Change workplace practices and policies
Step 2: Make paid leave politically beneficial for legislators
Step 3: Build public demand for high-quality policy