Third Paid Sick Days Summit: Advocates Motivated For Change

by | May 6, 2010 | Paid Sick Days

On April 26, more than 200 advocates from 19 states and D.C. gathered in Washington, D.C. for the National Partnership’s third Paid Sick Days Summit. This year, the summit was part of a broader work-family conference, “Making It Work: Advancing Workplace Policies for the 21st Century,” which the National Partnership co-hosted with Family Values @ Work. The summit opened with insightful commentary on the policy and economic climate by national pollster Celinda Lake, Department of Labor Assistant Secretary of Policy Bill Spriggs, and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro’s Deputy Chief of Staff Letty Mederos, and the broader conference ended with impassioned remarks by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. See the full agenda here.

After engaging in interactive discussions, a working lunch, and afternoon skills-building workshops, participants commented enthusiastically about the “excitement in the room” and “the wealth of information presented.” They said the conference demonstrated the “power of the movement” and showed “momentum.”

To help advocates learn more about paid sick days, the National Partnership released its paid sick days briefing book, “Everyone Gets Sick. Not Everyone Has Time To Get Better” at the Summit.

Taking their excitement to Capitol Hill the following day, advocates met with members of Congress and congressional staff to discuss paid sick days and paid family leave as part of a day of action. The day began with keynote remarks from the Vice President’s Domestic Policy Advisor, Terrell McSweeny, and advocates were treated to a fiery speech by Healthy Families Act sponsor Senator Chris Dodd. Representative Lynn Woolsey, a work-family champion, shared her own personal work-family story to underscore the importance of public policies that address workers responsibilities at home and at work.

As advocates returned from their Hill visits throughout the day, National Partnership staff had the opportunity to debrief with them in real-time to hear about the impact the advocates’ personal stories had on members and staff and to strategize about the arguments we need to develop to make our case even stronger.

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