WHAT THEY ARE SAYING: State and Local Leaders Highlight the Urgent Need for the Paid Family Leave Investments in President Biden’s American Families Plan

On Thursday, dozens of state and local leaders and organizations across the country reacted to President Joe Biden’s proposed investments in the American Families Plan to create a national comprehensive paid family and medical leave program.

Governors, mayors, state lawmakers from across the country highlighted the urgent need to support workers and families by making a critical investment to promote equity – and in turn, strength – of the economy.

Here is what they are saying:

Governors

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont: “Like @SecMartyWalsh said, paid family and medical leave ensures that no person has to make the choice between saving the life of a loved one or their life savings.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf: “The option to take leave to tend to a sick family member, care for a newborn, or grieve the loss of a loved one should be a right –– not a luxury. Thank you to @POTUS for prioritizing paid leave for all workers in the American Families Plan.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham: “#PaidLeave keeps mothers in the workforce, increases labor force participation and supports economic growth. I signed guaranteed paid sick leave into law in New Mexico. And I support a national program and @POTUS ‘ American Families Plan. Workers expect and deserve this dignity.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Democratic Governors Association: “Democratic governors are leading to charge to make #PaidLeave a reality at the state level — in New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Colorado, California, Oregon, and Washington. Now it’s time to pass the American Families Plan.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Mayors

National Conference of Democratic Mayors: “As a former mayor, @SecMartyWalsh knows firsthand that a community is strongest when families are supported. America needs paid leave across the board.” [Tweet, 6/9/21] 

National Conference of Democratic Mayors: “The U.S. is one of the only nations in the world that doesn’t guarantee #PaidLeave. Our families — and our economy — simply deserve better. @POTUS’ #AmericanFamiliesPlan sets us on the right path.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley: “Dayton was the first major Ohio city to pass paid parental leave for city employees. Nearly 1 in 4 mothers return to work within 2 weeks of giving birth. Paid leave is vital to the stability of working families. Please join me in support of the #AmericanFamiliesPlan.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson: “I am excited to welcome @USDOL @SecMartyWalsh to Dallas to discuss the #AmericanJobsPlan and #AmericanFamiliesPlan. Coming out of a pandemic that exacerbated and highlighted longstanding challenges, we have the opportunity to invest in our families and build for our future. ” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan: “Seattle is proud to be a national leader on #paidleave with sick & safe time protections for workers & families through @OLS_SEA. The pandemic showed how essential it is for our essential workers to have access to basic rights & why we need @POTUS Biden’s #AmericanFamiliesPlan” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman: “We’ve done it in St. Pete. It benefits everyone. #PaidLeave” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto: “Mayor @billpeduto supports paid leave included in the #AmericanFamiliesPlan. Paid leave can reduce racial disparities in wage loss for workers, improve child health, improve employee retention & increase women’s labor force participation.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf: “This pandemic has highlighted the importance of paid family leave. No one should have to choose between a job or taking care of themselves and their loved ones. TY @POTUS @VP for prioritizing 12 weeks of paid family medical leave in the #AmericanFamiliesPlan!” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: “In L.A. we’ve launched initiatives like a Paid Parental Time pilot for City employees to support the economic security of thousands of workers. With @POTUS’ #AmericanFamiliesPlan, we can make national #PaidLeave a reality and create a better workplace for all American families.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

State Lawmakers

Arizona State Representative Jennifer Longdon: I was joined by @perezmaya_ for the @WhiteHouse briefing on #PaidLeave. Together, we learned more about how the #AmericanFamiliesPlan helps small business and everyday Arizonans. Maya is an @ASU grad considering public service and perhaps a run for office one day. #BrightFuture [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Indiana State Senator Shelli Yoder: “Workers lost $22.5 billion in wages last year because we’re missing critical social infrastructure. Parental paid leave has been shown to keep mothers in the workforce, increase labor force participation and boost economic growth. As we head out of this pandemic, we’ve seen first-hand that our social safety net is filled with holes. The rich & powerful tend to be fine when their business goes under, but when working people need parental or medical leave, it regularly halts their career. Investing in our families is a top priority of mine and the American Families Plan will do just that. Creating a comprehensive paid leave program that provides up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave, I’m proud to support the AFP and hope our congressional delegation will do the right thing for working Hoosiers. #AmericanFamiliesPlan” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Indiana State Senator J.D. Ford: “Parental paid leave has been shown to keep mothers in the workforce, increase labor force participation and boost economic growth while lack of paid leave options cost workers $22.5 billion in lost wages each year. The #AmericanFamiliesPlan is an investment in our families, creating a comprehensive paid leave program that provides up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. I’m proud to support it, and hope our congressional delegation will do the right thing for working Hoosiers.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Indiana State Senator Jean Breaux: “The next step in protecting working parents is establishing a national parental and medical paid leave program, and the Biden Administration is working to do just that.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Indiana State Senator Greg Taylor: Workers lose $22.5 billion a year due to lack of paid leave, and that affects our entire nation. Check out how President Biden’s American Families Plan world address paid leave in our country.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Indiana State Senator David Niezgodski: Universal paid leave is a necessity in any industrialized nation, and I’m glad to see our president working to pass the American Families Plan and support our working families. J.mp/3pGnBai.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Missouri State Representative Crystal Quade: “The #AmericanFamiliesPlan is an investment in our communities. By expanding access to parental and medical #PaidLeave we’re backing the middle class and creating jobs. Read how the #AmericanFamiliesPlan will make #PaidLeave the new normal.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Pennsylvania State Senator Maria Collett: “On this Day of Action for #PaidLeave, I’m calling on my colleagues in Pennsylvania and our partners in Washington to act. Let’s make access to paid family and medical leave part of our new normal. #SB580 #AmericanFamiliesPlan” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Rhode Island State Senator Gayle Goldin: “We’ve passed paid leave in 10 states, now let’s make sure everyone who works in the US has access to it when they need it most. Thank you for including #paidleave in the #AmericanFamiliesPlan” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Rhode Island State Senator Gayle Goldin: “In 2019, I joined CA & NY senators to make it clear that everyone needs paid leave. Back then, we only had the #FAMILYAct, now we also have @RepRichardNeal & @POTUS plans! Clapping hands sign Let’s make #paidleave happen in 2021!” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Rhode Island State Senator Gayle Goldin: “I first ran for office to make paid leave a reality in Rhode Island. Since its passage in 2013, thousands of Rhode Island families have benefited. It’s time we make paid leave a reality for everyone in the US. TY @SecMartyWalsh Let’s get this done!  #AmericanFamiliesPlan” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

South Dakota State Senator Reynold Nesiba: “Creating a comprehensive paid leave program that provides up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave is good for SD families and businesses. I support the AFP and hope our congressional delegation will do the right thing for working South Dakotans. #AmericanFamiliesPlan” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Utah State Representative Brian King: “We need a national (and state!) paid leave program to support families in our state and country. This is a no-brainer in a state that supports #familyvalues! Glad that Democrats are leading out on this issue. #AmericanFamiliesPlan #utpol” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Utah State Representative Rosemary Lesser: I fully support this! It’s good for Utah’s workers and Utah families. #AmericanFamiliesPlan #utpol [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

Washington State Senator Karen Keiser: “This is so true! Congress needs to catch up to Washington too. Our #waleg passed paid family leave helped tens of thousands of families last year. It’s time for Congress to catch up to Colorado on paid family leave” [Tweet, 6/9/21] 

The NewDEAL: “#NewDEALers know how important #PaidLeave is to the health of our economy. It has been shown to keep mothers in the workforce, increasing labor force participation and boosting economic performance.” [Tweet, 6/10/21] 

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