Health Care

Paid Leave for All National Bus Tour kicks off from Rhode Island

“We have the opportunity to finally catch up to the rest of the world, to finally do something meaningful for every working family in this country, to build back better and to make history, by finally passing Paid Leave for All in the United States,” said Dawn Huckelbridge, National Director of Paid Leave for All. “Paid leave is a tool for public health, for economic resilience and growth, and for racial and gender equity.”
Photo for Paid Leave for All National Bus Tour kicks off from Rhode Island

Published on August 2, 2021
By Steve Ahlquist

The Paid Leave for All National Bus Tour kicked off from Providence on Monday, beginning a 13 city tour to call on Congress to pass a national paid leave policy as part of the next infrastructure bill. All four members of Rhode Island’s congressional delegation were scheduled to be on hand, but Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse were both in Washington working on the infrastructure bill. United States Representatives James Langevin and David Cicilline, both supporters of a national paid leave program, were on hand.

The United States (along with Papua New Guinea) is one of the only two countries in the world that doesn’t guarantee any form of paid leave – yet paid leave enjoys broad bipartisan support as a top issue for voters in key battleground states heading into 2022.

“We have the opportunity to finally catch up to the rest of the world, to finally do something meaningful for every working family in this country, to build back better and to make history, by finally passing Paid Leave for All in the United States,” said Dawn Huckelbridge, National Director of Paid Leave for All. “Paid leave is a tool for public health, for economic resilience and growth, and for racial and gender equity.”

“I’m so proud that Rhode Island became to third state to pass paid leave in 2014. It’s nice to see Rhode Island leading the way,” said Representative James Langevin. “But it’s far past time that we have a uniform policy for all 50 states.”

“This is actually a national embarrassment and it’s time we fixed this,” said Representative David Cicilline. “No one should have to choose between caring for a sick family member and their job. Taking time to grieve for a lost loved one or getting a paycheck. It’s just wrong, plain and simple…”

“New research from AARP shows that nearly 8 in 10 of those caring for an adult family member face regular out of pocket costs with the highest burden falling on younger caregivers or those who are Hispanic/Latino or African American,” said Catherine Taylor of AARP Rhode Island. “We have to shore up the financial stability of this crucial, unpaid caregiving workforce.”

“I was a recipient of our paid leave program here in Rhode Island twice, as I have two children,” said working mother Shaylene Costa, a medical assistant and community doula. Costa was able to keep her medical appointments and keep her apartment due to paid leave.

“As a small business owner I know without paid leave eventually you lose your workers,” said Christine Paige, owner of Bliss Medical Hair Replacement Center. “To implement paid leave is smart because life happens to all of us.”

“I fight for paid leave as a parent, as a son, as a husband, and just as human being that believes in dignity and that no one should have to risk losing their job to care for a loved one,” said State Representative Joshua Giraldo (Democrat, District 56, Central Falls).

“We are now on the cusp of winning a national paid leave that recognizes all families, that provides enough income that people can afford leave, and guarantees enough time to heal and care for others,” said State Senator Gayle Goldin (Democrat, District 3, Providence).

Director Hucklebridge wrapped everything up.

Paid Leave for All’s Rhode Island partners include Economic Progress RI, RI Paid Leave Coalition, RIte from the Start, RI Kids Count, AAP-RI, and AARP Rhode Island.

Music provided by the Extraordinary Rendition Band
Refreshments courtesy of the Café Modesto truck
Shaylene Costa
Christine Paige
David Cicilline
Gayle Goldin

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