We are a grassroots
coalition. Our mission
is to improve the
economic well-being
of mothers and other
family caregivers.

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Talk To Your Legislators

Your state legislators and U.S. Senators and Representatives are answerable to you. You hired them and you pay their salaries (and their pensions and health care benefits!) You have every right to communicate with them on issues that matter to you and your family. Do not be intimidated. In most cases, your elected representatives will be delighted to hear from you, the constituent.

You can phone, email, fax, or arrange a personal meeting with a legislator.
Find your state legislator here.

Find your members of Congress here: www.senate.gov ; www.house.gov

Whether calling, emailing, writing, or appearing in person, remember to:

  • Identify yourself as a constituent
  • Identify the bill or issue you mean to address
  • Be as brief as possible
  • Specify what action you want the legislator to take (oppose a bill, support a bill, etc.)
  • Don’t forget to provide your contact information in case of follow-up.

 

Make a personal visit
Members of the US Congress have offices in Washington, D.C. as well in their home districts. You can visit them in either place. Similarly, state legislators have offices in the state capital and in their particular districts, and will meet with you in both. There are several excellent sources for tips on meeting with your legislators:
Click here for instructions for scheduling a meeting with your members of congress.
Click here for instructions on meeting with legislators face to face.

Issues by State:
Each state’s legislature or general assembly has a website. You can find out if legislation has been introduced by searching that site using key words or phrases, if you don’t know the bill number. The National Partnership for Women & Families publishes a yearly summary of state by state progress on the issues of family leave, sick leave, paid leave, and related subjects.
Click here to view "States and Cities Taking on Paid Leave in 2007"

Balancing Act
Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey of California has introduced a massive work/life bill called “The Balancing Act”. It contains a number of provisions including expanding the Family Medical Leave Act to more workers and providing paid leave, parental leave for teacher conferences or routine doctor visits, after school programs, and pension and health insurance benefits for part-time workers, just to name a few. Because the bill is so large and contains a variety of issues which would have to be debated separately by different Congressional subcommittees, in its present form the bill is unlikely to become law. However, it is a very useful “message piece”, which has put the government’s role in reconciling work/life conflict in focus, and sparked dialogue which would not otherwise have occurred.
You can find the bill and related information
here
You can find Rep. Woolsey’s explanation of it
here

Healthy Families Act
Proponents of paid sick days have introduced this bill in both the House and the Senate. The bill would provide full time workers with 7 paid sick days a year, to be used for their own illness, or to care for an ill or injured family member. Part-time workers would receive paid sick days in proportion to the hours they worked. The bill would only apply to employers with at least 15 employees.
You can find the bill and related information
here
Congress has released a fact sheet
here

The Dodd’/Stevens Family Leave Insurance Act
Currently, when a worker takes family medical leave under the federal law, the Family Medical Leave Act, (FMLA), the leave is not paid. While millions of Americans have taken the leave to bear or adopt a child, recover from an illness or injury, or care for an injured or ill family member, millions more eligible employees do not take leave because they can’t afford to miss a paycheck. Senators Dodd and Stevens have introduced a bi-partisan bill proposing that 8 of the 12 weeks available under FMLA should be paid. The rate of compensation would be a percentage of income, ranging from 100% for incomes no greater than $20,000 per year, to 40% of earnings up to $97,000 per year. Both employers and employees would contribute 0.2% of the worker’s wages, and the employment must have lasted 12 months before the paid leave would be available. You can find Senator Dodd’s discussion of family medical leave
here. You can find his bill to expand it here. You can find the bill and related information here

 
Mothers Centers