Happy National Family Caregiver Month!
I have worked on Paid Family Leave for over 15 years and this year feels different. We are moving into our Statewide Meeting preparation in a time of exciting movement and momentum at the local, state, and national level. It's up to us -- the parents, caregivers, advocates, and on-the-ground organizers -- to take this momentum in the direction of winning Paid Leave for All. If we work together we can win the changes we need in California to make our law inclusive, job-protected, and with adequate compensation so that everyone benefits. From our work last year with Human Impact Partners, we learned that there is a need to ramp up awareness and support for family caregivers who need to take time to care. Read our report: Understanding Working & Caregiving: An Analysis. And check out the factsheet we'll use to educate policy makers this year. Let's make 2020 a year to remember for parents and caregivers in California!
Coalition Members Testify in the Capitol
Photo Credit: Assemblymember Keven McCarty
On November 20th, Coalition Director, Jenya Cassidy, and Dr. Donna Benton from the USC Family Caregiver Resource Center, joined Coalition members Mitch Steiger (California Labor Federation), Jenna Gerry (Legal Aid at Work), and Sarah L. (Parent) to testify before the Joint Senate Select Committee on Women, Work & Families and the Assembly Select Committee on Women in the Workplace to highlight findings from the California Budget and Policy Center's new report Paid Family Leave: Helping Workers Balance Career and Caregiving Commitments. In honor of National Familly Caregiver Month, Cassidy and Benton emphasized the barriers caregivers face in accessing Paid Family Leave and Coalition members talked about the importance of both caring and bonding leave.
Caregiver Conference Highlights Need for Advocacy
The USC Leonard Davis Family Caregiver Support Center, led by Coalition member Dr. Donna Benton, hosted its annual Caregivers Are Learning More (CALM) Conference this month. The conference provided resources, information, and advocacy opportunities to strengthen the Los Angeles caregiver community. Coalition staff, Melisa Acoba, presented a workshop on Paid Family Leave. In a classroom of about 30 people, all of whom identified as caregivers while working, only one person had taken Paid Family Leave -- and that was for bonding. Like many, caregivers in the room relied upon paid sick days to manage their caregiving needs, worried about reprisal from their employer, and ran out of sick days so they were unable to care for their own health. The importance of advocating for job protected paid leave and more paid sick days cannot be overemphasized, as caring for loved ones should not jeopardize caregiver health or economic security.
Working Toward an Age-Friendly California
Great news! This year, Governor Gavin Newsom committed to creating an age-friendly California by calling for a Master Plan for Aging. Donna Benton, who sits on the California Master Plan for Aging Advisory Committee, encouraged all conference participants to consider their needs and share them through the public comment period, which ends on December 13. Learn more about the California Master Plan for Aging HERE. Share your feedback and take the Pledge for Action!
RSVP Today: The Annual Statewide Meeting is December 17th in Oakland
Join Coalition members from across California to discuss and plan our work together for 2020! We have a lot to plan and a lot to celebrate this year! In 2020, we see new opportunities to build leadership in the districts and across the state with regional trainings, local legislative visits, and organizing with members, parents, and caregivers in outreach, education, media, and policy work to expand access to Paid Family Leave.
Date: December 17, 2019
Time: 9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Location: 1000 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94607
Help us win family-friendly workplaces for all workers by expanding California's Paid Family Leave!
Your tax-deductible donation will move us closer to our vision of a California where all people have the time, resources, and support systems to care for themselves and their families and to lead meaningful, healthy, and happy lives.