On January 23rd, 2020 breastfeeding advocates from the California Breastfeeding Coalition partnered with the California Work & Family Coalition for an Advocacy Day. More than 60 breastfeeding advocates visited 55 different State Assemblymembers and State Senators to educate them about the importance of job-protected paid family leave. Participants shared powerful stories with the legislators about the connection between job-protected paid family leave and breastfeeding outcomes. Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson addressed Advocacy Day Participants and spoke about the need for job-protected paid family leave for all Californians.
Three members of the California Breastfeeding Coalition wrote about their experiences during Advocacy Day for the Coalition Blog!
Rupal Asodaria and California Breastfeeding Coalition members at a visit
Rupal Asodaria was a first time participant in an advocacy day:
“As we know, paid family leave has an impact on breastfeeding success rate. The longer families have at home with their newborns for bonding, better productivity and benefits to generate thriving community in the future. Many California families are unable to use Paid Family Leave due to a lack of job protection and low payments. Over the span of a career, most working adults need to take some time off to take care of the new baby or aging parents or personal illness. We need job protection in California to win #PaidLeaveforall”
Emily Bowen co-led a group during the visits:
Our group was fortunate enough to be able to meet with two legislators personally even though we had made appointments with their staff. One of our group members was able to recognize the Assemblyman in the hallway and he spent several minutes with us discussing paid family leave and its connection with breastfeeding. In the second instance, because we were a few minutes early the staff person was not yet back in the office and the Assemblyman greeted us at the door and allowed us into his office to chat about the issues while we waited. Being prepared paid off!
Emily Bowen, Asm. Kevin Kiley and Jennifer Delugach
Ericka Dorsey not only participated in the Advocacy Day, she presented about it at her daughter’s school the very next day!
“On January 23rd I had the pleasure of attending my third advocacy event at the Capitol with the California Breastfeeding Coalition, Legal Aid at Work, and the California Work & Family Coalition. As always, it is such a pleasure to work with these organizations who so thoughtfully and intentionally explain and represent our interest in supporting families in their breastfeeding journey. I was able to meet with the staff of my district's senator, Cathleen Galgiani and had a wonderful time sharing my story with her and others about the struggle of balancing family and career and the difficult choices we have to make as mothers.
Ericka Dorsey and California Breastfeeding Coalition members visit Asm. Patrick O'Donnell
I also had the pleasure of sharing my experience at my daughter's school the following day. I was able to talk to several classes of students ranging from 4th-8th grade about the importance of advocacy and just how important their voices are to their state and local legislators. I taught them about my passion of educating women on the benefits of breastfeeding and advocating for the right for women and families to have paid family leave, time which allows them more flexibility and options for their families. I engaged the children in an activity to identify issues that they cared about and we talked through ways those issues or ideas could be presented to legislators, all in all, it was a wonderful opportunity for the students to learn just how important their voice is, regardless of age.”
Thank you to Coalition members the California Breastfeeding Coalition, Legal Aid at Work, ACLU, BreastfeedLA and the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence who were important partners in planning this day.
Robbie Gonzalez-Dow and California Breastfeeding Coalition members on a visit
If you would like to participate in visits to legislators either in your district or in Sacramento, please email email@example.com and we will be sure to let you know when there are opportunities to see your legislator.