Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Statement on House Passage of Build Back Better Act

RELEASE: Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Statement on House Passage of Build Back Better Act

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 19, 2021

RICHMOND — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act, which will deliver much-needed relief for working families in Virginia.

“We are incredibly grateful to Reps. Elaine Luria (VA-02), Bobby Scott (VA-03), Donald McEachin (VA-04), Abigail Spanberger (VA-07), Don Beyer (VA-08), Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) and Gerry Connolly (VA-11) for voting for the Build Back Better, which includes the robust investments in care that families need,” said Kristina Hagen, director of the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. “Families in Virginia desperately need these policies and will benefit greatly from passage of the Build Back Better Act. For too long, we have failed to invest in family friendly policies, leaving working people to pick up the pieces. The Build Back Better Act fundamentally changes this by investing in the care policies families need to care for themselves and recover from the pandemic. This plan won’t cost working families a dime. In fact, it is fully paid for by making sure that large, profitable corporations  and the richest among us pay their fair share.”

The Build Back Better Act includes historic investments in family friendly policies including affordable child care, universal preschool, care for older Americans and people with disabilities, and an extension of the Child Tax Credit and paid family and medical leave. Specifically, the Build Back Better Act will:

  • Provide universal and free preschool for all three- and four-year-olds, the largest expansion of universal and free education since states and communities across the country established public high school 100 years ago.
  • Make the largest investment in child care in the nation’s history, saving most working families more than half of their spending on child care.
  • Deliver affordable, high-quality care for older Americans and people with disabilities in their homes, while supporting the workers who provide this care.
  • Provide more than 35 million households up to $3,600 (or $300 per month) in tax cuts per child by extending the American Rescue Plan’s expanded Child Tax Credit.
  • Create a comprehensive, permanent paid family and medical leave program to provide all working people with up to four weeks of paid time off to care for themselves, a loved one or a new child.

The bill now makes its way to the US Senate.

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Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Statement on Build Back Better

Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Statement on Build Back Better

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 28, 2021

RICHMOND — Today, President Biden and Congressional leadership announced the final Build Back Better Act, which will deliver much needed relief for working families.

The Build Back Better Act includes historic investments in family friendly policies including affordable child care, free preschool, care for older Americans and people with disabilities, and an extension of the Child Tax Credit that has provided relief to millions of households.

“These programs will be transformative for Virginia families, and we want to take this moment to thank Senator Mark Warner, Senator Tim Kaine, and our congressional delegation for their strong leadership on behalf of Virginia families,” said Kristina Hagen, Director of the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. “These investments lay the foundation for further investments in our working families. That is why, with just five days left in the 2021 election cycle, we are leaning in on our full support for Terry McAuliffe for Governor, Hala Ayala for Lieutenant Governor, and Mark Herring for Attorney General, all of whom are running on a platform of fighting for and lifting up working families. Paid family medical leave, paid sick days, quality childcare and affordable eldercare are all on the ballot next Tuesday, November 2nd. We look forward to electing a family-friendly statewide ticket and majority in the House of Delegates.”

The Build Back Better framework announced this morning includes:

  • Universal and free preschool for all 3- and 4-year-olds, the largest expansion of universal and free education since states and communities across the country established public high schools 100 years ago.
  • The largest investment in child care in the nation’s history, saving most working American families more than half of their spending on child care.
  • Affordable, high-quality care for older Americans and people with disabilities in their homes, while supporting the workers who provide this care.
  • An extension to the American Rescue Plan’s expanded Child Tax Credit, providing more than 35 million households with up to $3,600 (or $300 per month) in tax cuts per child.


Families in Virginia desperately need these policies and will benefit greatly from passage of the Build Back Better Act. For too long, we have failed to invest in family friendly policies, leaving working people to pick up the pieces.

The Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy endorsed Terry McAuliffe for Governor, Hala Ayala for Lieutenant Governor, and Mark Herring for Attorney General earlier this year based on their strong commitment to fighting for policies that lift up working families like paid family and medical leave.

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Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Launches October GOTV Storybook

Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Launches October GOTV Storybook

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2021

~ Special edition features candidate stories from across Virginia ~

RICHMOND — Today, the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy (VA CFFE) launched its October Storybook. Every month, VA CFFE publishes stories of working Virginians, small business owners, healthcare providers and patient advocates from every corner of the Commonwealth to highlight the need for a statewide paid family and medical leave program in Virginia.

This month’s special “Get Out The Vote” edition features candidate experiences from across Virginia, emphasizing the reality that every Virginian has a story that reflects just how critical paid family and medical leave is. As Greg Sargent wrote in the Washington Post yesterday, paid leave is a central issue in these elections, in part because it is so relevant in the lives of voters and candidates alike.

“Family-friendly policies like paid family and medical leave are on the ballot this November,” said Kristina Hagen, Director of the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginians have a choice. Do we want to elect leaders who will address the many cracks in our system that the pandemic has laid bare by passing policies like paid family and medical leave? Or, do we elect leaders who will continue to put the interests of the wealthy ahead of hardworking families?”

Each of the stories in the October Storybook highlights the consequences working Virginians and families face because of the absence of a statewide paid family and medical leave policy. This month’s stories include:

  • A welcome from Dorothy McAuliffe, Chair of the VA CFFE Paid Leave Advisory Board
  • Del. Candi King, HD02
  • Bridgette Craighead, HD09
  • Del. Wendy Gooditis, HD10
  • Del. Sam Rasoul, HD11
  • Del. Chris Hurst, HD12
  • Del. Danica Roem, HD13
  • Del. Elizabeth Guzman, HD31
  • Michelle Maldonado, HD50
  • Del. Luke Torian, HD52
  • Sara Ratcliffe, HD58
  • Del. Lashrecse Aird, HD63
  • Del. Karrie Delaney, HD67
  • Del. Delores McQuinn, HD70
  • Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg, HD72
  • Del. Alex Askew, HD85
  • Del. Jay Jones, HD89
  • Del. Martha Mugler, HD91
  • Dr. Mark Downey, HD96
  • Dr. Ella Webster, HD98

This is VA CFFE’s second candidate storybook. The June Storybook featured :

  • Terry McAuliffe, candidate for Governor
  • Del. Hala Ayala, candidate for LG
  • AG Mark Herring, candidate for AG
  • Derek Kitts, HD07
  • Del. Kelly Fowler, HD21
  • Debra Gardner, HD27
  • Del. Kathleen Murphy, HD34
  • Del. Dan Helmer. HD40
  • Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, HD45
  • Del. Alfonso Lopez, HD49
  • Briana Sewell, HD51
  • Rachel Levy, HD55
  • Blakely Lockhart, HD56
  • Dr Ben Moses, HD59
  • Caitlin Coakley, HD65
  • Katie Sponsler, HD66
  • Irene Shin, HD86
  • Del. Suhas Subramanyam, HD87
  • Del. Mike Mullin, HD93
  • Del, Shelly Simonds, HD94
  • Del. Marcia “Cia” Price, HD95

For more information about the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, please visit http://www.familyfriendlyeconomyva.org.

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Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, Voices for Virginia’s Children, Save the Children Action Network Launch September Storybook

Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, Voices for Virginia’s Children, Save the Children Action Network Launch September Storybook

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 27, 2021

Stories Highlight the Need to Pass the Build Back Better Act, Including Comprehensive Paid Family and Medical, Extending the Expanded Child Tax Credit, and Investments in Child Care

RICHMOND — Today, the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, Voices for Virginia’s Children and Save the Children Action Network launched their September Storybook. The organizations released the following statements:

Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy

“For too long, Virginia families have struggled in the absence of paid leave and affordable childcare. The temporarily expanded child tax credit has relieved some of that burden, allowing families to catch up on bills as we emerge from the pandemic. We need to extend this tax credit and finally enact paid leave for all. These stories clearly demonstrate that the urgency of this moment cannot be overstated — families across the Commonwealth need Congress to pass the Build Back Better Act and make sure policies like paid leave and childcare investments are included.”  

Voices for Virginia’s Children

“We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to put families first by passing the Build Back Better plan. The gaps in our system have exposed that families need the total package—child care, paid leave and economic supports—to survive challenging times. Our leaders can demonstrate that they are hearing these stories from working families and responding to their needs by supporting these issues in state and federal recovery plans.”

Save the Children Action Network

“Right now Congress is debating legislation, called the Build Back Better bill, that is a once-in-a-generation investment in our nation’s kids.  Save the Children Action Network is thrilled to be partnering with VA’s Family Friendly Economy to make sure these important first-hand stories about child care challenges are heard.”

Each of the stories in the September Storybook highlights the consequences working Virginians and families face because they do not have access to paid family and medical leave or other core care infrastructure. These powerful stories illustrate the challenges many families face today and the positive difference a paid leave program could make for families across the Commonwealth — particularly for those with children in their care.

This month’s stories include:

  • Abida, Richmond
  • Afrikka, Chesterfield
  • Brandy, Rocky Mount
  • Chrischa, Virginia Beach
  • Christina, Chesterfield
  • Crystal, Rocky Mount
  • Danny, Richmond
  • Deanna, Richmond
  • Detron, Charlottesville
  • Dominique, Chesterfield
  • John, Virginia Beach
  • Lauren E., Richmond
  • Lauren S., Henrico
  • Megan, Moseley
  • Monica, Henrico
  • Sara, Chesterfield
  • Shannon, Chesterfield
  • Tashyra, Orange
  • Tylesha, Norfolk
  • Zashira, Roanoke

 

This is the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy’s sixth storybook. The April storybook is available here; the May storybook is available here; the June storybook is available here; the July storybook is available here; the August storybook is available here.

For more information about Voices for Virginia’s Children, visit https://vakids.org/.

For more information about Save the Children Action Network, visit https://savethechildrenactionnetwork.org/.

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Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Endorses Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala and Mark Herring

Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Endorses Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala and Mark Herring

Candidates Will Fight for Policies Critical To Working Families, Including Paid Family and Medical Leave

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug 12, 2021

Richmond, Va. – Today, the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy (VA CFFE) endorsed a statewide ticket of candidates for election in November who will put families first: Terry McAuliffe for Governor, Hala Ayala for Lieutenant Governor and Mark Herring for Attorney General. Each of these candidates supports family friendly policies including paid family and medical leave, paid sick days and affordable childcare and elder care.

McAuliffe, Ayala and Herring each released videos today reiterating their support for family friendly economic policies, which are available here. Additionally, they all received VA CFFE’s Family Friendly Seal of Approval during the primary elections and shared their personal paid leave stories as part of VA CFFE’s June storybook.

“Terry McAuliffe, Hala Ayala and Mark Herring know that family friendly policies like paid family and medical leave are good for families and good for the economy, said Kristina Hagen, Director of the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. “As one of the only states to hold statewide elections this November, Virginia voters have a chance to signal to politicians here and across the country that family friendly policies are a winning issue.”

“Policies like paid family and medical leave are about helping working people,” said Terry McAuliffe, 72nd Governor of Virginia and current candidate for Governor. “I started my own driveway sealing business as a teenager. One thing I’ve learned again and again since then is that when you take care of working families, businesses thrive and the economy grows. I’m proud to have earned this endorsement from the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy and look forward to working with them to build an economy that works for working families.”

“When my son was born, we both experienced significant health complications and my job offered no paid leave, paid sick days or insurance, said Delegate Hala Ayala, candidate for Lieutenant Governor. “I know how thin the line between struggle and success can be for working families, which is why I’m committed to working with the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy to pass policies that make it easier for working families to get by.”

“The pandemic has exposed a reality that many families in Virginia already knew: Too often, working people are forced to choose between caring for their families and paying the bills,” said Attorney General Mark Herring, candidate for reelection. “This isn’t good for our communities or our economy. As Attorney General, I’ve fought to ensure Virginia is the best state in the nation to live, work and raise a family. I look forward to continuing to partner with the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy on this important work.”

For more information about the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, please visit http://www.familyfriendlyeconomyva.org.

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Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Launches July Storybook Featuring Families Who Need Paid Family and Medical Leave

Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Launches July Storybook Featuring Families Who Need Paid Family and Medical Leave

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 13, 2021

Stories Highlight the Need to Pass the American Families Plan, Which Includes Comprehensive Paid Family and Medical Leave

RICHMOND — Today, the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy launched our July Storybook. Every month, Va-CFFE publishes stories of working Virginians, small business owners, healthcare providers and patient advocates from every corner of the Commonwealth to highlight the need for paid family and medical leave in Virginia.

“With the U.S. Senate back in session and actively considering the path forward for the American Families Plan, which includes comprehensive paid family and medical leave, now is the time to listen to families across the Commonwealth about what a lifesaver this policy would be,” said Kristina Hagen, director of the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. “Families shouldn’t have to choose between being there for their loved ones and paying the bills. Now is the time to ease the burden on working families and pass this policy.”

Each of the stories in the July Storybook highlights the consequences working Virginians and families face because they do not have access to paid family and medical leave. These powerful stories illustrate the struggles many face today and the positive difference a paid leave program could make for families across the Commonwealth. President Biden’s American Families Plan would create a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, helping families across the Commonwealth ease the burden working families face.

This month’s stories include Courtney in Alexandria, whose family was able to benefit from DC’s paid leave program. We also feature Victor in Richmond, Executive Director of the Substance Abuse & Addiction Recovery Alliance of Virginia, on why paid leave is critical to ensuring access to treatment for those who suffer from substance use disorder and addiction. Derrice, a small business owner in Lynchburg, highlights what paid leave would mean to her. And our very own community organizer, Laura, who was able to benefit from the emergency paid leave funding under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

This month’s stories include:

  • Allexus, Chesterfield: Parental leave
  • Brent, Virginia Beach: Parental leave
  • Candace, Richmond: COVID
  • Courtney, Alexandria: Parental leave & the DC paid leave program
  • Deondra, Richmond: COVID
  • Derrice, Lynchburg: Small business owner
  • Diana, Hampton: Family leave & addiction
  • Jamie, Arlington: Parental leave
  • Jamie, Culpeper: Family medical emergency
  • Jenny, Chesterfield: Parental leave
  • Karen, Arlington: Eldercare
  • Latoya, Stafford: Family leave
  • Laura, Vienna: Benefited from paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • Lequita, Norfolk: Parental leave
  • Maria, Burke: Family leave
  • Rae, Chesterfield: Mental health & medical emergency
  • Roxanne, McLean: Parental leave & family leave
  • Samantha, Henrico: COVID
  • Sandy, Springfield: Family leave
  • Victor, Richmond: Advocate for individuals and families affected by substance use disorder and addiction

This is the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy’s fourth storybook. The April storybook is available here; the May storybook is available here; the June storybook is available here.

For more information about the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, please visit http://www.familyfriendlyeconomyva.org.

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RELEASE: Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Launches June Storybook — Candidate Edition

RELEASE: Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Launches June Storybook — Candidate Edition

~ Special edition features candidate stories from across Virginia ~

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 17, 2021

RICHMOND — Today, the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy launched our June Storybook. Every month, Va-CFFE publishes stories of working Virginians, small business owners, healthcare providers and patient advocates from every corner of the Commonwealth to highlight the need for a statewide paid family and medical leave program in Virginia.

This month’s special edition features candidate stories from across Virginia. As we look ahead to the November elections, leaders from across the Commonwealth are running for office, hoping for the opportunity to represent their community. This month’s storybook highlights how every Virginian has a paid leave story – an example from their lives and careers that highlights just how critical access to paid leave and caregiving infrastructure is for Virginia families.

“This month, we are showcasing the lived experiences of Virginia candidates and their families, and how those experiences inspired them to run for office and become the change they want to see,” said Virginia Campaign Director Kristina Hagen. “There are a record number of good, hardworking folks across our great Commonwealth who are running for office this year to make a difference for their communities and who share our vision of a Virginia economy that lifts up all families.”

Each of the stories in the June storybook highlights the consequences working Virginians and families face because of the absence of a statewide paid family and medical leave policy. These powerful stories illustrate the struggles many face today and the positive difference a paid leave program could make for families across the Commonwealth. This month’s stories include:

  • Terry McAuliffe, candidate for Governor

  • Del. Hala Ayala, candidate for LG

  • AG Mark Herring, candidate for AG

  • Derek Kitts, HD07

  • Del. Kelly Fowler, HD21

  • Debra Gardner, HD27

  • Del. Kathleen Murphy, HD34

  • Del. Dan Helmer. HD40

  • Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, HD45

  • Del. Alfonso Lopez, HD49

  • Briana Sewell, HD51

  • Rachel Levy, HD55

  • Blakely Lockhart, HD56

  • Dr Ben Moses, HD59

  • Caitlin Coakley, HD65

  • Katie Sponsler, HD66

  • Irene Shin, HD86

  • Del. Suhas Subramanyam, HD87

  • Del. Mike Mullin, HD93

  • Del, Shelly Simonds, HD94

  • Del. Marcia “Cia” Price, HD95

For more information about the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, please visit http://www.familyfriendlyeconomyva.org.

Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Releases Pre-Primary “Family Friendly Seal of Approval” Scorecards

Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Releases Pre-Primary “Family Friendly Seal of Approval” Scorecards

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 1, 2021

 

RICHMOND — Today, with one week left in the 2021 primary season and as we head into the final Democratic gubernatorial debate this evening, the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy awarded its “Family Friendly Seal of Approval” to three candidates for governor, six for lieutenant governor and dozens of House of Delegates candidates for their support of critical family-friendly workplace policies.

Candidates who are being awarded the “Family Friendly Seal of Approval” are certified by VA-CFFE to be champions of family friendly economic policy, notably:

  • Paid Family and Medical Leave;

  • Paid Sick Days;

  • Quality Childcare; and

  • Affordable Elder Care.

 

“Now more than ever, Virginians need to know where candidates for office stand on issues like paid family and medical leave, which will be critical to the public health and economic recovery from COVID,” said Kristina Hagen, director of the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. “Families across the Commonwealth are demanding these policies. The Family Friendly Candidate Seal of Approval is designed to help voters identify and support candidates who will stand up for the needs of their families.”

The Family Friendly Seal of Approval is available to all candidates running for statewide office and for the House of Delegates, meaning that more than one candidate in a race can receive it. The Family Friendly Seal of Approval does not constitute an endorsement from VA CFFE and does not signal financial support from VA CFFE. VA CFFE will not make endorsements in primary races. Only candidates who have received the Family Friendly Seal of Approval will be considered for future general election endorsements. For candidates facing a nominating contest, the deadline to submit the VA-CFFE questionnaire was Friday, April 30. For all remaining candidates, the deadline is this Friday, June 4. Statewide candidates are listed below alphabetically; House of Delegates candidates are listed by district.

PRIMARY CANDIDATES

GOVERNOR

Jennifer Carroll Foy

Terry McAuliffe

Jennifer McClellan

LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR

Hala Ayala

Mark Levine

Andria McClellan

Sean Perryman

Sam Rasoul

Xavier Warren

ATTORNEY GENERAL

Mark Herring

Jay Jones

HOUSE OF DELEGATES (Primary Candidates)

Del. Candi King, House District 02

Derek Kitts, House District 07

Del. Elizabeth Guzman, House District 31

Rod Hall, House District 31

Idris O’Connor, House District 31

Kara Pitek, House District 31

Jennifer Adeli, House District 34

Del. Kathleen Murphy, House District 34

Holly Hazard, House District 38

Del. Kaye Kory, House District 38

Elizabeth Bennett-Parker, House District 45

Del. Mark Levine, House District 45

Del. Alfonso Lopez, House District 49

Michelle Maldonado, House District 50

Linnard Harris Sr, House District 66

Katie Sponsler, House District 66

Dawn Adams, House District 68

Del. Jeff Bourne, House District 71

Richard Walker, House District 71

Del. Lamont Bagby, House District 74

Del. Steve Heretick, House District 79

Scott Flax, House District 82

Irene Shin, House District 86

Del. Jay Jones, House District 89

Zach Filtz, House District 99

GENERAL ELECTION CANDIDATES (NB: Questionnaire submissions are still being accepted.)

HOUSE OF DELEGATES

Leslie Merris, House District 04

Dustin Wimbish, House District 08

Bridgette Craighead, House District 09

Del. Wendy Gooditis, House District 10

Del. Sam Rasoul, House District 11

Del. Chris Hurst, House District 12

Del. Danica Roem, House District 13

Douglas Ward, House District 18

Del. Kelly Fowler, House District 21

William Helsley, House District 26

Debra Gardner, House District 27

Del. Joshua Cole, House District 28

Annette Hyde, House District 30

Del. David Reid, House District 32

Paul Siker, House District 33

Del. Mark Keam, House District 35

Del. Vivian Watts, House District 39

Del. Dan Helmer, House District 40

Del. Eileen Filler-Corn, House District 41

Del. Kathy Tran, House District 42

Del. Paul Krizek, House District 44

Del. Charniele Herring, House District 46

Del. Patrick Hope, House District 47

Briana Sewell, House District 51

Del. Luke Torian, House District 52

Del. Marcus Simon, House District 53

Rachel Levy, House District 55

Blakely Lockhart, House District 56

Del. Sally Hudson, House District 57

Ben Moses, House District 59

Jasmine Gore, House District 62

Del. Laschrecse Aird, House District 63

Michael Drewry, House District 64

Caitlin Coakley, House District 65

Del. Karrie Delaney, House District 67

Del. Betsy Carr, House District 69

Del. Schuyler VanValkenburg, House District 72

Del. Rodney Willett, House District 73

Del. Clint Jenkins, House District 76

Del. Don Scott, House District 80

Jeffrey Feld, House District 81

Del. Alex Askew, House District 85

Del. Suhas Subramanyam, House District 87

Del. Angelia Williams Graves, House District 90

Del. Martha Mugler, House District 91

Del. Jeion Ward, House District 92

Del. Mike Mullin, House District 93

Del. Shelly Simonds, House District 94

Del. Cia Price, House District 95

Mark Downey, House District 96

Ella Webster, House District 98

Finale Norton, House District 100

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Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Launches May Storybook

Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy Launches May Storybook

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 4, 2021
CONTACT: Kristina Hagen, 703-314-6405

 

RICHMOND — Today, the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy launched the May Storybook. Every month, Va-CFFE publishes stories showcasing the experiences of working Virginians, small business owners, healthcare providers and patient advocates from every corner of the Commonwealth to highlight the need for a statewide paid family and medical leave program in Virginia.

This month’s featured story is Elizabeth in Falls Church. She was diagnosed with severe Crohn’s Disease at a young age, but her parents had access to paid leave so they were able to be with her all through her various hospitalizations and treatment without worrying about how they were going to pay their bills. Other families aren’t so lucky. But as an adult, Elizabeth worked a demanding job and had no access to paid medical leave for the times she needed medical care. She pushed too hard to stay on the job, got sick and required hospitalization, and was let go from her job.

“As a child, I had access to the best medical care, and the care of my mother and father whenever I needed them,” said Elizabeth. “My heart broke for all the kids at the hospital who did not have that privilege. As an adult, it is ever more clear to me how broken our system is. I sacrificed my very body over and over again for my job, but still I was let go at the drop of a hat. We have got to do better.”

Each of the 20 stories in the May storybook highlights the consequences working Virginians and families face because of the absence of a statewide paid family and medical leave policy. These powerful stories illustrate the struggles many face today and the positive difference a paid leave program could make for  families across the Commonwealth. This month’s stories include:

  • Abigail, Sterling: Parental leave
  • Audra, Henrico: COVID & special needs
  • Cherise, Hampton: Family emergency
  • Dean, Roanoke: Family emergency
  • Eileen, Hanover: Medical provider
  • Elizabeth, Falls Church: Chronic health
  • Ginger, Alexandria: Medical leave
  • Kelly, Chesterfield: Child care
  • Kera, Buena Vista: Parental leave
  • Keyona, Norfolk: Parental leave
  • Kirsten, Newport News: Parental leave
  • Lee, Alexandria: Medical leave
  • Mike, Roanoke: Small business owner
  • Nancy, Ashburn: Medical leave
  • Natalie, Dinwiddie: Black maternal health
  • Nichole, Providence Forge: End of life care
  • Roberta, Woodbridge: Medical leave
  • Shamila, Fredericksburg: Family leave
  • Siddeeqah, Roanoke: Parental leave
  • Tamiko, Gloucester: COVID & eldercare

 

For more information about the Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, please visit http://www.familyfriendlyeconomyva.org.

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