Below is an email from feminist activist and author Gloria Steinem. Gloria, the Working Families Party, and Ai-jen Poo of the National Domestic Workers Alliance created a petition on SignOn.org, the nonprofit site that allows anyone to start their own online petition. If you have concerns or feedback about this petition, click here.
Dear NYC MoveOn member,
I don't have to tell you that working women are under attack. The economy is putting a tighter and tighter squeeze on our ability to make ends meet. And too many politicians seem deaf, or even hostile, to the needs of working women.
Today tens of thousands of activists here in New York City are doing something about it. We're uniting to call on New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to allow a vote on the paid sick days law—because no one should ever have to lose a paycheck or a job just because they or their child gets sick.
I'm asking you to join us:
Why? Because of people like Celina. She was a cook at a restaurant in Queens when a heart problem put her in the hospital for a few days. When she got out, not only did she lose pay for the days she missed, she found there wasn't even a job there for her when she recovered. I'll say it again: she lost her job just for getting sick.
If you have paid sick days it's easy enough to take them for granted. If you or your child gets sick, you stay home to recover or go to the doctor. You are not punished financially for taking care of your health or your children. It's time to ensure all working women—and men—have the same economic security.
Paid sick days are important for the workers, but also for the rest of us. Most people without paid sick days work in industries where we can least afford to have sick workers. But if a waitress or day care provider can't afford to take a day off, her only alternative is to go to work sick or send her child to school sick. And that puts everyone else at risk.
Not surprisingly, New Yorkers overwhelmingly favor the proposal. The bill is co-sponsored by more than two-thirds of the City Council. But passage has been held up by Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who has refused to allow a vote on the bill.
Today, we're rallying because we need an outpouring of support to break the logjam. And we need your help.
We'll deliver the signatures directly to Speaker Quinn.
–Gloria Steinem, Ai-jen Poo, and the Working Families Party