Who to Vote for If You Care About Paid Leave

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Could American women finally make federal paid parental leave a reality?

<p><a href="https://linguafranca.nyc/collections/vote/products/vote-t-shirt">Courtesy of Lingua Franca</a></p>

With so many political topics swirling around the 2024 election, there is one economic issue that families across the country are rallying behind: paid leave. Support for paid family leave has never been higher—and this is the year to do something about it. In January, InStyle surveyed more than 2,000 women and nonbinary people across the country and asked participants about a range of issues, including economic opportunity, gun violence, immigration policy, and school curriculums. Among respondents, 57 percent said they would vote for a presidential candidate based primarily on economic issues and 30 percent said paid parental leave is an economic issue they want political leadership to address.

The right to paid family or medical leave is currently not protected by U.S. federal law, but there are several proposals (such as the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act) drafted—and candidates who are fighting to pass them. Oath, a platform that helps donors maximize their impact on the issues they care about, has helped us identify the candidates running for Congress with paid parental leave as part of their platform:

  1. Yadira Caraveo - US House CO-08

  2. Jahana Hayes - US House CT-05

  3. Julia Letlow - US House LA-05

  4. Jessica Morse - US House CA-03

  5. Emilia Sykes - US House OH-13

  6. Jacky Rosen - US Senate Nevada

  7. Andrea Salinas - US House OR-06

  8. Stephanie Bice - US House OK-05

  9. Colin Allred - US Senate Texas

Another organization fighting for changes moms and families deserve is Moms First, which held its inaugural summit in New York City on May 14, 2024. The schedule was packed with powerful keynotes, panels, and discussions bringing together a community of over one million moms and supporters. Notable speakers include Katie Couric and Hillary Clinton, along with InStyle Editor-in-Chief Sally Holmes and Executive Editor Danielle McNally.

<p>Jessica Bal / Moms First</p> Moms First founder Reshma Saujani and Sec. Hillary Clinton at the Moms First Summit on May 14, 2024.

Jessica Bal / Moms First

Moms First founder Reshma Saujani and Sec. Hillary Clinton at the Moms First Summit on May 14, 2024.

Paid leave was on the agenda. New York Governor Kathy Hochul highlighted the state's new first-in-the-nation policy on prenatal leave: 20 hours of paid leave allotted to a pregnant person for her to attend prenatal medical appointments (the law goes into effect in 2025); Clinton noted the "almost visceral" reaction some people (members of Congress, employers) had to providing paid parental leave during the push to pass President Biden's Build Back Better plan; and Moms First founder Reshma Saujani spoke about the expansion of paidleave.ai, their tool for navigating the complex and confusing system of registering for the benefit (if lucky enough to be eligible). A full recording of the day's events can be found here.

If having a federal paid parental leave program is important to you, vote, donate, and spread the word.

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Read the original article on InStyle.