February 17, 2016
Making a Difference One Testimony at a Time
By: Dr. Yanira Cruz

This post originally appeared on the NHCOA blog.

United, we can make a difference! We can pass Universal Paid Leave for Washington, D.C.!

On February 11, 2016, it was my privilege to represent Washington D.C.’s Hispanic community in testifying at the public hearing for the Washington, D.C. Universal Paid Leave Act. I spoke about the critical importance of paid leave to all of the City’s families by providing people who work hard the time off they need to care for their families, whether they need time to care for a sick older adult or disabled family member or a child who needs time to bond or medical care. I mentioned that Hispanic families benefit greatly from paid leave because they are often employed in jobs that do not provide benefits or the pay level to cover unpaid leave.


This is a critically important issue for our communities and I was excited to see hundreds of people attending the hearing in hope of making a difference. Testimonies at the hearing described people losing their jobs because of serious health issues and the challenges faced by expecting mothers, families and caregivers. Business owners and local and national advocates also testified. A copy of the testimony can be accessed at http://bit.ly/1TcEgwM

I and the others who testified want to thank the DC Council Members for listening to our stories. Special thanks is due to Chairman Phil Mendelson, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, and Councilmember David Grosso for their support of the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015. We are also grateful to the many advocates and volunteers who took time to make this issue a priority. It’s time to make a change and vote to pass the Universal Leave Act of 2015.
To keep the momentum from the hearing going, you can join us to make a difference. Following are some of the actions you can take to help us pass the Universal Paid Leave Act of 2015!

  1. Send a personal email to your lawmakers explaining why you and your city need this legislation.2. Tweet at your lawmakers! Their handles and sample tweets are here. Use #PaidLeave4DC.
  2. Sign the new petition and SHARE it with your friends, family, etc. on social media but also via email! Maybe with a snippet of your testimony.

Remember that united we can make a difference!

To watch the testimony, click here: http://bit.ly/2402C1Q
To read the testimony, click here: http://www.nhcoa.org/?p=5699


The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Diverse Elders Coalition.