Westbury, NY - March 25th, 2016 - With the days counting down until the 2016 NYS budget deadline on March 31st, Long Island Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre, Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages, and North Hempstead Councilwoman Vivianna Russell took part in a town hall meeting on Thursday night in Westbury, NY at which they heard from dozens of community members on the need for paid family leave and reiterated their desire for Albany to pass a statewide paid family leave policy this year.
Joined by over 60 community members at the "Yes We Can" Community Center in Westbury, all three elected officials shared their own stories last night as they also heard personal stories from attendees about the need for a statewide paid family leave policy that ensures that no New Yorker has to choose between caring for a newborn or a loved one and paying their bills.
“Our ability to care for those we love in times of need should never depend on the size of our bank accounts. However, this is the reality for working class families. It’s time we place families and the working class first by ensuring employment and financial security for all New Yorkers trying to balance work and family life,” said Assemblywoman Michaelle Solages.
“My family and I personally know how paid family leave can impact your family and how the lack thereof can disrupt your entire household and quality of life. Having a good policy like the Paid Family Leave Act will ensure that families will not be faced with the life or death decision that I had to make. It will be life changing for so many working families in the state of New York,” said North Hempstead Town Councilmember Viviana Russell.
“To ensure a brighter future for families living on Long Island, workers must be able to care for a newborn or respond to family emergencies without risking their financial or job security. This is why I’m fighting for paid family leave legislation, which will give all New Yorkers access to paid time off when their loved ones need care.
Paid family leave puts families first. It ensures more families can afford to call Long Island home. I will continue to work toward making paid family leave a reality for all New Yorkers," said Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre.
The town hall took place in the district of Senator Jack Martins, the Chair of the Senate Labor Committee. County and local legislators also announced at the event that every single Democratic county legislator in Long Island has signed onto a letter calling for the passage of strong paid family legislation, and that four different towns - North Hempstead, Long Beach, East Hampton, and Southampton -- have passed local resolutions urging the same.