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"Dadvocates" Press Congressional Leaders for Paid Paternity Leave

The "Dadvocates" also held a previous paid leave day of action in Washington D.C. in October 2019. (PL+US)
The "Dadvocates" also held a previous paid leave day of action in Washington D.C. in October 2019. (PL+US)
January 23, 2020

SAN FRANCISCO -- A group of men who go by the name "Dadvocates" is pressing California's congressional leaders for action on paid parental leave.

The men on Thursday will deliver petitions with 40,000 signatures to the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy in support of federally mandated paid family leave.

Attorney Charles Stone, one of the Dadvocates, says paid leave allows families crucial bonding time that pays dividends for years to come.

"It's not just about the fact that you're forming these important relationships for the rest of your life," he states. "It's also about just the mental health and spiritual health of the family as a whole."

The United States is the only industrialized country that does not have a national paid leave program.

California has a state-based family leave program that pays partial salary for 12 weeks, but many families can't afford to take advantage of it.

The petition, called the Pledge for Paternity, is on the website of the Dove Men + Care initiative, which is a partner in this advocacy effort.

Orli Cotel, vice president for partnerships for the group Paid Leave for the U.S., says she thinks this bipartisan issue will finally gain traction in Congress this year.

"We think this is the year that it can really happen," she states. "There is a lot of momentum. There's been incredible change in the private sector. There's support from businesses, from families. It's time for Speaker Pelosi to bring paid family leave legislation to a vote. It's a priority for families and it should be a priority for Congress."

Cotel notes that 1 in 4 new moms in the U.S. is back at work just two weeks after childbirth, and she says most dads don't have even a single day of paid leave.

Disclosure: Paid Leave for the U.S. (PL+US) contributes to our fund for reporting on Early Childhood Education, Family/Father Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families, Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Suzanne Potter, Public News Service - CA