Motherhood

Using My Voice: Advocating for Paid Leave {VIDEO}

photo by Jeff Rae (c)

When my friends at the New York Paid Leave Coalition invited me to be a speaker at the Working People’s Day of Action to talk about paid family leave I was a bit hesitant. You see, speaking in public isn’t something I’m that comfortable with. The idea of it is more frightening than the actual act of speaking in public, so the build up to the day and time of the event is what is stressful.

But, how could I say no to this opportunity? I’ve been writing about and advocating for paid leave for a long time. I broke down in front of Senator Gillibrand during a roundtable on paid family leave. This was a great opportunity and I knew that I had to put my fear to the side and DO IT. So, I said yes. I wrote my speech. I read it out loud (though I didn’t read to anyone).  I was ready.

ONLY 4 STATES HAVE PAID FAMILY LEAVE. DOES YOURS? (AND WHAT YOU CAN DO IF IT DOESN’T)

 

One of the things I’m most proud of is using my voice in support of mothers and children, especially #paidleave Today I got to do just that at the Working People’s Day of Action and it felt amazing. whoever knew sharing my story would lead to such amazing moments, thank you @GermieNYC and @jeffrae for this amazing pic. #Repost @germienyc ・・・ “Having a child shouldn’t mean not being able to pay your rent, or buy groceries. . Having a child shouldn’t be seen as something that only benefits the parents. The children that are born today are the future workers, teachers, innovators, of tomorrow.”, @ladydeelg (?). . #unrigthesystem #itsaboutfreedom #union, #1u, #nyc1u, #paidleave, #paidleaveny, #paidfamilyleave, #paidleaveworks #aworkingclassheroissomethingtobe #latina

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The actual moment of going up, I wasn’t nervous. My heart wasn’t racing, and I was able to deliver the speech without reading it, since I knew it by heart- and I even managed to start by giving a shout out to moms and dads. 

I realized after giving the speech that the reason it felt SO GOOD to be up there was because this is something I’m passionate about, I believe in, and I know. 

Here’s a little excerpt, and you can watch the whole video below: 

Having a child shouldn’t mean not being able to pay your rent, or buy groceries.
.
Having a child shouldn’t be seen as something that only benefits the parents. The children that are born today are the future workers, teachers, innovators, of tomorrow.”

 

READ RELATED: ZERO WEEKS: THE DOCUMENTARY EXPLORES THE LACK OF PAID LEAVE IN THE USA 

Diana Limongi
welcome! I'm a Latina working mom from Astoria, NY, mom to a trilingual four-year old. I blog about motherhood, Latino issues, women's issues, work/life balance, food, parenting and raising my multilingual and multicultural son!

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