Things are certainly changing different this election season. While there is a lot that is deeply disturbing, and a lot I will not want to remember after 2016 is said and done, but one thing that is worth acknowledging is that the discussion moved forward for families, and that Paid Family and Medical Leave has finally found a spot on center stage.
Not only are those at the top of the ticket finally discussing real paid family and medical leave policies – but this is further trickling down to the state, county and local levels. In fact, in NH alone – in our primary, we had all three Democrats running for Governor actively endorse paid family and medical leave and in addition, countless others at the State Senate and State Representative level have also spoken out in support of Paid Family and Medical Leave in New Hampshire.
In fact, recently I was at a local forum in the western part of New Hampshire hosted by Impact Monadnock – a group that is working to improve the lives of children 0-5 in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. A small group of candidates for the NH Legislature were asked a series of questions about the challenges facing the children of the region. Four of the six candidates proactively identified Paid Family and Medical leave as a key strategy to improve the lives of children in New Hampshire.
I nearly jumped out of my chair – unprompted, unasked, but at the forefront of the thinking for all of the candidates. We have truly come into the mainstream!
Why the shift? I think that increasingly the message about the value of paid family and medical leave has been put forward, accepted and believed. The messengers are many, but the evidence if clear and from the top of the ticket to the local and municipal races – Paid Family and Medical Leave are on the agenda.
In New Hampshire we are working hard to build off the energy to finally pass a plan in New Hampshire that will cover all Granite Staters. We have not only been raising the issue with candidates, we have been engaging partners and most importantly gathering stories from across the state. Sign on to our petition and check out our stories!