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Voting moms will have an opportunity to make Denver a healthier place to live by voting yes on the Paid Sick and Safe Time Initiative 300, a measure that will protect our city’s health, support our families and strengthen our economy.

This is a very important issues for moms, dads and kids because more than 107,000 Denver workers – 41% of the workforce –  do not have paid sick days.  They are:

  • Servers and cooks in our favorite restaurants where we go with our partners and take our kids…in fact, 74% of food service workers do not have access to paid sick days
  • Childcare center providers who care for babies, toddlers and preschoolers while we’re away
  • Healthcare workers caring for our grandparents in nursing homes and in their own homes

These are lower-wage workers who are forced to go into work sick rather than risk not being able to make ends meet at the end of the month or even losing their job. In this tough economy, taking unpaid time off is not an option for so many hard-working people, even when they are sick.

The reality is your school-aged children are exposed to sick kids every day when working parents can’t afford to take an unpaid day off.  Rather than risk not paying the rent at the end of the month,, they often send sick children to school, exposing their classmates and teachers to contagious illness.  Initiative 300 will allow workers to stay home with sick children, allowing a faster recovery and preventing the spread of illness in classrooms and schools.  That’s why organizations like the Colorado Public Nurses Association, the Colorado Health Association and the Colorado School Nurses Association are part of pro-300 Campaign for a Healthy Denver.

There is concern about I-300 among small businesses, mostly due to fear.  It’s reassuring to know that cities across the country have adopted similar laws with great success.  San Francisco’s law has been in place for almost five years, and while most businesses opposed it during the campaign stage, six in seven employers surveyed now report that paid sick days have had no negative effect on profitability and nearly 70 % of employers in that city support the law.  Moreover, the city experienced more business growth than its surrounding cities and counties, showing that paid sick days didn’t make their companies any less competitive.

As a mom, I urge you to vote to allow food servers, daycare providers and nurses to take time off when sick instead of exposing others to the many germs that are running around.  It just makes sense for public health.  Information from the campaign can be found at:

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