In recent months, the Comite de Trabajador@s Inmigrantes group of 215 People’s Alliance has worked with other organizations, including the Coalition for Restaurant Health (CRSH), to help promote City Councilmember At-Large Kendra Brooks’ third Public Health Emergency Leave bill. On March 3, City Council passed this bill. As a result, each covered worker will receive up to 40 hours of paid sick leave for reasons related to COVID-19.
Our Comite de Trabajador@s Inmigrantes group and CRSH campaigned around Councilmember Brooks’ bill in a few ways. They created and promoted an action page where anyone could find a toolkit for phone, email, and social media scripts and templates. There was also a direct link to a petition in favor of the bill and instructions on how to attend a City Council hearing. And our Instagram page was also full of graphics and calls to action.
Of course, neither we nor CRSH can claim sole credit for the bill’s passing. Much of the bill’s power comes from Councilmember Brooks’ own vision, which has resulted in three paid sick leave bills passing during the pandemic. Brooks, who was a 215 People’s Alliance member prior to her successful 2019 Working Families Party run for office, said the following upon the bill’s passing:
“Previous versions of this bill demonstrated that paid sick leave is good for workplace safety, worker retention, and keeping businesses open—safely. With many other protections being phased out, we must ensure that we are not sacrificing our workforce for the sake of convenience or profit. … This is a victory for low-wage workers across the city who can now go into work with the peace of mind that they will never have to choose between staying home sick with COVID-19 and being unable to make rent or coming into work sick and putting the public in danger.”
Councilmember Brooks’ newest bill applies to companies with at least 25 workers. Each worker’s 40 paid sick leave hours can go toward COVID-19 recovery, time caring for sick family members or children whose schools are closed, or time taken off to get COVID-19 vaccinations or booster shots. You can see the full details of the bill via a press release from Councilmember Brooks’ office. And you can follow 215 People’s Alliance on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates—or get involved in our work directly.
Written by Max Freedman