Paid Leave for All members launched a war room not long into the pandemic, despite many being full-time caregivers. “And we’ve been kind of on all cylinders ever since,” she said.
For Poo, the spotlight on care issues is a “game-changing moment” for the country.
Before last year, “I think that most people really thought about caregiving as a personal burden and responsibility mainly to be shouldered by the women in the family,” she said. “And if you couldn’t figure it out, if you couldn’t afford it, if you couldn’t manage it, or if you couldn’t find the care that you needed for your family, it was considered a personal failure.”
“We blamed ourselves and I think what we realized in the pandemic is that we have been and we are doing the very best we can. And we need public policy and collective solutions to be able to support us,” she added.
Now, advocates are vowing to leave nothing to chance as the White House and key factions of Democratic lawmakers search for ways to slash the bill’s cost without drawing too much blood.
As negotiations over the bill heated up this summer, advocacy groups blanketed congressional districts to meet lawmakers where they are, organized letter writing and phone campaigns and bus tours, and made six- and seven-figure TV, digital and billboard ad buys.
PL+US hired a new outside lobbying team that includes a former top aide to the No. 3 Senate Democrat, Patty Murray of Washington state. The group also debuted a political action committee last year, and has fundraised for at least one vulnerable Senate Democrat, New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan. The Paid Family Leave PAC’s donors have included Melinda Gates, progressive tech investor Swati Mylavarapu and her husband, Nest co-founder Matt Rogers.
The PAC even cashed a check earlier this year from Maggie Cordish, a close friend of Ivanka Trump and a top adviser to the former president’s daughter on paid family leave, according to campaign finance disclosures.
But compared to some of Washington’s lobbying heavyweights, the advocates have a relatively paltry lobbying presence in the capital. The National Domestic Workers Alliance reregistered to lobby at the federal level this year for the first time since 2015, and disclosures show that through the end of September, the group had spent a little over $400,000. PL+US has spent only $70,000 through the end of September.
Instead, they’ve deployed some less conventional measures, from teaming up with Instagram influencers to holding daylong vigils outside of the Capitol and in swing vote lawmakers’ home states, to flying a plane with a banner reading “Care Can’t Wait” over a West Virginia football game.
The Service Employees International Union, which is a member of the Care Can’t Wait Coalition, has been hosting members of Congress and the press to show what a day in the life of care workers looks like, and last month announced that it was doubling the amount of money it’s spending on TV and digital ads promoting the reconciliation bill from $3.5 million to $7 million.
It’s gotten backup from marquee names, too.
On Wednesday afternoon Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, made a rare political statement, writing to Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to warn the Democratic leaders that “paid leave should not be a place to compromise or negotiate.”
“No family should have to choose between earning a living and having the freedom to take care of their child (or a loved one, or themselves, as we would see with a comprehensive paid leave plan),” she wrote in the letter released by Paid Leave for All.
Credit: Source link