Last week, 9to5 Atlanta members gathered for our annual Grassroots Lobby Day to tell the State House that Georgia needs the Family Care Act (HB 290). Co-sponsored by the ACLU, the lobby day began with an overview of HB 290 talking points followed by an in-depth training on how to meet with legislators. Then we headed over to the third floor of the State Capitol to exercise our democratic right of citizen lobbying.
For 9to5 member Marcus Duse, this experience was his first time in the Capitol, but he says he knows it’s not his last. “I think I’ve got the lobbying bug,” he reported after meeting with his representative, Rep Mable Thomas, pictured here with 9to5 members. “What we’re doing here today is very important—and I’ll be back here at the Capitol again.”
House Bill 290, the Family Care Act, is 9to5 Atlanta’s legislative priority this session. It will allow workers to use their own earned sick days to care for an ill child, spouse, or parent. Without family care days, parents often send sick children to school, spreading illness to other students and teachers. Workers who provide care for elderly parents or family members with disabilities have few options—take time off and lose a day’s pay, and possibly their job, or risk the health of a family member. Sponsored by Rep. Katie Dempsey from Rome, this cost-effective policy would balance family and work, increase transparency and loyalty in the workplace, and limit the spread of illness.