By Misty Novitch
On Tuesday, June 16, 2015, four women from 9to5 Georgia met with Republican US Senator Isakson’s aide, Ryan Pelfrey. We had heard that Senator Isakson had cosponsored Senator Murray’s paid sick days amendment to the budget bill, and we wanted to meet with him to ask him to take one step further and cosponsor the Healthy Families Act.
This act would require employers with more than 15 employees to give their workers paid sick leave – 1 hour for every 30 worked, and allow them to use this sick leave to care for family members as well.
After getting stuck in traffic, Charmaine Davis, Iman Naim, Misty Novitch, and Reverend Harriet Bradley of 9to5 met with Ryan Pelfrey for about 15 minutes. After introducing ourselves, we thanked Senator Isakson for cosponsoring the amendment and requested that he cosponsor the Healthy Families Act. We also asked on behalf of RESULTS that he cosponsor the Maternal and Child Health bill that would soon be introduced in the Senate to help end preventable child and maternal deaths by 2035 by reforming USAID. Reverend Bradley shared her personal story about how she would be helped by the passage of the Healthy Families Act.
We discussed Ryan’s thoughts on these issues and gave Senator Isakson a Father’s Day card, which seemed to tickle Ryan. We talked about following up, took a photo with Ryan, and said goodbye, sharing that we enjoyed each other’s energy. It was a very personable and friendly meeting, and we all left feeling great about it.
Now the work is to follow up with Ryan until we get a yes to Senator Isakson cosponsoring these bills! Who says you can’t make political change in the South?