It was truly a high honor to be a part of the historic City Hall signing ceremony this morning for legislation creating the first parental paid leave policy for City of Milwaukee employees. I am proud to say that this policy – which I envisioned and championed – will be a life-changing and positive tool for reducing inequality and improving health outcomes for everyone in our city.

Thank you to the Mayor for inviting me to witness his signing of this groundbreaking legislation.

As the mother of two toddlers, it wasn’t long ago that I experienced the challenges of childbirth and raising a newborn. I know how critical this time is for a child’s development, a mother’s healing, and a family’s opportunity to bond. And that’s why a paid parental leave policy is so important to city employees.

As a mom I am incredibly happy and proud to also see today’s historic signing ceremony as just part of the tip of the iceberg in terms of enhancements we can make to strengthen families and offer a more welcoming workplace and community.

Research has shown that parental leave is beneficial for mothers, families and the development of children, and I am incredibly proud that the City can lead by example on this issue and establish parental leave as a benefit for all of our employees, while giving our children the strongest start possible on their pathway to success. Not only will paid parental leave help to support families when they need it most, but it can also serve as a tool for us to attract and retain top-tier talent in the City workforce.

Common Council file #211166, which establishes the policy (which takes effect starting April 4), was adopted during the Common Council’s meeting on February 8. The policy states that an eligible employee is entitled up to six weeks of paid parental leave for any qualifying events once every calendar year.

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