The letter below was delivered to Governor Malloy and Connecticut Legislators.

March 9, 2016

To Governor Malloy and the Connecticut Legislature:

With the 2016 Connecticut legislative session in full swing, more than 100 women in leadership across the state are speaking with one voice: it’s time for paid family leave. We represent clergy, businesses, unions, organizations, voters, and taxpayers across the state, and we stand with them in support of the creation of a comprehensive, statewide paid family and medical leave system. In order to attract and keep a skilled workforce in our state we must seek innovative policies to help Connecticut remain competitive. Paid family leave will not only attract workers and businesses into the state, but also create an environment that retains and supports the next generation.

In addition to supporting a healthy business climate, paid family leave is one of the most important economic and health issues for women across the United States and here in Connecticut. In over 70% of married couple families with children under the age of 18 in our state, both spouses are in the workforce. We know that women still remain the primary caretakers for both our parents and children. This means that without paid family leave, too many women are forced to leave their jobs to take care of new children, while others return to work too soon after having a baby and long before it is healthy and advisable to do so. It also means that any time someone else in the family – our spouse, our child, or our parent – gets sick and needs care, we will likely be the ones sacrificing our jobs and giving up our pay to be there to care for them.

We know that the current lack of paid leave is unsustainable; it drives women out of the workforce, contributes sorely to pay inequality, and decreases a woman’s lifetime earnings.

Connecticut has an opportunity to be a leader on this critical issue. Other states, including California, Rhode Island and New Jersey have successfully implemented paid family leave programs years ago, and states like New York, Massachusetts, and others are moving in the same direction. As one of the first states in the country to pass an unpaid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) we should continue to lead the nation by becoming the next state to create a system of paid family and medical leave. As we look for policy solutions this year to breathe life into Connecticut’s economy, attract and retain younger families and workers, and bring stability to our families, paid family leave is a necessity.

Women are driving Connecticut’s economy forward – we, and the families we love, should not have to endure another year without paid family leave.


Rosa DeLauro
U.S. Representative, CT-03

Elizabeth H. Esty
U.S. Representative, CT-05

Denise Merrill
Secretary of State, Connecticut

Beth Bye
State Senator

Mae Flexer
State Senator

Terry Gerratana
State Senator

Marilyn Moore
State Senator

Cathy Osten
State Senator

Linda Gentile
State Representative & Deputy Speaker of the House

Susan Johnson
State Representative

Kelly Luxenberg
State Representative

Mary Mushinsky
State Representative

Robyn Porter
State Representative

Kim Rose
State Representative

Hilda Santiago
State Representative

Toni Harp
City of New Haven

Wildaliz Bermudez
City of Hartford

Sauda Efia Baraka
Board of Education
City of Bridgeport

Jill Barry
Town of Glastonbury

Heather Dean
Representative Town Meeting, Fairfield

Susan Eastwood
Board of Finance, Ashford

Hoween Flexer
Board of Education, Killingly

Mary Fortier
City of Bristol

Julia A. Haverl
Town of Andover

Jennifer Hochberg
Representative Town Meeting, Fairfield

Mary Lee A. Kiernan
Town of Greenwich Board of Estimate and Taxation

Tina Marie Manus
City of Stratford

Antoni Moran
Town of Mansfield

Eloisa M. Melendez
City of Norwalk

Mary Jo Nosal
Town of Old Lyme

Lynne Ide
Town of Windham

Holly Robinson
Board of Education
City of Danbury

Ruth Smey
Representative Town Meeting, Fairfield

Karen Wackerman
Representative Town Meeting, Fairfied

Pamela Allon
The Center for Postpartum Support, LLC

Ingrid Alvarez
Connecticut State Director
The Hispanic Federation

Amy Armstrong Clarke
Supervisor of Pupil Services and Special Education
Middletown Board of Education

Susan Barrett
Police Commissioner
Town of Fairfield

Erin Benham
Meriden Federation of Teachers

Amy R. Blackwood
Executive Director
John J. Driscoll United Labor Agency

Nancy Boone
Executive Director
Connecticut Alliance for Basic Human Needs

Tammie Botelho
Vice President
Local 134L USW

Linda Braiely
Vice President
Waterford Federation of Classroom Teachers

Debra Bristol
Parent Educator
The Family Resource Center

Gloria Brown
Retired President
Connecticut Education Association

Marilyn Calderon
Executive Director
Connecticut Parent Power

Laura Cordes
Executive Director
Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence

Elaine Davis
Democratic Town Committee, Fairfield

Shellye M. Davis
Divisional Vice President

Veronica DeLandro
Executive Director
Aurora Foundation for Women and Girls

Elisha M. De Jesus
Director of Athletics, Student Activities, Physical Education & Health
Middletown Public Schools

Amy Di Mauro
National Association of Social Workers, Connecticut

Shirley G. Dickes
Recording Secretary
District 26 & C.A.N.E.L. Lodge 700, Machinists Union

Nora Duncan
State Director
AARP Connecticut

Yolande Eldridge
Middletown Public Schools

Judith Ewing
Democratic Town Committee, Fairfield

Kate Farrar
Acting Executive Director
Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund

Adrienne Farrar Houel
President & CEO
Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises

Joelle Fishman
Connecticut Communist Party

Mary Jane Foster
Vice President, University Relations
University of Bridgeport

Lindsay Farrell
Executive Director
Connecticut Working Families

Patricia W. Fusco
Divisional Vice President
AFT Connecticut

Aurelia “Rory” Gale
Hartford Prints!

Susan Garcia Nofi
Executive Director
New Haven Legal Assistance Association, Inc.

Debra Greenwood
CEO & President
The Center for Family Justice

Donna Haghighat
American Association of University Women, Connecticut Chapter

Jan Hochadel

Ruthann Horvay
Winsted Family Resource Center

Wanda Howard
Vice President
United Steelworkers Local 12160

Karen Jarmoc
Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Barbara Jo Warner
Executive Director
Capitol Child Development Center

Sharlene Kerelejza
Executive Director
Chrysalis Domestic Violence Services

Betty Kuehnel
Board Member
United Labor Agency

Julie Kushner
UAW Region 9A

Amy Labas
Director of Athletics and Activities
Plainville Public Schools

Keri MacLean
ELA Language Arts Curriculum Supervisor
Middletown Public Schools

Enza Macri
Associate Superintendent
Middletown Public Schools

Elizabeth Marafino
Connecticut Alliance for Retired Americans

Colleen C. May
Vice President
Meriden Federation of Teachers

Gwen Mills
Political Director

Katie Montalbano
Vice President
C&M, CWAL Local 1298

Lucy Nolan
Executive Director
End Hunger CT!

Frances Padilla
Universal Healthcare Foundation of Connecticut

Fran Pastore
Women’s Business Development Council

Janice Pawlak
Middletown Federation of Teachers

Lori Pelletier

Jennifer Phaiah
Math Curriculum Supervisor
Middletown Public Schools

Sarah Prager
Founder & Director
The Quistory Project

Kierstin Pupkowski
Community Affairs Director

Fran Rabinowitz
Interim Superintendent
Bridgeport Public Schools

Nicole M. Rothgeb
Connecticut Employment Lawyers Association

Ellen Russell Beatty
Professor Emeritus
Connecticut State University

Gina Sasso
Project Coordinator
Stanley Black & Decker Inc.

Martha H. Shoemaker
Waterford Federation of Classroom Teachers

Kathleen N. Skoczen, Ph.D.
Ex-officio President
Shoreline League of Democratic Women

Rose Stamilio
Qualitas Healthcare Consultant Services

Janet Stolfi Alfano
Executive Director
The Diaper Bank

Mary Stone
Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee

Jennifer Straub
Frances T. Maloney High School

Judy Tabar
President & CEO
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England

Yanil Teron
Executive Director
Center for Latino Progress

Carolyn Treiss
Executive Director
Permanent Commission on the Status of Women

Sandra Treviño
Executive Director
Junta for Progressive Action

Deborah Ullman
YWCA Hartford Region

Cindy Wolfe Boynton
National Organization for Women, Connecticut Chapter

Michele L. Vancour
Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition

Jennifer Vendetti,
Vice President
Postpartum Support International, Connecticut Chapter

Vicki Veltri
Healthcare Advocate
Office of the Healthcare Advocate

Colleen M. Weiner
Middletown High School

Mary X. Yordon
Norwalk Federation of Teachers

Suzanne Zahner
Spencer School