President Obama is urging Congress to pass legislation today that would improve on America’s sparse and globally uncompetitive sick pay laws. It would require six weeks of sick pay for new parents for federal employees and an additional six weeks of parental leave, as well as obligating employers with more than 15 employees to provide seven sick days a year.
The latter is an expansion on the Family and Medical Leave Act, which requires employers to let eligible employees take up to 12 unpaid weeks off of work. But they’re unpaid, so low-income Americans can’t practically take advantage of that benefit. Keep reading »
Today is Election Day, and this year’s vote is a very big deal. The US Senate stands to see a major power shift, and this election’s results will set the stage for the 2016 presidential race. Women’s rights also hang in the balance, because we unfortunately live in a world that puts our bodies up for a public vote, and the rights we have regarding our own reproductive health depend on tomorrow’s results. Despite how important this decision is, very few millennials are eager to vote. In a poll by the Harvard Institute of Politics earlier this year, only 23 percent of young Americans said they’d definitely be voting this November. Unfortunately, that’s hardly the first set of data showing to indicate that twenty-somethings aren’t so into exercising their rights. To make matters worse, the average voter turnout for modern presidential elections bleakly hovers somewhere around half of all eligible voters. Here are some of the biggest reasons millennials don’t do their civic duty, and a few reasons you should vote despite those obstacles… Keep reading »
Over the weekend, beloved Arizona representative Gabrielle Giffords announced she will leave Congress to focus on her health. Her resignation comes nearly a year to the day after Giffords was shot in the head during a deadly shooting rampage that claimed the lives of six people at an event in Tucson, Arizona. In the video announcement, Giffords admitted, “I don’t remember much from that horrible day, but I will never forget the trust you placed in me to be your voice. Thank you for your prayers and for giving me time to recover. I have more work to do on my recovery. So to do what is best for Arizona, I will step down this week.”
Giffords’ incredible post-shooting recovery — and the love affair between she and her astronaut husband Mark Kelly — was pretty tearjerking. Not that we were crying while watching this video or anything. [YouTube]
Anti-abortion activists will bring their “Voices from the Womb” project to Capital Hill on October 13 when they perform ultrasounds on expectant mothers to “introduce” congressional employees to fetuses at 12 weeks and 18 weeks. Their hope is that politicians will “hear the beating heart” and “clearly see their fingers and toes,” which will make all “pro-choice politics and arguments melt away,” according to the group’s leader, Brandi Swindell. Congress and the public are all invited to see the public ultrasounds, after which the project will begin touring at schools, churches and public hearings around the country. Keep reading »