Regan Long, Fighting for Paid Maternity Leave
Regan Long, Fighting for Paid Maternity Leave
Meet Regan, it would probably be easiest to ask her, “what doesn’t she do?!”. Her writing has appeared in Scary Mommy, and The Huffington Post, she is mommy to four darling children, a fitness coach, and an advocate for paid parental leave.
Regan admits she doesn’t sleep much, but the pain of having to hand her newborn over into someone else’s care, is not a pain she would wish on anyone. To her, fighting for families to have more time together is worth all those sleepless nights.
“It’s my biggest struggle trying to find the balance in it all. I feel like when one thing is thriving, another thing is struggling. It’s something work on, trying to keep all the balls in the air at once. I pray. I have a huge faith in God. And I have 4 tiny little humans who don’t leave me with any other choice – they keep me on my toes.”
-Regan, on balancing work and family.
I could sit and chat with Regan for hours about what it is like to be supermom, but for today I want to focus on her fight for paid parental leave. Yes, it’s important and it sounds great, but how can it be made possible?
Regan is here to explain:
“These are just a few of the questions that Americans are asking as the hot topic of Paid Family Leave is on the rise.”
“And now it has recently surfaced that the first documentary to comprehensively tackle our Paid Family Leave crisis is in the works, called Zero Weeks. Our film hopes to alert America that it doesn’t have to be the only developed nation on earth without paid leave policies. The filmmakers want to call attention to The Family Act, co-Authored by Senator Kirstin Gillibrand and Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a piece of legislation that could bring American into the 21st century.”
“Though Paid Leave is starting to become a hot topic in the news, many Americans are still misinformed about what paid leave is and how it would impact them.”
“It’s not just an issue for pregnant women needing maternity leave. Paid leave makes it possible to maintain your life if your partner has knee surgery and needs care, if your parent is aging, if you suddenly get diagnosed with breast cancer and need to care for yourself for a few months, without losing your job or health insurance.”
“Most seem shocked to discover that every country on earth, including Pakistan, Iran, Mexico, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Iran, Chad, ALL guarantee at least 12 weeks of paid family leave.”
“It’s only Papa New Guinea and the United States that are in a league of their own, offeringnothing.”
“Our Zero Weeks’ filmmakers say they are aiming to educate Americans on the topic and look at why we got to this place, and how it’s hurting our nation as a whole.”
“As our phenomenal, award-winning director, Ky Dickens, likes to note, “Even puppies and kittens can’t be weaned until they are 8-12 weeks of age but in America, 25% of women go back to work within 10 days of having a baby. Ten days.” That is unfathomable. Inhumane to a very certain degree.”
“Zero Weeks will also look at the economics of paid family leave. Contrary to popular belief, research is piling up showing it’s great for small business, big businesses, and the economy at large. The filmmakers point to research showing that when paid leave passed in Rhode Island, 40% less women ended up on government assistance and when they passed paid leave in California, 91% of businesses said they either became more profitable or stayed the same.”
“Our film is trying to get the FAMILY Act brought to a floor to a vote. The Family Act is like a public insurance plan. Workers and Employers each put in $1.86/week and then when someone needs paid leave, they can get 6 weeks at partial pay. It operates like insurance and doesn’t add a dime to our nation’s debt.”
“Paid leave keeps families in the workforce and keeps people more loyal and productive at work. On the global scale, we’re more competitive because we’re benching a full team.”
“Our documentary team is following families to show the ticking time bomb on numerous events: a diagnosis, a new baby, a sick parent, an injured spouse.”
“Zero Weeks is trying to demonstrate that most of us are triggered into disaster (bankruptcy, unemployment, government assistance) after just 8-12 weeks. Because only 2 in 10 Americans have paid leave, if Americans needs to recover from a C-Section, need to take 2 months off to recover from knee surgery, need to take time off to help their parent who was diagnosed with dementia – they have to do it on their own dime.”
“Because the majority of Americans don’t have three months of salary saved up (in fact, most are living paycheck to paycheck), one unexpected life event is often a trigger into poverty. The film’s tagline “It’s about time” says it all. It’s time for America to get with the rest of the world on this issue. It’s time for America to get with the 21st century. ”
“Our filmmakers are featuring a roster of high-profile elected officials and researches, in addition to families facing a multitude of issues and small business owners. We have recently launched a kick starter campaign, in hopes to get people around the country to simply donate $15 if they want to see the film get created.”
“Zero Weeks’ filmmakers are working with Ellen Bravo and other activists to launch an impact campaign when the film is done, an effort to utilize our work in specific areas of the country where local paid leave laws have a chance at passing.”
Check out the Kickstarter and learn more about Zero Weeks here.
Keep up with the incredible Reagan Long here.
Thanks for reading!