BY NILY ROZIC
Throughout my years as a legislator, it has been my responsibility to stand up for those who cannot always stand up for themselves. That mission has led me to advocate for struggling students and seniors, working families and mass transit riders, disadvantaged employees and silenced women.
The cornerstone of our communities here in Queens is working families and the backbone of those families is women, mothers, sisters and daughters who contribute to the fabric of our daily lives.
As our workforce rapidly changes, we must ensure that we are evolving with it. That means furthering gender equity and diversity. That means ensuring that regardless of industry, our workplaces are safe, productive and healthy environments for all employees. And that means leveling the playing field for women in leadership in both private and public sectors. To that end, I have recently introduced legislation that helps close the gender gap on public authorities’ boards across the state.
We’ve made progress with New York State’s new paid family leave program—the strongest in the nation—that puts families first, so that they no longer have to risk economic security to care for their loved ones. Starting Jan. 1, parents and family members will have eight weeks of paid time off to care for sick relatives and, by 2021, that will increase to 12 weeks.
We’ve passed a historic minimum- wage raise that is critical to helping New Yorkers meet the costs of living. Recently, legislation I authored was signed into law and will make flexible working arrangements more of a reality for state employees.
Over the past year, women across the country have been activated and mobilized. We have marched in rallies, shared our stories, volunteered time and launched campaigns.
Advocates and elected officials have acted on the state and local level to improve access to affordable healthcare and childcare, pay equity, voting rights and climate change.
For all that we have done, there is still much more to do to ensure that our values as New Yorkers continue to drive policy and advocacy efforts. In the state Assembly, I will continue uplifting women and girls of all ages, so that they are afforded equal protection and integrity under the law. Whether we’re working to combat sexual harassment in the workplace, keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers or supporting minority- and women-owned business enterprises, our voices must remain front and center.
For more information about any of the initiatives mentioned or any other community issue, contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (718) 820-0241.
New York State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic is the chairwoman of the Task Force on Women’s Issues and represents the Queens neighborhoods of Flushing, Queensboro Hill, Hillcrest, Fresh Meadows, Oakland Gardens, Bayside and Douglaston.