In Case You Missed It today, Senator Rebecca Perkins-Kwoka, Representative Safiya Wazir, and Shanika Amarakoon, Chair of the Portsmouth Democrats convened to discuss President Biden’s American Families Plan which includes key proposals like large investments in early childhood education and community college, paid family leave, and direct support to American families -- all of which are opposed by Chris Sununu and New Hampshire Republicans.
Read excerpts from their remarks below and watch the press conference here.
Senator Rebecca Perkins-Kwoka: “Today, far too few workplaces have paid family and medical leave -- in fact , four of five private sector workers have no access to paid leave. And the numbers get higher for the lowest wage workers, mostly women and workers of color, as 95% of them lack any access to paid family leave. The American Families Plan will change that. This plan will provide workers up to $4,000 a month, with a minimum of two-thirds of average weekly wages replaced, rising to 80 percent for the lowest wage workers. Paid family and medical leave supports American workers and families and is a critical investment in keeping families strong. This will make it possible for families like your’s and mine to thrive. Most importantly, it will allow workers to care for themselves and their families without being afraid of losing their jobs.”
Representative Safiya Wazir: “This piece of legislation makes big investments in education, which is so important to me and my community. President Biden has proposed investing $109 billion for two years of free community college so that every student has the ability to obtain a degree or certificate. In addition, he is calling for an over $80 billion investment in Pell Grants, which would help students seeking a certificate or a two- or four-year degree. This will be life changing for so many students, workers, and their families. As a graduate of a community college, NHTI in Concord, I know how instrumental college education is to getting ahead in life, getting a good paying job, and building an economic future. Community colleges allow for everyone to get ahead, especially working adults who can train for new jobs at community colleges and move our state ahead. I am pleased to see that President Biden's plan further opens up access for students to attend community colleges. It levels the educational playing field.
Shanika Amarakoon, Chair of the Portsmouth Democrats: “As the mom of a four and half year old , I’m very excited about President Biden’s American Families Plan. Today, we’ve talked about how American families, workers, and particularly our care workers have been on the front lines of this pandemic and essential to our recovery. A big part of delivering for their families, and families like mine all over the country will be investing in child care. The high cost of quality child care continues to make it hard and oftentimes impossible for parents – especially women — to work outside the home and provide for their families. Difficulty in finding high-quality, affordable child care leads parents to drop out of the workforce entirely or for some to reduce their work hours, and others to turn down a promotion. As a parent myself, I can tell you how essential child care is and this pandemic has brought that reality into relief. And this is a serious economic issue that impacts us all.”