Columbus City Council Member pushing for national change on maternity, paternity leave

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A Columbus City Council member is making a national push for both Republicans and Democrats to include paid maternity and paternity leave in their platforms.

The petition was started by City Council Member Elizabeth Brown as part of MTV’s Elect This campaign.

I am one of the millions of workers in the United States without paid family leave. Like so many others, I didn’t know this or the hard truth about access to paid leave in this country until my own family’s future depended on it. But unlike many others, I’m also an elected official – and I’m tired of lawmakers refusing to make paid family leave a priority.

Brown cites recovering from childbirth, ensuring good nutrition, keeping up with pediatric visits and forming bonds as reasons why paid leave is essential.

While Brown said she could use disability leave in order to get time off, her husband had to use vacation days in order to get a week off.

This summer, leaders of the Republican Party are coming to my home state to nominate a candidate for president at their convention, and soon after, the Democratic Party will do the same in Philadelphia. I want to hear how both parties plan to fix the fact that the United States is the only developed country in the world that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave for new mothers, and one of a handful that do not guarantee paid paternity leave for new fathers.

Tap here to view the petition on

Columbus local business owner Heather Whaling has already made sure her employees get the care they need when necessary.

“We rolled out ‘Geben Love Families’ A couple months ago. We provide 10 weeks pay leave to moms and dads whether they give birth or adopt a child. They can receive 100% of their salary for 10 weeks,” said Whaling, the owner of Geben Communication.

“We haven’t yet made it a priority for all parties to come to the table and confront what it would mean to offer a real solution to our national paid family leave crisis,” added Brown. “That is why we are urging both political parties to incorporate paid family leave into their party platform.”

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