At A Better Balance, we are working around the country to pass legal protections that support and recognize all families. Too often, our country’s laws and policies have a narrow definition of family that leaves out important loved ones. That is why we co-founded the Family Justice Network, an alliance of national and state leaders committed to expanding recognition of family diversity and raising awareness of the need for inclusive paid leave for working families. We are excited to share a new report that profiles the Family Justice Network’s innovative coalition work in Georgia and New Mexico, where local advocates are working on the ground to challenge outdated conceptions of family and advance policies that reflect what our families actually look like.
This report, Recognizing All Families to Expand Our Movements: Insights from the Family Justice Network, shows that change is possible when people organize around the widely-shared value of family. Coalitions in Georgia and New Mexico demonstrate the potential to change both policy and culture by connecting people and building movements based on the value of recognizing all families. Read the full report here.
A Better Balance has been partnering with advocates in Georgia and New Mexico for years. As detailed in the report, ABB provided legal and drafting support to the paid sick days campaign in Albuquerque, New Mexico. And we worked with 9to5 Georgia on the Family Care Act—signed into law last year—ensuring that workers in Georgia who receive paid sick days can use it to care for loved ones. In addition to this general legal and policy support, we partnered with the coalitions in each state to highlight family diversity, develop inclusive family definitions in the legislation, and leverage funds through the Family Justice Network to deepen this aspect of their work. The new report shows how this family recognition work has taken off in both states and led to successful organizing and movement building that will pay off for years to come.
Although the report only highlights New Mexico and Georgia, similar work is occurring now in every corner of the country, as demonstrated by recent wins in Texas and Minnesota. At ABB, we will continue highlighting family diversity across the U.S. to ensure that our laws and policies – from paid leave and immigration, to disability rights and criminal justice – reflect the reality of today’s families.