Economic Equality Now
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is essential to the well-being of our middle class. For more than 20 years, working families have used the FMLA to take unpaid leave for things like caring for a new baby or dealing with a family member's serious medical condition, without penalty from employers. California has led the way in strengthening the FMLA, becoming the first state to enact a paid family leave insurance program, while San Francisco has made paid sick days standard. Last week, I was pleased to deliver remarks at an event commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Family Medical Leave Act and the fourth anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
In the midst of a recession, with families struggling to get by, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and restored employee rights to challenge pay discrimination. By making the act the first bill he signed into law, President Obama reaffirmed the commitment of Democrats to making equal pay for equal work not just a mantra, but a promise made and a promise kept. As we celebrate our past achievements and progress, we must recommit ourselves to the fight for economic equality. We must not rest until pay equity is the norm, paid family leave is the standard, and the Paycheck Fairness Act is the law of the land.
Congresswoman Pelosi celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Family and Medical Leave Act and the fourth anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Preventing Gun Violence
Congress must do its part, without further delay, to rein in, reduce, and prevent gun violence in our country. On Thursday, I was pleased to join Congressman Mike Thompson, chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, and House Democrats in announcing a comprehensive set of policy principles geared toward reducing gun violence in America while also respecting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. With these principles and specific proposals in-hand, we can take significant steps towards ensuring the safety of our families and preserving the security of our communities.
Chairman Thompson and the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force urge Congress to:
Require a background check for every gun sale, while respecting reasonable exceptions for cases such as gifts between family members and temporary loans for sporting purposes.
Reinstate and strengthen a prospective federal ban on assault weapons.
Reinstate a prospective federal ban on assault magazines.
Strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) database.
Pass legislation aimed specifically at cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and straw-purchasing.
Prosecute those prohibited buyers who attempt to purchase firearms and others who violate federal firearm laws.
Welcoming the Year of the Snake
The Lunar New Year is an opportunity for Asian Americans to take stock of the past year and look forward to a period of good fortune in the Year of the Snake. San Francisco is blessed with one of the largest and most vibrant Asian-American communities in the country, and I am proud to represent the beauty of our city in Congress.
In each generation, the Lunar New Year commemorations of local families remind us of our history as a city and a nation of immigrants -- of how every wave of newcomers makes America more American. This year, we will take inspiration from those stories as we work to enact comprehensive immigration reform for our nation. May all who celebrate the Year of the Snake enjoy a new year of happiness, joy, health, and wisdom. May all Americans enjoy the blessings of progress, prosperity, and opportunity in the year to come. Gung Hay Fat Choy!
Good Game, Niners!
Congratulations to the San Francisco 49ers for a putting their heart and soul into the 47th Super Bowl. While they didn't bring home the trophy, they made our city proud. I am hopeful that our city will be selected to host a Super Bowl soon, giving beautiful San Francisco another reason to celebrate. Good Game, Niners!
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