In order to muscle their paid sick day bill through the City Council, advocates have been making a concerted media push to connect the issue to female New Yorkers, and it’s hard to deny that they’ve developed some traction. In particular, the aim seems to be to persuade Council Speaker Christine Quinn, a leading mayoral candidate in 2013, into coming on board by developing public pressure on the matter.
Feminist author Gloria Steinem may have put it most bluntly, defining it in a New York Times interview as critical for her support, as women disproportionately have jobs affected by the bill in addition to needing to care for sick children, but that’s hardly the only media hit.
For example, The Atlantic, New York Daily News, Associated Press, WABC, Bloomberg Business Week, Daily Politics, City & State, Crain’s, and the Epoch Times have all covered the issue from a women-focused angle, with NY1 mentioning doing the same at least five times as well.*
And that’s without even mentioning the progressive blogs and media discussing Ms. Quinn, Ms. Steinem and the legislation at hand, which includes Up With Chris Hayes, Daily Kos, the Nation, The Rick Smith Show, Barnard Center for Research on Women, The Grindstone, Alternet, In These Times and on down the line.
“There’s been a surge of support for paid sick days among women activists,” Bill Lipton, Deputy Director at the Working Families Party, said of the coverage. “Everybody from local Democratic club leaders to feminist bloggers to prominent celebrities are getting on board.”
Whether that’s enough to force a vote on the bill, which would likely involve a veto by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a subsequent vote to override that veto, remains to be seen.