Houston DSA is very happy to announce that its general body has endorsed a campaign for Paid Sick Leave by a unanimous vote at the March General Meeting!
Our comrades in Austin DSA have shown through their inspirational work, how we can win a transformative reform for the working class in the South. In Texas, the reactionary politics of state Republicans and also the lack of leadership from state Democrats on the issue have left Medicare for All activists without a realistic avenue to achieve a concrete win. But by combining a near demand for Paid Sick Leave with a further demand for Medicare for All, we are able to advance towards our goal of separating people’s health and wellbeing from their pay and job position. A worker’s ability to take time off to visit the doctor or take care of an ill family member shouldn’t depend on what their job is or where they work. Paid sick leave should be a basic right given to every worker.
The path ahead for Houston DSA and other allies that are pushing for Paid Sick Leave will not be easy; all too often the elected leadership of both parties falls directly in line whenever they get the slightest pushback from business interests. We believe, though, that by educating and calling working class folks of Houston to action, City of Houston leaders will be forced to listen to their struggles and pass this ordinance.
Furthermore, in a state where a 24-hour waiting period is still on the books for those seeking abortions, and in a city where the mostly black and brown food service workers are denied both the income and benefits needed for a decent living, this is truly an intersectional fight. Workplace justice, healthcare justice and reproductive justice all go hand in hand.
Corporate interests and reactionary legislators are already moving to pre-empt this ordinance and other such ordinances at the next Texas Legislative session. Now is the time for us to go on the offensive and demand what should be given to workers as a right! Every single worker deserves Paid Sick Leave! Houston DSA will work tirelessly until the City of Houston passes its own such ordinance.
Please read the resolution below. If you want to join us and fight to ensure that every Houstonian has both quality affordable health care and the ability to take time off to access it, fill out the form below! 🌹
Houston DSA Paid Sick Leave Resolution
Resolution No. 1
Resolution on Integrating a Demand for an Ordinance for Paid Sick Leave in the City of Houston With Houston DSA’s Medicare for All Campaign
- WHEREAS over 4 million workers in Texas lack access to paid sick leave;
- WHEREAS workers without paid sick leave are more likely to forego treatment for both themselves and their families, thus creating unsafe work environments and spreading illness;
- WHEREAS workers with paid sick leave are more likely to have access and use preventative care, thus lowering health care costs and raising quality of life;
- WHEREAS the lack of access to paid sick leave has created gross inequality between the mostly white, professional class that has it today and the mostly black and brown working class that does not;
- WHEREAS paid sick leave has been a central demand of the labor movement in Texas for many years;
- WHEREAS the City of Austin and our comrades in Austin DSA have recently shown the viability of passing a paid sick leave ordinance in cities in Texas;
- WHEREAS the Houston DSA has already adopted a resolution and committed to a campaign of healthcare justice through Medicare for All;
- WHEREAS healthcare justice is a multi-faceted subject that touches on issues not only of health insurance, but workplace safety, reproductive rights, housing and more;
- WHEREAS by reducing workers’ stress and improving workers’ health, it improves the viability of working class political movements;
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Houston Chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America will integrate into its current Medicare for All Campaign a demand for paid sick leave in the City of Houston, modeled on the ordinance recently passed in Austin. We will
- Use face-to-face contact in our Medicare for All canvassing program to build a grassroots, working class base of support and encourage them to demand paid sick leave from their elected city officials;
- Meet with city council members to place our demand;
- Assemble and join coalitions with labor unions, community organizations and other allies that share our goals.