One of the first questions I asked when I hit the ground here in Denver was “Where are we going to eat?” I knew that 74 percent of Denver restaurant workers don’t have a single paid sick day – meaning many restaurants had the potential to make me sick. How was I going to get my Mexican food fix without knowing which restaurants offer paid sick days?
As it turns out, there are plenty of local restaurants here in Denver that offer and support paid sick days. I learned that forward-thinking restaurants like Parsley, which has delectable sandwiches, understand that when employees are healthy, businesses profit.
Opponents of Initiative 300 would have you believe that every restaurant in Denver opposes paid sick days, but don’t let them fool you! That is simply not true. Initiative 300 has the support of more than 40 businesses throughout the city. Check out this map to see the whole list, and then show your support by patronizing them.
It’s not just these businesses that support the proposal. The Campaign for a Healthy Denver is a coalition of more than 150 hard working community organizations, labor groups, faith leaders and organizations, and public health groups that recognize that a paid sick days standard will support a healthier community, a more productive workforce and a stronger economy.
So for now, I am eating well in Denver. There may be more traditional campaign food in my future though. Bring on the coffee, pizza and Swedish fish!
Over the weekend, Sara and I delivered lawn signs to nearly every corner of Denver. We were over by the Santa Fe art district, up by the Denver Zoo and down by the University of Denver. Thankfully, the weather was gorgeous and Sara is an excellent navigator.
We were in south Denver delivering signs when we met paid sick days supporters Eddy and Maria. They were sitting on their porch enjoying the beautiful fall weather and watching their two girls play with their dog. They watched us drop off a sign to a neighbor across the street, and then drive up the block and back before we realized that they were our next stop. They laughed at us and gladly posed for a picture for the two lost girls from D.C.
Initiative 300 depends on good-hearted, compassionate supporters like Eddy and Maria. They understood the importance of paid sick days in protecting the health of their community and families like theirs. With all of the opposition literature and scare tactics we’re seeing from the business lobby, it is all too easy for voters to lose sight of what is really at stake in this election. I hope that with our hard work to raise awareness, and the votes of people like Eddy and Maria, Denver families will get the paid sick days standard they need.
Hello from the Mile High City! This is Rachel Lyons, work and family government affairs manager at the National Partnership, reporting live from Denver – home of the Broncos, the unsinkable Molly Brown and, hopefully, the fourth citywide paid sick days law. I am excited to be here in my old stomping grounds (Go Buffs!) to volunteer with the Campaign for a Healthy Denver.
As soon as I arrived, a conversation with Krista, a former restaurant worker, reminded me of why I am here, and why Initiative 300 is so important. Krista used to be a waitress in Denver. She knows firsthand the impact paid sick days can have on the health of workers and the public. One time, Krista tried calling in sick to work with the stomach flu and was told to “just bring a bag” with her to the restaurant. She says she was visibly ill and vomiting, but she had to work because she could not afford to go without pay or to lose her job.
Krista is not alone. An appalling 74 percent of Denver’s restaurant workers don’t have a single paid sick day. That means many of them are forced to go to work sick just like Krista was – and that puts everyone at risk.
There is a solution. Initiative 300 will allow workers to earn up to nine paid sick days a year (five in small businesses) to recover from illness or to care for a sick family member. Passing paid sick days will protect and promote the health of Denver’s workers, families, businesses and economy. That’s why I’m here working for paid sick days and a healthy Denver.
I’ll keep you updated on our work. For now, spread the word to all your friends and family in Denver: “Vote Yes on I-300 on November 1st!”