Campaign addressing paid sick time for all comes to San Antonio

Coalition of organizations plan to put issue on ballot come November

By Courtney Friedman - VJ, Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Nearly 40 percent of Texans don't have paid sick leave.

According to Working Texans for Paid Sick Time, 70 percent of those workers earn a low wage, which is why the organization is joining many others to start a campaign for change. 

"To make sure no worker has to choose between having to pay the rent or taking care of themselves or their families or also being at risk of being fired," said Ana Gonzalez, of Working Texans for Paid Sick Time.

The nonprofit will help San Antonio kick off a campaign Saturday with one goal: paid sick time for all.

Dallas launched the same campaign Friday.

Both cities follow Austin, which already passed a policy mandating paid sick time Feb. 15.

"I think what happened in Austin set the tone for the rest of Texas. And 42 other jurisdictions have passed policies like this in 2006 and actually yesterday New Jersey passed a statewide policy," Gonzalez said. 

"We're going to put this on the ballot in November and together we the voters of San Antonio are going to make this a better place to live and work," said Michelle Tremillo, executive director of the Texas Organizing Project, which helps low to moderate-income Texans.

Tremillo said her clients are the reason she's joining the monthslong campaign.

She and Gonzalez have been working together on the campaign launch.

"This is something that's beneficial for the economy, for public health, for workers and for businesses," Gonzalez said.

They will take part in a block walk Saturday morning to try to get signatures for their petition. They need 64,000 signatures to submit it to the City Clerk's office. 

After the block walk, there will a public campaign kickoff from 2-3 p.m. at Sabinas  Café at 2303 West Commerce St.

Politicians, business owners, faith leaders and local workers are expected to be there. 

For more information about the campaign, click here.

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