Valerie Jarrett Senior Advisor The White House


Since President Obama entered public service, he’s been driven by a simple belief: in America, if you’re willing to work hard and play by the rules, you should be able to get ahead and provide opportunities for your family.

That means you should be able to thrive at work and at home — and that you shouldn’t have to dent your paycheck, or risk losing your job, to be a good mom or dad, or care for your aging parent. And if you’re willing to work full time, you definitely shouldn’t be forced to live in poverty.

That’s why the President has repeatedly called on Congress and leaders across our country in the public and private sectors to expand family-friendly workplace policies, such as paid family leave, paid sick days, equal pay for equal work, affordable child care, and a higher minimum wage.

We’re thrilled that today, New York State answered the call and took an important step forward for working families when Governor Cuomo signed a budget that included paid family leave and an increase in the minimum wage.

With these measures, New York became the first state to create a paid family leave program since President Obama urged states to take action in 2014, as well as the 18th state to raise its minimum wage since he urged Congress to act in 2013.

The President knows working families cannot wait for Congress to move our country forward. That’s why he’s made progress on his own by raising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors, strengthening overtime protections, and protecting employees of federal contractors from being retaliated against by their bosses if they discuss their wages.

Americans shouldn’t need to choose between their families and making ends meet. Thanks to Governor Cuomo’s and the state legislature’s leadership, New Yorkers will now move closer to never having to face that choice, by creating a culture that rewards hard work and empowers families.

I hope you’ll join us in celebrating this accomplishment.

Thanks for everything you do,


Valerie Jarrett
Senior Advisor
The White House

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