Paid Family Leave Coming to New York

FMLA_Paid Rally

Victory for New Yorkers!!

Paid Family Leave will become law January 2018.  This is wonderful news for all New Yorkers!  As many of my long-time Followers/Subscribers well know I’ve been fighting to receive FMLA so that I may care for my brother Stephen who has Autism.  Please see and read the New York Times Article.   Also click on the Search category FMLA or Family Leave to see and read my previous blog posts on this subject.

The New York Times did an article on my brother Stephen and me. Please take time to read this eye opening article of our lives. Thank you.


Here is a synopsis from the Action Network.

The NYS Senate just voted to pass the strongest paid family leave bill in the country and we expect the Assembly to do the same this afternoon.

The passage of 12 weeks of paid family leave is a momentous victory for New York’s families. New York now leads the nation in ensuring that working families have access to this essential and long-overdue benefit.

New York’s families will now have access to 12 weeks of job protected paid family leavecovering all private sector workers, at a 2/3rds weekly wage benefit level.  In addition, public sector unions will be able to opt their members into this program.  


I’m sure many of you are wondering how does this affect Stephen and me.  Well to be truthful since it becomes a Law in Jan. 2018 not a whole lot because I will be retiring spring 2018.  No more begging and pleading for time scraps and leftovers. My time as a step-child from a Charles Dickens novel will officially be over.  I will no longer have to choose between keeping my job and caring for my brother Stephen.  Hallelujah!!

However with that being said, as an Activist particularly in my case as an Elder Activist and Autism Advocate the battle is not just for Stephen and myself but for future generations. My time in the wicked workforce is gradually coming to an end. I’m really looking forward to retirement and getting back control of my life as opposed to now where my employer has the control.  Anyway the point is when we fight to change laws or get new laws enacted it may not have the impact in our lives that we wish but we do it to alleviate the suffering of other families and our community.

I remember a long time ago when I was much younger my Aunt Helen Garcia recounting the racism, bigotry and prejudice she encountered trying to get a job in New York. Yes New York!  In the 1940s New York was only a few steps ahead of the South in terms its treatment of Black Americans.  My Aunt Helen cried because my generation, the Baby Boomers was the first generation to benefit from the Civil Rights Movement.  As I recall the stories of Jim Crow Dayton, Ohio from my mother, grandmother and Aunts I absorbed those stories and realized the opportunities available to me that their generation never had.

Now as I make a rapid approach to my 60th year on this earth I’m still out here as a walking wounded warrior but I’m holding out the baton to the next generations.

Millenials are you ready to carry the torch?

I stand on the shoulder of one of the Mothers of the Civil Rights Movement Fannie Lou Hamer.

Millenials are you ready to pick up your swords. Have you put on the Full Armor of God in the fight for Disability Rights?  Autism Rights? Caregiver Rights? Human Rights?

Along with your human genius you have the genius of technology. Young People please use those innovations for more than just selfies and sexting.  There is a war going on. We need all hands on deck.  Like our grandparents and parents before us one day I will pass from time into eternity.  As one Watchman goes to receive their heavenly reward another must take up their post. To paraphrase the prophet Nehemiah, “I’m doing a Great Work for God and cannot come down from the wall.”    Nehemiah 6

Ephesians 6:10-18 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Whole Armor of God

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—














If you had a shelf for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronic devices and things stored on them, people or animals), what would you put on it?

My Grandmother Eva Palmer’s Musical Sewing Box.  It plays “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.”  My collection of African-American figurines.  Some special edition Collectors plates created by African-American artists.

If you had a box labelled ‘happiness’, what would you put in it?

Happiness is spending time with my brother Stephen, my cat Sylvester, being outdoors in sunny warm weather, and photography.  I don’t think either Stephen or Sylvester would like to be put in a box. On the other hand since Sylvester is a cat maybe he would like being in a box but definitely not Stephen!!

What do you want more of in your life?

Free time and money!!

Daily Life List: What do you do on an average day? Make a list of your usual activities you do each day.

Since I still work a full-time job I spend Tuesday through Saturday at my workplace.

Working in the security field I spend a lot of time at work since the job entails generous amounts of overtime. So between my commute which is one hour going and another hour returning home, plus 8 to 12 hours spent on the job that’s pretty much the majority of my time. This is why I enjoy my Sunday/Monday weekends and look forward to retiring in Spring 2018.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

Being invited by Gov. Andrew Cuomo the the Paid Family Leave Rally held last Friday at the McBurney 14th Street YMCA!! It’s not every day that a working class woman like me gets a call from the Governors Office!! Kudos for Gov. Andrew Cuomo for reading the New York Times article done on me and Stephen last year.

Hearing Gov. Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden speak and endorse Paid Family Leave was an exhilarating experience!!  As some of my long-time Followers know I’ve been fighting to get FMLA from my job so I can care for my developmentally disabled brother Stephen. Truly it has been a long and winding road but I owe many Thanks to Congressman Hakeen Jeffries, my legal Team from A Better Balance, Gov. Andrew Cuomo who I have faith will push through and make Paid Family Leave a reality for the citizens of New York and Vice President Joe Biden!!

Thank you.


Looking forward to attending Buddhist Prayer and Meditation Services at Shinnyo-en New York City temple with my Japanese girlfriend. I thank all my Friends whether they be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu or Buddhist for their unwavering support and encouragement in my efforts to secure FMLA for Stephen.

Getting Our Blessing!!

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Today at Governor Andrew Cuomo State of the State Address!! Praise God for Divine Favor with Gov. Andrew Cuomo!! Praise God for Vice President Joe Biden. Last year Gov. Cuomo lost his Father Mario Cuomo was a Great Gov. and VP Biden lost his son to cancer. They understand. They care.

My Legal Team at A Better Balance had invited me to attend Governor Andrew Cuomo State of the State Address and at first I declined. Then yesterday at work I saw a 518 number on my cell phone. The Holy Spirit said return that call turns out that Gov. Andrew Cuomo had read the NY Times article about me and Stephen and through his representative I was personally invited to attend. When the Gov. calls you answer!! At first it was planned for me to give remarks but time was short since Vice President Biden was also in attendance and spoke.

Let me include the backstory on my FMLA struggles for those followers who have recently subscribed.

The New York Times on my brother Stephen and me that came to the attention of Gov. Andrew Cuomo!

Thanks to my Better Balance Team-mates, Thanks to Gov. Cuomo for inviting me and Thanks to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who has seen my troubles, heard my prayers and is answering. As the Lord spoke unto Mary He saw the low estate of His Handmaiden and stepped in. Just think me, a guard caught the eye and ear of the Gov. of New York State. Miracles Happen!  

After attending the State of the State Address from Gov. Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden A Better Balance interviewed me on how Paid Family Leave would affect my ability to care for Stephen. As soon as the interview goes Live I will give out the link. Meantime please check out the photos from the event!!

Greater is He Who is in Me than he who is in the world.  

1 John 4:4 King James Version (KJV)

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.

Praise Dance Time!!

Mary Mary – Go Get It

It was an Honor to be at this State of the State Address at the McBurney YMCA located on 14th Street across from the Salvation Army church. A church I attended as a young woman. God said He would bring me before Great Men and he did. Jesus said Fear Not for I am with you always. Many Unions under the banner of AFL-CIO were represented and my only disappointment was not seeing anyone from DC 37 however during the continued standing ovations given to Gov. Cuomo and Vice President Biden I shouted out my Union DC 37!! DC 37 Local 1503 I did nothing special that any one of you cannot do. All you have to do is have faith but remember Faith without Works is dead!! There are people who believe in the Working Class!

Photos of me, my Better Balance Team, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Vice President Biden can be seen here.

The song that has resonated in my spirit was Tasha Cobbs – Break Every Chain (Lyrics) I can’t explain the effect of this song and the call from Gov. Cuomo’s office but I actually saw chains breaking in the spirit world. Both speeches from Gov. Cuomo and Vice President Joe Biden were heartfelt, uplifting and empowering!! Wow!! The energy in the room was incredible. Like Tasha Cobbs sings in the song, “There’s an Army Rising Up!!” Working people are rising up in the Empire State!! With such outstanding Leadership we will Have Paid Family Leave in New York State for 2016!!

Tasha Cobbs – Break Every Chain (Lyrics)


2 Timothy 1:7 New King James Version (NKJV)

7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Tasha Cobbs – Break Every Chain (Lyrics)



Me and My brother Stephen December 1961

Mary Mary – Shackles (Praise You)