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Rep. Davis, Councilmember Dennis & Faith Leaders Join for a COVID-19 & Working Mothers Town Hall


May 15, 2020


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202) 735-7123
Joey McKinnon, jmckinnon@faithinpubliclife.org, (843) 364-4403

Rep. Davis, Councilmember Dennis & Faith Leaders Join for a COVID-19 & Working Mothers Town Hall

Jacksonville, Fla. – On Thursday, May 14, Rep. Tracie Davis (FL-H.D. 13) joined Councilmember Garrett Dennis, faith leaders and working mothers for a virtual town hall to discuss what’s at stake for northeast Florida families during the COVID-19 pandemic and, following Mother’s Day, honor working mothers (and parents) who are stretched thin during this uncertain time. Faith leaders shared how congregations and faith communities are rising to meet the moment, faith-based COVID-19 resources and next steps that faith communities can take to support healthy families during COVID-19. 

In conjunction with a Faith in Public Life Mother’s Day awareness campaign on the rising need for paid family and medical leave in Florida, Representative Davis invited working mothers to share their stories in support of increased paid family leave, during and after COVID-19. In the previous Florida legislative session, Representative Davis introduced the Florida Family Leave Act, along with State Senator Janet Cruz, which would require Florida employers to allow parents to take paid family leave under applicable conditions. 

For the full video, please click here

Representative Tracie Davis, House District 13:

“It pains me and disheartens me to know that Florida is still one of two states that simply do not have any paid leave on the books for our families, we don’t have any laws in place. It’s obvious that policy solutions for our families are needed now more than ever. This Paid Family Leave Act was really personal for me this year. It just seems so simple.”

Marriane Wareham, working mother and impacted citizen, Jacksonville:

“I’m an only parent and the sole wage earner for my household. Eleven years ago, I worked in the tourism industry. I had to return to work to that physically demanding job to make ends meet seven days after giving birth to my daughter. It breaks my heart as I become more aware that I cannot go back and recover those life-essential, missed moments. Families are cornered to choose between being present with their children or paying the bills and it’s not a choice that any parent should be forced to make.” 

Angie Nixon, working mother and impacted citizen, Jacksonville:

“I had to make a tough decision. I had to either stay home and take care of my child and beg my family to help me pay bills or actually place my daughter in child care and get back to work. Because I didn’t want to face a huge mountain of debt, unfortunately I had to choose the latter because the job that I was on did not offer paid family sick leave.” 

Rev. R.L. Gundy, The First Coast Leadership Foundation, Jacksonville:

“We can ease the burden on families by passing paid family legislation that enables all working parents to care for a sick child or a new arrival without losing a paycheck. COVID-19 has verified across the world what it’s like to lose a paycheck.”


Faith in Public Life is a national movement of clergy and faith leaders united in the prophetic pursuit of justice, equality and the common good. Together, with a network of over 50,000 leaders, they are leading the fight to advance just policies at the state and federal level that affirms our values and the human dignity of all.

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