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Senator Janet Cruz, Faith Leaders Join for a COVID-19 & Working Families Town Hall


June 26, 2020


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202) 735-7123

Joey McKinnon, jmckinnon@faithinpubliclife.org, (843) 364-4403

Senator Janet Cruz, Faith Leaders Join for a COVID-19 & Working Families Town Hall

Tampa, Fla. – On Thursday, June 25th, Senator Janet Cruz (FL-S.D. 18) joined faith leaders and working parents for a virtual town hall to discuss what’s at stake for Tampa Bay families who are stretched thin during this uncertain time. Faith leaders shared how congregations and faith communities are rising to meet the moment amid COVID-19. They also discussed the Black Lives Matter demonstrations happening throughout the state, how families of color are inordinately impacted by lack of access to paid family leave and next steps that faith communities can take to support healthy families. 

In conjunction with Faith in Public Life Father’s Day awareness campaign underscoring the rising need for paid family leave in Florida, Senator Cruz invited some working parents and faith leaders to share their stories in support of increased paid family leave, during and after COVID-19. In the previous Florida legislative session, Senator Cruz introduced the Florida Family Leave Act, along with Representative Tracie Davis (FL-H.D. 13), which would require Florida employers to allow parents to take paid family leave under applicable conditions. 

For the full video of the event, click here

Senator Janet Cruz, Senate District 18:

“I plan to introduce three bills for the 2021 session, which address police reform, citizen review boards and improving the teaching of Black history in our public schools. Everyday we fail to act on these inequities, we are allowing more lives to be put at risk. Paid family leave would have a great impact on many communities, but specifically the Black and Brown communities.” 

Marianne Wareham, Impacted Parent: 

“I returned to my physically demanding job, to make ends meet, seven days after giving birth to my daughter. It breaks my heart as I become increasingly aware of the importance that I can not go back and recover those life essential missed moments. Perhaps I could recover a paycheck, but you can’t recover those moments to bond with your child.”

Rev. James Golden, Florida Council of Churches:

“We rely on faith. We believe that there is a better way. We believe there can be a better unemployment compensation structure. We believe there can be paid family leave. We believe that there is an equal justice that is available to everybody regardless of race, creed or color.” 

Rev. Joe Parramore, Faith in Public Life:

“These are defining moments that we face. However, as long as I have breath I have hope. A hope for a better tomorrow, a hope for a better future. A hope that says every life in this pandemic is important and valued. A hope that Black Lives do Matter and a hope that our families matter.” 


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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