Dear Senate Majority Leader Kari Dziedzic, Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman and members of the Minnesota State Legislature: 

Tue Mar 14, 2023

Thank you for your leadership to better the lives of all Minnesotan. As clergy and faith leaders in ISAIAH, the Muslim Coalition and Jewish Community Action representing congregations across Minnesota, we urge our state elected officials to pass Paid Family and Medical Leave.

As leaders in our communities of faith across Minnesota, we believe all people – Black, white or Brown, indigenous, new-comer or long time resident, in cities, suburb or rural – are inherently of the highest value and deserving of dignity, inclusion, equity and redemption. Our faith traditions and sacred texts challenge us and our elected leaders to take care of one another in times of hardship.

Sadly, the vast majority of Minnesotans don’t have access to paid family & medical leave when they face hardship in caring for themselves and each other. The consequences are grave. 

One in four new mothers returns to work when their baby is only two weeks old in Minnesota. Currently, only 14% of Minnesota’s workforce has access to 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave. Women, people of color, low-wage workers, and rural Minnesotans top the list of those least likely to have access to paid family and medical leave. These inequities have only been exacerbated by the  Covid-19 pandemic that has placed a spotlight on disparities in BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or People of Color) workforces. 

Yet, the struggles to lessen and eliminate these racial and gender gaps are compounded by the struggle of many small businesses in Minnesota. They are often unable to provide PFML to their employees. Not because they don’t want to, but because it is financially out of reach. The few options for small businesses to purchase private market insurance are not only expensive, they fail to cover even the most common situations, like cancer, which 40% of people will be diagnosed with at some point in their lives. Small businesses and entrepreneurs are left with a lack of options in Minnesota that create a huge disadvantage for them. They can’t possibly compete for workers with large corporations that can easily offer paid family and medical leave. 

This means every day, Minnesotans face impossible choices between losing a paycheck or caring for a new child, an aging loved one, or themselves. For many, it can be the difference between paying their rent or mortgage or not or between buying groceries or going hungry. 

It is time for a paid family and medical leave program in Minnesota that ensures the lowest wage workers can receive 90 percent of their wages if they need to take leave. With strong, enforceable job protections for all workers we can ensure they have access to the leave they are entitled to without fear of losing their jobs or other retaliation from employers. This is crucial so that low-income women and people of color, who are most often subjected to job loss and retaliation, are not blocked from achieving the economic security they deserve. 

Nearly every other country in the world provides paid family and medical leave. Minnesota has an opportunity to invest in paid family and medical leave, and put some of our nearly $18 billion surplus into it. We have a tremendous opportunity in Minnesota to finally move forward in catching up with those countries. If we truly value families, we need to start showing it by passing paid family and medical leave this legislative session.

Peace and Blessings to You,

Imam Asad Zaman, Muslim American Society

Rabbi Debra Rappaport, Co-Chair of the MN Rabbinical Association

Rabbi Tamar Magill-Grimm, Co-Chair of the MN Rabbinical Association & Beth Jacob Congregation, Mendota Heights

Minister JaNaé Bates, Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church, St. Paul

Rev. Todd Lippert, Mayflower United Church of Christ, Minneapolis

Pastor Bailey DeVetter, First Presbyterian Church of Mankato

Imam Mohamed Abdulkadir, St Peter Islamic Center, St Peter

Imam Ahmed Aboubadria, Masjid At-Taqwa, St. Paul

Imam Shaban Aboubadria, Muslim American Society, St. Paul

Dr. Hamada Aboubakr, Maple Grove Masjid

Dr. Joel Abrahamson, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Rev. Ava Adams-Morris, Zoar United Church of Christ, Waldorf

Ms. Amina Adan, Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center, Bloomington

Mr. Feisal Amin, Mas Quran Institute

Rev. Nancy Anderson, Mayflower United Church of Christ, Minneapolis 

Rev. Maria Anderson-Lippert, University Lutheran Church of Hope, Minneapolis

Rabbi Jill Avrin, Bet Shalom  Reform Congregation, Minnetonka

Mrs. Fatmata Bah, Fridley

Rev. Jessica Bakken Busch, Faith Lutheran Church, Dodge Center

Rev. Oby Ballinger, Edina Morningside Community Church, Edina

Rev. Martha Bardwell, Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Rev. Howard Bell, Mayflower, Minneapolis

Rev. W Bruce Benson, Retired

Ms. Jasmine Billey, Masjid Ar-Rahiem, Brooklyn Park

Mr. Lawrence Blake, Roman Catholic

Rev. Adam Blons, Macalester Plymouth United Church, St. Paul

Rev. Debbie Blue, House of Mercy, St. Paul

Rev. Brennan Blue, Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area

Deacon Dr. Amy Blumenshine, Minneapolis

Rev. Dr. Larry Boutelle, First Presbyterian Church, Rochester

Rev. Vanessa Bradby, New Spirit United Church of Christ, Savage

Pastor Todd Bratulich, Upper Room Community, Edina

Rev. Alan Bray, Trinity Lutheran Church, Gaylord

Rev. Jeanne Bringgold-Pro, New Spirit UCC, Savage 

Rev. Sarah Brouwer, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, St. Paul

Rev. Beth Buckwalter-Miller, Presbyterian Church (USA), Willmar

Father Harry Bury, Roman Catholic, St. Paul

Rev. Sarah Campbell, Mayflower Community Congregational UCC, Minneapolis

Rev. Jenny Cannon, Christ United Methodist, Rochester

Rev. Jay Carlson, Holy Cross Lutheran, Minneapolis

Rev. El’jah Carroll, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, St. Paul

Rev. Justin Chapman, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Rochester

Mr. Naeem Chaudhry, Islamic Center of Twin Ports, Duluth

Rev. Dr. Catrina Ciccone, Bread of Life Deaf Lutheran and Tree of Life Lutheran, Minneapolis

Rev. Jen Collins, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Dr.  Allison Connelly-Vetter, Lyndale United Church of Christ, Minneapolis

Rev. Joan Conroy, ELCA, St Paul

Rev. Christopher Culuris, First Lutheran Church- St. Peter, Minnesota

Rev. Wyatt Dagit, St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, St. Paul

Pastor Trevor Daniels, Awaken Covenant Community, St. Paul

Rev. Andrew Davis, Union Presbyterian Church, Saint Peter

Rev. Jonathan Davis, St. John’s Lutheran Church (ELCA), Northfield

Minister Lauren Davis, First UCC Northfield

Rev. Dan Doering, People of Hope, Rochester

Ms. Jane Dow, First Congregational UCC Mankato

Rev. Laurie Eaton, Retired ELCA, Plymouth

Rev. Penny Entringer, Zoar United Church of Christ, Chaska

Rev. James Erlandson, Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, St. Paul

Rev. Nikoli Falenschek, Redeemer Lutheran Church & Southwestern Minnesota Synod of the ELCA, Henderson

Rev. Pamela Fickenscher, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Northfield

Pastor Alan Fiene, Friedens UCC, Norwood Young America

Rev. Denise Fossen, First English Lutheran Church, ELCA, Ortonville

Rev. Corinne Freedman Ellis, St Paul

Rev. Brad Froslee, St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Roseville

Rev. Kirsten Fryer, Bethlehem Lutheran in the Midway, St. Paul

Rev. Donald Fulton, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, St. Paul

Rev. Carolyn Fure-Slocum, Carleton College Chapel, Northfield

Rev. Kelly Gallagher, MNUCC, Minneapolis

Ms. Diane Gardner, Mayflower United Church of Christ, Minneapolis

Ms. Mary Gates, Hennepin Avenue United Methodist, Minneapolis

Rev. Dr. Carl-Eric Gentes, Good Shepherd (ELCA), Rochester

Rev. Desiree Gold, UCC New Brighton, New Brighton

Rev. Emily Goldthwaite, Edina Morningside United Church of Christ, Edina

Rev. Andrew Greenhaw, The Congregational Church UCC, Rochester

Rev. Robert Griggs, First United Church of Christ, Northfield

Rev. Daphne Hamborg, Grace Lutheran, Albert Lea

Imam Mustapha Hamida, Woodbury Islamic Center, Woodbury

Rev. Nancy Handlon, Christ United Methodist Church, Rochester

Rev. Corrine Haulotte, Lutheran Campus Center, Winona

Rev. Alison Hendley, Clearwater UMC, Clearwater

Pastor Glen Herrington-Hall, Cherokee Park United Church, St. Paul

Rev. Anita Hill, Grace University Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Rev. Rhonda Hlavinka, Salem Lutheran Uptown ELCA, Minneapolis

Rev. Beth Hoffman Faeth, Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis

Rev. Eliot Howard, Edina Morningside-Linden Hills UCC, Edinda

Rev. Shari Howell, Federation of Christian Ministries, Woodbury 

Miss Kausar Hussain, Sukoon Healing of the Minds, Blaine

Deacon Diane Jacobson, ELCA Clergy & Professor Emerita at Luther Seminary, St. Paul

Mr. Abdishakur Jama, Darul Uloom Islamic Center, St. Paul

Ms. Rachel James, First Lutheran Church, Columbia Heights

Rev. Lisa Janke, Mount Olive Lutheran, Rochester

Father Paul Jaroszeski, Church of Saint Katharine Drexel, Ramsey

Rev. Dr. Elisabeth Johnson, Minneapolis Area Synod, ELCA

Rev. Hans Jorgensen, St Timothy Lutheran, St Paul

Mr. Abdoul Kann, Muslim Masjid AR Rahim, Brooklyn Park

Imam Abdirahman Kariye, Dar Al Farooq Center, Bloomington

Sister Betty Kenny, Franciscan, Rochester

Rev. Kirsten Kessel, First Lutheran Church of Crystal, Brooklyn Park

Rev. Rick King, Falcon Heights United Church of Christ, Falcon Heights

Rev. Amy Kosari, Presbyterian Church (USA), Rochester

Rev. David Landt, Mills Church, Minnetonka

Rev. Amanda Larsen, Christ United Methodist Church, Rochester

Rev. Karen Larson, Zwingli UCC, West Concord

Rev. David Lick, First Presbyterian Church, St James

Rev. Justin Lind-Ayres, Grace University Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Pastor Jerry Mbartee Locula, Peace United Church of Christ, Rochester

Imam Siyad Lohos, Masjid Abu-Huraira Islamic Center, Saint Anthony

Rev. Benjamin Loven, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Rochester

Chaplain Lisa Lynott-Carroll, Peace United Church of Christ, St. Cloud

Rev. Cindy Maddox, First UCC, Northfield

Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Mahan, First Congregational UCC of Mankato

Rev. Catherine Malotky, Edina Community Lutheran Church, Edina

Rev. Michael Mandsager, Northfield 

Rev. Babara Martin, Union Congregational UCC, St. Louis Park

Rev. Jeanne Martin, United Methodist Church

Rev. Dr. Theresa Mason, Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church, St. Paul

Pastor Judith Mattison, Calvary Lutheran Minneapolis

Rev. Chris McArdle, First Congregational Church UCC of Anoka

Rev. Jane McBride, First Congregational Church of MN UCC, Minneapolis

Rev. Dr. Joy McDonald Coltvet, Christ on Capitol Hill, St Paul

Sister Sr. Margaret McGuirk, Incarnation Catholic Church, Minneapolis

Rev. Rex McKee, Saint John the Baptist Episcopal Church, Minneapolis MN

Rev. Laura Messer, Faith Presbyterian, Silver Lake

Rev. Dr. Kent Meyer, Le Sueur

Ms. Melissa Miller, Our Lady of Grace, Edina

Imam Hassan Mohamed, South Metro Islamic Center, Rosemount

Mr. Ali Mohamed, Masjid Al Rahman, Bloomington

Imam Salah Mohamed, Masjid Abu-Huraira Islamic Center, Saint Anthony

Rev. Rachel Morey, Northfield United Methodist Church, Northfield

Dr. Bilal Murad, South Metro Islamic Center, Rosemount

Rev. Jen Nagel, University Lutheran Church of Hope, Minneapolis

Rev. Allan Negstad, Grace University Lutheran, Minneapolis

Rev. Julie Neraas, Plymouth Congregational Church Minneapolis

Rev. Laura Nordstrom, Stewartville UMC, Stewartville

Pastor Pastor Gregory Oats, Kingdom Builders Worship Center, St. Paul

Rev. John Odegard, Grace Lutheran Church, Mankato

Pastor Ole Olson, United Faith Community UCC, Buffalo

Miss Melody Olson, Awaken Community Community, St. Paul

Rev. Keith Olstad, Holy Trinity Lutheran, Minneapolis

Imam Mohamed Omar, Dar Al-Farooq Center, Bloomington

Rev. Ashley Osborn, Valley of Peace Lutheran Church, Golden Valley

Rev. Abigail Ozanne, Peace United Methodist, Plainview

Imam Vural Öztürk, Masjid Al-Taqwah, St. Paul

Rev. Lois Pallmeyer, Gloria Dei Lutheran, St. Paul

Rev. Hans Peterson, River of Hope Lutheran, Hutchinson

Rev. Matthias Peterson-Brandt, Cherokee Park United Church, St. Paul

Rev. Rory Philstrom, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Bloomington

Ms. Sharon Prestemon, Minnesota Conference United Church of Christ

Rev. Ingrid Rasmussen, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Ms. Kathy Redig, All Are One Roman Catholic Church, Winona

Rev. Jim Reuer Welton, Lutheran Campus Ministry-Twin Cities

Rev. Kate Reuer Welton, Lutheran Campus Ministry-Twin Cities

Rev. Kirkland Reynolds, Christ UMC, Rochester

Rev. Jacie Richmond, Bethlehem Lutheran, Mankato

Pastor Nathan Roberts, United Church of Christ, Columbia Heights

Dr. Stephen Robertson, First Presbyterian Church, Hastings

Rev. T. Michael Rock, Robbinsdale Parkway United Church of Christ, Robbinsdale

Associate Pastor Nicole Rockne, Rochester

Rev. Gretchen Rode, House of Hope Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Mr. David Rojas, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Rev. Jennifer Rome, Pilgrim Lutheran Church, St. Paul

Rev. Phillip Romine, Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area

Rabbi Jessica Rosenberg, Minneapolis

Mr. Timothy Rotman, Zumbro Lutheran Church, Rochester

Rev. Miriam Samuelson-Roberts, Christ Church Lutheran, Minneapolis

Rev. John Schwehn, Augsburg University, Minneapolis

Ms Saffiatou Secka, Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center, Bloomington

Imam Walid Shadi, Muslim American Society, Blaine

Rev. Mary Shaffer, Mayflower UCC, Minneapolis

Rev. Carol Shaffer, First Presbyterian Church, Rochester

Rev. Dr. Patrick Shebeck, St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church, St. Paul

Rev. Matthew Sipe, Hilltop United Methodist Church, Mankato

Rev. Jan Skogstrom, Mayflower UCC, Minneapolis

Rev. Rob Smith, Spirit of Life Presbyterian, Apple Valley

Mrs. Cathy Solomon, Awaken Community, St. Paul

Rev. Ruth Sorenson, St. Paul

Rev. Liesl Spitz, St. Timothy Lutheran Church, St. Paul

Rev. Wendy Steger, All Saints Lutheran Church, Eagan

Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer, First Unitarian Universalist Church, Rochester

Rev. Les Svendsen, Central Lutheran, Minneapolis

Rev. Javen Swanson, St. Paul

Miss Sadia Tarannum, Northwest Islamic Community Center, Plymouth

Pastor Juli Thompson, St Stephen Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

Rev. Dr. Gary Titusdahl, Mayflower Community UCC, Minneapolis, MN

Rev. Mariah Tollgaard, Hamline Church United Methodist, St. Paul

Rev. Penelope Tower, Mayflower UCC, Minneapolis

Mrs. Sandy Tracy, River of Hope, Hutchinson

Deacon Carl Valdez, Church of the Incarnation, Minneapolis

Rev. Dr. Rebecca Voelkel, Lyndale United Church of Christ, Minneapolis

Rev. Rebecca von Fischer, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Rev. Dwight Wagenius, Mayflower UCC, Minneapolis

Rev. Amy Wick Moore, The United Church of Christ in New Brighton; New Brighton MN

Rev. Jan Wiersma, Community Presbyterian Church, Rochester

Rev. Bonnie Wilcox, First Lutheran Church, Columbia Heights

Rev. Victoria Wilgocki, St. Anthony Park United Church of Christ, St. Paul

Rev. Dr. Sara Wilhelm Garbers, Meetinghouse Church, Edina

Dr. Karen Wills, MUUSJA – Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance

Rev. Andrew Wright, Faith Mennonite Church & Minneapolis Mills Church, Minnetonka

Rev. Jonathan Zielske, St. Paul

Imam Abdirahman Bashir, Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center, Bloomington

Ms. Carolyn Thornton, Camphor Memorial United Methodist Church; St. Paul

Sheikh Said Rasle

Imam Tariq Awadallah, MCC Al-Rahman, St. Anthony

Imam Islaim Al-Sagheer, Maple Grove Masjid, Maple Grove