December 19, 2016 at 10:47 am EST | by Sara Fatell
In D.C., when we meet someone new, the first question we ask is “What do you do?”
Our work is more than just that thing we do to pay the bills. It’s our way of being part of something bigger than ourselves. My work is a huge part of me: I’m a pastry chef and queer feminist small business owner, running Grassroots Gourmet in Ward 5.
As a queer feminist small business owner, I believe strongly that people should not have to choose between their work and caring for themselves and their families — however they define family, and wherever they work. It’s all of our responsibility to make sure that everyone in our city and society has these basic rights. That’s why I support the proposed Paid Family and Medical Leave legislation, which is up for a final vote this Tuesday in the D.C. Council.
A real paid leave program would mean I don’t have to check my feminist and queer values at the door of my business. If my employees faced a debilitating accident or illness, I wouldn’t have to just let them go with no money to live on. Paid leave would mean that when I talk with my partner, who I’m marrying next fall, about having children, we wouldn’t have to sacrifice their care in order to earn a living, or vice versa.