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Lessons from the Successful Movement for Paid Sick Days

October 20, 2015

On October 14, Grassroots Change hosted a Twitter chat to capture and share lessons and strategies from the successful national movement for paid sick days. The chat featured three key leaders from the movement: Ellen Bravo of Family Values @ Work, Melissa Josephs of Women Employed, and Vicki Shabo of the National Partnership for Women & Families.

Over the past five years, a number of cities and states have passed paid (or “earned”) sick days mandates for workers in their communities. These victories were hard-won by a passionate and effective grassroots movement.

Six important lessons emerged from the Twitter chat. Leaders working on a wide range of issues from violence prevention to food policy can use these lessons in their own grassroots movement building.

1. Build broad and diverse coalitions.


PSDTwitterChat02PSDTwitterChat032. Be wary of industry tactics such as preemption.

PSDTwitterChat04PSDTwitterChat053. Build authentic relationships with allies and support their movements.PSDTwitterChat06

PSDTwitterChat074. Influence policy makers through storytelling.



5. Use research and evidence to advance your movement and counter opponents’ misinformation.




6. Local victories pave the way for the national movement.


To see the full conversation, see our Storify.