Coalition Resident – Small Fries, Full Lives Collective

Promoting Gender Equality:
Paid Family Leave + Universal Childcare

How do we create loving and equitable communities, if we cannot support the growth of our families? Coming off of the election and the momentum of the Women’s March, we are looking to create a space to work with you and others to explore how increasing and expanding access to paid parental leave and universal childcare can begin to create an equitable Los Angeles and California. We are motivated to create positive change at both the state and local level. Over the course of 12 weeks we are hosting a series of workshops and conversations to: understand the current leave policies in California and childcare options; explore efforts to expand paid and unpaid parental leave, and create universal childcare; and most importantly we will identify ways we can actively support and further local and state efforts.

Past Programming

All programs are free and at the WCCW 2425 Glover Place.
Childcare will be available on site, children, babies, partners welcome!

Let’s Get Started!
Thur, Mar 9, 7-8:30pm
Join one of our 3 spring residents for their inaugural meeting!
Why is Paid Family Leave and Universal Childcare important and why are we looking at it now? For this first week we will introduce ourselves and we will ask and answer with your help: 1) What do we currently have?, 2) Why is what we have not okay?, 3) What do we want and need?, and 4) What are we trying to do over the next 12 weeks?

Know Your Rights + Questioning Policies: Paid Parental Leave
Thursday, Mar 16th, 7–8:30pm

Curious about California’s parental leave policy? Wondering if you qualify for short term disability from the state? Want California to do more? Join us to learn your rights for paid and unpaid parental leave, and what’s currently happening around the state level. We will start to brainstorm ideas on what we can advocate for at the local level and how we can better support advocacy at the state level.

Paid Family Leave: What the rest of the world has
Thursday, Mar 23rd, 7–8:30pm

The US’ Family and Medical Leave Act provides protected unpaid family leave for only 40% of the country’s employees! Yup, crazy! On top of that the US provides ZERO paid family leave, that’s less than the Bahamas, Kenya, and Iceland to name just a handful of countries. This week we will look at how the rest of the world provides family leave for their residents and how they got there.

Making Sense of Things/Exploring the Narrative
Thursday, March 30, 7–8:30pm

Are you a storyteller? Expert Communicator? Help us rethink the narrative around Paid Family Leave. We will be exploring: What truths can be told that 1) demonstrate PFL benefits, 2) starts to take the burden off of women (helping to encourage/get more men to take leave), 3) expresses family protection + health. We are looking to craft messaging that can be used in future weeks to create new graphics for the CA Work + Family Coalition to use in their state-wide work.

How do we take care of our kids? Childcare in California
Thursday, April 6, 7–8:30pm

Scrambling to find child care for your 0-5 year old? Spending the majority of your paycheck on day care? This week we will be discussing challenges parents face to finding affordable quality child care, existing financial aid programs, and local advocacy efforts to increase the number of spots in child care.

Let’s get it done, LA!
Thursday, April 13, 7–8:30pm

Nancy L. Cohen will join us to help us explore the gender equity efforts happening locally and understand our local political climate.

Nancy L. Cohen is an award-winning author, public speaker, and leading national expert on women, gender and politics. Her books include Breakthrough: The Making of America’s First Woman President, Delirium: The Politics of Sex in America, and The Reconstruction of American Liberalism. She has written on gender and politics for the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, and Ms. Magazine, among others, and has appeared on MSNBC, NPR and many other broadcasts. Currently Dr. Cohen serves as treasurer of the Los Angeles County Commission for Women and the Southern California Representative on the Association of California Commissions for Women. Previously she worked as a senior policy analyst at LAANE, a nonprofit dedicated to creating a fair economy for all. A historian, Cohen spent more than 10 years in teaching and research positions at UCLA, Occidental College and elsewhere. In 2016, she received the Women for a New Los Angeles award. Nancy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two daughters, and four stepchildren.

Paid Family Leave + Universal Childcare are Good for Business
Thursday, April 20, 7–8:30pm

We will be exploring the often contentious position of business on Paid Family Leave and Universal Childcare. LA’s Chamber of Commerce will be joining us to help us better understand the position of business.

Refining Asks + Zine Development
Thursday, April 27, 7–8:30pm

We will firm up our asks, create a timeline and action steps, and develop a campaign. We will finalize our power map and use it as a guide for reaching out to and confirming allies and coalition members. We will be exploring the use of a Zine for distributing messaging and campaigning.

Call for Poster and Postcard Designs In Support of Job Protected Paid Family Leave
Small Fries, Full Lives Collective put out a call for designers, artists, friends to help design images that graphically represent the importance of Job Protected Paid Family Leave for California communities! More info & design results!

Week 9 
Thursday, May 4th – 7 to 8:30pm
 We will finalize a local campaign plan.

This week we will tackle how to achieve our long-term goal. Working backwards from a future where job protected paid family leave is accessible to all and universal childcare exists, we will carve out a multi-year strategy for advocacy and campaigning in Los Angeles for our coalition.

Week 10
Thursday, May 11th – 7 to 8:30pm
Email [email protected] for location
We will brainstorm and hopefully finalize our local messaging and collect and finalize materials submitted through the Design Call for Action.

This week we will take our campaign goals and strategy and put together a messaging platform to accompany our short-term actions. We will look at what may resonate with government officials to start to change policy and what would resonate with Angelenos to increase advocacy involvement.

Week 11
Thursday, May 18th – 7 to 8:30pm
 We will prep materials for a May 22nd lobby day in Sacramento to talk to representatives about SB63.

This week we will put together messaging and visual material collected through the Design Call to Action and format so that it can be used during the California Work and Family Coalition lobby day on May 22nd in Sacramento.

Week 12
Thursday, May 25th – 7 to 8:30pm
We will finalize our ask to local representatives and set up meetings with LA City Council and LA County Supervisors offices.

This week we will plan and organize meetings with local representatives to begin to ask for their support in and action on job protected paid family leave and universal healthcare in Los Angeles. We will put together scripts and materials for these meetings.

About the Residents

Small Fries, Full Lives Collective WCCW Spring Quarter Resident
We are friends, mothers, and a single lady ready to explore with you how LA can put equity first by supporting the livelihoods of our youngest citizens (age 0 – 5) and the Angelenos that raise them.

Jessica Bremner is Planning Director at Kounkuey Design Initiative. Jessica has coordinated, supervised, and implemented a number of community development programs aimed at empowering and educating communities around the world. Before joining KDI, she assisted management and evaluation of the Inter-American Foundation’s Brazil and Ecuador grant portfolios and worked for the Planning Department of the City of West Hollywood. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American Studies from Tulane University and dual Master of Arts in Urban Planning and Latin American Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.


Alexis Lantz, MA; just started a new job as a mom in addition to her career at the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (DPH). As a policy analyst at  the DPH PLACE Program Alexis works on built environment policy and planning efforts to improve community health. Previously, she was the Planning & Policy Director at the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition (LACBC). During her tenure at LACBC she initiated the first ever citywide bicycle and pedestrian count for the City of Los Angeles and had a hand in shaping policies in the city and county of Los Angeles to increase funding and infrastructure for people walking and bicycling. Alexis holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA. While at UCLA, she initiated a student-led course on bicycle and pedestrian planning that continues today and authored the report “Cycling in Los Angeles” as a Los Angeles Sustainability Collaborative fellow.

Shannon Scrofano is a Los Angeles-based designer whose work includes interdisciplinary performance, public space, exhibition, curation and dialogue projects internationally and throughout the US.  She is a co-founder and the Director of Design for the Center for Performance and Civic Practice, which develops field-building tools and strategies for artists to collaborate cross-sector within communities to build civic health, equity and capacity.  She is also a member of the Performing Our Future action research initiative, in partnership with Imagining America and Appalshop, whose research is focused on the current and potential role of arts and culture in the changing economy in Appalachia.  Shannon is on design faculty at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), and is the very happy new mother of a boy called Hugo.  

Colleen Corcoran is a graphic designer from Texas, living and working in Los Angeles on projects that examine the use of design as a tool for education and positive change within the urban environment. Her work focuses on the promotion of active transportation, human-centric public policies, and economic and social justice. She graduated from the CalArts Design MFA program in 2008. Colleen is a co-founder of LA’s regular open streets event CicLAvia and currently serves on the steering committee of the pedestrian advocacy organization Los Angeles Walks. For nearly a decade, Colleen has worked with various community organizations and public agencies on projects that lend an accessible, visual public face to work done across the Los Angeles area to better our communities. This includes work with CicLAvia, Los Angeles Walks, SCAG/GoHuman, the Los Angeles Vision Zero Alliance, Climate Resolve, Las Fotos Project, LAANE, and Community Partners, to name a few. She can also be found along the banks of the Arroyo Seco or the window seat of the Metro bus.



California Family Rights Act
Resource 1
Resource 2

The California Family Rights Act (CFRA) (Gov. Code, § 12945.2) was established to ensure secure leave rights for the following:

  • Birth of a child for purposes of bonding
  • Placement of a child in the employee’s family for adoption or foster care
  • For the serious health condition of the employee’s child, parent or spouse
  • For the employee’s own serious health condition

San Francisco Paid Parental Leave

The Paid Parental Leave Ordinance amends the San Francisco Police Code to require employers to provide supplemental compensation to employees who are receiving California Paid Family Leave for purposes of bonding with a new child.

Upcoming Legislation In California

SB 63
The New Parent Leave Act would provide 12 weeks of job-protected leave for mothers and fathers who work in companies with 20-49 employees.

SB 62
This bill expands the definition of family to qualify for a 12-week job protected leave to care for loved ones, including grandparents, grandchild, siblings, adult children, and in-laws.

AB 60
The Child Care Protections for Working Families Act: This measure will help eligible families achieve stability by guaranteeing a minimum of 12-months of continuous child care without punitive interim reporting requirements which will help to build their family’s economic security. In addition, it will end the decade long freeze on income guidelines that has resulted in families turning down hard earned raises and promotions in order to remain eligible for child care assistance.

In US Senate: Reintroduction of the FAMILY Act 


State of California Paid Family Leave Portal through the Employment Development Department and State Disability Insurance
Fact Sheet

California Work and Family Coalition – supports expanding job protected leave, making paid family leave affordable for low-income workers, expanding access to paid sick days, and other policies that help California workers preserve their jobs and fulfill their caregiving responsibilities. Paid Family Leave California a site maintained by the California Work and Family Coalition containing resources on paid family leave in California.

6 Laws for Parents

Legal Aid at Work Free legal info and clinics on workers’ rights.

Raising California Together is a broad coalition of early educators, agencies, parents, clergy and interfaith networks, unions, small businesses, women’s and children’s advocates, community groups, and public health organizations united to press for local, state, and national policy solutions to increase access to quality early care and education. is a broad coalition of early educators, agencies, parents, clergy and interfaith networks, unions, small businesses, women’s and children’s advocates, community groups, and public health organizations united to press for local, state, and national policy solutions to increase access to quality early care and education.

Los Angeles Programs + Initiatives

The Women and Girls Initiative The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the creation of a five-year initiative to better address the disproportionate disadvantages and burdens faced by LA County women and girls.

The motion, coauthored by Supervisors Kuehl and Solis, asks the County, with all its resources – its nearly $29 billion budget, 100,000 employees and 37 departments –to better address the disproportionate disadvantages and burdens experienced by women and girls County-wide.

Op-ed on why the Women and Girls Initiative is a good thing

LAUP takes a diverse approach to develop the “whole child” by supporting parents; growing a qualified workforce; improving quality by providing quality supports in the classroom; and pursuing advocacy and policy for increased early learning investments at the local, state and national levels.

First 5 LA First 5 LA is a leading early childhood advocate working collaboratively across L.A. County. We were created in 1998 to invest L.A. County’s allocation of funds from California’s Proposition 10 tobacco tax. Since then, First 5 LA has invested more than $1.2 billion in efforts aimed at providing the best start for children from prenatal to age 5 and their families.

Crystal Stairs Through the efforts of their board, staff and many professional and community partners, Crystal Stairs programs and services enhance the quality of life for thousands of children and families in Los Angeles every day. Helping a parent find child care, training child care providers on how to nurture and educate young children, helping parents and providers bridge the affordability gap with child care subsidies, and teaching a child to use a computer are just part of what we do. We help families to succeed, children to learn, and child care providers to be competent, confident caregivers.


The Raising of America The acclaimed five-part documentary series and companion tools illustrate how a strong start for all our kids can lead to better individual outcomes AND a healthier, safer, more prosperous and equitable America.


NPR Stretched podcast on working parents and their juggling acts