Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts said Monday she hopes the city includes paid family leave in its upcoming budget.
The city’s current policy is that employees get 12 weeks of unpaid time after they have a child.
Roberts said she would work with City Manager Marcus Jones to to give employees – both men and women – paid time off, possibly up to six weeks.
“We need to be equal,” Roberts said.
Roberts made the comments during her State of the City speech at East Mecklenburg High School. She also discussed some of the city’s problems in the past year, including the Keith Scott protests and riots as well as House Bill 2.
She also mentioned the Trump administration, saying she would oppose policies that are against the city’s values.
“There may be a new leadership that may want to rewrite our ideals,” she said. “We will stand strong and be a tolerant city that welcomes people from around the world.”
In discussing the controversy over HB2, Roberts said she is “most proud of standing strong for equality. Every individual is worthy of dignity and respect.”
She didn’t discuss city efforts to try to find a compromise with the General Assembly so it would repeal HB2. She said legislators need “to let Charlotte be Charlotte. We are the economic engine for the state.”
She also mentioned some of her accomplishments in the past year, which include creating a new program to give parents of middle- and high-school students more information about after-school programs.
Roberts graduated from East Meck. She spoke in the auditorium in front of the city’s senior class.