They are my everything

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On the eve of Father's Day, this is a good read by Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx. He talks about work-life balance and how he learned to become a better father.

I am so proud of my sons Sebastian and Sinclair. I have not always been able to make it home on time every night, because I've balanced a career in public service with being a father to my sons and a husband to my wife Avis. Sometimes I admit I've gotten the balance wrong. Being a father means more than just dropping in for "quality" time or dropping off a check, it means being there for their lows and the highs. It means making mistakes, and making amends. For me, fatherhood has been a learning process.

I'm supportive of both of my sons and the choices they've made with their lives. They've grown up to be strong Black men and leaders in our community. I wouldn't change anything about them or the road we've taken to get here, however rocky it's been in places. I recognize we've been privileged, and had many opportunities along the way that others have not.

In today's world, with the achievement gap in our schools leading to a higher education deficit, decent well-paying jobs not being available any more for working people without a college degree, college unaffordable for most working class families, and needing to hold down two or more minimum wage jobs at once just to pay the bills, it is harder than ever to be a good parent.

We need a living wage for all workers, so that parents (and non-parents for that matter) can earn a decent salary for a decent day's work. We need affordable childcare, especially for single-parent families that so desperately need it. We need equal pay for equal work, so that women have the resources to feed and clothe their families as much as men do. We need paid paternity leave, as well as maternity leave, so that parents can more easily balance time spent with their newborns while making a living. And we need to recognize that families come in all shapes and sizes, but love brings them together.

It's hard to maintain the balance of work and family, especially when you're at the edge of a cliff already. On this Father's Day, I hope while we appreciate our own families, we recognize how to move for change that will help others strengthen their families too.


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