• City of Seattle

It's been three weeks since Mayor Ed Murray shouted at Anna Minard (*sniff* miss ya, dude) about gender pay equity.

Don't remember what exactly set the mayor off? It was Anna's reporting on his budget proposal, which didn't include any new funding—beyond $1.4 million already allotted during the Mike McGinn administration—to do something about the city's habit of paying women less than men for the same work. (This was strange, because Murray had trashed McGinn on the issue of gender pay equity during the last mayoral election.)

Since then, the City Council intervened—as it's done with other deficiencies in the mayor's budget proposal—and added $500,000 over the next two years to give the city the "flexibility and capacity" to implement a paid parental sick leave policy for city employees. The idea is to allow employees of any gender, including new moms, of course, to take time off when they have a child. The city's own Gender Equity Task Force recommended creating such a policy back in 2013.

Council Member Jean Godden, who proposed the funding, says she's "thrilled" that the council took her up on it. And, she says, the mayor is "enthusiastic" about it. (He should be, given what he already said about parental leave on Slog.)

Godden told me she realized how critical an issue this is when she ran into a city department head in the elevator one day. He told her his employees had recently had seven children between them. "They've been trying to piece together vacation time so they wouldn't have to come back the next day [after their babies were born]," she says he told her.

As with any Seattle-process-heavy process, though, actual change could be a ways off. A consultant will be tasked with finishing a study on what the parental leave policy could look like by November 2014, just in time for the next iteration of the budget.

"Establishing a paid parental leave policy? The city should've already had one. Implement that fucker yesterday," Anna wrote back in April. (The United States is one of only a few countries that doesn't offer paid parental leave. 'MERICA!)