Care Canvass: Building the Caring Majority

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On Saturday, October 18, Caring Across Generations and our partners across the country held a nation-wide Care Canvass. 

In more than a dozen cities, hundreds of home care workers and seniors talked to thousands of voters about the need to strengthen our home care and long-term care systems, as well as support home care workers in their call for fair wages.

This work — of knocking on doors one by one, of calling voters and having conversations about long-term care — is what builds what we call the “Caring Majority” and brings home care into the national spotlight. 

Read why these five people participated in the Care Canvass this past weekend:

Ted Rippy, home care worker, Maine: I am 80 years old, still working as a home care worker, and I’m a former union leader and current member of Food and Medicine. I have always advocated for workers like myself. I am engaging voters in this election to help us elect a candidate who supports home care workers. I worked with our past Governor John Baldacci to get a bill — LD 1078 — signed, which allocated more money from the state for home care, so I know it can be done. 

Erica Brawner, personal care attendant, Minnesota: I am a personal care attendant. I have taken care of my mom for four years, and in that time, my pay has gone up 33 cents. Six weeks ago, I never would have thought I would be doorknocking. But last month, an organizer named Cheryl knocked on my door, and I signed up to become a member of the union, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota. Now I have been doing the same thing since then – talking to home care workers about joining our union and talking to voters about why it’s important to support home care. Home care workers and supporters from TakeAction Minnesota came together to talk to senior voters why we all should support of home care in this election! 

Pat Mehigan, senior, Minnesota: A group of us elders from TakeAction Minnesota phonebanked today while home care workers knocked on doors. We are standing together to elect home care champions – something that is very personal for me. A few years ago, I had a major surgery, which put me in a transition hospital for a time. The only reason I was able to go home was because a home care worker came to my house for the next three months and helped me with everything from cooking to getting to doctors’ appointments. If it wasn’t for them, would have been in the hospital for all that time. 

Lovette Thompson, home care worker, Atlanta, GA: During our NDWA-Atlanta phonebank, we called “low propensity” women voters – women voters who do not normally turn out in non-presidential elections but whose vote can literally determine whether we get a new governor. We have been fighting for Medicaid expansion because we know how important Medicaid expansion is to cover thousands of home care workers living in Georgia. We want to make sure other women workers know what is at stake. 

Ashli Bolden, organizer, Missouri: On Saturday, phonebankers with Missouri Jobs with Justice called more than 3,000 seniors in the St. Louis area. These seniors are people we have talked to before about their support for a strong home care workforce – but they are voters who rarely vote in midterms. We called them to make sure they knew how many decisions our state legislators make that impact seniors — and that to build the quality home care system we all deserve, means that people like them need to make their voice heard at the polls.

Rosario Cabrera, home care worker, New Bedford, MA: I support and truly believe in the work we are doing throughout Massachusetts for personal care attendants and for our hardworking middle-class. I believe if you fight for what you you believe in and really push for it, something is going to happen. Fighting for $15 an hour, sick leave, health insurance, and much more just seems the right thing to do, for a better way of living for all.

Rosario Cabrera

Caption: Home care worker Rosario Cabrera and one of her clients.

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