Caregiver supports under attack

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Imagine you are caring for both of your parents. They need full time care — help with cooking, cleaning, managing medication, getting to doctor’s appointments — so you move them into your home. They get to be with family and maintain their independence while you are assured you can be there for them, no matter what.

Imagine that a commitment like this comes with a range of supports specifically created to help you be there for your family. Access to respite services. Support from a case worker. Health insurance. Training. A call center to answer questions. Regular support and solidarity meetings with other people engaged in caregiving. Maybe even compensation.

Sounds pretty great right? But maybe too good to be true?

For Caring Across activist Marissa S., it was true.

Marissa is the primary caregiver for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s, her father, who has heart disease, and her son, a person with physical and mental disabilities. In California, a person caring for their family can become a member of a union. A union that fought for and won the supports that make it easier for people like Marissa to there for her family, no matter what. A union that stands with and defends the #CaringMajority.

But these victories are under attack. And as part of the #CaringMajority, we must fight back. On February 26th, the U.S Supreme Court will hear Janus v. AFSCME Council 31, a case that threatens the survival of public sector unions, unions just like the one Marissa was a part of in California.

That’s why Caring Across is joining in the Working People’s Day of Action, organized by AFSCME, Jobs with Justice, and dozens of other groups.

Marissa knows exactly what’s at stake if the Supreme Court weakens one of the most powerful ways we have to come together in numbers to speak up for ourselves, our families and our communities.

That’s because she doesn’t live in California anymore. She lives in Georgia. In Georgia, there is no union for family caregivers to be a part of — and therefore no range of support to help her be there for her family. Here’s how she describes the difference:

“In California, I had a lot of support to provide care for my family as we saw fit. We were able to choose what made sense for us. We had real options. In Georgia, it’s not difficult to find the care you want for your family — it’s impossible.”

When people can join together to speak up for ourselves, our families, and our communities, we can get what we need in order to make sure family comes first.

That’s why Marissa is joining in reclaiming our freedom to come together in unions. Add your voice to Marissa’s and hundreds of other Caring Across activists by clicking here.

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