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Care Advocates, Legislators Celebrate Launch of Bipartisan Care Caucus
Caucus to Build a Better Care Infrastructure and Economy for all Michiganders
LANSING, Mich. — Following the Biden Administration releasing the largest slate of executive actions for care in history, Michigan legislators and the Care Can’t Wait Michigan Coalition gathered Thursday at the Capitol for the first meeting of the Bipartisan Care Caucus meeting to create a space in the state legislature devoted to the issue of care, as well as to uplifting women of color caregivers and those receiving care across the state of Michigan.
Care workers and attendees with the Care Can’t Wait Michigan Coalition gathered with state representatives and senators to discuss the need to invest in care in Michigan at breakfast. Members shared personal care stories and offered ideas for policy and legislative solutions to the Care Caucus.
“It is time Michigan made permanent investments to strengthen the state’s care infrastructure for all of Michiganders’ families and loved ones, as well as for the state’s economy,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of Caring Across Generations. “The foundation of a thriving economy is a strong care economy. The work of this Care Caucus will be of the utmost importance, because we simply can not wait any longer to transform the care landscape in Michigan so everyone can live, work, and age with dignity.”
“I am very excited to start up the Care Caucus again for the 2023-2024 legislative term, as advocacy for caregivers and those who receive care is more prevalent than ever,” said Representative Helena Scott, chair of the Care Caucus. “It is critical that we work together to give the support that is needed among the care workforce. Strengthening Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services, along with enacting a statewide long-term care insurance program, are necessary steps towards securing livable wages for direct care workers and ensuring that all Michiganders can receive care when they need it.”
“Care Can’t Wait Michigan appreciates the opportunity to have presented to the Care Caucus yesterday and share the important issues our most vulnerable Michiganders are facing related to the direct care worker crisis,” said Karah Ley, project coordinator with The Arc Michigan and facilitator of the Direct Care Worker Wage Coalition. “We look forward to continuing to work towards sustainable solutions to direct care worker wages and benefits with our state legislators.”
“Today’s Care Caucus meeting was a step in the right direction for Michigan’s care economy. In order for Michigan’s economy to continue to grow and keep our unemployment rate low, care workers need to be included in the conversation. Without people who care for our loved ones, our economy will head in the wrong direction. I’m very grateful to Rep. Helena Scott ( Chair) and Senator Santana (Co-chair) for taking the lead and look forward to solutions that will benefit all Michiganders,” said Kelly Garrett, state director of Care in Action and National Domestic Workers Alliance.
The Care Caucus’ existence is an important step in embedding care in all aspects of policymaking in Michigan, including making sure that care is accessible, affordable, and attainable for everyone in the state.
Care Can’t Wait Michigan is a coalition of organizations who advocate for comprehensive solutions that will create systemic improvements to Michigan’s care economy that Michiganders have been demanding for years.
Participating organizations: Alzheimer’s Association Michigan Chapter, The Arc Michigan, Black Women in Home Care, Care in Action, Caring Across Generations, Detroit Disability Power, Michigan Developmental Disabilities Institute, Michigan Elder Justice Initiative, and the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
Caring Across Generations is a national campaign of family caregivers, care workers, people with disabilities, and aging adults working to transform care so it’s accessible, affordable and equitable— and enables everyone to live and age with dignity. To achieve our vision, we transform cultural norms and narratives about aging, disability and care; win federal and state-level policies; and build power amongst the people touched by care.
Caring Across Generations is a fiscally sponsored project of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Inc. The National Domestic Workers Alliance, Inc. does not endorse, support or oppose any candidate or party for public office.