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Rallying at Liberty Pole

I was at a press rally today advocating for home care workers. I was supposed to read a statement I had written but it was too sunny and I couldn’t see my phone clearly. So I spoke from the heart instead. Here’s the statement I was supposed to read:

Hello friends,

We have gathered here today to talk about an issue that is close to my heart: raising the poverty wages for home care workers and all New Yorkers. It is a problem that affects not just those who provide care to our elderly and disabled loved ones, but also the very fabric of our society.

I was once forced to live in an institution because of the poverty wages home care workers receive. I was 15 years old. I had no autonomy or freedom in the nursing home. I was able to transition back into the community when I turned 21 years old. I employ four hardworking home care workers now, but it hasn’t been easy keeping people because of the poverty wages. Nobody wants to accept poverty wages, and I don’t blame them. How will folks pay their bills? My workers are forced to work several jobs in order to survive.

Home care workers are the backbone of our caregiving system. They are the ones who work tirelessly to help our loved ones with everyday tasks like bathing, dressing, and feeding. They provide vital emotional and social support, and they do it all with a level of care and compassion that is truly remarkable.

But despite their critical role in our society, many home care workers are paid poverty wages. They struggle to make ends meet, to pay their bills, and to provide for their families. And this is simply unacceptable.

We must recognize the value of the work that home care workers do, and we must compensate them fairly for it. We cannot continue to rely on the hard work and dedication of these individuals while paying them wages that leave them struggling to survive.

When we pay home care workers a fair wage, we not only provide them with the stability and security they deserve, but we also create a more stable and secure society. When these workers are able to afford basic necessities like housing, food, and healthcare, they are better able to provide quality care to their clients. This, in turn, improves the health and well-being of those who rely on home care services, and it reduces the burden on our healthcare system as a whole.

Furthermore, when home care workers are paid fairly, it can reduce the economic strain on families. By providing a living wage, we can help reduce the financial stress and worry that many families experience when caring for an elderly or disabled loved one.

But perhaps most importantly, paying home care workers a fair wage is a matter of basic human dignity. These workers are providing a vital service to our society, and they deserve to be compensated for it. We cannot allow a situation where those who care for our most vulnerable members are themselves struggling to make ends meet.

So let us come together as a society and recognize the value of home care workers. Let us commit to paying them a living wage, one that reflects the critical role they play in our society. And let us do it not just because it is the right thing to do, but because it is essential for the health and well-being of our families, our communities, and our nation.

Thank you.

This image says "Jensen Caraballo" in cursive lettering.

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