Yesterday Seattle became the first city in the country to pass a City Council resolution that addresses our country’s care crisis and supports both the people who need care and the workers who provide the care!
Over 100 caregivers, seniors and community members packed City Hall yesterday to show their support for the Caring Across Generations Resolution.
Seattle is witnessing both a demographic shift and jobs crisis. Every 8 seconds, a person in this country turns 65. Twelve million people, including the elderly and the disabled, require support from a care worker. However, there are currently only 3 million care workers, creating a critical gap in our nation’s ability to care for its citizens. And those who do work in the care industry face harsh conditions and limited protections under the law.
The Caring Across Generations Campaign offers a comprehensive solution — a package of federal policies that will create 2 million new direct care jobs, ensure job quality, training, provide a path to citizenship for immigrant care workers, and support families who are struggling with the high costs of long term care.
The City Council Resolution that was unanimously passed today supports the values and policy solutions of the campaign and calls on the City’s Office of Intergovernmental Relations to promote the campaign with local, regional, state, and federal governments, including the National League of Cities.
At the hearing, supporters delivered the 3,000+ postcards that have been gathered in support of the resolution. The postcards were woven together, representing the interconnection of all generations.
“As a caregiver myself and a baby boomer, I am a perfect example, I will be needing long term care in the near future. When I need care someday, I want my caregiver to make a living wage, with access to quality health benefits, and to have a bright future ahead of them.” said Sylvia Liang, caregiver and SEIU775NW member.
Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata is the sponsor of the resolution and has taken leadership around addressing our country’s care crisis. Nick Licata is personally touched by this issue and recently walked-a-day in a caregivers shoes, building his understanding of the challenges and struggles that caregivers and clients face on a daily basis.
When asked why he took leadership around transforming long-term care, Councilmember Nick Licata said, “This is an issue that goes to the heart of what our democracy is about, creating a society where everyone has the opportunity to strive for happiness and a stable life.”
Our country cannot afford to ignore the needs of our elderly, people with disabilities or care workers any longer, and Seattle is leading the way to ensure dignity and respect for all! Great work to everyone & a big thanks to all our allies working with us on this important campaign.