FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 23, 2020
Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton, Majority Leader Charniele Herring, State Senator Jennifer McClellan, SEIU Virginia 512 Members on Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” Plan
Today, Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (VA-10), Majority Leader Charniele Herring (Alexandria), State Senator Jennifer McClellan (Richmond), and SEIU Virginia 512 President David Broder held a roundtable on Joe Biden’s plan to “Build Back Better” our caregiving and education workforce. They discussed how Biden will care for home care workers, giving them the dignity and respect they deserve. They also discussed how Virginia has passed the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Right to provide home health care workers benefits they deserve.
The conversation came right before Congresswoman Wexton slammed Donald Trump for his failure to understand how working women bear the brunt of caregiving for many families across the Commonwealth.
See below for key quotes from the discussion:
“Donald Trump simply does not care. We are here today because Joe Biden does care, and because he has a plan to address this,” said David Broder, SEIU Virginia 512 President. “He has heard the voices of home care and child care workers who have organized and mobilized for a better future. And his Build Back Better plan will create good-paying jobs, where home care workers and child care workers could earn a living wage, have life-saving health care, have training, and the right to come together with their coworkers in a union for a real seat at the table. I have to be honest this plan is truly unprecedented. It’s the boldest plan I’ve ever seen from a presidential candidate to center and value the work done by black and brown women, and to support all working families.”
“Joe Biden understands how important the caregiving economy is. He was a single parent. He’s cared for his aging parents, so he knows how hard it is to make that work,” said Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (VA-10). “But Donald Trump doesn’t get it and, worst of all, he doesn’t even pretend to understand what an average American family is going through. As president, Joe Biden’s priority when it comes to addressing the caregiving crisis will be to better support the workforce that cares for our loved ones.”
“It’s really, really scary what home care workers go for. And all I ask for is please give us five sick days. We can’t afford to get sick, and I have to go to work sick. And I don’t like doing these things, but I can’t afford to miss work either. It’s very, very hard on home care workers and what we go through,” said SEIU member and home health care worker. “And I’m thanking Vice President Joe Biden for even listening to home care workers and making a change for us because this is what we need.”
“In Virginia we rely on home care workers to take care of our loved ones, but they don’t even receive the pay they deserve. This often forces them to seek multiple jobs to support their families. No one who works in the home care industry should work multiple jobs to make ends meet,” said Virginia House Majority Leader Charniele Herring (Alexandria). “Biden will ensure caregivers and early childhood educators receive a raise, and get the pay they deserve, including by setting standards for the funding allocated under this plan.”
“We’ve done a lot of work here at the state level, not only did we make domestic workers and home care workers eligible for the minimum wage. But we need partners at the federal level,” said Sen. Jennifer McClellan (Richmond). “Someone once said to me ‘the people closest to the pain have to be closest to the solution.’ When I read Joe Biden’s plan I thought, he’s been close to the pain. But more importantly, he’s listened to people who have been close to the pain and he’s going to elevate these issues – including passing a national Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, so it is not just home care workers but also domestic workers and child care workers that are finally valued and paid what they are worth.”