Today, Congresswoman Gwen Moore, Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International President Mary Kay Henry, Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley, and Wisconsin SEIU workers hosted a roundtable on Joe Biden’s new plan to invest in the caregiving workforce. Key excerpts from the discussion are included below:

Congresswoman Gwen Moore: “We are fortunate to some extent that we have benefitted from the hardship that he personally experienced being a caregiver for young children while he continued to be a working, commuting parent. He really gets it. Not only will his initiative provide for child care, but it really looks at taking care of the most vulnerable in our communities, including seniors and those who are caretaking for those who are infirm… If Joe Biden were president, this curve would have flattened, because we would have responded early on…”

SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry: “On Tuesday, when Vice President Joe Biden released his economic recovery plan about how we’re going to Build Back Better, we were thrilled to see that caregiving and education were one of the pillars of how we are going to rebuild the American economy. Never before has a presidential candidate seen the value of work that people like Demetrica and Lenora do every day… This gives hope to millions of caregivers that they’re finally going to be valued in a way that our country has previously refused to do… Vice President Biden has been crystal clear that if he is president and when he becomes president, he will make sure everybody on the front lines of this global pandemic has the protective equipment they need so we can stop the fear of infection and the fear of essential workers bringing it home to their families.”

Milwaukee County Executive David Crowley: “I can definitely speak for Milwaukee County when we say that we could use more resources to make sure that our essential workers are safe on the front lines… This crisis has shone a spotlight on how many of our essential workers and home care givers are underpaid and undervalued.”

Demetrica Shipp, SEIU Member: “I’d like to thank Mr. Joe Biden’s package for coming along because life is really hard and it’s a struggle. I’ve lost a lot of my income due to this pandemic… It’s a fight, it’s a struggle, every day when you have to wear one mask 30 times before you get another one. We’re on the front lines and Joe Biden’s package stands to give us hope.”

Lenora Maclin, SEIU Member: “I chose to care for my mother so she could move into my home to avoid going in a nursing home, so I can give her the care and support she needs. It hurts… Family caregivers are not given the recognition we deserve. We are underpaid. And just because I’m family and taking care of my mother, I’m treated differently… We need someone to help us be heard and be successful.”

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