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City weighs support for ‘Caring’ campaign

By Robby Stern

Wednesday, June 13 at 1:30 p.m., PSARA members are asked to attend a meeting of the Seattle City Council Housing, Human Services, Health & Culture Committee  at Seattle City Hall. The Committee will be considering a resolution that commits the City of Seattle’s to support the national Caring Across Generations campaign.

The resolution, if passed by the Seattle City Council, directs the City to bring the Caring Across Generations campaign to the National League of Cities for support. The resolution also directs the Seattle City lobbyists at the state and federal levels to advocate for legislation that advances the Caring Across Generations campaign.

If the resolution passes out of the Committee with no dissenting votes on June 13, it will be brought before the entire City Council at 2 p.m. on Monday, June 18.  We will also ask PSARA members to attend the full City Council meeting where we will present more than 3000 post cards from Seattle residents (including many PSARA members) supporting the Caring Across Generations campaign.

There have been important developments for the campaign at the national level.  Very recently, Senators Tom Harkin and Jay Rockefeller introduced Senate Resolution 453. (S.R. 453) The introduction to the Resolution states

“Expressing the sense of the Senate that supporting seniors and individuals with disabilities is an important responsibility of the United States, and that a comprehensive approach to expanding and supporting a strong home care workforce and making long-term services and supports affordable and accessible in communities is necessary to uphold the right of seniors and individuals with disabilities in the United States to a dignified quality of life.”

We will be asking Senators Murray and Cantwell to sign onto the S.R. 453 to demonstrate their support for the Caring Across Generations campaign.

The introduction of  S.R. 453 is the first step in the national campaign to pass legislation that  will:

  1.  Create jobs necessary to meet the growing demand for direct care;
  2. Transform the quality of current direct care jobs – to include a living wage, access to health insurance and other benefits…
  3. Create a career path and training programs that are linguistically and culturally relevant to improve quality of care and safety for care workers.
  4. Provide a path to legal status and citizenship for undocumented care workers and their families that is tied to participation in training and certification programs; and
  5. Support individuals and families who are hiring direct care workers by increasing access to Medicaid/Medicare, adding long term care as a Medicare benefit, creating a tax credit, and providing training and assistance on hiring and retaining direct care workers. The campaign also plans to support individuals and families who are providing unpaid kin care, through Social Security care-giving credits, paid family leave, and childcare subsidies.

PSARA has joined with Casa Latina, Washington Community Action Network and SEIU 775NW on the steering committee of the Caring Across Generations campaign in Washington.

Passage of the resolution by the Seattle City Council would represent the first such action by any city in the U.S.  Help make history and start us on a path of getting ahead of the impending long term care crisis resulting from the aging of the baby boomer generation.

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