Growing up, unions weren’t really a big part of my family’s life, and I honestly didn’t know much about them. In 2005, my sister Deborah became our dad’s IHSS provider, and shortly after, she became active in UDW. I wanted to support my sister, so I went with her to rallies and lobby days at the Capitol. I finally became a UDW member myself in 2008, when I became my mom’s IHSS provider.
Although I was familiar with UDW, my passion for home care came after my family made the choice to put my dad in a nursing facility. While he was there, his health became progressively worse and he wasn’t happy. We brought him home, but his health had already declined too much. But being at home, even for a short time, allowed him to be around family and to say goodbye. My dad passed away in 2011.
I learned the value of the IHSS program from my experience with my dad, and vowed to keep my mother at home as long as possible. I also dedicated a lot more of my time to fighting and advocating for caregivers and our clients alongside my fellow UDW members. I served as chair of my local political council for four years before being elected District 4 Chair in 2016.
As UDW members, we fight for our home care program together, because if we don’t who will? And we are the first line of defense against threats to the IHSS program. I’m proud to be an IHSS provider and a UDW activist.