Representative Jamaal Bowman (NY-16) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) introduced the Care for All Agenda, a resolution that dramatically expands and strengthens the care economy and improves conditions and compensations for care workers nationwide.
The resolution calls for far-reaching public investments to guarantee the care people need at all stages of life, and to ensure caregivers and care workers are treated with the dignity they deserve.
That must include raising pay, benefits, protections, and standards for all care workers, ensuring pathways to unionization, and creating millions of new care jobs over the next decade.
Co-sponsoring the resolution are Reps. Cori Bush (D-MO), Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY), Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Grace Meng (D-NY), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Nikema Williams (D-GA).
The proposed legislation has also been endorsed by more than 80 local, state, and national advocacy organizations.
“As we emerge from the pandemic, rescue our economy, and move forward with a national reckoning over systemic racism, we have an historic opportunity to build an America that works for all people — by centering the care that all people need,” Bowman said. “Care workers, disproportionately Black and brown women, are undervalued and exploited in America today, and people and families struggle to access care. Without a holistic care infrastructure to support us, our economy and society simply cannot thrive. I believe with all my heart that bold, public investments in care for people, communities, and the environment can anchor the rebirth of our country and secure our future.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced that care work is critical infrastructure in our society and how much we’ve undervalued it in the past,” Warren said. “I’m fighting for the Care for All Agenda to dramatically expand and transform the care economy so that no family has to struggle financially when someone needs care.”
Just as our physical infrastructure is crumbling, the United States today suffers from a lack of care infrastructure. Millions are struggling to access child care, health care, long-term supports and services, and paid family and medical leave.
Growing numbers of care workers, disproportionately women of color and immigrants, face poverty wages and exploitation; along with education, social assistance, and other essential workers, they are on the frontlines of multiple crises in our society. Investing in care work and programs can boost the economy, meet people’s fundamental needs, and help us face the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.
“Delivering transformative public investments to the care economy is long overdue, especially as COVID-19 wreaks havoc on our existing limited care infrastructure and exacerbates the racial inequities in our care system,” Jayapal said. “A robust and public-invested care economy that centers worker protections and zero-carbon, climate-safe infrastructure will be a vital cornerstone of securing a thriving and equitable society in the 21st century.”
Co-sponsoring the resolution are Reps. André Carson (D-IN), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Jesús G. “Chuy” García (D-IL), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Nydia Velázquez (D-NY), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Mondaire Jones (D-NY), Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA), Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS), Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Michael F.Q. San Nicolas (D-GU), Steve Cohen (D-TN), Jerrod Nadler (D-NY), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL).
“When I worked in childcare, I could not afford to send my own children to the center where I worked. We can no longer wait to guarantee basic protections for our families, communities, and workers,” Bush said. “We must guarantee paid leave, high quality and affordable childcare, home and community-based care, and long-term care for seniors. We must also ensure better benefits and higher wages, especially for our family caregivers, home health aides, domestic workers, childcare providers, and nurses — positions overwhelmingly held by women, many of whom are Black and Latina. As one of a few nurses in Congress, I spent years doing the emotionally grueling labor of love that our care workers do for our communities, only to be paid so little that we can barely make ends meet. We need an economy of care. I’m proud to join Representative Bowman and Senator Warren in introducing the Care for All Agenda that puts everyday people and families first.”
“The Care for All Agenda is a path towards a better, more equitable America,” Clarke said. “When we prioritize care investments at the center of our economic recovery, acknowledge the oppressive treatment caregivers, and care workers face. When we are not satisfied with equity for some without equality for all, only then will we see what America is truly capable of. Many of our care-workers are women, women of color, or immigrants. This community is notoriously dedicated and hard-working; they’re not looking for a handout. They deserve fair compensation and support. The Care for All Agenda prioritizes our care-workers. I support this legislation.”
“I am honored to co-lead with Congressman Bowman and our other colleagues the Care For All Agenda in Congress that lays out a roadmap to help ALL care workers thrive in America,” Meng said. “This initiative comes at a critical time as our nation continues to recover and rebuild from COVID-19. Due to long standing racial biases and gender inequality – women, and especially women of color, in the care economy are being pushed to the brink of collapse. We must correct this and provide the foundation to ensure care workers have the professional resources to thrive.”
“This resolution is a powerful tribute to Congressman Bowman’s mother and it holds space for all of us who have played a caregiving role. Care is the backbone of our nation’s economy, yet for too long we have failed to make the critical investments needed to ensure that everyone, at all stages of life, has access to the high-quality care they need and deserve, and that care workers are well-compensated for their essential work,” Pressley said. “Leading with our values and making robust, long overdue investments, is essential to our work of building a just, equitable economic recovery. I’m proud to join Congressman Bowman on this resolution, committing to do just that.”
The agenda is endorsed by dozens of organizations including 1199SEIU – United Healthcare Workers East, AFGE Local 704, American Federation of Teachers, The Arc of the United States, Autism Society of America, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Bold ReThink, Businesses for a Livable Climate, Call to Action Colorado, Campaign for New York Health, Caring Across Generation, CatholicNetwork.US, Center for Biological Diversity, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Center for LGBTQ Economic Advancement & Research, Citizen Action of New York, Climate Justice Alliance, Closing the Women’s Wealth Gap, Community Change Action, Community Voices Heard, CT Citizen Action Group, Democratic Socialists of America, Demos, Disabled Culture, Earth Action, Inc., Easterseals, Equal Rights Advocates, Family Values at Work, Grassroots Global Justice, Greenpeace USA, Gulf Coast Center for Law and Policy, Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network, Hometown Action, In the Public Interest, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, The Jewish Vote, Jews for Racial & Economic Justice, Justice in Aging, Latinos for Healthcare Equity, LiveOn NY, Maine People’s Alliance, Marked By COVID, MomsRising , National ADAPT, National Coalition for the Homeless, National Council of Jewish Women, National Council on Independent Living, National Domestic Workers Alliance, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Women’s Law Center, New Hampshire Youth Movement, New York Caring Majority, New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, New York State Nurses Association, The New York Women’s Foundation, NYC Democratic Socialists of America, NYCD16-Indivisible, Paid Leave for All, People’s Action, The People’s Lobby, Pilipino Workers Center of Southern California, PL+US: Paid Leave for the United States, Rapid Shift Network, Rise Up WV, SEIU, Southern Appalachian Labor School, Sunrise Movement, Supermajority, TakeAction Minnesota, TIME’S UP Now, Torah Trumps Hate, UltraViolet, United Vision for Idaho, Women’s Environment and Development Organization, WOMEN’S WAY, Working Families Party, WV Citizen Action Group, and ZERO TO THREE.
You can view the resolution here.
You can read the summary of the resolution here.
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