Community Activists & Caregivers Unite, Hold Action Demanding Supervisor Dawn Rowe Prioritize the Health & Well-Being of Seniors and People with Disabilities
JOSHUA TREE — On Monday, community activists, caregivers, and seniors and people with disabilities visited San Bernardino County Board of Supervisor Dawn Rowe’s district office in Joshua Tree urging her to support the county’s In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program — an in-home care program that low-income seniors and people with disabilities depend on to survive. While a group of activists went inside the office to speak to Supervisor Rowe, others leafleted outside to bring public awareness of the efforts to hold County Supervisors accountable to the well-being of seniors and people with disabilities.
The action, planned by IHSS caregivers who are members of SEIU Local 2015, is the first action targeting Supervisor Dawn Rowe and comes after activists shut down parts of Arrowhead and Fourth at a rally outside the Board of Supervisors meeting earlier this month demanding that the county support and invest in the county’s IHSS program that over 30,000 seniors and people with disabilities currently rely on to survive.
“The county has refused to support the in-home care that our loved ones depend on,” said Kim Evon, Executive Vice President of SEIU 2015. “Supervisor Rutherford event went so far and told caregivers that the county has other priorities. Well, our priorities are the seniors and people with disabilities that need the IHSS Program to survive. We will continue advocating for and demanding that the county prioritize the care our loved ones need and deserve.”
San Bernardino County’s IHSS Program allows low-income seniors and people with disabilities to receive life-saving care in the comfort of their home from people they trust. Caregivers provide services such as: bathing, toileting, administering medication, and accompanying care recipients to critical doctor appointments.
“Providing a livable wage to our in-home caregivers is not only cost effective for the County but good for our local economy,” said Sara Lee, a Joshua Tree resident and educator. “Too often, our politicians push for development projects that provide short term jobs for out-of district workers that end up threatening our local economy and environment. By investing in long term healthcare workers, we not only provide local sustainable jobs that can help our residents get off government assistance, but can also provide cost savings and loving and humane care for those with disabilities and our growing senior population. A contract with a livable wage is the right thing to do for our workers, for our seniors, for our local economy and the County’s bottom line.
Activists plan on targeting the district office of every Board of Supervisor in the coming months. They are determined to continue to hold actions until the Board responds to their demands.
The action at Supervisor Rowe’s office was live streamed on Facebook here: SEIU 2015