This year we reiterated the importance of organizing for the dignity of domestic workers as an essential part of caring for our communities, because when domestic workers have dignity and respect – we all thrive! We are so thankful to you for your continued support and commitment to fight for and uphold the essential work and care provided by homecare workers, nannies, and housecleaners.
We started the year strong with the publication of the first-ever health and safety guidelines for the domestic worker industry. These guidelines developed by domestic worker leaders and employers as part of an Advisory Committee, are the first to specifically cover the home as a workplace. Shortly after, we rolled out the red carpet for special film screenings of our documentary “Dignidad” which tells the story of domestic workers fighting for health and safety rights in the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
With these powerful demonstrations of worker power, we launched our statewide campaign for SB 686: The Health and Safety for All Workers Act alongside our legislative champion Senator Maria E. Durazo. We gathered at the capitol steps and marched down the streets of Sacramento on four separate occasions with upwards of 250 members, employers, and allies at each and every mobilization. We met with countless legislators to educate them on the critical need to extend health and safety rights to domestic workers. And we mobilized hundreds of supporters to send letters to Governor Newsom urging him to sign SB 686. While our bill was unreasonably vetoed, we reflect on the leadership growth, deepened solidarity, and regenerated commitment of our Coalition at the end of the campaign season.
We also worked tirelessly in the implementation of our Domestic Worker and Employer Education and Outreach Program (DWEOP). In what we projected was the close of our final year of this pilot program, we won BIG with the allocation of funds to make DWEOP permanent! With the expansion and permanency of DWEOP we will continue to do the work to ensure domestic workers’ rights are respected and honored so that immigrant women and women of color can have dignified working conditions at their workplace.
It is without a doubt that we close 2023 in strength and community, and we channel this collective power as we continue building towards the new year.
And in case you might have missed my recent news, I want to share that I will be taking a sabbatical to rest, repose, and recharge. I will return on April 15, 2024 eager to start afresh.
With gratitude and excitement for what is to come,
California Domestic Workers Coalition