We are in solidarity with the 123,402 family caregivers employed through the state’s In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program and the more than 300,000 employed by private homes in California. Family caregivers were denied rights to unemployment insurance and domestic workers were excluded from health and safety protections by Governor Gavin Newsom when he vetoed two bills, AB1993 and SB1257. By vetoing AB1993, Newsom failed to right a historic wrong to those who provide in-home care to their elderly or disabled spouses or children. Home care is not only an indispensable part of life, but allows seniors and people with disabilities to live in their own homes rather than nursing facilities or other institutions.

A staggering 49% of California COVID-19 related deaths have occurred in nursing homes and assisted care facilities. Home care is rooted in the often invisible work of home and allows individuals to live with dignity and self-determination, and inhabit a space with family. 85% of the people doing this work are women and approximately 69% are people of color, and most make only slightly more than minimum wage. Wives and mothers who care for disabled spouses and children deserve dignity and the same rights as every other in-home caregiver. We believe that every worker is entitled to basic safety nets and we agree with United Domestic Workers President Doug Moore when he stated that Governor Newsom’s veto of AB1993 “ is perpetuating a decades-old pattern of systemic and structural inequality…”

The decision to veto this bill continues a long history of vulnerability to exploitation and conditions of female domestic labor in particular, widening inequality at a time when we desperately need leaders who will invest in the caring economy. For similar reasons, our solidarity is with domestic workers, majority women of color, who work as housekeepers, nannies and caregivers, and other household workers employed by private homes. Governor Newsom failed to ensure basic protections by vetoing the Health and Safety for All Act, SB1257, which would have extended to household workers CAL/OSHA standards like safety training, protective equipment and protection against retaliation when they advocate for their own health and safety at work. Domestic workers are on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis, caring for seniors and other people susceptible to the illness, keeping them safe, and ultimately keeping the public safe.

Our solidarity is with workers who have been excluded from basic labor laws for far too long, and many of whom are among the 5.4 million Californians living too close, within a mile of one or more existing oil and gas wells. We know the ongoing exposure to toxic chemicals has serious health consequences, and we know that that ongoing exposure leaves communities at risk to compounding crises and stress. And yet, the lives of frontline communities, including workers who are caring for our most vulnerable, are being sacrificed. Governor Newsom has a responsibility to protect the health and respect the dignity of all Californians.

Last Chance Alliance is an alliance of more than 750 public health, environmental justice, climate, and labor organizations united to urge Governor Gavin Newsom to end fossil fuel extraction across California and build a just climate future where every community can thrive.