#bFair2DirectCare 2019/20 DSP Living Wage Long Island Rally held December 18, 2018
brought home the message loud and clear!
We packed the house at Suffolk County Community College on December 18th to kick of the 2019 #bFair2DirectCare Campaign on Long Island!
Some of our friends were unable to join us like former Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg who was definitely there with us in spirit. Another friend, Assemblywoman Missy Miller was unable to attend but sent this statement:
“I’m so sorry that I couldn’t be here today in person. I am actually unable to be here because I am stepping in as a parent advocate at a CSE meeting for a child with special needs. But I wanted to send along a statement to assure you all that you have my complete support in our fight to make sure that all of our DSPs get the living wage they deserve.
Many of you know that I know firsthand the tremendous worth of this workforce. My son Oliver just turned 19 and is medically fragile and fully dependent. He is still quite small for his age, yet I struggle to manage his activities of daily living. The lifting, washing, dressing, occupying his day – every day – is a very challenging physical and emotional task. When you become a parent you never for one moment dream that one day you will be changing your 19 year olds diaper on the floor of a public restroom, or trying to figure out who will be able to dress him and feed him because he can’t for himself? Before I had my kids, I never thought about those things or the people who CHOOSE to do this for a living. I cannot begin to express my respect and admiration for these amazing people. YOU! You are doing this because you care, you see the need, you deliver the care – care that so many would never want to do. And you commit to our loved ones. For way too long you have been underpaid and disrespected by the system. Well, please believe how much I respect you and know that I will be fighting to make sure the last phases of the living wage plan are funded in the state budget and that cost of living adjustments are restarted. I am so grateful for you and the noble work you do. “
We were fortunate to have Senators John Brooks and Phil Boyle with us and Assemblymen Ed Ra, Andrew Raia and Mike Fitzpatrick. Representatives from Senator Elect Jim Gaughran’s and Assemblywoman Kimberly Jean-Pierre’s offices also came to support us.
We had excellent speakers including self-advocates, DSP’s, parents and of course our legislative friends. Thanks to all who made the day a smashing success!