Warner is Sixth Senate Candidate to Spend Day on the Job With Worker
Falls Church, Va.-- As part of SEIU's program to ensure that candidates running for political office know what life is like for working people, today Virginia Senate candidate and former Governor Mark Warner walked a day in the shoes of SEIU personal care assistant (PCA) Shareen Miller.
Warner assisted Miller in caring for her client Marisa Laios--preparing and serving lunch, assisting with exercises and wheelchair transport, and working with Marisa on the college application she cannot complete on her own because of her disability.
Laios lives with Spastic Cerebral Palsy, and with the assistance of dedicated PCAs like Miller, she leads a full and engaged life despite her physical limitations. "Shareen makes it possible for me to continue to live at home and receive the care and assistance I need each day," said Laios. "Without her help and companionship, I would not be able to enroll in university classes next fall as I am planning."
Miller is one of 1,300 personal care assistants across Virginia united in SEIU Local 5 /Virginia Association of Personal Care Assistants. She is paid $12 an hour by the state of Virginia. But because the number of hours she can work for Laios each week is determined not by Laios' day-to-day needs but by the state, Miller often finds herself working for free to give Laios the care she needs. Like most PCAs in Virginia, Miller is not able to receive health benefits, training, or sick days through her job.
work we do makes an active and dignified day-to-day life possible for
tens of thousands of Virginia residents like Marisa," said Miller.
"After walking a day in my shoes, I hope the Governor understands how
important and rewarding my work is--and the changes we need to continue
to provide the care our clients need and support our own families."
members across the country are inviting candidates for races from Mayor
to Governor to experience firsthand what it's like to work and raise a
family in America. To date, presidential candidates Senators Obama and
Biden; former presidential candidates Senators Clinton, Dodd, Edwards,
and Governor Richardson; Senate candidates Rep. Tom Allen in Maine, Al
Franken in Minnesota, Bruce Lunsford in Kentucky, and Rep. Tom Udall in
New Mexico; Governor Chris Gregoire in Washington; and several local
and state candidates have participated.
You can watch videos of candidates walking a day in the shoes of SEIU members at www.WalkADayInMyShoes2008.com.