Member Political Organizer Spotlight : Alex Rodriguez, Dietary, Northside Hospital, St. Petersburg
Across Florida, dozens of caregivers have taken temporary paid leave from their jobs in nursing homes and hospitals to work full time to elect candidates who will stand up for quality care and restore the middle class.
Here is an interview with an 1199SEIU Florida Member Political Organizer who is making the power of being united work for us all.
What have you learned on the job as a Member Political Organizer?
I have learned about the immigration issue. I have gotten to know people who are undocumented. I've really learned that they're not bad people and they don't have intentions to just come here, make money, go back home, become criminals or use the system. A lot of them are college going kids who were brought here because their parents moved to the U.S. because of a certain situation that was going on in their country of origin and it wasn't really their choice. Now they're stuck here and getting educated here. They're mostly law abiding citizens who just want their pathway to citizenship to make a better life for themselves.
What inspired you to become a Member Political Organizer?
One of the reasons I'm on this campaign is because we need better healthcare.
I live with my sister who is on kidney dialysis. She's been on it for 11 years now. Recently, she came out of the hospital from a two and a half week stay because she caught a blood infection. So, it infected her spleen and liver and it swelled her up. They had her on three antibiotics. She ended up being in a coma for three days. She basically came back from the dead at the same hospital I am working at now. She flat lined and I see the room every single day that she flat lined in. Every single day. At first it gave me a little stunner when I would pass by the room, but I also thought about where she was at that day and where she is now. She still drives, she still goes to college, and she still works a part time job.
I am her caregiver, plus I work at the same time. I really got to get up early in the morning to get a lot of things done, plus she has a fifteen year-old son, who lives with us, too. I get up to make sure my sister gets to dialysis and to get my nephew off to football camp. It's how I get my day started.
I know I need better healthcare. I know my sister needs better healthcare. I know dozens of people who need better healthcare. That's my main fight.