Shanrika Nelson, a nursing home worker with Somerton Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Philadelphia, spent time with Vice President Joe Biden as part of SEIU’s Walk-A-Day program, which invites presidential candidates to shadow a working person and discuss the challenges we face.
In addition to giving Vice President Biden a virtual tour of her facility and an overview of her daily work at the nursing home—work she has done her entire adult life while raising her own family—Shanrika and a few of her fellow fellow essential workers sat down for a video call with Biden to discuss the solutions we need as our nation works to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
They talked about how their nursing home work has been historically undermined and undervalued as “women’s work” and how frontline workers in this health crisis, mostly Black and brown workers, need to be treated as the essential workers they are instead of sacrificial workers to be disregarded. They said unless we make caregiving jobs viable careers with family-sustaining wages, benefits and proper training, we won’t be able to build back better from COVID-19 and the resulting recession.
Just one day before, Joe Biden announced a comprehensive plan to invest in family-sustaining caregiving jobs, to provide long-needed support for America’s caregivers and the working families who rely on them. This is an important step in providing the essential infrastructure society needs to thrive. He made clear that when he is president, once and for all care jobs will be transformed into jobs that are not only valued by society, but into jobs they can live on.