Care workers help care for children, assist older adults as they age and support individuals with disabilities. They are the backbone of our economy. Their work makes it possible for all other industries to operate, because it gives families the time to work and the peace of mind that their loved ones are cared for. Despite the significance of their work, care workers are largely unsung heroes in our communities. This month we join the White House and others across our nation to recognize the incredible contributions of care workers. In so doing we commit to efforts that will lead to better pay and benefits. See below for Madison’s proclamation declaring April Care Workers Recognition Month in the City of Madison.

WHEREAS, Care workers in Madison, Wisconsin help raise our children, assist older adults as they age with dignity and support people with disabilities—giving families peace of mind and making it possible for our residents to earn a paycheck while their loved ones are safe and secure.

WHEREAS, Care workers are among the lowest paid workers in America despite all they give to our community, including child care, home care and long-term care. Some juggle multiple jobs, and many leave the profession altogether in search of better options. The vast majority of care workers are women, and a disproportionate share are people of color, so this chronic underpayment deepens gender and racial wealth gaps; and

WHEREAS, Care workers put themselves and families at risk during the COVID-19 pandemic by just doing their jobs. Moreover, the care workforce continues to recover slowly, making it hard for families to find care. This leads to hundreds of billions in lost wages each year and only heightens the obligation placed on the nation's more than 50 million family caregivers; and

WHEREAS, Care workers' contributions makes all other work possible. These unsung heroes strengthen our community and form the backbone of our economy; and

WHEREAS, The Biden-Harris administration has invested over $39 billion from the American Rescue Plan to help child care providers keep their doors open and to provide child care workers with higher pay, bonuses, and other benefits—reducing turnover and attracting new staff. To date, these efforts have helped 220,000 childcare programs, which employ more than 1 million childcare workers and have the capacity to serve 9.6 million children. At the height of the pandemic, the federal government provided financial relief to nearly 300,000 childcare workers through our expanded earned income tax credit. The most recent budget proposes investing $600 billion over 10 years to expand access to high-quality childcare and free, high-quality preschool. This funding will allow states to increase pay for childcare workers while helping the families of more than 16 million children afford child care; and

WHEREAS, the City of Madison is promoting the use of apprenticeship programs and partnering with employers, unions, and others to recruit, train, and keep long-term care workers on the job while also helping them advance their careers as registered and licensed nurses; and

WHEREAS, In April, we honor the extraordinary contributions of care workers and commit to supporting them with better pay, better benefits, and the recognition they have long deserved; and

WHEREAS, We call on Congress to invest $150 billion over the next decade to improve and expand Medicaid home­ and community-based services, making it easier for older adults and people with disabilities to receive care in their own homes. This funding would improve the quality of jobs for care workers and support family caregivers; and

WHEREAS, our message this month to care workers in Madison is simple: The work you do matters. You are there for families when they need you most—providing comfort, strength and compassion that inspire us all. Your devotion to the people and the community you serve represents the best of Madison's character, and we will always stand with you, ensuring you are seen, valued and rewarded fairly for the work you do.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor of Madison, Wisconsin, do hereby proclaim April 2023 as Care Workers Recognition Month In the City of Madison.

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