Alternative "Care Congress" Gathers in Washington to Discuss Improving Healthcare, Creating Jobs

Note: This livestream has ended. Check back soon with the Caring Across Generations campaign for video of the event.

Starting this year an American will turn 65 every eight seconds. (Thank the boomers.) While Barack Obama is calling on Democrats to accept "trimming benefits" for the future's sake, seven hundred people are gathering in Washington today with a very different approach.

As the nation's primary product these days seems to be  jobless, poor people and old folk - how about hooking them up? The Caring Across Generations campaign, one of the most remarkable coalition efforts yet, has a plan: value caregivers, forge good jobs out of bad, give quality home health care to those who need it - and create two million jobs while you're at it!  

It might seem way too smart to get traction in DC but take a look at the coalition behind Caring Across Generations and you'll find groups who've quietly been  pulling off long-shot victories for years.  

Check them out! The morning's events will be livestreamed from the Washington Hilton today by The Institute for Policy Studies. Tune in 9.30-1pm eastern:

Streaming Video by Ustream I'm honored to be hosting a stellar panel at noon with Ellen Bravo, director of the Family Values @ Work Consortium, a network of 15 coalitions that's been scoring paid sick days and family leave insurance around the states; Sarah Leberstein, staff attorney at the National Employment Law Project which has been raising and enforcing wage and hour standards for home care workers; Leonila Vega is director of the Direct Care Alliance, an advocate for older adults, Rahnee K. Patrick, Director of Independent Living at the disability-led advocacy center Access Living, Angelica Salas directs the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles which helped win in-state tuition for undocumented immigrant students and established day laborer job centers that have served as a model for the nation. Also with us, Deepak Bhargava, Executive Director of the Center for Community Change.

I'll be introduced by Ai Jen Poo, executive director of The Domestic Workers Alliance, the group that led the successful fight to pass New York's Domestic Workers Bill of Rights -first piece of legislation in U.S. history to recognize domestic workers.

After lunch, Health Care for America Now is holding a “Medicaid Matters Across Generations” action on Capitol Hill.

The full list of sponsors for the Caring Across Generations Campaign includes the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Jobs with Justice, IPS, Jewish Funds for Justice, Family Values at Work Consortium, Center for Community Change, Hand-in-Hand Domestic Employers Association, Direct Care Alliance, SEIU, AFSCME, National Employment Law Project, PHI, AFL-CIO, Alliance for a Just Society, SAGE, Alliance of Retired Americans, ADAPT, National Partnerships for Women and Families.

AlterNet / By Laura Flanders

Posted at July 12, 2011, 4:26am

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