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Candidate Experiences Life in Homecare Worker's Shoes
Date:3/5/2008

Magsig Spends Half-Day Working Alongside UHW Member

FRESNO, Calif., March 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nathan Magsig, a candidate for the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, "walked a day" in the shoes of a county homecare worker on Wednesday, as part of SEIU's program to ensure that candidates running for office understand what life is like for working people in America.

Magsig spent the morning with Norma Raya, who cares for Veleta Coker under the county's In-Home Supportive Services program. IHSS workers like Raya take care of seniors and people with disabilities in their homes, allowing them to remain independent and avoid having to move into nursing homes at a higher cost to taxpayers.

"It's important that candidates running for office understand the kind of work that people like me and others go through on a daily basis just to take care of our families," said Raya, who is a member of SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West. "We need elected leaders who understand what it means to be a worker in our society."

Throughout the morning, Magsig scrubbed toilets, prepared lunch, washed dishes, vacuumed, dusted, and helped Coker into and out of her wheelchair.

"The work of home health care workers is physically demanding and absolutely necessary," said Magsig, a Clovis City Council member. "The lives of thousands of Fresno County citizens is in the hands of the health care workers."

Magsig was surprised to learn that Coker had no children to care for her, and was only able to leave a nursing home and live at home because of IHSS care providers. "Taxpayer money is saved by this program, because many recipients of home health care services are able to stay in their homes instead of state-funded institutions," he said.

Across the country, hundreds of political candidates have participated in the Walk A Day program, learning first-hand the struggles and victories of working families in America.

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SOURCE SEIU United Healthcare Workers-West
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