Domestic workers and others rally with signs and a mock-up of a kitchen table

The New York Caring Majority

About the New York Caring Majority

Since the year 2000, JFREJ has organized in close partnership with the domestic worker movement locally and nationally. We proudly played an instrumental role in the passage of the landmark New York Domestic Worker Bill of Rights in 2010, which paved the way for several other Bills of Rights across the country. It was a flagship campaign for the domestic worker movement, which offered scores of powerful lessons about the potential for new forms of multi-stakeholder advocacy. JFREJ was part of a strong and unique coalition – led by domestic workers and with real leadership from all other constituencies of the Caring Majority (domestic employers, seniors, youth, people with disabilities, family caregivers, unions etc).

Since this historic victory, the New York domestic worker movement has focused on implementation of this bill, improving the working conditions of domestic workers, and supporting dignified and affordable care for domestic employers. JFREJ, in turn, has focused more deeply on organizing the fast-growing constituency of Jewish seniors, family caregivers, and people with disabilities as part of the broader movement. With our partners at the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Hand in Hand: The Domestic Employers Network, we are now preparing to launch a coalition and statewide campaign to build a more caring economy in New York.

The New York Caring Majority is a movement of seniors, people with disabilities, family caregivers, domestic workers, and home care workers from all across the state. Our goal is to make care affordable and accessible to all who need it, to organize for quality long-term care jobs, and to defend basic protections such as Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act. We believe New Yorkers deserve Universal Family Care, and that our state needs a more sustainable and just caring economy. That caring economy, in turn, will help all New Yorkers who give and who receive care to live fuller and healthier lives.

New York’s long-term care system was facing a crisis long before the 2016 election. Now, as we face devastating cuts to our social safety net from the federal level, we want to see our local and state elected officials step up and lead by protecting and improving our care infrastructure. Now is the time to change the way we care.

Our demands:

No cuts to care for New Yorkers

In this time when we are facing disastrous attacks to our social safety net, we must work together to protect our most vulnerable neighbors from losing the supports that allow them to stay healthy and live with dignity. We need to organize to Stop the Trump/GOP attacks on Medicaid, Medicare, and the Affordable Care Act, and ensure essential medical benefits and services continue for all New Yorkers. The work includes

  • Pressuring our representatives in Congress to preserve the Affordable Care Act, and prevent cuts to or privatization of Medicare and Medicaid
  • Working with our NY state representatives to protect and expand health care options.

Ensure universal long-term care coverage for all New Yorkers

All New Yorkers should have access to affordable and high-quality long-term care regardless of income, and that the State must take responsibility for covering those of us who are not eligible for Medicaid but struggle to afford care out of pocket. New York already has several excellent programs that provide services to seniors and people with disabilities (e.g. EISEP, Expanded In-home Services for the Elderly Program). These programs provide a foundation upon which New York can build in order to expand access to affordable homecare for all New Yorkers. But inadequate funding and growing waiting lists above the Medicaid threshold have left New York’s seniors languishing. Developing EISEP into a statewide universal social insurance program with dedicated revenue would not only improve the lives of millions of people in New York, but will relieve the pressure from the ballooning state Medicaid expenditure, while also protecting against devastating cuts from the Trump administration. We call on the state to strengthen and scale existing programs by committing to a multi-year investment of an additional $25 million.

Support New York’s family caregivers & invest in our direct care workforce

Support the home care workers and family caregivers who enable our loved ones to live at home with dignity. Expanding long-term care coverage is an opportunity to create new quality jobs in the home care and direct care sector. Through dedicated revenue for workforce development and worker cooperative incubation, New York will lead the nation by investing in this fast-growing and vital workforce. In many underserved areas of the state, the care workforce shortage is already at crisis levels. Supporting and expanding the workforce is a key strategy in making sure that New York can fulfill its promise for all aging residents.

To learn more about the Caring Majority, or to get involved, please e-mail rachel@jfrej.org.