Letter: Peaceful protest has purpose
Monday, March 5, 2012
Peaceful protest has purpose
In response to the Feb. 25 Cheers & Jeers “Sit-in disrupts but doesn’t persuade,” I am reporting that last week I joined a group of home care workers at the DSHS office in Vancouver to protest cuts to home care hours implemented by the agency at the beginning of February. These cuts hurt seniors and people with disabilities, and was done without notifying the Legislature or going through the public comment process. Had DSHS taken the normal route, they would have heard the pain already caused by three years of deep cuts to home care, and hopefully made a different choice.
Instead, caregivers like myself sit in fear for our clients and for our low-wage jobs, even as our Legislature appears to have taken a step forward by not including home care or long-term care cuts in their budget proposals. But if DSHS can unilaterally make cuts, those budgets are meaningless. So we protested last week, quietly and politely, consistently heeding the instructions of the staff and ensuring that all who needed to could receive their services as if we weren’t there. We simply waited for an answer as to when these cuts would stop. We are still waiting.