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Maggie Humphreys's picture

In 2022, Build Back Better - a transformative care infrastructure package for child care, paid family and medical leave, elder and disability care, along with job growth and fair pay for care workers- very nearly became law when it was brought forward by the White House, passed the U.S. House, and lost by only one vote in the U.S. Senate. Ultimately despite overwhelming public support, a powerful Care Can't Wait coalition of organizations including MomsRising, and a massive groundswell of activists across the country, Republican leadership in Congress largely blocked the bill. 

As caregivers, we know the power of persistence. We know that the people united will never be defeated*. Enter CareFest: a first-of-its-kind gathering of caregivers, care workers, care organizers, and philanthropy singularly focused on making the case for care. 

Taking place in Los Angeles in November of 2023, CareFest brought two days of non-stop programming focused on our nation’s deep need for care infrastructure while also lifting up and shining a light on the essential need for care and the work of caregivers. The event was organized by Caring Across Generations and the National Domestic Workers Alliance through the leadership of Ai-jen Poo. It featured high profile speakers and co-hosts such as Senator Laphonza Butler, California’s newest appointed U.S. Senator and a former home healthcare organizer; Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement; and a handful of celebrities who are also caregivers to their own family members including Lisa Ling, Yvette Nicole Brown, and June Diane Raphael. 

MomsRising’s own Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner joined California’s First Spouse Jennifer Siebel Newsom on the main stage for a powerful conversation about the power of moms, the challenges moms face, the solutions we can build together; and also about how Californiais leading the way with transformative investments in child care, home and health care worker wages, and paid leave. MomsRising staff were also in the room, amplifying our members’ and coalition partners' work across the country for paid leave, child care, as well as home and community-based services for people who are aging and children and adults with disabilities. 

We know that it’s a question of when not if the care infrastructure in the vision of Build Back Better becomes the law of the land. Our families and communities will keep organizing, speaking out, voting, and making our voices heard until our nation’s leaders hear loud and clear that there is a care majority in this country. CareFest was a beautiful reminder of that and an energizing moment for our movement. Together, we know we can. So let’s keep fighting.

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