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Exercise your freedoms

The following was cross-posted from The Caring Force blog.

The Caring Force Member Steve shared his personal story and a powerful call to action in honor of the Fourth of July. Please give it a read and help us honor our independence by using it to create a stronger human services system.

Steve's message originally appeared as an email to members of The Caring Force. If you didn't get a copy, take a second to sign up!

I’m a human service worker at an organization in Southbridge, and I love my job.

Picture: Me and my family. [Enable images to see this picture]Earlier this year I shared my story at a legislative forum hosted at Nichols College in Dudley. During my speech, I talked about the incredibly challenging yet incredibly rewarding work that we do as human service workers. And I implored the legislators in attendance to support the Salary Reserve to make it just a little easier for us to provide for our families while continuing to do the work we love.

At one point, I mentioned something my friends often bring up: “Why don’t you just get a different job?”

The answer is simple: Because I love what I do. When I wake up in the morning, I love going to work. I can’t wait to see my friends and coworkers. One of the greatest things we do is teach and support the people we serve.

I love my job, but it can be incredibly difficult to make ends meet on our salaries.That’s why I’m proud to exercise the freedoms we celebrate every Fourth of July by speaking out to our government to make sure that no one has to choose between working in human services and making ends meet.

Our collective efforts through The Caring Force represent the best in American democracy: when necessary, we have the freedom in this country to band together and petition for change. The best part: our efforts are paying off!

We’re so close to making it easier to stay in this field: the legislature’s budget proposal included a $20 million annualized Salary Reserve!

The Governor only has seven days left to issue vetoes and sign the budget, which means we must make one last, critical push to make the Salary Reserve a reality.

Please take a minute right now to exercise your freedom and ask Gov. Patrick to include the Salary Reserve in the budget that he signs:

We would not have gotten this far without all of the messages that The Caring Force sent to the legislature. Now we’re closer than ever to winning this important fight.

Thank you for your support,

Steve Etzweiler
The Caring Force