Yesterday, TIME Magazine announced their list of this year's 100 Most Influential People in the World and included me in the list. Perhaps this goes without saying, but this recognition is a result of the courage and dedication of our members, domestic workers whose sacrifice makes everything else possible. Day in and day out, our members are organizing to bring their work out of the shadows and into public recognition. Their tireless efforts are making a real difference across the country and around the world, from Hawaii, to Washington DC, to Geneva.
TIME chose a few of the 100 to highlight with a longer video, and we were one of those chosen.
When we began organizing to gain respect, dignity, and labor protections for domestic workers in New York City in the late 1990’s, I never could have imagined we would be where we are today. Today, with one statewide victory under our belts — the first in our nation's history — we stand poised to win a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in California, with more states to follow in 2013. We have grown from a few handfuls of women gathered in church basements and living rooms across the country to an alliance of 35 member organizations working in 19 cities and 11 states. We’ve come a long way.
The truth is, without you none of this would be possible. All of you have taken action to support domestic workers over the past 15 years — shared your stories, spoken out, marched with us, supported us financially — we’ve come a long way together.
I hope you can share in this moment with us. It is a powerful moment of visibility for a long invisible workforce. We are all very proud of how far our movement has come, and we hope you also take pride in your part of it.
And Gloria Steinem was kind enough to write the piece about us, which includes a short video at the end with my response to the question, "Who do you think is the most influential person in the world in 2012?" I hope you like it.
There's so much more to do. But I hope we can all take a moment to smile today.
With love and gratitude,
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