College of The Siskiyous student Brigham Sawyer Smith is launching a campaign for State Assembly in California’s First District, representing Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou and portions of Butte and Placer counties. Smith has plans to study gunsmithing.
“This is my community — my home — and I understand what matters to my friends and neighbors in the northern part of this state,” Smith said in a press release. “I’m going to Sacramento with the goal of providing a voice for voters.”
Smith is a strong supporter of California’s In-Home Supportive Services program, providing elderly and disabled men and women with dignified care in their homes instead of expensive institutions. Brigham Smith’s father currently serves as an IHSS provider, caring for Brigham’s uncle.
Part of Smith’s campaign centers around his opposition to Gov. Jerry Brown’s budget proposal capping IHSS provider hours at 40 per week, thus eliminating overtime. Many IHSS recipients require 24-hour care and family members have given up their education and careers to provide home-care services. The governor’s proposal calls for the formation of a revolving door bank that delivers random providers to homes each day.
“Can you imagine a random person coming into your home each day and helping you bathe, eat and use the restroom?” Smith said. “IHSS is supposed to be about providing quality care in a dignified manner; that’s the law and those are patients’ rights.”
Smith, a Democrat, said the governor’s proposal has nothing to do with upholding the laws or guaranteeing a patient’s rights.
“I understand the governor is trying to build a rainy day fund, but it is raining every day for California’s disabled and for the minimum-wage workers who care for them,” he said.
“These men and women on the IHSS program rely on comfort and familiarity. This proposal is cruel and fails to recognize the trauma that would be caused by such a mandate.”
For more information, contact wShane Brinton at ShaneB@cuhw.org.