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Women’s History Month 2024

March was Women’s History Month, and as a union made up mostly of women, every year we celebrate and uplift women not just throughout history but also those making a difference for their communities in the present day. These are just some of the incredible women who make up our union:  

Meet Myrna Banks, a child care provider from San Francisco County and member of our union since 2023! Myrna became a child care provider after seeing there was a significant need for more providers in her community. She was confident that she could make a positive impact on the lives of the local children and their families, and she has spent the last 15 years keeping true to that belief. 
For Myrna, the best part of being a child care provider is being able to help teach these kids to blossom into themselves. “I always talk to them about what they liked and disliked about their day at school, especially how they would change what they didn’t like about their day,” Myrna said. 
Thank you, Myrna, for everything you do in your community! 

Next, meet Gladys Tellez, an IHSS provider from Madera County. Gladys has been providing care for over 20 years and became a member of UDW in 2004. 
She is an active part of her community and volunteers her time to help new members at training and with their timesheets. Being an IHSS provider and UDW member means she can give her mom the quality care and quality of life she deserves in the comfort of her home. “My mom would be miserable in a home without her family coming to see her anytime they wanted, and she would also hate not having her backyard or access to being outdoors whenever she wants,” said Gladys. 
Thank you, Gladys, for everything you do in your community! 

Finally, meet Julie Rocha, an IHSS provider from Kern County. Julie became a primary caregiver to her daughter, Jenna, in 2019, and a member of our union in 2021. 
Julie goes above and beyond not just as a caregiver but as a community member in Kern County. You can often find Julie volunteering at the local community college where her daughter also takes classes and participating in the UDW Humane and Civil Rights Council where she helps plan and organize benefits for local IHSS providers. She’s also an active member of the of UDW Kern Bargaining Team and is always front and center at the Kern County Board of Supervisors meetings demanding the county give providers the sensible contract providers deserve after a 7-year-long uphill battle. 
For Julie, Women’s History Month is not only about history, but about how we can actively shape our futures and uplift other women. “We can be empowered through education in any way, even community webinars or researching something for yourself. All these bits of information we learn are tools in a toolbox, we never know when we will need that in our lives and the investment is worth it for our future selves,” said Julie. 
Thank you, Julie, for everything you do in your community! We can’t wait to see how you continue to make local history.