As a librarian at the Walnut Creek Library, Rita Carrasco is used to the hustle and bustle that comes with working in a place that is so essential to the community.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday joined AFSCME President Lee Saunders and front-line public service workers from states experiencing surges in coronavirus cases to urge the Senate to approve

Mental health professionals in the Parole Outpatient Clinics throughout the state play an important role in helping parolees transition back into society and keeping our communities safe.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought all normal life to a standstill over the last several weeks, and schools have been hit especially hard.

Schools were forced to shut down, teachers have had to scramble to put together online lessons and parents have to quickly figure out what to do about childcare.

It’s become clear that relief bills Congress has approved thus far, including the record $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, won’t be enough to quell the health and economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What other aid should Congress provide? AFSCME has recommendations.

While some health care workers are knee deep in the battle to treat patients suffering from COVID-19, countless other health care workers are feeling its devastating impact, even if the places they work haven’t seen a surge in coronavirus patients.

Two of those health care workers are Jackie Garcia and Carla Cambra.

Even a normal day at Coalinga State Hospital in Coalinga is a delicate balancing act.

For staff who work at the 1,500-patient maximum security hospital, which houses a number of sexually violent offenders—most of whom are not yet safe to enter the community—there’s no such thing as letting your guard down. Seventy-five percent of Coalinga’s patients have committed sexually violent crimes and 25% are patients with mental disorders.

Updating wills before heading into work. Extending the lives of single-use masks. Self-isolating from their own families. These are just some of the shameful realities and conditions health care workers on the front lines of fighting the COVID-19 pandemic are facing each day.

Abdul Johnson recently announced that he was stepping down as AFSCME Council 57's president, and the Executive Board voted to appoint Steve Jovel as the new president, effective April 1. Jovel has been the Council 57 vice president since 2019, and he will serve as president through the remainder of the board's two-year term. The following message is Jovel's message to the membership:

"Let me start by wishing you health and safety during the difficult time our nation is going through with the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has now been more than a week since the Bay Area announced a shelter-in-place and just about a week since the Governor followed suit due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our offices closed starting March 16 and, to date, they remain closed. All of our staff, however, continue to work remotely. In that time, I know you have been dealing with numerous issues. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it again: Thank you for the work that you are continuing to do despite the challenging, unprecedented situation.