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Kayla is standing in a park while she hold two brown dogs in her arms. They are wearing brown pants and a black t-shirt featuring anime characters.

People of Richmond: Given the strike by Kaiser workers, would you cross a picket line to see a doctor?

on November 16, 2023

“People of Richmond” is a regular series in which reporters pose a question to people in the community. Answers are presented verbatim, though sometimes edited for brevity.

Q: Would you cross a picket line of striking workers to receive routine health care?

“No I stand with the workers of Kaiser. My mom is a nurse so I understand their struggles.” (Kayla Chin, customer service manager, pictured above)

Sanjay is standing inside of a Home Depot and he has his are crossed behind his back. He is wearing grey jeans and a white and black polo shirt with keys dangling from his jeans.

“If I need to see a doctor, I’m going to go see a doctor. It is important that they get what they want, but at the same time, my health is also important for me.” Sanjay Dhanjul, restaurant worker

“I wouldn’t cross a picket line because I’m trying to help people that are picketing because they are picketing for a reason.”

(Jean Davis, retired)

“I would not cross the picket line because I support workers on strike. Getting appropriate benefits and pay is more important.” (Georgia Steinheimer, teacher)

Georgia stands gracefully before a serene river or pool of water. She is dressed in chic green pants paired with a cozy grey long-sleeve shirt. Her hair is meticulously braided, resting elegantly on her shoulder.

“No. I think organized labor is one of the only things that is putting a damper on the greed that’s shaping our current moment. I would find another date.”

(Max Lavine, student)
Fidel stands confidently in front of a parking lot, his arms casually crossed. He sports a stylish grey hoodie adorned with a playful logo of a dog sticking out its tongue, complemented by grey shorts. His look is completed with sleek black glasses, and he carries a trendy black and white backpack.

“I do agree with them striking and I do support them. They’re workers and they want the best for themselves and their co-workers. They’re trying to make a difference. There’s other hospitals. Another one would take me.” (Fidel Sedano, assistant manager)

“I try to support the strike, so I try to not get health care while they’re striking.”

(Rachel O’Neal, health and nutrition specialist)

“No disrespect to the strike, I would go. There is a hospital near me. I would go inside to get care. I mean, I understand there may be problems and situations, but I will take care of myself and my son.” (Francine Deirdre, mother)

Francine is standing in the side walk with a grey old navy sweater and an orange t-shirt underneath with a black purse over her chest. Her eyes are squinted and her hair is neatly parted.

“I think I would cross the picket line just because I care about my health and, of course, I care about what other folks are going through, like if they are not getting equal pay or they are not getting the right amount of support from the organization. But I also need to take care of myself as an individual.”

(Emily Tenorio Molina, freelance writer

“I would not because I have family members at Kaiser that work there, and they are not being taken care of, and I really do not like that. … I would like the administrative people to get together and think about the people. I used to be a Kaiser member for 15 years and I quit.” (Reta Hunt, retired)

Reta is outside of an event in a black motorized wheelchair. She is wearing a grey sweater with a black t-shirt underneath and a yellow N95 face mask and a black hat.

“Todos tienen el derecho de buscar lo mejor, pero es importante para la gente sentirse segura. Muchas veces, cuando hay una protesta, hay inseguridad para poder ir al hospital para poder hacerse el examen o lo que sea, chequeo rutinario. Pero yo creo que se respeta tambien lo que puedan hacer ellos. Pero lo mas importante es el cuidado de los pacientes.” 

(Hernan Revelo, mantenimiento)

People of Richmond: Do you go to the library?

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Richmond Confidential is an online news service produced by the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism for, and about, the people of Richmond, California. Our goal is to produce professional and engaging journalism that is useful for the citizens of the city.

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