August 05, 2021
A Word from our New Executive Director
Friends and retiree leaders,
This year, our friend Jeanne Cameron moved on from being IARA Executive Director to take on a new post in the movement as a part of the AFSCME Council 31 team. Having served as an organizer with
the IARA since 2017, I am honored to have the opportunity to step up into this new role.
A little over 4 years ago, I signed on to IARA to organize towards winning expanded access to home & community based services because I knew first hand the devastating impact that the lack of care infra structure can have on a family. Growing up, my grandma’s care needs required my single mom to leave her union job & relocate our family, imposing an irreversible economic, social, & emotional toll on us. I am grateful for the opportunity to fight back for
family caregivers like my mom, for those in need like my grandma, & for the overworked, and undervalued professional caregivers whose labor is essential to the quality of life of those who count on it.
In my first couple of years with IARA, we were on the defensive, fighting to protect the Community Care Program from being cut by the Rauner administration, & the Affordable Care Act from being gutted by the Trump Administration. Now, having fought for & won a different political landscape in DC & Springfield, I am thrilled at the opportunities that we have to win a robust care infrastructure in the American Jobs Act, to improve access to lifesaving drugs with the Lower Drug Costs Now Act, & to build the future of our movement by passing the PRO Act.
These last 4 years have demonstrated the resilience & steadfast commitment to the movement that is held by the retiree leaders of IARA. Together, we have successfully pushed back against threats to our earned benefits, weathered the ravages of a global pandemic, and it is my privilege and great honor to be your Executive Director as we take our movement beyond what could have been imagined in my first days at the Alliance.