Katelyn Burns
Teen Vogue

“A lot of young women of color are doing domestic work. This is a growing industry, and they are people who deserve rights and benefits that have been excluded for so long,” Jayapal told Teen Vogue in an interview after the press conference. “But also, I would just say from an organizing perspective, a lot of our young folks of color really want to be engaged in something that pushes for rights, that has a dramatic impact, and that is also grassroots-driven. And that’s what this is as well. So we are really bringing those voices of young women of color who are performing this work and deserve to be at the table.”

Daniela ran into issues again several years later when life circumstances forced her to dive back into domestic work, just two weeks after the birth of her daughter. “Because of what was happening I couldn’t breastfeed my child,” she said, explaining that she had to get four different jobs just to make ends meet. “I didn’t get the chance to enjoy my child. So yes, I was a hard worker. I was working almost 24 hours a day, working from 6 A.M. to 11 P.M., Monday to Sunday. I would hardly get hours off because I would go home and take care of my baby too.” 

She said that one of her employers took advantage of her because there was no set, written contract defining Daniela’s duties. Originally signing on as the family’s nanny, Daniela said she soon found herself doing all of the cooking, cleaning, and laundry for the family, and she would be forced to work a weekend day if she needed to take a sick day to care for her daughter. She then met other nannies in the neighborhood park and was invited to an NDWA organizing meeting.

“To this day, I will never forget that day,” she said. She started with volunteer work with the organization’s Groundbreaker program, which consisted of meeting and organizing other nannies in the local parks, and then, late last year, she became an official organizer for the NDWA.