When I was working as a union representative for a health care workers union in Los Angeles, I got to meet healthcare workers in the dialysis industry. Most of these workers worked 6 days a week for two different for-profit dialysis providers just to make a modest living. They were dedicated to their patients, but faced appalling working conditions that put both their patients and themselves at risk.

More than 80,000 Californians with kidney failure need dialysis to stay alive and that’s why voters need to vote yes on Proposition 8. This initiative pushes the huge out of state dialysis corporations to improve patient care — getting rid of the cockroaches, the dried blood and understaffing that workers told me are far too common in the clinics.

You’ve probably seen the industry’s flashy ads on Facebook and in mailers — the industry is spending $100 million into scaring voters to think they will lose dialysis services. Big dialysis corporations made almost $4 billion in profits last year, so let’s make them accountable to spending that money on better patient care instead of enriching their executives and shareholders.

Vote yes on Proposition 8.

Patricia Thomas, McKinleyville

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