Member Story – Tamiko Howard


Too close for comfort.

A little more than a week after Gov. Newsom’s shelter-in-place order, the DMV closed all of its more than 170 field offices to the public and shifted to providing essential services by mail and online.

But for Tamiko Howard and scores of her fellow DMV workers, the change to a safer environment didn’t come soon enough. “While DMV management made an effort to protect the public, they did virtually nothing to keep employees safe,” Tamiko said. “We were still working, literally, two feet apart, and dealing with the public across a narrow counter.”

Tamiko’s fellow DMV workers across the state experienced similar conditions.

Faced with growing pressure from its own employees and from Local 1000, the DMV closed its offices in an effort to “address employee health and safety concerns, including public contact and increasing social distancing between individuals”, according to a DMV memo.

Tamiko is a 16-year veteran of DMV, all at the Inglewood office. Sadly, she has been delayed in returning to work because she’s isolating after a family member tested positive for COVID-19.

“My 28-year old daughter is in the hospital, on oxygen. Her husband has tested positive,” said Tamiko. “I’m doing the right thing by isolating myself, and I encourage everyone to do the right thing as well.”