Southern California Workers: "All Eyes are on Wisconsin"
Workers in Southern California are transfixed, troubled and motivated to take action as the attacks unleashed by Republican Governor Scott Walker threaten to decimate collective bargaining rights for thousands of Wisconsin public service workers.
More than 25,000 workers and supporters have peacefully convened at Wisconsin's State Capitol to protest legislation that would eliminate bargaining rights and drastically alter retirement and healthcare benefits.
President Barack Obama reached out through social media to oppose the attacks:
"Public employees are our neighbors and friends. They are teachers, firefighters, social workers, and police officers. They make a lot of sacrifices and make a big contribution. It's important not to vilify them or to suggest that somehow budget problems are due to public employees."
Similar demonstrations are planned in places including Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as elected officials seek to balance state and local budgets by shifting the financial burden on to nurses, teachers and librarians.
"Everybody's eyes are on Wisconsin. It's a wake-up call to educate, mobilize and organize working families who are being blamed for state and local deficits. Any decisions need to be made collectively to get us out of this mess."
Blanca Gomez, LA County Social Worker
"These attacks are frightening because similar threats are being made in Ohio and other places. Legislation like this may save pennies today but it will wreck the economy in the long run and the ability for workers to make a decent living."
Cindy Singer, LA County Librarian
Take Action Locally:
- Volunteer to help elect local candidates in Southern California that will defend public services. Sign up to volunteer today by clicking here
Take Action Nationally:
- Tell the governor that this is "Not My Wisconsin." Sign up for e-mail and/or text alerts by clicking here.
Photos of SEIU members rallying in Wisconsin.
To view a photo gallery, click here.