Hundreds of SEIU 721 members and allies came together at 721’s headquarters on Saturday, Nov. 17, to kick off the campaign against Richard Riordan’s attack on our pensions. Riordan and his billionaire friends, like Eli Broad, are paying hundreds of people to gather signatures for a ballot initiative that would destroy retirement security for current and future workers. They’ve got until Dec. 7 to gather 255,000 valid signatures from LA city voters.
SEIU 721, along with the Coalition of LA City Unions, is spearheading Keep LA Strong, a network of unions and community groups aimed at rejecting Riordan’s power grab.
The day of action started with a training on how to educate the public about Riordan’s destructive plan. Participants learned about Keep LA Strong’s “Don’t Sign” campaign
, which urges the public to avoid Riordan’s petition. They also learned how signers can withdraw their name from Riordan’s petition if they have signed, but then change their mind.
People rallied with signs and held up masks depicting Riordan and Broad, as 721 members fired up the crowd. Warren Fletcher, president of United Teachers Los Angeles, gave a solidarity message from his 35,000 member union. Political candidates also showed support.
People then formed “Riordan Signature Busters” teams and fanned out to supermarkets, malls and other public places to confront Riordan’s paid operatives.
“I went with a team to the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza. There were seven of Riordan’s paid people there, telling folks they had a petition to ‘get the city jobs.’ As soon as my team began telling the truth, people stopped signing Riordan’s petition.”
Simboa Wright, LA City Sanitation Worker
Teams in the San Fernando Valley, East LA and West LA also drove away Riordan’s henchmen. In Eagle Rock, Riordan’s signature gatherers assaulted LAPD property officer Artemio Resulto, a city worker for 22 years.
“When I tried to dissuade a woman from signing Riordan’s petition to destroy my retirement, the man gathering signatures pushed me into the wall. But that didn’t intimidate me. I’m going to keep spreading the word to save retirement in LA.”
Read LA Times coverage of the day of action.
Riordan Signature Busters are going out each day urging people not to sign. You can join a team or cover supermarkets and public spaces in your area.
Get involved with the mobilization to stop Riordan today: (877) 721-4968.