SEIU 721 members took part in a series of events across Los Angeles commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. On Aug. 28, a rally outside LA City Hall featured speakers from community groups and churches, including SEIU 721 President Bob Schoonover.
“The March on Washington was about jobs. Today, our movement is still about the need for more good jobs. Fast food and other low-wage workers are demanding better pay and benefits and we need to get them there. We also need to keep our
middle-class City and County jobs so that people can live with the dignity they deserve.”
-Bob Schoonover, SEIU 721 President
Just days earlier, on Aug. 24, hundreds of people marched to historic Leimert Park, the heart of LA’s African-American community for a rally and reenactment of the 1963 event, including Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous, “I Have a Dream” speech. SEIU 721 members who work for LA County, LA City, Riverside County and their families marched with other union members, clergy and community allies.
“I felt it was important to celebrate with Dr. Martin Luther King started 50 years ago. I don’t want people to forget that. There is still work to do and we need to keep working at it. SEIU 721 is helping to keep that dream alive.”
-David Warpness, Riverside County Children’s Social Services Worker and SEIU 721 Executive Board Member
“Commemorating the March on Washington is very important for our community and for our history. We should learn and continue the dream in our workplaces. My co-workers and I work very hard and want to serve our patients, but the caseloads are so high. We need more staff. Our union strength will get us there.”
-Sandra McGowan, LA County Patient Resources Worker, Department of Health Services
Retired LA County Registered Nurse Rosie Martinez spoke at the rally for SEIU 721. She stressed the need for more good jobs, greater voting rights and comprehensive immigration reform, urging common struggle to get there.
“I think it’s very important to celebrate the March on Washington. It’s an honor to be part of a union that understands why it matters to our communities. I’m proud to stand on the shoulders of Dr. King and demand good jobs and benefits for all workers.”
-Eduardo Reyes, LA City Trash Truck Driver
Dozens of SEIU 721 members also traveled to Washington to participate in the massive march there, led by labor unions and civil rights organizations.
Across the country, SEIU 721 members took action to keep the dream alive.