After all the dedication and sacrifices we – the essential workers of LA County – made during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Supervisors wants to reward us with a slap in the face by adopting a budget with ZERO meaningful investment in us.
Worst of all, LA County is proposing a deal with NO COST OF LIVING INCREASE, despite inflation and skyrocketing consumer prices.
But that’s not what we want. We want Heroes Pay for All and more! We also want an end to feeling abandoned and betrayed by privileged in power who called us “heroes” when their lives depended on us but who clearly take our lives for granted.
So, we brought our demands directly to the Board of Supervisors.
Our union asked us, the members, to write just one word on a card to express how we felt at this time – and the responses literally said it all. Our union amassed many of the cards into a massive display. It was then exhibited during a press conference held on the steps of the Hall of Administration in downtown LA directly outside the Board of Supervisors’ meeting room.
Members expressed in plain terms what we endured – and how outraged we felt at LA County’s insulting contract offer to us. Press conference speakers included David Green, SEIU 721 President and a Children’s Social Worker with the Department of Children and Family Services; Cynthia Mitchell, an ER Nurse at the LAC+USC Medical Center; Alex Valdez, a Senior Cook at the Probation Department; Lawrence Reyes, a Community Worker with the Department of Mental Health; and Markeitha Harris, a Registered Nurse at the Department of Public Health.
But we didn’t stop there. As our press conference concluded, thousands of SEIU 721 members began fanning out across LA County in a barrage of lunchtime demonstrations at the Board of Supervisors field offices in a powerful display of collective action.
We started off on Monday at Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s Lancaster Office, where the heat flared to 106 degrees and tempers flared, too!
The following day, we barreled through the rest of the Board of Supervisors’ field offices.
We made our presence known at Supervisor Hilda Solis’ South El Monte Office, Huntington Park Office and East LA Office.
There, Supervisor Solis herself heard directly from our members about their pandemic experiences and their reactions toward LA County’s outrageous offer.
SEIU 721 President David Green joined members at Sheila Kuehl’s Van Nuys Office, where he gave a passionate speech emphasizing how the pandemic illustrated that all our work is essential.
Our Tuesday itinerary also included Supervisor Barger’s Pasadena Office and Chatsworth Office.
We also paid lively visits to Supervisor Holly Mitchell’s Lennox Office and Supervisor Janice Hahn’s Torrance Office.
It is unacceptable that – despite an influx of more than $1.9 billion in federal funds – the Board of Supervisors is set to adopt a budget that is flat-out insulting, with no meaningful investment in LA County’s essential frontline workers. We have not forgotten that those extra funds were awarded to LA County through the American Rescue Plan and CARES Act, legislation that passed with the help of large-scale mobilization by SEIU members here and across the country. And we won’t let the Board of Supervisors forget either!