Sisters and brothers: As you read these words, we’re less than 70 days away from the most important election many of us will see in our lifetimes. At stake this November are the very things we’ve fought so hard to protect: vital services for our communities, good, middle class jobs, and a real voice in the decisions that affect our work, our families, and those we serve.
SEIU 721 members know the value of a strong and engaged membership from countless contract campaigns, bargaining sessions, and worksite actions. What’s less clear to some is how getting involved in politics helps workers. But time after time, SEIU 721 members demonstrate how activism in city, county and state government can have a direct positive impact on their communities, their families, and their workplace.
In 2015, we demonstrated that with the right planning and fearless execution we can make big things happen for workers. If you’re already a member, take a moment to celebrate our union’s accomplishments. If you’re a new member, welcome to the most dynamic and fastest-growing public employee union in America.
Today, our union is gripped by sorrow in the wake of the tragedy in San Bernardino. In what has become a weekly occurrence, a mass shooting has claimed the lives of innocent Americans and injured many more. This attack is particularly close to home. Of the 14 people killed on December 2nd, 10 were SEIU 721 members. Of the 22 injured, 15 were members of our union.
A year ago, we knew Southern California workers’ backs were against the wall and our union would face some of the toughest fights in our history. At our member summit last November, we decided going it alone with old tactics wouldn’t work. Instead, we focused on building alliances with other unions, community groups, and clergy.