Politics

SEIU California Endorses Kamala Harris for U.S. Senate

Sacramento, CA – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California today announced the 700,000-member union’s endorsement of current Attorney General Kamala Harris in the race to fill the U.S. Senate seat of retiring Senator Barbara Boxer. SEIU California’s endorsement was made in a town hall process in which all members had the opportunity to evaluate candidates’ policy positions, listen to them speak, interview them, and then make their recommendations.

Laphonza Butler, President of SEIU California and SEIU United Long Term Care Workers said:

“SEIU members are proud to endorse Kamala Harris to represent us in the United States Senate. We know she’ll be a tough fighter for working families in Washington, the same way she’s shown courage and commitment to stand up for hard-working Californians as Attorney General.

“SEIU’s endorsement process gave our members the opportunity to hear directly from the candidates on the issues working families worry about over the dinner table: immigration reform, health care costs, opportunity for their kids, and a basic standard of living in retirement. Our members saw Kamala is ready to be the champion they need in the U.S. Senate.

“As Attorney General, Kamala stood up to the big banks that cheated homeowners out of their life savings and cracked down on unfair foreclosures. Kamala told the truth about attacks on our retirement security. As the top lawyer representing hard-working Californians, she’s on our side every day, fighting predatory student loans and standing up for justice and equality in our courts.

“SEIU’s endorsement means our members will put our boots on the ground to deliver votes across California and put our hearts into a winning campaign to put Kamala Harris in the U.S. Senate.”

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SEIU California is a coalition of over 700,000 janitors, social workers, security officers, home care workers, school and university employees, healthcare workers, and city, county and state employees represented by SEIU local unions throughout California. We come together to build a better California by fighting to pass policies and elect candidates that benefit working families and advance the issues we care about: affordable healthcare, good wages, retirement security for all, a healthy environment, good schools and universities, and stronger communities. We believe that by working together we can build a California where working families can thrive again.

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SEIU California Endorses Leticia Perez for Fresno/Bakersfield State Senate Seat

Sacramento, CA – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California today announced the 700,000-member union’s endorsement of Leticia Perez for Senate in the 16th District special election to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Rubio. SEIU California’s endorsements are made in a town hall process in which members evaluate candidates’ policy positions, listen to them speak, interview them, and then make their recommendations. The town halls are open to all members in each district.

“We endorse Leticia Perez for State Senate because the Central valley needs more leaders who want to raise the standard of living and Leticia Perez will do just that,” said Dr. Sarah Assem, a primary care resident physician and CIR/SEIU delegate.

Leticia Perez was raised in East Bakersfield and worked in community development before attending law school. After attaining her legal credentials, she returned to Bakersfield to work as a public defender. The mother of a young son, Leticia also works and volunteers for many local organizations including Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

The primary special election for Senate District 16 will be held on May 21. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the top two candidates will appear on a runoff ballot July 23. Senate District 16 is located in the southern part of California’s Central Valley and includes Bakersfield and Fresno.

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SEIU California is a coalition of over 700,000 janitors, social workers, security officers, home care workers, school and university employees, healthcare workers, and city, county and state employees represented by SEIU local unions throughout California. We come together to build a better California by fighting to pass policies and elect candidates that benefit working families and advance the issues we care about: affordable healthcare, good wages, retirement security for all, a healthy environment, good schools and universities, and stronger communities. We believe that by working together we can build a California where working families can thrive again.

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SEIU California Leaders Stand with President Obama in Las Vegas, Join Call for Congress to Support Comprehensive Immigration Reform

SEIU Members Hit the Streets Across California to Build Momentum for Reforms

LAS VEGAS, NV – Leaders of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California stood with President Barack Obama today as he unveiled his framework for national immigration reform. SEIU California members joined SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry and Secretary Treasurer Eliseo Medina in praising President Obama for his courage and leadership in advancing comprehensive immigration reform, recognizing that the nation’s economic and social fabric will be strengthened by ensuring dignity and rights for every worker.

Miguel Cordova, an education program consultant at the California Department of Education and Local 1000 bargaining chair, made the following statement:

“In his Inaugural Address, President Obama rightly recognized that without a fair and just immigration system, our nation compromises our historic march toward recognizing the civil rights and basic human dignity every person deserves.

“On behalf of 700,000 California workers, we call on Congress to adopt a reform plan that aligns with our nation’s values by allowing hardworking immigrants to earn a path to citizenship, modernizing our immigration system, and focusing border enforcement efforts on protecting our national security.

“Today, millions of immigrants do the backbreaking work that is vital to our economy, asking in return only a fair shot at the American Dream for their families. These moms, dads, grandparents and young people work alongside us, serve us in restaurants and stores, and their children learn side-by-side with ours in schools. Our nation will be stronger when they can dream the same dreams of opportunity and a better life for their children.”

Recognizing that national momentum for reform is growing, our nation’s elected leaders finally seem poised to take action this year. Today’s event with President Obama follows the release of an immigration reform blueprint from a bi-partisan group of U.S. Senators on Monday.

SEIU Members Hit the Streets Across California to Build Momentum for Reforms

Starting today and continuing throughout the week, SEIU members will join community events across California to rally support for reforms that will make our nation stronger and safer, while giving hardworking families a chance to participate in the American Dream. SEIU members will be available to speak to the media at the following events. For more information about these events, or to speak with an SEIU event participant, contact Arnulfo De La Cruz, (213) 814-9628.

Tuesday, January 29th:

San Jose: Immigration Reform Coalition Press Conference
Time: 1pm-1:30pm
Location: Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 2020 E San Antonio St, San Jose

Sacramento: Immigration Reform Coalition Press Conference
Time: 1 pm
Location: The Federal Building, 501 I Street, Sacramento 95814

Los Angeles: Public Viewing of President Obama’s Speech on Immigration Reform
Time: 11am-1pm
Location: Plazita Olvera Methodist Church: 115 Paseo de la Plaza, Los Angeles, Ca

Orange County: Public Viewing of President Obama’s Speech on Immigration Reform
Time: 11am-1pm
Location: Orange County Labor Federation: 309 N. Rampart St. Suite. A., Orange, CA 92868

San Diego: Public Viewing of President Obama’s Speech on Immigration Reform
Time: 11am-1pm
Location: Equality Alliance, 3750 30th St, San Diego 92105

Wednesday, January 30th:

San Jose: Media Availability & Immigration Reform Coalition Meeting
Time: 1-2 pm
Location: South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, 2102 Almaden Rd, Suite 114, San Jose, CA 95125

Thursday, January 31st:

Salinas: Media Availability & Immigration Reform Coalition Meeting
Time: 4:30pm-5:30pm
Location: Teamsters Hall, 931 E. Market St, Salinas, 93901

Friday, February 1st:

Riverside: Media Availability & Immigration Reform Coalition Meeting
Time: TBA
Location: St. Andrew’s Newman Center, 105 Big Springs Road Riverside, CA

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SEIU California is a coalition of over 700,000 janitors, social workers, security officers, home care workers, school and university employees, healthcare workers, and city, county and state employees represented by SEIU local unions throughout California. We come together to build a better California by fighting to pass policies and elect candidates that benefit working families and advance the issues we care about: affordable healthcare, good wages, retirement security for all, a healthy environment, good schools and universities, and stronger communities. We believe that by working together we can build a California where working families can thrive again.

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Healthy at Home Coalition Applauds Legislature for Protecting Home Care

Focus turns to long-term solutions to save lives, save money  

Sacramento, CA – The Healthy at Home Coalition released the following statement regarding the budget approved by both houses of the legislature today. The budget rejects most of the cuts to IHSS proposed by the Governor, including a 7% across-the-board cut to home care hours as well as the elimination of domestic and related services for recipients who need support to live at home rather than in an institutional setting. The current 3.6% cut passed and signed into law last year will be continued for one more year in the new budget.

“Protecting and strengthening the home care that 400,000 seniors, people with disabilities and care givers count on for their safety and independence has been our goal since Day One of the ‘Let’s get Healthy at Home!’ campaign.
“The budget passed by the Legislature is balanced this year and eliminates the long-term structural deficit. After years of painful cuts, protecting the cost-saving IHSS program is again being recognized as a budget solution.

“From across California, we came to the Capitol over the last two weeks to tell the story of home care: Home care saves lives and saves money. Still, with the IHSS-eligible population expected to double to 800,000 seniors and people with disabilities over the next decade, the budget passed today is a solution for today, and we must turn our attention to tomorrow.

“The Healthy at Home Coalition will immediately re-double our efforts to pass the coordinated care initiative that will improve health outcomes for California’s most vulnerable population and realize long-term budget savings. Further, we urge the Governor to work with us on a long-term solution to millions of dollars in IHSS cuts currently tied up in the courts.

“Our loved ones deserve better than the fear that comes every year when IHSS is on the chopping block. Only by passing the coordinated care initiative and reaching an agreement on cuts currently in litigation can the Governor and Legislature say they have strengthened and secured home care for the 400,000 California seniors and people with disabilities depend upon.”

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The Healthy at Home Coalition consists of SEIU United Long Term Care Workers, SEIU United Healthcare Workers West, SEIU Local 521, UDW Homecare Providers Union/AFSCME Local 3930, and California United Health Care Workers SEIU/AFSCME Local 4034.

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Workers Declare: Home Care Cuts are Off the Table!

Join Care Recipients to Advance a Better Solution

Home care providers and care recipients rally to support reform bill SB 1503, a smarter alternative to cuts

SACRAMENTO, CA – The day after Governor Brown released his May budget revision, home care providers and care recipients rallied at the State Capitol to declare that home care cuts are off the table in the coming budget year. The effort was part of the “Let’s Get Healthy at Home” campaign to advance a smarter, more compassionate alternative to the $225 million in budget cuts proposed for In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), SB 1503.

“Home care providers and care recipients have been fighting to stabilize and strengthen the home care that keeps seniors and people with disabilities healthy and independent,” said Loretta Jackson, a home care provider from Sacramento. “But we can’t build a stronger system on top of a crumbling foundation, and that’s why we demand that lawmakers reject every penny in additional cuts to IHSS.”

IHSS enables more than 400,000 low-income seniors and disabled Californians to live safely and independently at home at a fraction of the cost of nursing home placement. Yet the cost effective program has been proposed for deep cuts year after year.

This year is no exception. The governor’s budget proposal would reduce by 7% the hours of assistance each home care recipient receives. For those who live with a relative or roommate, it would slash many services altogether, even if the person they share housing with is incapable or unwilling to help them with basic needs like laundry, cooking, and grocery shopping.

These proposed cuts would put vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities in danger. What’s more, they represent a “pound-foolish” approach to balancing the budget because the cuts would be compounded with the additional loss of more than $200 million in federal matching funds and more than $100 million in county dollars.

That’s why home care workers have joined seniors, Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez, and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg to advance a smarter alternative, reform bill SB 1503.

Instead of cutting services the home care services vulnerable Californians need now, SB 1503 creates savings in this year’s budget and achieves even better long-term savings by transforming IHSS.

SB 1503 would move to a system of coordinated care in which the health care system and the home care system work together, with incentives to improve the health of seniors and people with disabilities while maintaining consumer choice to live at home whenever possible.

Under this model, home care providers would be a part of the care team responsible for improving the consumers’ health. This plan will achieve real savings in the coming years when home care providers receive the training needed to observe and report symptoms of chronic conditions, greatly reducing the incidence of more expensive nursing home placements and hospitalizations.

What’s more, reinvesting savings generated by the reforms will enable California to strengthen home care to accommodate the estimated 800,000 Californians who will need IHSS as California’s population ages over the next decade. But this transformation won’t be successful if IHSS is cut any further.

“Seniors are here with a clear message for our leaders: more home care cuts are absolutely not an option,” said Bruce G. Johnson, a home care recipient from Stanislaus County. “It is unconscionable to even consider cutting the lifeline our seniors and people with disabilities are relying on when SB 1503 can save more money and improve our health!”

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Assembly Budget Panel Stands Up for Seniors and People with Disabilities, Rejects Deep IHSS Cut

Caregivers Gear Up for Campaign to Strengthen Home Care

Sacramento, CA – Caregivers who provide the critical services that enable more than 400,000 Californians to live safely in their own homes praised an Assembly panel’s decision to stand up for seniors and people with disabilities by rejecting a proposed $207 million cut to the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program today.

“Legislators did the right thing by standing with seniors, people with disabilities and their caregivers and rejecting these brutal IHSS cuts,” said Richard Jackson, a home care worker from Sacramento. “After listening to our voices and crunching the numbers, there’s no denying that home care is not only the most compassionate way to care for our loved ones, it’s far more cost effective than institutionalization.”

Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services, chaired by Assemblywoman Holly Mitchell, rejected the governor’s proposal to cut services for more than 250,000 seniors and people with disabilities that count on home care to maintain their independence and dignity. The cut to “domestic and related services” would have eliminated help home care consumers receive with activities that are crucial to their health and well-being such as bathing, feeding, laundry, and shopping. With the loss of corresponding federal and county funds factored in, the proposal would have resulted in a devastating $630 million cut to home care.

People with disabilities and their caregivers represented by SEIU, UDW and CUHW testified that cuts proposed for IHSS year after year point to the need for a policy solutions to strengthen and stabilize the state’s home care system and provide better care for California’s aging population.

“It’s dismaying that home care services that support the health and dignity of 400,000 elderly Californians and people with disabilities are put on the chopping block year after year,” said Lisa Davidson an in-home caregiver from Placer County. “Our health care and home care costs won’t be sustainable as our population ages and grapples with chronic disease unless we coordinate and strengthen these systems to support better health outcomes and protect consumers’ choice to stay healthy at home.”

A coalition of caregivers and seniors recently launched the “Let’s Get Healthy at Home” campaign focused on the need to preserve the principle of consumer-directed care, provide access to training and professional development for providers, and to ensure that care is coordinated to better manage chronic conditions and preventive health needs. The result will be a more efficient system that minimizes nursing home stays, emergency room visits and hospitalization.

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SEIU California Backs Candidates with Courage & Conviction to Fight for the Middle Class

Congressional, State Senate and Assembly Endorsements Made in Member-Driven Town Hall Process

Sacramento, CA – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California today announced the results of its town hall endorsement process in several Congressional, State Senate and Assembly races. In SEIU’s town hall process, members evaluate candidates’ policy positions, listen to them speak, interview them, and then make their decisions. The town halls are open to all members in each district.

Endorsements announced today were as follows:

State Assembly

  • AD 8 Ken Cooley
  • AD 14 Susan Bonilla
  • AD 15 Nancy Skinner
  • AD 16 Joan Buchanan
  • AD 21 Adam Gray
  • AD 22 Kevin Mullin
  • AD 23 Richard Rojas
  • AD 25 Bob Wieckowski

State Senate

  • SD 3 Lois Wolk
  • SD 31 Richard Roth
  • SD 35 Rod Wright
  • SD 39 Marty Block

Congress

  • CD 11 George Miller
  • CD 21 Blong Xiong
  • CD 22 Otto Lee
  • CD 26 Julia Brownley

Previous SEIU endorsements can be found here.

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SEIU California is a coalition of over 700,000 janitors, social workers, security officers, home care workers, school and university employees, healthcare workers, and city, county and state employees represented by SEIU local unions throughout California. We come together to build a better California by fighting to pass policies and elect candidates that benefit working families and advance the issues we care about: affordable healthcare, good wages, retirement security for all, a healthy environment, good schools and universities, and stronger communities. We believe that by working together we can build a California where working families can thrive again.

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SEIU California Backs Candidates with Courage & Conviction to Fight for the Middle Class

Congressional, State Senate and Assembly Endorsements Made in Member-Driven Town Hall Process

Sacramento, CA – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California today announced the results of its town hall endorsement process in several Congressional, State Senate and Assembly races. In SEIU’s town hall process, members evaluate candidates’ policy positions, listen to them speak, interview them, and then make their decisions. The town halls are open to all members in each district.

Endorsements announced today were as follows:

State Assembly

  • AD 4: Mariko Yamada
  • AD 7: Roger Dickinson
  • AD 17: Tom Ammiano
  • AD 24: Rich Gordon
  • AD 27: Nora Campos
  • AD 28: Paul Fong
  • AD 37: Das Williams
  • AD 40: Russ Warner
  • AD 45: Bob Blumenfield
  • AD 47: Joe Baca Jr.
  • AD 54: Holly Mitchell
  • AD 55: Gregg Fritchle
  • AD 61: Jose Medina
  • AD 62: Steve Bradford
  • AD 64: Isadore Hall
  • AD 69: Julio Perez
  • AD 70: Bonnie Lowenthal
  • AD 79: Shirley Weber & Sid Voorakkara

State Senate

  • SD 9: Loni Hancock
  • SD 11: Mark Leno
  • SD 27: Fran Pavley
  • SD 35: Rod Wright

Congress

  • CD 3: John Garamendi
  • CD 13: Barbara Lee
  • CD 17: Mike Honda
  • CD 18: Anna Eshoo
  • CD 20: Sam Farr
  • CD 24: Lois Capps
  • CD 31: Pete Aguilar
  • CD 33: Henry Waxman
  • CD 36: Dr. Raul Ruiz
  • CD 39: Jay Chen
  • CD 41: Mark Takano
  • CD 46: Loretta Sanchez
  • CD 51: Juan Vargas
  • CD 52: Scott Peters & Lori Saldana

Previous SEIU endorsements can be found here. As more member-driven town halls take place in the coming weeks, SEIU California expects to announce additional endorsements.

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SEIU California is a coalition of over 700,000 janitors, social workers, security officers, home care workers, school and university employees, healthcare workers, court workers, and city, county and state employees represented by SEIU local unions throughout California. We come together to build a better California by fighting to pass policies and elect candidates that benefit working families and advance the issues we care about: affordable healthcare, good wages, retirement security for all, a healthy environment, good schools and universities, and stronger communities. We believe that by working together we can build a California where working families can thrive again.

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SEIU California Backs Betsy Butler in 50th Assembly District

Sacramento, CA – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California today announced the endorsement of Assemblywoman Betsy Butler for re-election to the State Assembly. SEIU California’s endorsements are made in a town hall process in which members evaluate candidates’ policy positions, listen to them speak, interview them, and then make their decisions. The town halls are open to all members in each district.

“Assembly Member Betsy Butler is a brave, passionate, and outspoken leader on issues affecting working families, and, in particular, working women,” said Juana Jauregui, a child care provider from Assembly District 50. “We need more legislators who ‘get it’ on the issues faced by working families, and we’re delighted to endorse her in the race to represent Assembly District 50.”

A longtime environmental and consumer leader committed to keeping our children safe and healthy, Butler was elected to represent the 53rd Assembly district in 2010. As a member of the Budget Committee and Resources and Transportation budget subcommittee, Butler has emerged as a strong voice for consumers, working families, and seniors.

“Assembly Member Butler is not afraid to stand up to the powers that be if that’s what it takes to serve the public and working people,” said Arnella Sims, a court worker in Los Angeles County. “It’s the tough votes that show you who your true friends are, and Assembly Member Butler is a true friend of working people.”

Previous SEIU endorsements can be found here. As more member-driven town halls take place in the coming weeks, SEIU California expects to announce additional endorsements.

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SEIU California is a coalition of over 700,000 janitors, social workers, security officers, home care workers, school and university employees, healthcare workers, and city, county and state employees represented by SEIU local unions throughout California. We come together to build a better California by fighting to pass policies and elect candidates that benefit working families and advance the issues we care about: affordable healthcare, good wages, retirement security for all, a healthy environment, good schools and universities, and stronger communities. We believe that by working together we can build a California where working families can thrive again.

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SEIU California Endorses Hahn and Richardson in 44th Congressional District

Two Current Congresswomen Earn Working Families’ Backing

Sacramento, CA – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California today announced endorsing Rep. Janice Hahn and Rep. Laura Richardson in the newly redrawn 44th congressional district. SEIU California’s endorsements are made in a town hall process in which members evaluate candidates’ policy positions, listen to them speak, interview them, and then make their decisions. The town halls are open to all members in each district.

Hahn and Richardson are both champions for working families and current members of Congress. The dual endorsement means SEIU members recognize both Congresswomen as outstanding candidates who will stand with workers in our fight to rebuild the middle-class.

“Congresswoman Laura Richardson is a hard-working champion for working families and our communities — pragmatic, progressive, and experienced,” said Renai Davis, a long-term care worker from Long Beach. “SEIU is delighted to endorse the Congresswoman in her bid to represent the 44th Congressional District.”

“Working families know from decades of experience that we can count on Congresswoman Janice Hahn to stand up for us,” said Simboa Wright, a Los Angeles City worker from the 44th District. “We know that if she represents us, we’ll have a champion and a friend.”

Hahn, a former Los Angeles City Councilmember and current member of Congress in the 36th district, fought alongside hotel janitors and other workers for living wages and fair treatment. Richardson, a former State Assemblymember who has represented the 37th district in Congress since 2007, has championed the investments in education that lead to good quality jobs and economic security for working families.

Previous SEIU endorsements can be found here. As more member-driven town halls take place in the coming weeks, SEIU California expects to announce additional endorsements.

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SEIU California is a coalition of over 700,000 janitors, social workers, security officers, home care workers, school and university employees, healthcare workers, and city, county and state employees represented by SEIU local unions throughout California. We come together to build a better California by fighting to pass policies and elect candidates that benefit working families and advance the issues we care about: affordable healthcare, good wages, retirement security for all, a healthy environment, good schools and universities, and stronger communities. We believe that by working together we can build a California where working families can thrive again.

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