We see the effects of the crisis every day. People struggling because they are out of work. Families who can't afford child care. People with disabilities unable to access the support services they need to live independent lives. Crumbling and potentially dangerous roads and bridges.
All the while, the 1 percent are funding attacks on the critical services our members provide by taking aim directly at us and at our unions. They don't want to pay their fair share for the public services we all rely on.
Karen Hart, President of SEIU Local 925 explained that we can turn our crisis into action if we are prepared to to tell the story of what is happening in our communities and to advocate for solutions that restore equality and justice for all.
It's for this reason that the SEIU Public Services Division adopted a Blueprint for the Future today during Division Day that will tackle economic inequality; unite workers to fight and win for good jobs; and build a stronger voice to improve public services and engage members in more significant ways than ever before.
SEIU International Executive Vice President, Eileen Kirlin, invited Public Division members to imagine what our work would look like "if we were engaging thousands of new members and allies in every state, at all levels of our union to fight for fair taxes? If we were uniting workers to build power on a larger scale than ever before so we have a stronger voice for good jobs and vital services."
It would be incredible, right?
Throughout the day Public Services members channeled their energy into discussing what change they want to see in their communities. Visual storyteller Janine Underhill of Idea 360 turned members words of pain and frustration into images of hope and promise for the future of our communities in a piece of graffiti art.
The day ended with an impassioned, energetic chant led by Kirlin: "Get Up, Stand Up, Speak Out!"