New Strategic Direction Adopted to Close Gap between the Rich and Everyone Else, Re-elect Pres. Barack Obama, Spark Organizing Surge
DENVER, CO - Earlier today, member delegates at the 25th Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Convention voted to adopt a new strategic vision to confront the growing gap between the rich and everyone else in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, to re-elect President Barack Obama and champions of the 99% everywhere, and to create the conditions to spark a historic organizing surge.
Member delegates representing the union's 2.1 million members, who also elected its International Executive Board members, endorsed a comprehensive program to engage in unprecedented levels of coordination with strategic partners and to recruit, train and mobilize more than 100,000 member-leaders across the union who will reach out to friends, neighbors and co-workers to demand justice for the 99%.
"Now, more than ever, we are called to organize," said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, who was re-elected a day earlier. "From laws that strip workers' right to a voice on the job to efforts to systematically eliminate voting rights, the campaign to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the continued scapegoating of immigrants and a maliciously rigged tax system, the 1% has launched attack on everything that working people hold dear."
Conference attendees also committed to re-electing Pres. Obama and pro-worker candidates at all levels of government and to hold elected leaders accountable to an agenda of good jobs now, insisting that everyone pay their fair share, investment in vital public services like education and healthcare and comprehensive immigration reform.
"The last organizing surge of working people was in the 1930s," said Henry as she challenged attendees to take to the streets in a broad 99% movement. "Today, I am calling on the leaders of SEIU to commit ourselves to revitalizing a workers' movement by creating the conditions for millions of workers to organize, lift wages and create jobs we can support our families on."
Leaders from fifty partners, who did not vote on the SEIU program, also attended the convention. Partners -- including the NAACP, Human Rights Campaign and the Sierra Club -- participated in a separate program, "A New Beginning," to commit to working together to confront the myriad attacks on the 99%.