SEIU Local 1000 Stands Up for Member Concerns at California Democratic Party Convention
The California Democratic Party Convention is one of the major meetings of Democratic Party delegates from across the state to establish candidates and the platform on the party. This was what’s called an organizing convention, where administrative affairs, such as appointing leadership, are conducted, as well as serving as a meeting place for prospective candidates, incumbents, and appointed officials.
Mike Ramos, who works for the State Lottery as a district sales representative and serves as Vice Chair of Bargaining Unit 01, attended this convention for the first time ever this week.
“This work goes hand in hand with our work of representing our members,” said Ramos. “I had the opportunity to engage with everyone at the convention while explaining what SEIU Local 1000 does for the state and for the employees we represent.”
There are 3000 delegates of the Democratic Party, many of whom are everyday people getting involved in politics. In addition, elected officials, including congressional members, constitutional officers, and members of the State legislature attend and appoint some of their own delegates. These delegates determine who the Democratic Party of California endorses. This November there will be an endorsement convention, which will officially determine where these endorsements will land.
This is one of the few occasions where our members can interact with these elected officials over the course of a weekend in the same place.
“It was encouraging to hear elected officials voice their support for our contract,” said Ramos, “but also their support for the labor movement’s fight for dignity and respect in the workplace.”
Without our members talking to legislators who wield the power of the purse in the State of California, their needs and demands can be lost in the volume of issues facing our enormous economy and state. With our members attending the organizing convention, their voices are heard by candidates and incumbent legislators, who are ultimately voting on our budget and ratifying our contract.
“I got to engage with decision makers and ask them the hard questions,” said Ramos. “I asked them pointblank if they would support our contract when the time comes to vote on it.”
“We don’t want our issues to be lost in the noise, and we’re not the only ones attending these events,” said SEIU Local 1000 Political Director Omega Brewer-Gonzalez. “This is the 4th largest economy in the world serving 40 million people, so we need to be present and have our members express their demands directly to people with the power to make change where it is needed.”