Black Lives Matter

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Black Lives Matter Discussion

At SEIU Local 1000, all of our members, regardless of where we live or what we look like, want to exist in our world without fearing for our lives. The pandemic’s disproportionate impact on Black families and the senseless killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and so many more have brought us to a national conversation and a national call to action.

As our SEIU Local 1000 President Yvonne Walker shared in her May 29 video update to our members, we firmly believe that Black Lives Matter

As a union, our job is to ensure that we are building a more equitable, just world for working people. At Local 1000, our purpose statement calls on us to ensure that our members, and all Californians, have the opportunity to have a good life, live in sustainable communities, and enjoy the fruits of social, environmental, and economic justice.

For 62% of our Local 1000 members who are people of color, these opportunities are clouded by the systemic racism that plagues our communities and our workplaces. For those who may struggle with that statement, we urge you to look deeper: black people are three times as likely to die from coronavirus than others; discrimination against black candidates in hiring has not declined in 25 years; black people are killed at three times the rate of white people by the police despite comprising a significantly smaller portion of the population; and 99% of police killings of civilians result in no conviction.  

Racism is woven into the struggles of the labor movement as it is woven into the history and the fabric of our country. In the last three years, we have shared with nearly 40,000 of our members the connection between the racist history of the anti-union movement and its modern day impact on all of us.  

We know that our fight for economic justice is inextricably linked to our fight for racial justice. We commit to furthering our push for justice as union members and welcome all of you into the discussion.

This week has been exciting as people around the world stood up in actions for Black Lives. Please join us this Friday, July 24, from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. as we continue our Racial Justice Conversation. You can register here.

Additional Reading:

SEIU APALA’s statement on the murder of George Floyd here.

Joint statement from SEIU President Mary Kay Henry’s and the leaders of the NAACP, Planned Parenthood, and the Sierra Club here.

President Walker’s related columns from the Sacramento News & Review: