Rose Guidel-Escobar Keeps the Poor People’s Campaign Moving Forward
In 1968, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his allies called for a “revolution of values” in America as they built a broad movement to unite poor communities across the country. This vision has never been more relevant. The COVID-19 pandemic has had impacts on everyone, but the brunt has been borne by working people everywhere. Rose Gudiel-Escobar, a SEIU Local 1000 member leader, has been fighting for those workers with the Poor People’s Campaign for years, even before the pandemic magnified this inequality. Rose’s anti-poverty work in Southern California, alongside Rev. William Barber and the Poor People’s Campaign, has built a powerful voice for the poor and disenfranchised in our state.
This work culminated in Rose recently being elected to Co-Chair the CA Poor People’s Campaign. With Rose leading the charge, the project continues to develop a grass-roots movement in communities across the state. “This collaboration has given a voice to our communities to fight for the justice we believe in,” she said. “Working to get relief—housing, health, economic—for our impacted communities is our priority. Our work is barely beginning. I have a responsibility for the next generations, just as those that came before me paved the way.”
Rose’s work with the Poor People’s Campaign is now turning to national issues that can help secure this relief. “Currently, Georgia is on our mind,” said Rose. “We are working closely with our Georgia brothers and sisters on get-out-the-vote efforts.” This work will not only lay the foundation for any future relief packages that come out of the Senate, but will also ensure that the long-term goals of the organization are served. “We must use this work to hold our new administration accountable to the promises they made while running for office,” she said.
These efforts over the last year have brought hundreds of union workers and community members into the fight for living wages and an end to racism as a tool to divide and weaken the power of working people. Rose has been focused on grassroots outreach, educating, and organizing to prepare to take the campaign to DC and bring our issues to the Capitol. “Now is the time for us to follow Dr. King’s blueprint and demand more change,” she said. “We need to do it for future generations that will be impacted by what this movement is able to accomplish today.”