Sacramento, CA (March 12, 2021) – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in California released the following statement from Bob Schoonover, President of SEIU California and Executive Director of SEIU Local 721, after President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan: 

“In a year marked by suffering and despair, the heroism of frontline workers, many of whom work in jobs that pay low wages, has stood out as a bright light and a beacon of hope. The American Rescue Plan signed by President Biden today puts workers and our families at the center of our nation’s plan for recovery, and it has our enthusiastic support. 

“President Biden, Speaker Pelosi and Congressional Democrats recognized that the worst danger after COVID-19 was not doing enough to prevent a devastating recession that would plunge families into poverty and dim our children’s future. Frontline workers across the nation spoke up and demanded investments that would help our children return to their classrooms safely and help heal the deep divides that have kept too many families, especially communities of color, from achieving our dreams for ourselves and our children, and we demanded investments in our state and local community services that are critical to ensuring this is a recovery for all. 

“The plan accelerates vaccine distribution so we can finally bring greater safety and a measure of equity to communities of color where the risk is highest and where the rollout of life-saving shots has lagged. 

“We are disappointed that anti-immigrant obstructionism means some of the hardest working people in our country won’t receive relief checks based solely on where they were born. Women and people of color are the vast majority of our 700,000 workers; we denounce this injustice and pledge to continue our fight for just and inclusive America.

“Finally, the investments and solutions offered by this plan must be seen as the starting point on a journey toward a more just and equitable society. SEIU members are committed to ensuring that we continue to travel further down that road beyond this pandemic and recovery period. No children should grow up in poverty and deprivation while billionaires and corporations accumulate greater and greater wealth and power.”