January 31, 2019

What our political work means in 2019 and beyond

A message from Crystal Irving, MPO Chairwoman – note: In 2019, I will be sending regular updates about how building political power can strengthen our union and our community. You can also learn more about your Member Political Organizer committee at our next meeting on Thursday, Feb. 7. RSVP by clicking here.

First I want to commend you on the great work we did in November. We had many victories during the 2018 elections, including:

  • Electing Nathan Fletcher to the Board of Supervisors
  • Electing Monica Montgomery and Dr. Jen Campbell to City Council
  • Electing Mike Levin to Congress and Flipping the 49th
  • Last, but certainly not least, we had an overwhelming victory on the Full Voter Participation Measure, which will ensure elections are decided in November when the most people vote for county elections

Let me break down what this means for SEIU Local 221, your union:

  1. We have one member on the Board of Supervisors who has vowed to keep County Employees and the communities we serve at the forefront. He has already shown leadership in finding a shelter for asylum-seeking migrants.
  2. We have a majority of employee and labor friendly elected officials serving on the City Council.
  3. For County employees, we have been negotiating with the same Board of Supervisors for decades. If we do the work now, we will engage in contract negotiations with a fair, employee friendly and community friendly Board of Supervisors.

Your union, SEIU Local 221, has been doing some major work to ensure that you have the opportunity to negotiate with a fair Board of Supervisors.

In 2010, SEIU and community partners worked tirelessly to have term limits placed on the Board of Supervisor Seats. This means that no one person can make a career out of serving in this position. Every eight years, their term will end and we will see a fresh face in those seats.

Up until November 2018, all County Elections had the ability to be decided in June when only 20 percent of San Diego came out to vote. For county workers, this means that 20 percent of the county has been electing our bosses for more than a decade. Our union and community partners recognized how unfair this was. We began embarking on the Full Voter Participation Measure. We had a lot of support for this measure from our community, labor and faith partners. After nearly one year of fundraising, phone banking, door knocking, speaking with family, friends, and coworkers, the people decided that more voters equal more democracy. The Full Voter Participation measure passed with flying colors. Our County elections now mirror that of the city, state, and federal elections with a June election serving as the primary and the top two candidates running off in November.

Our union has laid the ground work to ensure that when us County Employees come back to the table to bargain for our next contract, we will bargain with a fair Employee friendly Board of Supervisors. This is where we need you to step up.

Action Step 3: IN PROGRESS
Elections for Board of Supervisor seats for District 1 (Greg Cox), District 2 (Diane Jacobs), and District 3 (Kristin Gaspar) are coming up. It is imperative that the candidates the SEIU Local 221 endorse are elected in these seats.

Fun Fact: Primary elections will be held in March 2020, therefore, our process will begin sooner than usual.

Beginning in April, our Town Hall Endorsement Process will begin. We need as many people as possible to attend, ask the candidates questions, and express their opinions about the future of this County.

Again, the outcome of our next contract negotiations are riding on this process and this election.

I invite each you to join me at the next Member Political Organizer meeting on Feb. 7. Dinner is provided at 5:45 pm and the meeting begins at 6:15. We will be meeting 2020 candidates for Board of Supervisors for District 1 and discussing our plan to win! RSVP by clicking here.

By working together, we will win at the ballot box, in the workplace and in the community.

In Solidarity,


Crystal Irving, MSW
SEIU Local 221 Politics Chair and Member Political Organizer Chair

P.S. Know union holdouts at your worksite? Give them and yourself the gift of worker power by getting them to become members now. You can even use this calculator to show them that an investment in a strong union pays dividends for their career.  It is easy to become a member, and they can do it online by clicking here.

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