December 2019

In 2019, we changed the County

As we look back on 2019 and forward to the coming year it is worth remembering some of what we achieved in 2019 and think about the work that is left to do:

  • Since 2015, we have joined with community allies as part of the Invest in San Diego Families coalition to demand that the County move away from the under-investment in services and staffing and toward helping County employees do their jobs, serving the most vulnerable San Diego residents. Those efforts are paying off. On June 25, the Board of Supervisors unanimously passed the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 budget. It is a very different $6.24 billion budget that expands county staff by 441 and increases investment in mental health, public health and child welfare. A few highlights include: 143.5 Behavioral Health Services positions, 125 Child Welfare Services positions, 29 Aging and Independence Services positions and 27.5 Public Health Nurses and oversight positions.
  • We delivered 500 petitions to the Board of Supervisors to demand Equity for San Diego to make sure that the Board of Supervisors invests in competitive wages for San Diego County employees who deliver critical services to the most vulnerable in our communities. There is still time to sign the petition and invite your co-workers who haven’t signed it to do the same. We are planning another petition delivery from 9 am to noon on Jan. 28 at the San Diego County Board of Supervisors. RSVP to if you will join us.
  • This year we won strong contracts in Imperial Beach, Grossmont, Fallbrook, Encinitas and the San Diego Housing Commission as well as San Diego Superior Court Court Reporters.
  • We also believe we are close to an agreement with Imperial County Courts and San Diego Superior Court Counselors.
  • Last year, we worked hard to pass Measure D, so that San Diego County elections are decided in November when the most people vote. This will make sure that more people are allowed to participate in choosing their elected officials.
  • We elected Nathan Fletcher as a pro-worker voice on the Board of Supervisors and he has begun to push the board to invest in its workforce that provides critical front-line services.
  • We made sure an SEIU Local 221 member is part of the Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board of San Diego County.
  • On Jan. 1, the San Diego’s minimum wage will increase to $13 an hour. SEIU led statewide efforts to fight for this increase, members spoke out and we organized the Raise the Wage San Diego coalition. When the minimum wage increases, this will raise the wage-floor for everyone and create upward pressure on wages.
  • On Jan. 3, County employees’ wages will increase by 3 percent. If, after January, you do not see these increases reflected in your pay, please contact your work site organizer or the SEIU Local 221 Advocacy Center at (858) 268-7020.

While this is an impressive list of highlights, I know that 2020 will be even better. We will have an early political season with the primary election on March 3. Take the Member Political Power Team Pledge by following this link to make sure that we create a better future for working families. We also will continue to call upon the County of San Diego to undertake a comprehensive compensation study and bring all of San Diego County employee wages up to a competitive level through equity. With everyone working together, I know that this will only be the beginning.

Here is to a great 2019 and an even better 2020,

David Garcias
President, SEIU Local 221

P.S. Do you work with employees who aren’t in the union? 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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Equity for SD!


At the Board of Supervisors on Sept. 24, members showed solidarity with their coworkers who the County is proposing compensation increases for, but said the County must do more. You and your fellow SEIU Local 221 members made these increases possible with years of work demanding a compensation study and equity increases for all workers. This is an admission by County executives that they don’t pay enough to recruit and retain staff, but it doesn’t go far enough.

Join your coworkers and tell the County that it must bring equity to all San Diego County!

“We are pleased that the Board of Supervisors took the first steps today toward approval of compensation increases for some critical jobs, including Psych Nurses, Senior Clinical Psychologists and Mental Health Clinicians,” said SEIU Local 221 President David Garcias. “However, there is more work to do to address underfunding of staffing and services.”

Your union is continuing to demand equity increases for all County employees, lifting up and recognizing the value and importance of the services employees bring to our communities every day.

Supervisors seemed responsive to the members testimony, which included a single mother and County employee who signs the public up for benefits but is also eligible for Medi-Cal.

“I agree with Supervisor Fletcher that we not only want to have a pay scale that attracts but that retains,” Supervisor Dianne Jacob said.

By continuing to underpay employees, the County is sending a message that work we do and those we serve are not a priority. That is why your union is continuing to demand equity increases for all County employees, lifting up and recognizing the value and importance of the services employees bring to the County and our communities every single day.

Follow this link to sign the petition to demand #EquityforSD


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Presidential Primary Election endorsements – March 3, 2020

Federal Races

➨ Congressional District 49: Mike Levin
➨ Congressional District 50: Ammar Campa-Najjar
➨ Congressional District 51: Juan Vargas
➨Congressional District 53: Georgette Gomez

State Races

➨ Assembly District 56: Eduardo Garcia
➨ Assembly District 76 Tasha Boerner-Horvath
➨ Assembly District 77: Brian Maeinschein
➨ Assembly District 78: Chris Ward
➨ Assembly District 79: Shirley Weber
➨ Assembly District 80: Lorena Gonzalez
➨ Senate District 39: Toni Atkins

Local San Diego County races

• District 2 Board of Supervisor: Kenya Taylor
• District 3 Board of Supervisor: Terra Lawson-Remer
• Mayor of San Diego: Todd Gloria
✓ San Diego City Attorney: Mara Elliott
✓ San Diego City Council District 3: Stephen Whitburn
✓ San Diego City Council District 5: Marni Von Wilpert
✓ San Diego City Council District 7: Raul Campillo
✓ San Diego City Council District 9: Kelvin Barrios
✓ Carlsbad City Council District 1: Cori Schumaker
• Chula Vista City Council District 3: Steve Padilla

Local Imperial County races

✓ Imperial Irrigation District Division 2: Bruce Kuhn
✓ Imperial County Board Of Supervisors District 2: Luis Plancarte
✓ Imperial County Board Of Supervisors District 4: Ryan Kelley
✓ Meadows Union School District Board: Sterling “Arkie” Mayes
✓ Imperial Irrigation District Division 4: Erik Ortega

Education Board Endorsed Races

✓ San Diego Unified School District Seat A: Sabrina Bazzo
✓ San Diego Community College District B: Bernie Rhinerson
✓ San Diego Community College District D: Mary Graham
✓ San Diego Unified School District Seat E: Sharon Whitehurst-Payne
✓ San Diego County Board Of Education District 1: Gregg Robinson
✓ San Diego County Board Of Education District 2: Guadalupe Gonzalez
✓ Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College District 3: Julie Schorr
✓ Grossmont Cuyamaca Community College District 4: Elena Adams

Judicial races

✓ Superior Court Judge 18: Roberta Winston
✓ Superior Court Judge 22: Alana Robinson
✓ Superior Court Judge 30: Tim Nader
✓ Superior Court Judge 36: Michelle Ialeggio

Ballot Intitiatives

Yes on C: For a Better San Diego
Yes on E: Protect Chula Vista Infastructure

The Schools and Communities First Initiative will close commercial property tax loopholes that benefit a fraction of corporations and wealthy investors, without affecting homeowners or renters, and reclaims $12 billion every year to fund world-class schools and strengthen local economies to lift up all Californians. It’s time to invest in California’s future. To help collect signatures to get this on the November 2020 ballot contact For information about the initiative visit

➨Endorsed by SEIU California State Process
• Endorsed by SEIU Local 221 Process
Endorsed by San Diego Labor Council Process

To access the San Diego County Registrar of Voters election information follow this link.

To register to vote follow this link.
Find out more about the Committee on Political Education (COPE)

2018 Endorsements

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