June 2, 2020

It is not enough to mourn George Floyd. We demand equity and justice

“It is not enough to condemn the murder of George Floyd or mourn his loss. This is just the start. SEIU Local 221 continues to demand equity for working-class communities, justice for victims of police violence and an end to anti-Black racism in our institutions. We call for an end to the over-policing of Black and Brown neighborhoods and under investment in critical public services as we fight the dual pandemics of coronavirus and social injustice.

As front-line workers committed to serving the public, we provide services for Black, White, Brown, Asian and Pacific Islander communities and families. Defending and expanding these services for everyone depends on fighting anti-Black racism in our institutions. Public agencies, including the County of San Diego, overspend on policing and incarceration. On top of that, they pay millions in taxpayer dollars on legal bills for excessive use of force, which pulls resources away from critical public services.

We call on all public agencies to invest in the needs of our communities. We need a people’s budget that shifts resources to healthcare and mental health services, economic and housing relief, public infrastructure like roads and parks, and accountable public safety services that center on de-escalation, not on punitive measures.

As a multi-racial union of public and nonprofit workers, we walk in the footsteps of historic movements for equity and justice that came before us. Labor and Civil Rights organizers faced systematic repression, including police violence, deportations and targeting of popular leaders. Their endurance and commitment in the face of brutality won the rights that we have today. Now is the time to continue the struggle for justice.”

– David Garcias, President, SEIU 221

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