Thanks to all of you, my union family. Wishing you the very best holiday season in these challenging times.
All our contributions are important, whether we are wearing a mask, having socially distanced celebrations or sacrificing and directly helping those who are sick or in need.
The COVID-19 pandemic, racial injustice, inequality and climate change combined to challenge us this year in ways that we have never seen before. It wasn’t self-important managers and executives that answered that challenge. It was us. Some of us are on the frontlines and in healthcare settings. Some of us are working in new jobs as governments and organizations took extraordinary measures to face these crises. Some of us volunteered to ensure accessible, peaceful and democratic elections. Some of us are doing little-seen but important work to make sure the vital services that help the neediest residents continue.
This year has challenged us in many ways and is still challenging us. It undoubtedly has changed everyone’s thinking about what we value, about connections to family and friends, about the roles we play at work, at home, in our communities. The most valuable gifts I received this year are that change in perspective and the love shown by working people who have continued to do their jobs, who have sacrificed and continue to sacrifice.
Together we have worked to honor that sacrifice and make our work as safe as possible. We have won new PPE and OSHA protections and an equity study. We have fought for hazard pay and fought against short-sighted outsourcing plans. After more than a decade of work, we have gained more powerful allies, including Supervisors Elect Terra Lawson-Remer and Nora Vargas, who will join Nathan Fletcher as a pro-working family majority on the San Diego Board of Supervisors.
We remember those we have lost and the sacrifices made by so many. We cannot return to the blind spots of the previous years, but must lead and follow those who do unglamourous jobs with courage and leadership, who speak out and guide us to a better, more just, more equitable, more inclusive future.
SEIU Local 221 President
P.S. – Sign up a nonunion member, to grow our power and show management we are standing strong. You can sign a membership card online by following this link.