Members Discuss Union’s Steps Forward

We’d Like You to Be Part of Continuing Discussions


Last week, dozens of SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members gathered at our office in Concord to take the first steps forward after the election and into 2017 and beyond.

Alicia L’Esperance, a member of Chapter 45, said she came to the meeting after seeing what was a divisive election.

“It seemed important to me to unify and make sure we’re trying to be proactive,” she said.

After an introduction by President Rich Gulla, the group began by discussing the current reality and what we’re facing, with so-called right to work chief among them. Members then broke off into discussion and action groups to tackle the topics that emerged in the introductory discussions. L’Esperance ultimately settled into a discussion of member engagement, something she’d worked on as a member of the ad-hoc NHEW committee.

“It seems critical that we have enough people at the table, involved and stepping up, so that we’re listened to,” she said. “We get the most done when we support each other.”

Other groups discussed:

  • SEA messaging
  • Member recruitment and engagement
  • Mass transportation and infrastructure
  • Child protection and DCYF
  • Engaging conservative members
  • Coalition of all unions

Building upon the momentum created by these groups, President Gulla is asking members to continue their work. Stan Freeda, a member of Chapter 44, took part in the group discussion on messaging and says he’ll stay involved, happy to see this work as an outgrowth of the union.

“I think a lot of people are eager to do something, and what I’m seeing in the general population is people who’ve previously been apathetic are trying to start new organizations,” he said. “But there are so many organizations already set up. People should just join something and get involved.”

That’s what Freeda did and it’s what all SEA/SEIU Local 1984 member activists have done at one time or another. He thought efforts such as this would do well in attracting new members and getting them involved.

“All of the talking that was going on from leadership was all about ‘we want to listen,’” Freeda said. “I think that message was loud and clear and I appreciate it.”

L’Esperance said it was wonderful to see the number of people taking part in the discussions, and that the meeting was a step in the right direction.

“It was a helpful start to address the issues we’re facing, but there’s a lot of work to be done over the next few years,” she said.

We want you to be a part of that work. You can do so in many ways, one of which is getting involved in the work of the groups formed at this meeting. If you’d like to get involved, you can contact your field representative.

In the short term, you can come to our office and take part in phone banking around some of the more critical political issues coming up. We’ll be phone banking here at the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 office at 207 N. Main St. in Concord from 5-7 p.m. every Wednesday night.

You can find the full report from the meeting here.

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