Director and Chair of the Political Education Committee John Hattan introduced Sen. Bernie Sanders. It’s important to note that Sanders was there speaking as an invited guest. The SEA/SEIU Local 1984 has not endorsed a candidate in the presidential primary.
Sanders told members that “you are the backbone of this country. Thank you for what you do.”He elaborated on the necessity of overturning the Supreme Court’s decision that has remade how political campaigns are run in this country – the Citizens United case. The decision basically means that corporations can spend unlimited amounts of money on political activities – Super PACs. According to Senator Sanders the wealthy and connected Koch brothers have pumped $900 million into just this campaign cycle, which is far more than either of the national Democratic and Republican parties has been able to raise. “No president is able alone to address the issues because corporate America and Wall Street are so powerful,” he said.
We were also honored to have special guest SEIU President Mary Kay Henry with us this year. She addressed the delegates in an overview of the challenges workers and unions currently face. And, she commended the SEA/SEIU Local 1984 for being the first Local nationwide to form a working Fight for $15 committee. President Henry attended the convention from start to finish, and led the installation of our new Board members. You can see the installation here.
After President Henry’s remarks, attendees participated in an interactive exercise that focused on how to have recruitment conversations with non-members, which is something all SEIU locals will be engaging in over the coming months, including our local.
When various reports were given to the delegates and door prizes were distributed, the Convention closed for another year.