We recently held our biannual Delegate Assembly on November 2nd at Preservation Park in Oakland. Over 100 members gathered to conduct regular business and build our organization. We chose a theme that evokes our proactive organizing since the Janus decision: The Union Strikes Back.
Local 21 President, Gus Vallejo explained: “The supreme court decision to make public sector unions “right to work” was a serious attack on our members—and it won’t be the last. We responded quickly to Janus, getting over 90% of our members to reaffirm their membership—but dues-paying members are not enough. We need to be fighting hard on the issues our members care about. This is how we build our power.”
The program included guest speaker Assemblymember Phil Ting. Representing Assembly District 19, Ting is a champion of progressive policies that expand opportunity for all, equal rights, and protections for our environment. He spoke about the important role of Local 21 and other public-sector unions in our country’s democracy.
Ting also took the time to answer questions about the Schools & Communities First ballot measure and explain how it will impact our community. The measure would close a decades-long corporate tax loophole, while protecting homeowners and renters. With wealthy corporations paying their fair share, California could potentially reclaim over $12 billion a year in additional revenue just for schools and public services.
Ting said “I started talking about Prop 13 ten years ago. Property taxes is the most stable source of local revenue, and we have done our community a disservice because we haven’t closed that loophole. California has the fifth largest economy in the world, but 20 percent of our population lives in poverty. We need to reinvest in education and healthcare.”
We ended our program by breaking out into several organizing trainings. These included topics like“Building Power Through Contract Enforcement” and “Coalition Building to Achieve Our Demands.” We left the Delegate Assembly with new ideas and relationships, ready to strike back.
Thank you everyone who attended!