This weekend, 2,000 Oakland area residents came out for the Fresh Start Community Festival sponsored by SEIU United Long Term Care Workers — ULTCW — at De Fremery Park.
The purpose of the free, daylong festival was to provide families who have been hard hit by the economy with the break they need and to ensure that their children received the supplies necessary as they head back to school.
The Fresh Start Festival featured several “freebies”: back-to-school supplies and backpacks, haircuts and nail polishing for children 5-15 years of age, health screenings, lunch,and family entertainment including the music of Martin Luther, the Alphabet Rockers, Cumbia Tokeson and Maikaze Daiko (taiko drumming).
The day started with a community forum hosted by ULTCW President, Laphonza Butler. A panel of community members joined President Butler at the forum; each testifying through their own personal story about the true impact of the economic crisis hitting our country. The forum really set the stage about what the Fresh Start Festivalis about: a fresh start for our communities, one in which, if even only for the day, we can envision a dream of our own just society.
Children 5 – 15 were getting ready for school with free haircuts for boys and manicures for girls, not to mention a free backpack filled with school supplies, to make sure they have a fresh start in 2011!
The sun-filled day turned out community and union members and guests who enjoyed some old fashioned R&B music from Martin Luther, danced to salsa with Cumbia Tokeson and ended the day with some festival favorites dropped by DJ CJ Flash.
Children enjoyed performances by the Alphabet Rockers, Circus Bella and Red Panda Acrobatics on stage. Around the park the big hits of the day were Esperanza, our own festival mascot, Maikaze Daiko (taiko drumming) and a Lion Dance.
The Festival was here to provide families, many who have been hit hard by the economy, with the fresh start they need. Aside from entertainment there was free lunch and free health screenings and information for all attendees.
Check out a video of our mascot, Esperanza, getting down:
Watch a slideshow of the day’s events: http://www.flickr.com/photos/seiu-ultcw/sets/72157627547166994/show/
Read the Press Release here: http://ultcw.org/2011/08/over-2000-oakland-residents-attended-fresh-start-community-festival/
Learn more about the festival, sign-up for news, and more at www.FreshStartFest.org
A FREE DAYLONG EVENT DEDICATED TO PROVIDING OAKLAND AREA FAMILIES WITH BACK-TO-SCHOOL SUPPLIES, LUNCH, ENTERTAINMENT, AND MORE…
OAKLAND, CA – Today, over 2,000 Oakland area residents enjoyed a day at DeFremery Park as part of the Fresh Start Community Festival sponsored by SEIU United Long Term Care Workers (ULTCW). The purpose of the free daylong festival is to provide families who have been hard hit by the economy with the break they need and to ensure that their children have the supplies necessary as they head back to school.
“As we all know, the economy has impacted the lives of millions of families throughout California. From losing their jobs to losing their homes, this is a difficult time,” said Laphonza Butler, president of SEIU ULTCW. “The Fresh Start Festival is all about lending a hand to those in need and to let them know that we’re all in this together…no one is alone…everyone could use a Fresh Start.”
The Fresh Start Festival featured FREE back-to-school supplies and backpacks, haircuts and nail polishing for children 5-15 years of age, health screenings, lunch, and family entertainment including the music of Martin Luther, the Alphabet Rockers, Cumbia Tokeson and Maikaze Daiko (taiko drumming). In addition, Festival attendees witnessed the daring acrobatics of the Red Panda Acrobats and Circus Bella, the graceful moves of the African Dance Queen Troupe, and the stilt-walking members of the Prescott Circus.
Elected officials who joined Oakland residents at the Fresh Start Festival, included Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Assemblymember Luis Alejo, Assemblymeber Joan Buchanan, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, and State Senator Loni Hancock.
The LA Fresh Start Working Families Community Festival is made possible by the members of SEIU ULTCW, the United Long Term Care Workers’ Union. For more information on SEIU ULTCW, please visit www.ULTCW.org.
Contact: Wendy Carrillo – (213) 985-1694, (323) 333-4850
With the California unemployment rate back up to 12% and big businesses continuing to take advantage of tax loopholes, our communities are hurting. We cannot allow the Nation’s debt crisis be solved on the backs of working families.
Last weekend over 2,000 community members showed up at Inglewood HS for the Good Jobs LA Kitchen Table Summit. There, community members spoke directly with Congresswomen Maxine Waters, Laura Richardson and Karen Bass. Read more about the event here: http://ultcw.org/2011/08/community-to-congress-its-about-jobs/ or watch the video here: http://tinyurl.com/goodjobsla-KTS
Right now we are in the middle of a political movement; one that brings quality jobs back to our communities, provides living wages and supports working families. We started this movement during the August recess – a time when Congress returns home to meet with us directly, and we’re going to finish it with even more events and phone calls to make sure they hear us loud and clear!
Join us at the following actions:
Hollywood/Downtown LA/Boyle Heights:
August 30th, 12pm: Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) at LA Trade Tech
400 West Washington Blvd. | Los Angeles 90015
Pico Rivera/Monto Bello/El Monte/Baldwin Park:
August 31st, 12pm: Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-CA) and Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-CA) at Plaza de la Raza (Conference Room)
8337 Telegraph Rd. | Pico Rivera 90660
Arcadia/San Dimas/Pasadena/La Verne:
August 27th. 10 am – 12pm: Rep. David Dreier (R-CA) at Pitzer College
1050 North Mills Ave, Claremont
August 27th, 12 pm – 2 pm: Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA) at ULTCW SB Union Hall
195 N. Arrowhead Ave. | San Bernadino 92408
August 29th, 6:30 pm – 8 pm: Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) at Salinas City Hall Rotunda
200 Lincoln Ave. | Salinas 93901
Can’t Make it to one of these actions?
Call the Member Action Center (MAC) to get connected to your representative and tell your story. 1-877-MY ULTCW (1-877-698-5829)
Together, we can reclaim the American Dream.
SAN DIMAS – About 50 union members and supporters gathered at the office of Rep. David Dreier, R-San Dimas, on Tuesday to protest proposed free-trade agreements between the U.S. and Colombia, Panama and South Korea.
The protesters, who were brought in by organizers from the Service Employees International Union/United Long Term Care Workers, gathered in front of Dreier’s office for a rally about 10 a.m., marching along the sidewalk and shouting slogans such as “Si se puede” and “Keep jobs in the USA.”
Dreier has expressed his support for the “Plan for America’s Job Creators,” which was launched by Republicans in the House of Representatives in May.
The plan includes several initiatives, such as lowering taxes on businesses and modernizing the nation’s patent system, but organizers said the free-trade portions of the plan are problematic.
“Free-trade agreements don’t create jobs here; they mostly export them,” said Wendy Carillo, a spokeswoman for the SEIU/ULTCW.
The protestors then flooded into the building housing Dreier’s office and presented his staff with packages representing the 200,000 jobs they say would be sent overseas if the free-trade agreements are enacted.
Similar stories on this same action can be found at:
Over 2,000 South LA residents gathered at the The “Kitchen Table Summit” to share their stories and urge Reps. Maxine Waters, Karen Bass and Laura Richardson to push corporations to help fix the economy and devise ways to put people back to work. Laphonza Butler, President of SEIU ULTCW, hosted the event.
“There is just so much anger and so much frustration,” said Refugio Mata, communications coordinator for Good Jobs LA, a coalition that advocates for working families and organized Saturday’s Kitchen Table Summit. “We hope that Congress will listen and they will get the focus back on creating jobs.”
The recession has slammed Los Angeles County, where 1 in 4 workers are jobless or underemployed, according to Good Jobs LA. This summer, L.A. businesses announced 5,700 layoffs, the jobs advocacy group said.
At the same time, corporations are hoarding almost $2 trillion in cash but failing to invest in jobs, the advocacy group said. The group also cited skyrocketing bonuses for many chief executives and big tax breaks for some of the nation’s largest companies.
“I want to know why corporations are not paying their fair share,” said Lisa Agcaoili, a part-time teacher who said she supports five grandchildren and hasn’t had a pay raise in four years.
Agcaoili joined other forum participants who gathered around tables in the Inglewood High School gymnasium and vented outrage over what they view as government’s willingness to cut budgets while protecting tax breaks for profitable corporations. Many residents came looking for answers and advice.
ULTCW President Laphonza Butler moderated today’s Kitchen Table Summit, put together by Good Jobs LA. The summit featured Congresswomen Maxine Waters, Laura Richardson and Karen Bass and brought in over 2,000 community members to take on the issues that face all of us at our kitchen tables – the economic devastation overwhelming our communities.
The summit took place at Inglewood high school and started with a complimentary breakfast for all those in attendance. Once everyone was seated at their tables, the discussions began. The main topic of discussion: California’s Unemployment rate is back up to 12% and how that number effects us all.
ULTCW member, Louis James, spoke out to his table, “People here have talent and abilities to do something positive. Let us not eliminate the positive!” Other table members chimed in with ideas about creating jobs to better our communities and the stabilizing effect that those jobs would have in this crisis.
Today wasn’t just about talking, though, as Congress members joined the conversations around many of the tables, there weren’t sighs of sympathy but rather actions that would be taken in the coming days, weeks and months. Congresswoman Maxine Waters highlighted the Black Caucus’ upcoming Los Angeles Job Fair where over 200 employers will be in attendance. This was followed by Congresswoman Laura Richardson agreeing to spend a day in the life of a Compton resident, to make sure the perspective from Washington is the same as the perspective from here at home in LA. Overall, a call to stand up for our communities, hold corporations responsible, and demand representation in the upcoming Jobs bill.
To close the event, Congress and community members agreed to take the fight to the streets and demonstrated with a solidarity march calling out, “Good Jobs LA!”
For more information on Good Jobs LA please go to www.goodjobsla.org
As a result of ULTCW members fighting for comprehensive health care reform, many California counties are now offering comprehensive coverage for eligible adults. If you are currently without health care coverage, and meet the requirements set forth by the county, you can enroll in one of these programs, at no cost to you.
The problem stems from the fact that IHSC is funded through a combination of state, local and federal funds; the portions that the state and federal governments contribute have shrunk. “It’s a matter of money,” says board of supes chairman Mark Stone. “We’ve been negotiating with [SEIU] as we’ve been negotiating with all the bargaining units that we have.”
If the 10 percent cut that the board is proposing goes through, in-home care workers’ wages would be reduced to $10.35 an hour—low for Santa Cruz County, but still higher than the wage earned by in-home care workers in other parts of the state.
“We believe that an $11.50 wage is a fair wage,” says Erik Larsen, SEIU organizer. “We’re not asking for an increase, although the county’s living wage ordinance for non-benefited employees is $15 an hour. That’s what they pay landscapers and security guards.” He adds, “Our folks can’t go anywhere else. They’re already making poverty wages.”
The Santa Cruz Sentinel recently spoke with Erik Larsen, of SEIU ULTCW, about the proposed wage cuts facing over 2000 Santa Cruz County home care workers. Read the excerpt below:
In other business, home health care workers spoke in droves before the county board to plead for a new contract, a scene that’s repeated itself countless times since the deal expired in September.
In talks, the two sides have been at loggerheads over the hourly wage home care workers receive to help the elderly and disabled perform daily tasks, and in same cases keep them out of long-term care facilities. Mediation between the two sides broke down last week, with the Service Employees International Union Long-Term Care Workers, which represents about 2,000 county home care workers, asking for $11.50 an hour.
“It’s really important that our members and the people that receive these services, low-income seniors and the disabled, have health care professionals that receive a living wage,” said Erik Larsen, an SEIU representative.
The county is offering to pay $10.35 an hour, still among the highest in the state for home health care workers, though lower than the county’s living wage for contractors. Home health care workers are not considered contractors.
The dispute stems from the loss of federal stimulus money. Home care workers are paid from federal, state and local sources, and for a time the federal government picked up a larger share of each paycheck. Those funds are no longer available, and the county maintaining that the $10.35 an hour offer still amounts to an increase in county spending of $1.4 million.
The gap remaining between the two sides amounts to a little more than $500,000. With the dispute approaching a year, home health care workers have maintained their $11.50 an hour wage.
“For all of us, it’s a major issue that we’re trying to resolve,” Stone said, after the board met in private to discuss the situation. “They’re not the highest-paid folks in the county by any stretch.”