Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Nelson Mandela once said, “When people are determined they can overcome anything.”
Our ULTCW family, along with our diverse and numerous community partners, are a testament to this truth. Because of your unwavering determination and commitment to the fight for dignity for all who call California home, we can once again claim tremendous victories for our members, families and communities.
Through our hard work and dedication,2013 is the year in which millions of Californians have access to affordable healthcare for the first time; immigration reform is a national priority with overdue legislation within reach; long term caregivers continue to be elevated and recognized as a vital part of our country’s healthcare delivery system; and, low-wage workers throughout the country are finding their voice and demanding the right to organize.
Such victories come with personal sacrifice, and I want to thank each of you for your selfless contributions to our successes. Thanks to you the lives of our members are better, and a path to dignity for all has been made.
As we look toward 2014, we do so with excitement and great anticipation, as the challenges placed before us, and the victories that await us, represent opportunities for continued growth, destined to further strengthen us.
It is with much gratitude that I serve as the President of ULTCW and I look forward to our year ahead.
President, SEIU ULTCW
After 22 days of fasting to bring national attention on the urgency for Congress to pass Commonsense Immigration Reform, our SEIU former Secretary Treasurer, Eliseo Medina, ended his fast shortly before Congress adjourned their 2013 legislative session and left Washington DC until mid-January 2014. Day after day, he sat with other fasters just steps away from Speaker John Boehner’s office, the man with the power to call a vote on immigration reform in the House of Representatives. While Boehner refused to meet with fasters, Eliseo’s courage, commitment and endurance are a testament to his leadership and something we can all greatly admire. In an op-ed to CNN, he stated,
“The risks to which we exposed our bodies were a reminder of the toll our immigrant communities endure every day Speaker Boehner and the House Republican leadership refuse to address America’s greatest moral crisis.”
Across the country, thousands of Americans chose to support Fast 4 Families by fasting, praying and reigniting the power of the immigration reform movement and strengthening the spirit and determinations of those fasting at the National Mall in Washington, DC. ULTCW members were among those supporters when we participated in a California-based 24-hour solidarity fast and vigil. You can see photos of our vigil and fast HERE.
Throughout the fast, Eliseo, alongside Dae Joong Yoon (NAKASEC), Cristian Avila (Mi Familia Vota) and Lisa Sharon Harper (Sojourners),whom also fasted for 22 days, were visited by many supporters including President Obama, the First Lady and Vice President Joe Biden. Their fast received national media attention including an editorial by the New York Times calling out Congressional leadership to take action.
The fight for immigration reform is not over. The Fast 4 Families is now home to several groups of fasters in DC and all across the country, who will continue to exhaust themselves with unwavering commitment, in order to bring urgent attention to the Congressional action needed to pass an immigration reform bill the President will sign into law. As we supported Eliseo and the other original fasters, we must support current efforts by doing our part.
Join us in making immigration reform a reality by calling California Republican Congress Members Garry Miller at 909-980-1492 and Paul Cook at 760-247-1815, and urging them to take action and do what’s right for America. The time is now for an immigration reform bill that keeps families together and offers a pathway to citizenship to the 11 million undocumented people currently living in the shadows.