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We Are SMART

On an ongoing basis, we will be featuring the words and faces of those who want reform in SEIU. If you'd like to appear here, email a photo and a quote describing why you're joining with SMART to reformseiu@googlegroups.com.

Emma Davis, SEIU Local 521 Housekeeping, Valley Medical Center "The workers before us who fought hard to establish unions fought also to establish a voice for workers within their unions. All members must realize that the basis of any union is its members. That's why I'm supporting SMART."
Ed Perez, SEIU Local 1000 Member & Executive Board Member "SEIU’s constitution and bylaws say: 'We must provide meaningful paths for member involvement and participation in strong, democratic unions.' Sadly, under the current SEIU leadership in Washington, D.C., we are seeing a top-down and business-oriented approach to building the union. Real member participation in decision making within SEIU has become a sham. It’s up to all of us to keep the promise of a strong, member-driven and democratic union. That’s why I’ve joined S.M.A.R.T. and will ask my co-workers to do the same."
Dan Mariscal, SEIU Local 721 Steward, City of Los Angeles "I've joined SMART because there's just no substitute for real membership control."
Wendy Ashley-Johnson, SEIU Local 1000 Program Analyst, Employment Development Department, San Francisco, CA "I have been a union member all of my working life. I am in support of the SMART platform. The union is about the members. It would not exist without members. The union is about democracy, not selected individuals in Washington, D.C. making choices about my life. I have the right to give my voice on the issues that matter to me. That means I select who I want to negotiate my contract and speak for me and my colleagues."
Jonathan Wilkes, SEIU Local 1000 Convention delegate 2008, Comms Officer CA Fire Aviation Management "Together we win reform, divided we lose rights, benefits, pay, and a voice on what is done with our dues! I support the S.M.A.R.T. platform and look forward to taking the fight to our Local and most importantly to the International."
John Solis, SEIU Local 265 Chief Shop Steward "I am joining S.M.A.R.T. because I support workers who have fought for years to have a voice in their workplace. It is the members who have made SEIU the strongest union in the country. Members need to continue to have a say in their bargaining and union decision making. The voice of members must always be heard."
B. Ross Ashley, SEIU Local 1 (Canada) Mt. Sinai Hospital, Ontario, Canada "I've been a member of this union for 34 years now, since I started working at Mt. Sinai Hospital in Toronto. I've always thought our union had the most committed leadership among the unions in the health care field here in Ontario. Over the years our locals here have been the subject of raids by another organization here which does not display the same commitment to our members as SEIU does ... when I see Andy Stern behaving like Buzz Hargrove of the CAW, I get angry.""
Irving Rosenberg, SEIU Local 265 President "Make no mistake about it, we will challenge anybody who tries to take away the Democracy of this Local. We have some of the best CBA’s in the country & are the highest contributors to the National Industry Pension Fund; due to the direct involvement of our members."
Monty Reed Kroopkin, SEIU local 221 Steward, County of San Diego "I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night...and Lucy Parsons, and Mother Jones and Emma Goldman and Martin Luther King, Jr. and Cesar Chavez and zillions of other people and they all said they joined SMART because they were thinking of starting something just like it, but found out it was already here."
Ron Tanner, SEIU Local 721 Retiree ""I am a SMART member because I have seen what democratic rights we've had as members in the past rapidly and steadily disintegrate. As a retired member, I see that we have virtually no representation. We must all fight to bring true democracy to our union and representation for all. We cannot let ourselves fall into the Top-Down Management-Controlled corporation trap."
Bebs Nonato, SEIU UHW-W Executive Board Member, RN LA Medical Center (Kaiser) "I'm a SMART member because I believe that workers make the best organizers and because I never want to see another agreement that sacrifices workers' rights in exchange for more dues dollars."
Francisco Martinez, SEIU Local 1021 Legal Processing Assistant, Alameda Co. Superior Court "A union without democracy is like house without a foundation. It will tumble. I support SMART because if we don't truly have a voice in our own union, we will never have power at our worksites or in our communities. Great unionists, like A. Philip Randolph, would turn over in their graves at how the elite in Washington, D.C. are suppressing members' rights and members' voices!"
Oletha Hunt, SEIU Local 1021 CNA, Laguna Honda Hospital, San Francisco "SMART is for me because I believe that mergers must be done democratically and because members should run their local union, not some Stern loyalist from Washington, D.C."
Ted Gathright, SEIU Local 2007 Exec Council, Steward, Stanford University "I have joined SMART because democratically bargained contracts that achieve high standards for workers solve problems for both the workers and the Union. A real national strike fund to support workers during their struggle to achieve these high standards makes a lot of sense and empowers the workers in their negotiations. Good contracts make organizing a lot easier as non-union workers see the difference and want the same benefits that the union workers have achieved. We need a Union which supports workers not workers who support a Union."
Ella Raiford, SEIU UHW-W Vice President, Nursing Home Division "Members want a say in bargaining and union decision making, not a dictatorship run out of Washington, D.C. Generations of union members have fought for union rights and we will not see those rights taken away. I support SMART because the voice of members must be heard."
Dave Peter, SEIU Local 1107 Steward, Former Trustee, Family Support Specialist II, Clark Co District Attorney "I joined S.M.A.R.T. because I’ve seen first hand how SEIU has changed from a worker’s union to corporate partner. I find SEIU under Andy Stern is willing to sacrifice workplace rights in order to get corporate approval to organize corporately selected workers for membership. If this is an example of Justice for All, I say it is time for workers to stand up to the Washington elitists now in control of the union’s international executive board, the hard earned dues money of the rank and file workers and tell Washington, this is our union they cannot sell out our rights. My local is controlled by the purple kool aid drinkers who swear totally loyalty to our paid Executive Director, Jane McAlevey, who is firmly in Stern’s pocket as a member of the international oligarchy called an executive board. It is time for workers to stand up to the elitists who are using our own dues money to destroy our rights in the work place."

 

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