Members of SEIU Local 521’s Region 4 Caucuses have followed the vision established by the International Social & Economic Justice Workgroup, “Winning for working families.” These individuals believe in giving back to our community and identifying community-based organizations that address social and economic justice issues.
The Women’s Caucus in Fresno has been helping out in their community for many years. They have built a relationship with Holy Cross Center for Women, by collecting toiletry donations, adopting 10 homeless families for Christmas providing gifts and clothes, and assisting with the Christmas luncheon. The women also participate with the Holy Cross Center’s Annual Diaper Drive during the month of April, which they have incorporated into their Annual Women’s History Month Commemoration.
Another organization that the Women’s Caucus helps out is the Marjaree Mason Center Domestic Violence Shelter. The caucus gives monetary donations, provides members with Share Cards to benefit the shelter, and collects arts and crafts for children at the shelter, just to name a few things. The women are also conducting their fourth annual Stationary Drive for incarcerated youth in the Juvenile Justice Center.
Remembering our Soldiers
Each month the members of the Women’s Caucus take turns donating items to send care packages to 2 American soldiers serving in Iraq. These soldiers have no family and the women have adopted them. They send them letters of support and kindness to show their support for serving our country.
The Women’s Caucus participates in several events held in Fresno. They have also included the other caucuses in these events, which have now grown to all caucuses participating. The events include the National Alliance for Mental Illness Walk, the Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure, and Light the Night Walk. The Women’s Caucus also participates with other caucuses in their annual events in solidarity.
I encourage union women within SEIU Local 521 to come to our meetings. We focus on educating and empowering union women and also networking with our community and focusing on social and economic issues.
— Jennifer Jensen, job specialist III, Fresno County Department of Social Services
The caucus also benefits members, Jensen said. She has seen members blossom in the caucus and then enter training for shop stewards and SEIU’s National Organizing Corps.