Members push path to citizenship

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SEIU 521 members and leaders joined a huge rally in Bakersfield on March 6 that drew nearly 100 people in support of a path to citizenship and became a march on a local Congressman’s office.

SEIU Local 521 Members carried signs, and called for commonsense immigration reform that leads to a clear roadmap to citizenship for hardworking, tax-paying families, and economic growth with better wages for all workers.

ImmigrationRally03062013-2Speakers at the event included Luisa Blue, Chief Elected Officer of SEIU Local 521; labor leader Dolores Huerta; NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez; Angelica Salas, Executive Director at CHIRLA; Rob England, Vice President of Kern, Inyo, and Mono Central Labor Council; and Bishop Marvin Prichett, who opened with an interfaith prayer.

The crowd erupted when NASA astronaut Jose Hernandez took the microphone and said, “When I looked down from space, I couldn’t see where the Canada stopped and the United States began. I couldn’t see where the United States stopped and Mexico began. I can’t believe I had to go all the way to space to see that we are all one.” Laughter, applause and shouts of “Sí se puede” peppered each speech.

“This is the fight of our generation,” said Dolores Huerta.

Members showed their strong commitment to fair wages and labor laws for all workers as the rally turned into a march on Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s office.

“The time is now and our local congressmen, including Kevin McCarthy and David Valadao, need to find the courage to stand up for the people they represent,” said Rob England, Vice President of the Central Labor Council.

Bakersfield was the final stop on a statewide bus tour that has gained significant attention and support for this important issue.

As members and activists made the trek, supportive community members honked their horns and pumped their fists in support of our movement. Although Rep. McCarthy was “not available” to address the group, workers promised to continue the fight until a path to citizenship was established.

Read the press coverage.

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Immigration Rally 03/06/2013

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