SEIU 521 members joined activists in Sacramento April 23 to urge legislators to protect funding for our county safety net services.
We fought hard for healthcare reform. Now we need to ensure that no one is left behind. Unfortunately, the Governor wants to take $1.5 billion from our counties’ healthcare systems and transfer it to the state.
This would devastate our communities’ fragile healthcare safety nets and jeopardize emergency services for everyone.
“We’re here today to make sure the Governor doesn’t take away our county funds from our public safety net services and to ensure that the working poor don’t fall through the cracks.”
— David Colunga, Office Specialist III, Valley Medical Center
Our member leaders included Santa Clara County workers David Colunga, Melanie Martinez, Carolyn Elmore-Martin, and Diana Marroquin; and Santa Cruz County worker Mary Ann Fuentes.
They joined other leaders from Local 721, ULTCW, and CUHW, before visiting elected leaders in the Capital building, including legislators and representatives from the offices of Jim Beall, Paul Fong, Bill Monning, Mark Stone, and Luis Alejo.
“This is important because we’re protecting the human race. So many underprivileged people can’t afford medical care and they’re going to die if we’re not there to take care of them. We need to care for the whole community. We’re willing to take care of them but we need the resources to do so.”
— Carolyn Elmore-Martin, Senior Health Service Representative, Valley Medical Center
Taking $1.5 million from counties’ healthcare services would threaten their ability to provide care for the most vulnerable and needy people in our communities: homeless people, people with mental illnesses, and others on the margins.
“Even though we have healthcare reform, at the end of the day some people will still be uninsured. We still have to be there and be that safety net and take care of them. That’s why we need to protect our county funding and keep our safety net from being cut.”
— Melanie Martinez, Senior Referral Coordinator, Valley Medical Center
Throughout our efforts to expand healthcare coverage, we’ve always known that California would still need a strong safety net for the millions who will remain uninsured and to provide critical health care services for the entire community.
“Until there is universal coverage there will always be a group of people who need assistance with healthcare.”
— Diana Marroquin, Senior Health Service Representative, Valley Medical Center