National Day of Dignity & Respect

The crowd goes wild.

The crowd goes wild during concert in Bakersfield.

Joining 180 other similar events across the country, SEIU Local 521 continued our push for immigration reform with an action on National Day of Dignity and Respect in Bakersfield and Fresno on Oct. 5.

In Bakersfield, hundreds who believe the TIME IS NOW for comprehensive immigration reform gathered for a live concert with local bands on a downtown parking garage rooftop. Speakers included Professor Gonzalo Santos from Cal State Bakersfield and Andrae Gonzales from the Bakersfield City School District Board who led the crowd in chants and cheers that rang out through the buildings downtown.

The message: Congress needs to act on legislation that would improve the lives of millions of aspiring citizens.

Andrae Gonzales, Bakersfield City School District Board Member

Andrae Gonzales addresses the crowd.

“What we’re fighting for, this fight is an American tradition. Every generation brings a new group of immigrants and they make America a richer place.”
— Andrae Gonzales, Bakersfield City School District Board Member

March & rally in Fresno

March & rally in Fresno

In Fresno, a march and rally drew more than 300 people. Speakers included city council members, educators, undocumented migrant mothers and Mexican and Hmong community leaders.

California Governor Jerry Brown responded to our calls for change by signing the Trust Act and seven other immigration bills that expand the rights of undocumented people. The Trust Act is a big step forward for California.

The TIME IS NOW for immigration reform nationwide and we have the votes in Congress if only the leadership would allow a vote.

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Bakersfield is considered one of the biggest targets in the nation because of Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s role in Congress and the makeup of his district. Local organizers believe that Rep. McCarthy has the power to bring a vote to the floor of the House and that once there, a bill would almost certainly pass.

The weekend  event is another in a long line of successful events that have targeted one of our local congressmen. Republican Congressman Valadao has already publicly come out in support of comprehensive immigration reform and there have been many events honoring him and his commitment to fixing our broken immigration system.

Take Action Now!

    • The TIME IS NOW for immigration reform! Look up your member of Congress below and then call and thank them for standing with us or ask them why they aren’t.


  • We’re closer than ever to passing immigration reform. You can help us get there by getting involved and contributing to COPE now!

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