COPE Connection – May 14, 2015

COPE Connection
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Ray Montemayor“COPE is a way to work as a union beyond the worksite, and into our communities. Last year, we won the passage of Measure G, which will fund $20 million per year for safety services like neighborhood policing, gang prevention and maintenance of streets and parks in Salinas. We did it by raising our voice in politics. When we work together we will be heard. We need to support immigration reform because it effects our co-workers, neighbors and communities. We all deserve security and a pathway to a better life.”
– Ray Montemayor, COPE Chair, Monterey County

In This Issue

The goal of the COPE Connection is to keep you engaged in the political issues that affect us. In this issue of the COPE Connection, we will be talking a lot about Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We have combed the headlines for stories that illustrate why Comprehensive Immigration Reform is one of the most critical issues we face in our communities, in the labor movement, and as a nation.

As engaged community members, many of us have family and friends that will benefit from Comprehensive Immigration Reform with a pathway to citizenship. We will be working with our allies to organize forums across our regions focused on Immigration Reform. Please join us.

Scroll down to see our calendar of events to learn about a forum near you.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform in the Headlines

Clinton to call for path to citizenship, countering GOP immigration views
Los Angeles Times
During a campaign visit to Nevada, Hillary Rodham Clinton called for a “full and equal path to citizenship” for immigrants living in the country illegally, drawing a clear distinction from Republican candidates on the issue.
Read more:

They can’t vote, but undocumented immigrants are California’s newest political force
Orange County Register
They live in the country illegally. They pepper their rallies with the chant “undocumented and unafraid.” And they cannot vote. Still, some politicians have heard their voices. In California, undocumented immigrants have political clout.
Read more:

Hundreds march in Fresno for immigration reform, protection of DACA, DAPA
ABC 30
SEIU Local 521 and its community partners have been working across the nation to support Comprehensive Immigration Reform.
Read more:

More Immigrants Coming from China, India Now Than Mexico
Times of San Diego
China and India have replaced Mexico as the main source of immigration into the United States, according to a new report.
Read more:

Deported Mothers Briefly Hug their Children at the Border Gate
America’s Voice
While millions of families across the U.S. were able to celebrate Mother’s Day together this past Sunday, it was a bittersweet day for two mothers in particular.
Read more:

News Around the Local

Report: Asian-American tech workers absent from Silicon Valley’s executive suites
San Jose Mercury News
As Silicon Valley companies seek to diversify their ranks and address the glaring absence of women, black and Latino engineers, a new report says they are overlooking a problem hidden in plain sight. Asian-Americans are well-represented at the Bay Area’s leading technology firms, but few rise to the ranks of management and even fewer are in executive positions.
Read more:

Palo Alto: Plan surfaces to save Buena Vista
Daily News
With time quickly running out, a last-minute plan has surfaced to keep Palo Alto’s only mobile home park — and single-largest source of affordable housing — from closing for good.
Read more:

Pension initiative may empower local reforms
The leaders of two local pension reforms, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio, are working with a coalition on a statewide initiative that threatens retirement security in California.
Read more:

Baker Branch Library marks 100th anniversary
Bakersfield Californian
Dozens of children and longtime library patrons flipped through books and listened to stories at the Baker Branch Library for the library’s 100th anniversary celebration.
Read more:

Salinas Measure G priorities hold fast
Salinas Californian
SEIU Local 521 was a key proponent of Measure G in November 2012. In this article, the Mayor of Salinas talks about the spending priorities for Measure G and makes it clear that Measure G funds will ultimately end up paying the city’s recovering workforce.
Read more:

County Police Could Lose Years of Progress with Social Workers
Monterey County Weekly
Mental Health Social Workers can save lives. Will changes in County Mental Health administration get in the way of serving the community? Monterey County cops pride themselves on partnering with social workers, but now they’re worried they might lose that resource when they need it most.
Read more:

District Attorney Smittcamp forms “public integrity” unit to root out corruption
Fresno Bee
Fresno County District Attorney, Lisa A. Smittcamp, announced that her office will investigate and, if necessary, prosecute public officials or public employees who commit crimes relating to their official duties. It also could mean investigating candidates for violating election law or voter fraud involving average citizens.
Read more:

Upcoming Polical Events

SEIU 521 Immigration Committee 

The Committee on Comprehensive Immigration Reform of Local 521 launched with enthusiasm on May 7. The mission of the committee is to help undocumented workers to come out of the shadows, to stop the theft of their wages, the abuse of their labor, and other degradation that they experience as a result of their lack of a legal immigration status.

Read more about the inaugural meeting:

Immigration Reform Forums

Join us for upcoming community forums which are being put together by SEIU Local 521, the Office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris, Univision and other partners. The purpose of the forums is to educate the community about how to prepare to apply for DACA/DAPA once the applications are available and warn them about fraud.

Saturday, May 23 at 10:00 a.m.: Los Angeles and San Diego
Saturday, May 30, at 9:00 a.m.: Central Valley High School, Ceres
Sunday, May 31, 11:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.: Hartnell College (Auxiliary Gym), 411 Central Ave., Salinas – English or Español
Saturday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m.: Riverside City College (TBD)
Saturday, June 13 (time TBD): Bakersfield
Saturday, June 13 at 9:00 a.m.: Fresno
Saturday, June 20, 10:00 a.m.: Mayfair Community Center, 2039 Kammerer Ave., San Jose – Info

COPE Meetings

Fresno: 3rd Wednesday of the month, 5:30-8 p.m.
SEIU 521 Fresno Office, 5228 E. Pine Ave. (Between Olive & McKinley, off Peach)
RSVP at (559) 447-2579 or

Salinas: 4th Wednesday of the month, 5:30-8 p.m.
NOTE: May meeting rescheduled to June 10
SEIU 521, 517B Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
RSVP at (831) 784-2560 or

San Jose: 1st Tuesday of the month, 6:00 p.m.
SEIU 521, 2302 Zanker Road, San Jose, CA 95131
Teleconference # (888) 431-3632
Participant code # 427476
RSVP at (408) 678-3363 or

Santa Cruz: 4th Thursday of the month, 6:00 p.m.
SEIU 521, 517B Mission Street, Santa Cruz, CA, 95060
RSVP at (831) 824-9255 or

Visalia: 2nd Tuesday of the month, 6:00 p.m.
SEIU 521, 1811 Sunnyside Ave., Visalia, CA 93277
RSVP at (559) 635-3720

COPE for the Future

At a time when the voices of workers are being drowned out by powerful corporations whose sole mission is to maximize profits by squeezing labor, we need to reclaim our power in politics.

COPE for the futureThe Committee on Political Education (COPE) collects workers’ individual contributions to build one united voice in politics that promotes better living standards for all, not just the few.

THANK YOU. As a COPE member, you receive COPE Connection because you are a key contributor to our political voice. We hope the COPE Connection keeps you engaged in the issues that affect our communities so you can be an informed activist in yours.

PASS IT ON. Know a member who would benefit from becoming a COPE member? Connect them to COPE by sharing this newsletter and by inviting them to the Local 521 COPE webpage:

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