2016 Localwide Election Candidate Statements

Candidate Statement Booklet (PDF)

In addition to their statement in the booklet, the following candidates submitted long-form statements:


PRESIDENT


wRen Bradley
Social Worker Supervisor
County of Santa Clara
Member since 1988

My name is wRen Bradley and I am running for President of the Local. I am a Social Work Supervisor in Child Protective Services in Emergency Response and am Chapter Chair for Santa Clara County workers, 9000 members. I have been Chapter Chair for five years now and in a leadership role in 521 ever since we merged. And of one thing, I am sure. Our members’ needs must come first. Strong, effective leadership is needed to accomplish this. I am the only person running for this office that has the background to accomplish better contracts, working conditions and wages because I have been exposed to most all possible outcomes having negotiated well over 100 contracts in my career with SEIU 521 and 535. My commitment to labor struggles predates my membership in SEIU since 1988. I offer you the following credentials as proof that I can and will commit to making this a stand up union for every single member no matter how large or small your Chapter is. I will be there always!

My Credentials as a union activist for many years:

  • Home Care worker/ Nursing home worker NJ –opened the door to unionization. Workers are now unionized.
  • Nursing school in Philadelphia–worked with 1199 to organize hospital workers at Hahnemann, workers are now unionized.
  • United Farm Workers for 3 1/2 years; organizer, nurse practitioner, Director of the Salinas clinic. Cesar Chavez led by example. I have followed in his footsteps.
  • Nurse practitioner at Planned Parenthood — fought for union representation–filed multiple charges with the NLRB for violations of “concerted activity” winning every time– opened the door to unionization. SEIU represents these workers.
  • Organized state workers in Georgia
  • Organized Illinois day care providers– successful in getting day care workers into SEIU 999 now thriving!
  • CPS Social Worker, Monterey County–Chapter President for 10 years.
  • Worked as Field Representative for 9 years in Los Angeles, Monterey and Santa Clara Counties, American Red Cross, SARC and HOPE — instrumental in successfully organizing Santa Clara Supervisory Chapter into union shop. In LA County–filed the largest grievance ever; went to arbitration–social workers received huge settlements as result.
  • CPS Social Worker and Supervisor in Santa Clara County—Chief Steward for 4 years, Deputy Chair for 3, and Chapter Chair of 9000 members last 5 years. In Santa Clara County– instrumental in pursuing grievance for social workers resulting in six million dollars back pay. Over 240 social workers benefitted.
  • Negotiated over 100 contracts in public and private sector. I have a deep understanding of
  • County, State and Union budgets.

My Pledge:

  • Fiscal responsibility to the members. I am determined not to let one penny of our hard earned money be frivolously spent or lost to theft.
  • To work with members in all areas providing better representation, contracts and educational programs.
  • I will uphold the Local Bylaws and not circumvent them for any personal gain.
  • To treat paid staff with utmost dignity and respect. They hold up the Union for us all.

Gwyndolyn Harshaw
Retiree
Fresno USD
Member since 1986

My decades-long union activism is born from a basic belief that workers, organized and empowered, can achieve anything.

Experience, leadership, honesty; these are my qualifications and commitment to you as President of SEIU 521.

As the person charged with running our executive board meetings, it is important that our meetings –open to all SEIU 521 members – are forums for feedback from the rank-and-file. At the same time, union business must be managed. Our members have entrusted me with the gavel and I strive to use it judiciously.

EARLY YEARS: As a member of SEIU Local 535 in 2003, I served as the union’s Central California Vice President.  I’ve also worked in Washington State to organize healthcare workers for Local 925; our team helped increased membership by 300 members. A year later, I helped organize healthcare and school workers in Florida.

In 2005, as President of our Fresno Chapter, I mobilized our membership to Get Out the Vote in local elections; that year our Bargaining Team was able to negotiate 11 percent raises for SEIU members.

I have attended every SEIU international convention from 1996 thru 2012 and have been asked to help present workshops on issues such as “How to Talk Politics to Workers.”

When we formed SEIU Local 521 in 2007, I was asked by our then-SEIU President Andy Stern to serve as Vice President with Kristy Sermersheim as President. During this time I was also a member of the Executive Board of the local Central Labor Council; in Hanford, I helped childcare workers who were trying to finish school get adequate compensation for their work.

PRESENT DAY: My passion for the union work is very strong. In recent years as President of SEIU 521, I have joined picket lines, led a strike and even got arrested twice – all in the service of our workers fighting for the best contracts possible to improve their lives.

I rallied with our San Benito County members and this past year they were successful in getting salary increases.

Working with Luisa Blue, I have pulled several all-nighters fighting alongside our Santa Clara County members on several contracts. When the Board of Supervisors in San Mateo County were not being reasonable with our members, I came to support them and went to jail for public disobedience; workers there received increases.

I have lobbied in Sacramento on behalf of childcare members and participated in the “Fight for 15” campaign for fast food workers in San Jose where we shut down an Arby’s at lunchtime to send a message to a bad manager.

From Santa Cruz (where I went to jail in a contract fight) to Bakersfield (where we recently organized new behavior health care workers to join our union), I promise to be there to join you in our ongoing work to fight for our families and uplift our communities.

I’ve done it, seen it, led it. And with your vote and help, I believe we will win because we are Stronger Together!


David Parker
Justice System Clerk II
County of Santa Clara
Member since 2006

Please follow me on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/David-Parker-for-SEIU-521-President-1221074274585917/#

2016 is going to be a significant year for labor and the communities we serve!

Under current leadership, SEIU 521 Local lost Santa Clara Courts in a de-certification. Why?
Under current leadership of SEIU Santa Clara County, there was an effort to de-certify. Why?

My over 20 years of community involvement have allowed me to help homeless, seniors, people living with HIV/AIDS and the LGBTQ community

I am currently the Vice-Chair for the Clerical Unit for SEIU 521 Santa Clara County.

I am the previous Deputy Chair for SEIU 521 Santa Clara County.

I was Chief Steward for the Probation Department for 3 years.

As your President, I will be committed to effective leadership for our members.

My commitment to workplace fairness and equality and my service as an experienced officer who is fair, compassionate and diplomatic will benefit all of us.

There are going to be political attacks on working families and labor organizations led by extremists who don’t share in our beliefs of equality and fairness. As President for our Local, I will build and maintain positive relationships with our elected officials, community leaders and stakeholders.

I will work to ensure proper oversight and financial responsibility of our SEIU Local to make sure our funds are being spent wisely.

I respectfully ask for your vote.

David Parker

 


TRUSTEE-AT-LARGE


Paul Klunder
Sr. Paralegal
County of Santa Clara
Member since 2002

Strength, Fairness, Inclusivity, and Efficiency for Local 521!

Our Local faces numerous challenges to maintain and expand the protections, opportunities, and outreach efforts that keep Local 521 strong. Many of these challenges arise from the outside: ballot measures to gut our pensions; political attacks to end unions’ Agency Shops; and attempts by reactionary forces to poison the minds of voters against us by distorting what unions do and who union members are. We all know what’s at stake and how essential it is to stand together to defeat these attacks! Your votes to select Executive Board Delegates and Officers are a key part of maintaining our strength and spreading our Stronger Together/Community First message.

The role of Trustee is a more subtle, but no less important facet of our Local’s goals to protect and expand our internal effectiveness, our job security, and our ability to substantially shift the political balance back toward the rights and dignity of working people throughout California. Our Local needs to be as united, as committed, and as efficient as possible to ensure that our full resources, morale, and persuasiveness can be aimed and sustained toward these goals!

I ask for your vote as Region I Trustee because I believe my years of experience as a Steward, a Chief Steward, a contract negotiator, and in particular as Chair of Santa Clara County’s Election Committee have given me the insights, skills, and understanding that I feel are uniquely well-matched to the duties of a Trustee. My chapter has faced several internal challenges over the last several years, both with respect to Management and in maintaining and restoring our internal harmony. My devoted teammates on our chapter’s Election Committee and I have found creative, durable, and inclusive solutions to a number of thorny issues that have arisen in the context of our elections. I have also contributed substantially to an ongoing effort to clarify and modernize our chapter’s Bylaws.

Our Local can sustain itself, and the hopes and dignity of the 99%, only if we remain a cutting-edge organization dedicated to progressive advocacy for working people! The person fortunate enough to be elected Region I Trustee therefore needs to combine careful attention to our Local’s fiscal health and compliance with its Bylaws, with problem-solving people skills devoted to fair and inclusive procedures. I ask for your vote because I am dedicated, ready, and able to deliver that combination.

I have honed a high level of attention to detail over 30 years as a Paralegal, the last half of which have been as a Sr. Paralegal at the Santa Clara County Counsel’s Office. In my personal and professional life, I have aimed to combine this skill with real-world pragmatism, patience, very good listening skills, and full awareness and respect for the range of personalities and differing viewpoints that is sometimes a challenge, but also always a strength, for our Union. With your vote, I hope to offer that outlook and dedication as your Region I Trustee. Better Days Ahead!


VICE PRESIDENT, REGION 1


Hector San Roman
Social Worker Coordinator I
County of Santa Clara
Member since 2000

My name is Hector San Roman and I am running for Regional Vice President for Santa Clara County and San Mateo County chapters. I am a Quality Assurance Coordinator in the Department of Aging and Adult Services (IHSS). My pledge to my members started in December 2010. I became awake about the vital importance of the union in our lives and the lives of our families.  After 16 years working for the Department of Family & Children’s Services, I was suddenly and unexpectedly laid off and placed in Adult Services.  The change was a total shock.  I adjusted, and that is when I became a steward, later Vice Chair for Social Workers and negotiator and I never left my pledge to make this union a member driven union. My commitment to you is to keep a member driven union with effective and strong leadership and someone who will commit to and be a voice for all members in Region I. I pledge to be that voice and will help bridge Santa Clara County and San Mateo County, something that has never been done before. My track record as Steward, Vice Chair of Social Workers in Santa Clara County and negotiator reflects my commitment to you. I take my union work very seriously and have, in fact, denied case reduction (which our leaders get in Santa Clara County) because I knew it would adversely affect my co-workers. I have a track record that clearly reflects my commitment.

My Pledge:

  • Accountability to the members.
  • To work with members in all San Mateo and Santa Clara County jurisdictions providing representation for all and not just the few.
  • I will hold meetings for both Counties to engage and listen to the needs of each Region.
  • I will uphold the Local Bylaws and not bypass them for any personal gain.
  • To work with paid staff in a environment of dignity and respect.
  • To Preserve a member driven union

 

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