Special Election of CEO & Bylaws

Riko MendezMeet Our New CEO: Riko Mendez

Riko Mendez has been elected SEIU 521 Chief Elected Officer (CEO) on January 31, 2017. Listen to his speech after the election results or read his message to members.

SEIU Local 521 members also overwhelmingly ratified amendments to our Localwide Bylaws.
Read the updated Bylaws here. (PDF)

New! Honorary and Transitional Associate Memberships
Monthly dues for Honorary Memberships: $5.21.
Monthly dues for Transitional Associate Memberships: $15.21.

Among the half-dozen bylaws amendments that SEIU 521 members approved in January was the creation of the Honorary Associate Membership.

Individuals who support the union but are not eligible for membership can join SEIU Local 521 as Honorary Members and participate in limited social, community and political activities.
SEIU 521 Honorary Associate Membership Application (PDF)

Also, if a member wishes to remain a member after eligibility is lost due to transfer into a different bargaining unit, leaving employment for other work, or other reason, this member may apply for Associate Membership with SEIU Local 521 within 120 days of status change so long as their position does not create a conflict of interest. Once approved, a Transitional Associate will be able to participate in limited social, community and political activities.
SEIU 521 Transitional Associate Membership Application (PDF)

The American Arbitration Association (AAA) went through 81 boxes, one box per voting site, on January 31, 2017. This was the largest election turnout for SEIU Local 521, with a total of 4,311 ballots.

Official Ballot Count for CEO Candidates

Catherine Balbas: 505 – 11.71%
wRen Bradley: 613 – 14.22%
Robert Li: 982 – 22.78%
Riko Mendez: 2,184 – 50.66%
Blank & Void Ballots: 27 – 0.6%

Message from Riko Mendez:

Thank you to all members who took the time to vote and participate in SEIU Local 521’s Special Election. It is essential to have high member turnout in internal elections to help keep SEIU Local 521 a democratic union and keep members engaged. Special thanks to Vaughn Flaming, Wanda Morgan-Wallace, and Carolyn Woolfolk, who served on the Election Committee and made sure that the election and vote count were done fairly. Special thanks to all of the administrative and clerical staff who handled all of the logistics for this very complex election. The bylaws changes passed overwhelmingly, providing our union an opportunity to fill some key vacancies on our Executive Board. We will begin that process over the next few weeks.

The time to fight to defend our progress is upon us. Together we can thrive and win, even in the most difficult environment. A unified union of over 32,000 members in 17 counties is truly powerful. Together, we will move our union forward, with integrity, empathy, and care.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
only love can do that.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Watch the Video of CEO Candidates Forum

Our five CEO (Chief Elected Officer) candidates* answered questions in a forum about how they will oversee SEIU Local 521. The forum took place at SEIU Local 521 on January 18 in San Jose and via video conference in our union offices in Bakersfield, Fresno, Salinas, and Visalia. We also live streamed the forum on Facebook.

Watch it now on Facebook or Youtube.

*NOTE: Heidi Pham voluntarily withdrew from SEIU Local 521 CEO Election on January 18, 2017.

See Meet & Greet photos on Facebook.

Archive of official announcement, dates, voting calendar and documents.

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5 Responses to “Special Election of CEO & Bylaws”

  1. Patricia Martin-Galvin says:

    What are the proposed bylaw changes

  2. SEIU Local 521 says:

    We will post the proposed bylaws on our website in December after the SEIU521 Executive Board Meeting.

  3. Muriel Frederick says:

    No relevant questions given to the candidates at the forum….a little disappointing. Just the run of the mill questions that did very little to convince members that they matter. Members would like to have asked the candidates, “have you ever caused deliberate harm to any member?”or ” have you had others cause harm to members on any level, by harassment, and bullying tactics?”

  4. Smithb592 says:

    Awesome article post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  5. Muriel Frederick says:

    As candidates for the position of CEO, what specifically, have you done to promote unity? Have you ever participated in or started a decertification as a member if SEIU? Members should hear your responses. Thank you

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