COPE (Committee on Political Education)

“I’m in a union. You’re welcome.”

According to a new study released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), the typical worker — whether a union member or not — would be making thousands of dollars more a year now if unions had the power they once had. In other words, when working people negotiate collectively, everyone benefits. Read more in this news article by Salon.

“Unions have functioned to raise the wages of all workers, union and nonunion,” said Lawrence Mishel, EPI President. “The erosion of collective bargaining has clearly taken a huge toll on nonunion wages in the United States, and is a major factor in the wage stagnation of the last four decades.”

Rebuild the American Dream: Contribute today to our union’s political action committee (COPE)!
It’s the only way working people have of standing up to corporate power and money in politics.

Contribute to COPE online now.

If you would prefer to contribute by mail, download the COPE application form (PDF):
English COPE Form| Spanish COPE Form

COPE Connection

Read the SEIU 521 COPE Newsletter

Children Over Politics
Children Over Politics
Do you have a child who could learn and be passionate about something meaningful? Maybe you know a young person who would benefit from volunteering? If so, we are looking for the future of the labor movement between the ages of 15-25 to engage in our new youth advocacy group called Children Over Politics.
Read more

COPE Meetings

Bakersfield: 2nd Monday of the month 5:30 p.m.
SEIU 521, 1001 17th St., Bakersfield
RSVP: or (661) 364-7101

Fresno: 3rd Wednesday of the month, 5:30 p.m.
SEIU 521, 5228 E. Pine Ave., Fresno
RSVP: or (559) 447-2579

Redwood City: 2nd Thursday of the month, 5:30 p.m.
SEIU 521, 558 Brewster Ave, Suite 100, Redwood City, CA 94063
RSVP: or 408-678-3357

Salinas: 4th Wednesday of the month, 5:30 p.m.
SEIU 521,  334 Monterey St., Salinas
RSVP: or  (831) 784-2560

San Jose: 1st Tuesday of the month, 5:30 p.m.
NOTE: Due to the election, the meeting has been rescheduled from June 5 to June 12.
SEIU 521, 2302 Zanker Rd., San Jose
RSVP: or 408-678-3357

Santa Cruz: 3rd Thursday of the month, 6:00 p.m.
SEIU 521, 517B Mission St., Santa Cruz
RSVP: or (831) 824-9255

Questions & Answers

What Does COPE Stand for?

COPE is an acronym for the Committee on Political Education. It is our union’s voluntary bi-partisan Political Action Committee used for political and legislative activities. We hold politicians accountable at every level of government, and help our union build the political power to win strong contracts, better benefits and pass laws to protect our jobs.

How do WE Build Power?

Our hard-earned pensions are under fire. Layoffs and furloughs seem to be getting worse.

We’re not big business or a corporation. So how can we get our elected leaders to understand our issues and help protect the jobs and services of hardworking people like us?

Through our Committee on Political Education (COPE) program.

How does COPE work for us?

COPE allows us to dedicate resources behind worker-friendly candidates and help get them elected to school boards and Congress. COPE money is used not only for contributions to candidates, but also voter registration efforts, lobbying, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Funds are also used to introduce and pass legislation that protects SEIU members and our families.

Why is SEIU Involved in Politics?

Public Employee collective bargaining rights, job security, working conditions, and benefits are decided by elected officials. To do an effective job in collective bargaining, SEIU Local 521 must be involved in electing candidates to school boards, city councils, county boards of supervisors, governor, Legislature, president, and Congress, who value, who believe in, and who will stand up for public employees’ issues at the decision making table.

How is the Money Used?

All COPE money goes into SEIU’s Political Account for use in local, state, and federal activities only. It does not become part of the general treasury. A portion goes to the SEIU federal PAC at the International office for use in Congressional or U.S. Senate races. COPE money is used not only for contributions to candidates, but also voter registration efforts, lobbying, and get-out-the-vote efforts. Funds are also used to introduce and pass legislation that protects SEIU members and their families.

Who Does SEIU Support?

SEIU Local 521 supports pro-SEIU, pro-worker candidates in local, state and federal election campaigns. SEIU Local 521 is bi-partisan and supports both Republicans and Democrats who support our issues.

How can we contribute to COPE?

Contribute online, or print one of the applications above, or talk to your worksite organizer and say you can contribute up to $20 a month (that’s only 67 cents a day) to help protect our retirement security and jobs or download and fill one of the forms above.


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