Statement of Solidarity - SEIU

June 8, 2020

A statement from SEIU 1021 Local Chapter President, Sandy Sigala:

First and foremost, I stand with our SEIU 1021 Executive Leadership – Black Lives Matter!  We cannot fight for economic justice while ignoring racial injustice. These last couple of weeks have been devastating, heartbreaking, and incredibly disgraceful – such torment in the lives of our black community as Black Lives do Matter!  I am of Native American and Mexican American descent and am aware of the devastation and pain many people of color face every day in this country. However, in the last couple of weeks learning more about the inequalities that black people specifically experience in the loss of their lives taken due to racial discrimination was beyond extreme – Silence no more! There needs to be a structural change to end systemic oppression economically, judicially, and politically.

SEIU 1021 is working with other union organizations together to demand economic and racial justice by holding politicians accountable for the protection of the people of our nation.

SEIU 1021 stands up showing unity in support of protecting Black lives,  united in our belief that our country must work for ALL of us, regardless of our origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, or the color of our skin.  Together, we must speak out against the continuous oppression inflicted upon Black people and other communities of color. 

Together, we will advocate for anti-Black racism, and fight against structural racism and all forms of racial oppression.

The nation is now at a critical moment in history where we NEED to make changes to end systemic and structural oppression and begin to repair the centuries of pain and injustice black people, and all people of color, have endured including the prevention of working people from earning a livable wage to achieving the American Dream.

We must reform our criminal justice system so that they protect and serve EVERY American. Too many African Americans have wrongfully died at the hands of those who are supposed to protect them. Too many have been wrongfully convicted of crimes that they did not commit or have been given wrongful punishments for those crimes.

Although I consider myself a person of color, I have been made aware of my privilege. I had a difficult childhood growing up in a rural local town, coming from one of a few families of color, I was continuously tormented by racial slurs yet at the same time, I tried blending in, working hard, and building a life for my family so that they would not have to go through racial discrimination experiences that I had. I was silent when I was slandered with racial slurs. But now, I vow that I will no longer stand silent. I believe in the fight for our Vision for a Just Society.

SEIU, along with other union organizations, will work towards tearing down the systemic structure of racism and inequality that has been ingrained in the fabric of this nation since its founding.  SEIU is committed to the long haul of making our systems, our streets, and our communities a safe space for all people—Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, and all other groups as we are ALL equal human beings.

Together as a union, we must continue the fight for structural changes and ensure that we win racial justice, economic justice, reproductive justice, and environmental justice for all.  Systemic oppression will not end with a single action, but rather continued efforts by ALL of us.  We are at a crucial time in our nation’s history where we can no longer be silent against racial justice and inequality.

On behalf of SEIU 1021 Local Chapter, I stand united and in solidarity with Black Lives Matters and will continue the fight for protecting human rights!

TOGETHER we can make change!