On a beautiful July 25th evening, over 600 1199SEIU members from Central New York area hospitals and nursing homes met at the Rosemond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park for their 4th Annual Political Action Picnic. This year, the format was changed to be a more interactive experience as Political Action Contributors and their families received a “Purple Passport” and participated on “Purple Safari” that led them to different booths where they gained valuable information about their union benefits, signed up for upcoming events, and met with 1199-endorsed candidates, including former Congressman and Congressional Candidate Dan Maffei. Political Action Contributors also enjoyed live music provided by the popular local band Brownskin, free food, private access to the zoo and a raffle drawing for prizes worth hundreds of dollars including an iPod Touch.
Each year the 1199 Political Action Picnic at the Zoo provides a great opportunity for members to reflect on their personal reasons for contributing to the Political Action Fund.
“I give to the Political Action Fund because I believe in what we fight for,” said Sue Markantonakis, a Loretto Nursing Home Worker, “Without political action and proper funding (especially in 2012) we won’t be able to keep caring for our elderly the way we do now.”
“We realize just how important it is to offer fun summer events for our members,” said Kevin Lockhart. “ Our Political Action Picnic is the most popular event we host in Central New York because it gives our members a chance to meet with other members from our many different nursing homes and hospitals and have a good time together. By getting to know our brothers and sisters from other facilities you open up the lines of communication with all of our members forming a united front and that gives us power!”