Convening Brings Together Florida HealthCare Workers and Retirees to Prepare for the 2020 Election

August 9, 2019

1199SEIU member political organizers and retirees converged in Cocoa Beach recently with a mission—to plot a path to success to the 2020 elections. During the two-day convening, they discussed how to take our leadership to the next level and developed plans to get more people to join us as we organize for safer and healthier communities. 

“We have to get out in the community, spread the word, talk to people, knock on doors, stand at traffic lights and get people registered to vote,” said Angelette Harley, a cook at Rockledge Health and Rehab Center in Brevard County. “We want to make sure everyone is aware the election is coming and let them know how important it is.”

MPO Convening, Blog Photo 4jpg (2).jpgIt takes a strong and effective leader to recruit volunteers. That’s why the convening challenged participants to consider what it means to be a good leader. Through exercises, role playing and presentations, they discovered that the best leaders take the time to listen and connect with coworkers and volunteers because this helps to build solid and lasting relationships.

“This meeting has been one of the greatest things to come to Florida,” said retiree Wendell James. “It’s a leadership meeting. The outcome will be phenomenal for the simple reason that we’re bringing together the complete body of 1199—members and retirees. This will make a difference in the upcoming election.”

Preparation is also a key to success. That’s why retiree Vernon Browne says now is the time to start mobilizing if people want to change the direction our country is heading. “It will take a lot of us to get out the vote,” said Browne. “We need to put someone in the oval office who will give us healthcare and bring us together as a nation and the 2020 election is very important for this reason.”

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The healthcare workers and retirees left the convening feeling empowered and ready to take action. They set goals to increase union member voluntary contributions to PAC, 1199SEIU’s political action fund. And they made plans to stay connected and informed by joining statewide member political organizer calls. These dedicated leaders have pledged to do this work with one goal in mind—to build power so workers have a stronger voice in what is prioritized and how our tax dollars are spent. This collective power will enable them to push for affordable healthcare, safe communities, good jobs and other policies that uplift patients, families and communities.