Editorial: 1199ers Do Not Give Up

September 1, 2020

The coronavirus (and Donald Trump) ravaged America. In November we can start repairing the damage.

goya.jpgIt’s the end of summer. For many of us, we’d normally be planning for back to school, coordinating camp pickups, or headed to cookouts or family reunions—maybe even a last-minute getaway and a few days of rest.

But, if we ever were, we’re not in the normal now. We haven’t been since Donald Trump’s election in 2016 and certainly not since the spring, when a complete lack of national leadership allowed a pandemic to ravage the United States, kill more than 160,000 people and upend our economy. We haven’t been in the normal since the White House and its enablers on Capitol Hill abdicated their responsibility to stop more deaths and help those who have been devastated by the crisis in other ways.

We haven’t been in the normal since this administration left the nation to founder in the absence of any national policy, except for those that plunder our national resources and enrich corporations and CEOs.

But November is just two months away, and with it, a chance to restore our institutions and begin to undo the horrendous damage of the last four years. To make sure this happens, 1199ers have thrown their full support behind the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

We are operating in a new way, in a new world, but our fire is not tempered. Even in the face of a pandemic, we are still the Purple Army. We still communicate our values. We still fight for justice. We still make sure our communities and patients are represented. We still hold those in power accountable. And we’ll still make sure that workers have the voice, rights, and opportunities to which they are entitled. We are organized, and we are undeterred.

Throughout the pages of this magazine are undeterred 1199ers. 1199 members are in the streets fighting for racial justice and Black Lives. 1199SEIU members are winning organizing victories and fights for hazard pay. They’re winning strong, new contracts.

They’re moving up in their careers and taking on the challenge of higher education. They’re calling out powerful corporations, and much, much more.

CNA/HHA Jolie Apuzzo is a recent Training and Employment Funds graduate. She’s had numerous struggles in life but has kept going. Says Apuzzo: “If you want to move up in this life, it takes hard work.” She applies the same philosophy to her Union work: Giving up is never an option. We could not agree more.

1199 Magazine | July / August 2020