Purple Armies Take The CapitalApril 23, 2020
Florida and Maryland members lobby lawmakers.
Dozens of 1199SEIU Florida members recently turned Tallahassee purple this February for Senior Day, one of the most important public events this Legislative Session. Caravans of CNAs and other workers with 1199SEIU, the first labor union to be a community sponsor of the highprofile action, made their voices heard for seniors and their caregivers to lawmakers, news media and other key audiences.
Union teams set up booths in the busy outdoor Capitol Courtyard and indoor rotunda to engage state officials and others who can help this vital cause as legislators consider bills that will impact Florida seniors and long-term care workers. Meanwhile, member teams fanned out in a flurry of face-to-face lobbying visits to 30 state legislators, sharing personal stories of challenges on the job and making ends meet at home, their commitment to hard work and dedication to their patients.
“It’s critical that lawmakers see our faces and hear our voices before they vote on a healthcare issue, because we’re the experts on the front lines taking care of our patients and our own families each and every day,” said Veronica Bryan, who led the Miami lobbying team.
And in Maryland, 1199ers headed to Annapolis on February 20 for Legislative Action Day. Workers spoke to elected officials to press for change around criminal justice issues and to demand that corporations and wealthy institutions pay their fair share for wages, education, and healthcare.
The event was a first for Member Political Organizer (MPO) Ashley Jackson, a patient care associate at Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital.
“I became an MPO because I wanted to make changes in healthcare.
Because of medical bills my paycheck has been garnished,” she says. “Sometimes I can’t even afford to pay a $50 bill at the end of the month. This is important so we can make change. By doing this we can see that other people have the same issues as you. By doing this and making change it pushes us to do even more.”
“ It’s critical that lawmakers see our faces and hear our voices before they vote on a healthcare issue, because we’re the experts on the front lines taking care of our patients and our own families each and every day.”