SEIU, Congresswoman Katherine Clark Rally Against Extreme Federal Agenda

April 14, 2017

Massachusetts Workers Continue Fight for Social, Racial, and Economic Justice for All

BOSTON – Congresswoman Katherine Clark joined hundreds of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members and community allies today to rally against the extreme federal agenda and unite in a day of action to continue our fight for social, racial, and economic justice for all. At a rally on the State House Steps, Congresswoman Clark and workers celebrated the defeat of the Republican health care bill, reminded us that we must remain vigilant about ongoing attacks on affordable healthcare, immigrants, and working families, and talked about how we can ensure that the Commonwealth continues to lead the nation on affordable healthcare coverage, inclusion, and economic justice.

"Americans all across the country, including thousands of SEIU members in Massachusetts, stood up against the Republican assault on our health care, and together we kept President Trump and Republicans in Congress from stripping millions of people of their healthcare coverage," said Congresswoman Katherine Clark. "Your activism worked, but the wealthy and their corporate special interests aren't going to give up. We need to continue organizing, speaking up, and fighting back against the extreme Republican agenda, and I'm proud to have SEIU fighting alongside me."

“Our recent healthcare victory is a positive step and an affirmation of the power of collective action, but we must remain vigilant – affordable healthcare, immigrants and working families are still under attack,” said Roxana Rivera, Vice President of 32BJ SEIU. “Despite attempts to advance an extreme and divisive federal agenda that hurts working families, workers across Massachusetts are uniting with our allies to ensure the Commonwealth continues to lead the nation on affordable healthcare coverage, inclusion and economic justice. Together, we will stand up, rise up and fight back to build power for working people and win an America where all families and communities can thrive.”

At the rally, attendees raised a banner that says “Resist” and attendees wrote on a piece of fabric what they are doing to resist the extreme federal agenda and attached it to the banner with a safety pin. Members of SEIU spoke about how they are organizing to fight against ongoing attacks and to build a Commonwealth with social, racial, and economic justice for all.

“The first reckless plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act would have stripped healthcare coverage from 24 million hardworking Americans, ended Medicaid as we know it and jeopardized critical mental health and addiction recovery services. Through collective action, we proved that by coming together and raising our voices, we can win,” said Anestine Bentick, a Lead Medical Assistant at South Boston Community Health Center and a member of 1199SEIU. “But our work to protect affordable healthcare and Medicaid is not over – extremists in Congress have another disastrous healthcare plan that’s even worse than the first one. We need to unite just like we did before, and together, fight back to protect our patients and consumers, our healthcare facilities and our communities.”

“Attacks on low wage workers are an attack on us all – efforts to roll back protections for working people will only hurt our families and our communities,” said Dayail Gethers, a worker at Logan Airport and a member of 32BJ SEIU. “It’s time for Massachusetts to protect working families here by raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour and invest in our communities, since it’s clear the federal government won’t.”

“Attempts to criminalize and marginalize immigrants are impractical, un-American and already proving to be dangerous,” said Jenny Rodriguez, a home care worker and a member of 1199SEIU. “We are a nation of immigrants, and together, we will stand up to demand our country stays true to our core values.”

“In light of the threats facing workers in Massachusetts and beyond, our fight back is more important than ever,” said Valerie Copeland, a state worker who connects families and individuals to health care coverage and member of SEIU Local 509. “As workers and as leaders in our communities, we must and we will keep up the resistance.”