It's time to pay attention

Scott's picture

I received an e-mail tonight from Pope Stern. The subject said, "It's time to pay attention." I immediately thought, what a perfect and timely message!

I opened the e-mail and read it. It talks about the health care debate going on currently in Washington, DC. This is certainly important. You can pledge to do your part over at

That simple subject has far greater meaning for us today in SEIU Local 503. There is so much we need to pay attention to. Like…

The YES on 66 & 67 Campaign. This is so vitally important to our members and the citizens of Oregon. Even without the current budget crisis, it's high time that Corporations and the Wealthy start paying their fair share of taxes. If these taxes had been in place even just this century, it would have meant billions of dollars that could have benefited those that needed help. In the current economy, it means saving thousands of jobs, and providing vital services to citizens in dire straits. The companies that are fighting the hardest and claiming there will be massive job losses because of the increased taxes would seem to be lying. They're already laying off people left-and-right. So apparently paying $10 per year in taxes isn't saving any jobs.

SEIU Local 503 elections. This is the lifeblood of our Union. The decisions we make now will decide who leasds our Union for the next 2 years. There are a large number of current officers who won't be eligible to run again this time, so we have a chance to make a positive change in our future. I'm talking about real change. We don't need more-of-the-same just with different names attached.

The current complete rewrite of our Constitution and Bylaws. There has been a lot of work to rewrite our Constitution and Bylaws. In fact, This is a major change to our governing documents. Not being privileged to see the work-in-progress I can only guess as to some of the changes being made. I started writing up some ideas of my own over in the forums. So while I agree that they need a complete rewrite, I'm in no way certain that what has been created will serve the greater good of the membership. I'll also predict that the Board of Directors will rubber-stamp the completed package as a recommendation for General Council to approve later this year. This will also have the effect of making it impossible for anyone else to make any changes to the C&Bs. And just because the General Council is responsible for approving these changes, don't think that would normally be a problem. However, see my previous notes on the elections. We can make a difference.

The legal status of our Union. Most of you are probably blissfully unaware of the storm that's brewing over SEIU Local 503's very right to exist and govern itself in the way it currently does. You might have heard something of it if you read JohnST's blog on the subject. SEIU Local 503 is a non-profit organization. That entails following certain laws. It appears we may be violating those laws. However, rather than addressing the issues head-on, our leadership has ignored, quashed information, and attempted to work around this very serious situation! I still owe you more information on all of this, but that's a topic unto itself.

It's time to pay attention indeed!!!


"An intractable problem can only be resolved by stepping beyond conventional solutions." — Ozymandias