SEIU 503 Looks To The Future At General Council

Over three days during early August, nearly 300 SEIU 503 delegates from around the state gathered in Albany to celebrate recent successes and lay out our future direction. Delegates overwhelmingly passed policy resolutions, including support for the following:

  • Passing Ballot Measure 97, which will force large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes and provide needed state revenue
  • Making more affordable housing available for working people and protecting tenant rights
  • Working with community partners in the Fair Shot For All Coalition to secure paid family leave and expand access to affordable health care services
  • Continuing our efforts to help low-income workers organize for better wages and union representation
  • Addressing the impacts of climate change by working to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, supporting the development of alternative energy sources, ensuring that workers aren’t hurt in this transition, and encouraging personal efforts to recycle, reuse, and conserve

Delegates that represented 085 were, from left: Kurt Willcox, John Taylor, Zach Benedict, Johnny Earl, Jason Stone, Louie Vidmar, Jimmy Murray, David Pinsonneault. In the front row are: Mariko Yoshioka, Liz Hahn, Theodora Ko Thompson, Buddy (Louie’s dog)


Delegates decided that our union should take the following actions:

  • Consider opening membership to workers in industries in which it is difficult for them to secure collective bargaining agreements
  • Explore creating a non-profit organization that can secure grant funding and improve our collaboration with community partner organizations
  • Simplify accounting procedures and change the way sub-locals like UO get dues, rebates and reimbursements
  • Intensify our commitment to equity and inclusion in sta hiring, provide member leadership opportunities, and communicate with members

Governor Kate Brown and House Speaker Tina Kotek both spoke about the importance of electing legislators who will vote for the kinds of programs we support. Nearly a dozen state legislators also attended one night to talk and eat with delegates.

Members who seek to lead our union during the next two years as statewide officers addressed the General Council and informally spoke with delegates throughout the three-day meeting. is fall, union members will vote to select a new executive director to replace Heather Conroy who held the post since 2010. Conroy was recently elected international vice president of the national union. Ballots are scheduled to be mailed during early September. Please inform yourself about the candidates and exercise your right to vote.

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SEIU Local 085