On Monday, September 24, workers from nonprofits around San Francisco joined together at El Rio Bar in the Mission District to celebrate their victory in winning a 2% funding increase, which resulted in a raise for workers in unionized agencies. Four San Francisco supervisors were in attendance.
The 2% Victory Party was both a congratulations for the hard work and determination of the nonprofit workers who put in long hours putting pressure on city government to properly fund nonprofits, and a call to action. Ramsés Teón Nichols, a tenant services counselor at Community Housing Partnership and SEIU Local 1021 Organizing Chair, reminded the guests and the supervisors in attendance that the 2% funding increase, a welcome relief after 7 years of flat funding, was just the beginning. “We don’t want it to be just this year we got an increase, but we want to come back next year, because the cost of living keeps going up for all of us. The only way we’re actually going to do that is to keep organizing ourselves as nonprofit workers in the entire city of San Francisco.”
Supervisors Christina Olague, Jane Kim, David Chiu and John Avalos all spoke to the persistence and hard work of nonprofit workers in SEIU Local 1021, along with other unions and community groups, as a driving force in reaching victory. All four of them signed the Nonprofits Justice Pledge, thereby pledging to dedicate themselves to fight for adequate funding for nonprofits. Guests in attendance also signed the pledge.
Tenderloin Housing Clinic worker and SEIU Local 1021 Political Action Chair Alysabeth Alexander reminded guests of the importance of defeating Proposition 32, which would eliminate workers’ ability to advocate for themselves and the services they provide through their union while continuing to allow corporate interests, hedge funds, Wall Street, banks, etc., to pour as much money as they want into politics to push for their own profits.