SEIU 1021

This fall, vote YES to keep oil wells out of your neighborhoods
Vote YES to keep SB 1137 to make sure new oil and gas wells have a mandatory 3,200 foot zone around them


The 700,000 members of SEIU California have recently announced their endorsement for the “Keep the Law” position on the Big Oil referendum to overturn a California law that prevents new oil and gas drilling from taking place where people live, go to school, or play. 

“SEIU members live, raise our families, and work in some of the most polluted neighborhoods in the state,” said Maribel Castillon, a Los Angeles County public health nurse and chair of SEIU Local 721’s Environmental Justice Committee. “We need to change that. A good first step is to stop new toxic oil drilling near the playgrounds and parks where our children play or the hospitals where we seek healthcare.”

SEIU 1021’s Climate and Environmental Justice Committee applauds SEIU California for endorsing the “Keep the Law” position on the Fall 2024 referendum. We are grateful our union has responded to the concerns of our SEIU 1021 members and environmental and racial justice allies who have worked for years to stop toxic oil and gas drilling near our homes, schools, hospitals, and churches. 

This referendum is not a “jobs versus environment” debate. It is a confusing referendum paid for by giant oil and gas corporations, like Chevron, which would allow them to continue to exploit our natural resources while gouging us at the pumps.

A statewide campaign this year should unite labor, environmental, and racial justice movements to check the power of corporations that pollute our cities, politicians, elections, and our planet. 

Oil giants like Chevron extract, refine, and burn fossil fuels not just in our state but across the globe. Burning fossil fuels causes worldwide environmental destruction and contributes to the agonizing pain we are witnessing in the humanitarian crises in Gaza, Haiti, Sudan, Yemen, Ukraine, the Philippines, and our southern border.

The heating of our planet poses grave immediate health and economic threats to all humanity and life, but the most severe harm from climate change falls disproportionately upon workers and underserved communities. We all want the freedom to breathe clean air, drink clean water, and protect our homes from fires, floods, famine, and war.

We must defeat the lies spread by big oil money and demand a just transition to equitable clean energy, for all our sakes.

The fossil fuel industry and corporations like McDonald’s and Starbucks are increasingly using the same playbook: spending millions paying to gather signatures for a “referendum” to undo laws passed through the democratic process in the legislature. Meanwhile, the law is suspended until the next general election (likely after millions more are spent on deceptive advertising from corporate interests). 

Make your voice heard: Vote YES to keep the law and keep oil and gas wells OUT of our neighborhoods.

Watch Gavin Newsom, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and frontline workers kick off the campaign to vote YES. Want to get involved? The Climate and Environmental Justice Committee meets every third Wednesday of the month from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. via Zoom. For Zoom details, contact Chema Hernandez Gil at or Martha Hawthorne at