SEIU 1021

Marin Housing Authority Employees to Strike to Protect County’s Most Vulnerable

Marin Housing Authority employees picketing outside the main San Rafael office


Contact: Ian Lee,, (510) 384-7165 

Today, March 8, Marin Housing Authority (MHA) employees represented by SEIU Local 1021 announced they will begin an unfair labor practice strike on Monday, March 11 — with the potential to continue the strike into further days. This strike comes after MHA employees voted unanimously to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike. 

“I’m passionate about my work. Striking is the last thing I want,” said Ceena Ford, a program specialist at Marin Housing Authority. “But MHA’s bad-faith bargaining have forced us into a corner — we can’t continue to leave MHA residents in dangerous, demoralizing living conditions.” 

For years, MHA has been replacing union jobs with contractors such as Nan MacKay – an incompetent agency that has been terrorizing residents with faked inspections and false termination notices. Due to the heroic pushback from a coalition of MHA employees, MHA residents, and Marin County taxpayers, MHA’s Board of Commissioners recently agreed to phase out the vast majority of Nan MacKay’s contract over the next 12 months. 

While a laudable concession, MHA residents remain living in unsafe, degrading conditions. During recent Board meetings, residents have repeatedly pleaded to have their living conditions involving mold, lack of ventilation, and dubious electrical wirings fixed. 

“In the high-rises, we’re living without adequate heating. In addition, we’re dealing with problematic plumbing, mold, and rat infestation,” said MHA resident Royce McLemote. “That’s why I stand with MHA employees who are fighting for adequate staffing.” 

“The lack of ventilation has meant that we have to open windows. But the windows don’t have screens, so we’re constantly dealing with bugs. Also, sometimes our water turns brown,” said MHA resident Tasharah Benjamin. “That’s why MHA must staff up.” 

The solution is clear: MHA must become capable of attracting adequate levels of union staff.

“Outsourcing is but a superficial fix to our short-staffing crisis,” said Melanie Raquel, a case manager for Marin Housing Authority. “We share a vision with our employer to bring work in-house. Union employees know best how to protect our community’s most vulnerable.” 

What: Marin Housing Authority on strike. 
When: Monday, March 11, 10AM – 4:30PM; main rally at 12PM. 
Where: Marin Housing Authority (4020 Civic Center Dr, San Rafael, CA 94903). 
Visuals: Marin Housing Authority employees wearing purple union shirts, picket signs, chanting & giving speeches. 


SEIU Local 1021 represents nearly 60,000 employees in local governments, non-profit agencies, health care programs, and schools throughout Northern California, including seven private colleges and numerous community colleges. SEIU Local 1021 is a diverse, member-driven organization with members who work to make our cities, schools, colleges, counties, and special districts safe and healthy places to live and raise our families.