SEIU 1021

Rise Like the Phoenix: Our 2018 Member Convention


More than 600 member leaders convened in Concord on the weekend of September 22-23 for our member convention to chart the course for the future of our union and to hear from inspiring speakers on how we must transform and innovate to thrive during challenging times.

Watch Mary Kay Henry and Rev. Dr. Barber’s keynote speeches below. To view additional photos and videos from our 2018 Member, including keynotes from Marielena Hincapie, Bill Fletcher, Mayor Michael Tubbs, Tom Steyer and Paul Engler, visit

Mary Kay Henry, our SEIU International President, spoke of fast food workers, home healthcare workers, and the members of our SEIU 1021sparking the imagination of our country. Together we are building momentum in the fight to reclaim our economy for working families. “It’s one fight that we’re in together. No matter what color we are, we are united in the dream that when you work hard you should be able to provide for your family.” 

Rev. Dr. Barber, in his riveting keynote speech, spoke of how workers and people of different racial backgrounds have have bent the arc of history towards justice.  As corporations and billionaires ramp up their efforts to monopolize our democracy and profit off of our basic human needs, he challenged all of us to do everything we can to mobilize and inspire others to take action. “If there ever is a time to vote, it sure is now.”

Jacqueline Williams, a delegate for the Far Northern Regional Center chapter said she was inspired to share the message she heard repeated throughout the two-day convention. “We’re all in the same boat. And only if we do things together can we all rise. We can’t let divisive forces backed by corporations have us blame and turn against each other.”

In addition to hearing electrifying keynote speeches, convention attendees also participated in workshops that sharpened their skills as member leaders and deepened their understanding of the issues facing our communities, from the privatization of public services and to the local and state-wide fights for affordable housing.

Delegates also used innovative member engagement tools that enabled them to give feedback to transformation strategies in real-time. Using iPads, delegates shared their responses and reactions to keynote speakers and strategies as they were being presented on the convention floor.

This year’s member convention was Solano County member Marie Renaud’s first union convention. “It really made me become more aware of what union participation means to me and what it means to my coworkers and our community.”