SEIU Brings In The Heavy Hitters

Katy Grimes, Laura Sucheski: At the SEIU rally today, state employees made their voices heard and disappointment with the governor known.

Hey Arnold!

Looking more like a carnival than protest rally, lovely white tents housed tables where SEIU members could send emails to legislators, pick up written propaganda materials to “Make Banks Pay,” call the governor, write the governor, or “Ask Nancy.”

Tents housing a kids’ space, as well as a place to make protest signs were next to the food tents, where hot dogs and pizza were served. If you provide food, they will come. Stacks and stacks of water bottles were available to thirsty protesters, apparently unconcerned about preserving the environment.

Buses rolled in all morning filled with purple-shirt wearing SEIU workers, from cities all over the state. We spoke with state employees from San Diego, but wondered privately who was paying for their time off of work.

A few of the favorite signs: (People of the Capitol: SEIU Rally)

“Furlough the welfare state, not state workers”

“I (heart) DMV”

“FTB [Franchise Tax Board] – we are worth it!”

“Franchise Tax Board – we bring in $$$”

One state employee we spoke with was upset at the idea of any cuts in pay or benefits, because she said she had been with the state for 32 years and had just bought her first home. A single mom with a child in college, she was critical of Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget cutting pensions and the threat to cut state employees’ pay to minimum wage until the budget passes.

A DMV employee said that the DMV was being threatened  with outsourcing their jobs to the middle east. “Do you want your private information – social security numbers, birthdates, home addresses – going to the Middle East instead of staying safe here in California?” she asked. She was quite agitated, and continued to ask if we wanted California government jobs going to the Middle East.

See all of our photos: People of the Capitol: SEIU Rally

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