After SEIU: The Work Ahead to Build a Progressive Future

Today I announced my retirement as Secretary-Treasurer of SEIU and Chair of Change to Win. The 38 years I have spent as a rank and file activist, leader and officer with SEIU have been full of challenges and opportunities to use my passion, talents and skills to make a difference in the lives of working people and their families. For me, the opportunity to be an activist and leader of a union was more than workplace justice, it was about engaging people to use their voice on the job, in their communities and in our country and make our society more just and humane for all of us. Our union is a gift and it gave me, the daughter of a disabled truck driver and a nurse working the night shift, the opportunity to transform my life. More importantly it gave me the opportunity to step up and take on greater and greater responsibilities in our union and the social justice movement so others had the same chance at a better future. The members of SEIU and the Change to Win affiliates gave me a platform to speak up and out for all of them in an effort to improve their lives and the future for their children. They also provided me the opportunity to partner with our allies in the greater progressive community to bring people together with different ideas and approaches and find new paths forward. Working across organizations to sustain our progressive infrastructure and building the Democracy Alliance proved that we can step out of our silos, support a common agenda and make change happen. We've come a long way with the election of Barack Obama, the best president of our lifetime. We have high expectations and so much to do to build a sustainable economy, put America back to work, assure all of our children the opportunity to achieve their potential, protect our planet, and defend civil and human rights for all regardless of their place of birth, race or gender identity. I love SEIU but it's time for me to find my new path forward. I leave SEIU knowing that in locals across our union, the next generation of leaders is ready and committed to a mission of Justice for All. While I will continue to work with SEIU as a consultant in the years ahead finding economic solutions for working people, I will have the space to work in the broader progressive movement. I am passionate about building and sustaining the progressive infrastructure that protects American values of fairness and justice and look forward to working with a range of progressive allies to make this happen. We have incredible opportunities as we push to make this nation a nation for all of us and recreate the American Dream.