SEIU Engages “Golden California” Members
January 26, 2012 – A small committee of SEIU Republican members from around California, including two members of Local 121RN, met this week to develop a political program to elect labor friendly Republican candidates to Local, State and Federal offices. In doing so, SEIU hopes to engage its Republican members to become more actively involved in labor’s legislative agenda. That agenda includes protecting the working class, access to healthcare, quality jobs and raising revenue to protect social services programs like In-home Supportive Services.
Karyn Elsenbach, an Emergency Room RN and 121RN member working at St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, has volunteered to be 121RN’s representative to the Golden California Committee, and Jeannie King, 121RN Vice President and RN member at Pomona Valley Medical Center, will be the alternate representative to the committee.
King is enthusiastic about the formation of the Golden California Committee and that Republicans will now have an opportunity to be a part of the SEIU political process.
“Our main goal is to try to bridge the gap and encourage Republican legislators to support working people,” King said. “We have a long way to go, but we need to get Republicans to get over the stigma of embracing labor.”
According to information given at the initial Golden California meeting, 34.9 percent of registered Local 121RN members are registered as Republican. Overall, SEIU represents 700,000 members in California and about 21 percent are Republicans. Local 121RN was noted as having the highest percentage of registered Republicans out of the 12 SEIU locals in California. The second highest is Local 221 in the San Diego area with 28.8 percent.
Several of the official goals of SEIU California’s Golden California Committee include:
- Give Locals a statewide platform to engage Republican members.
- Elect fiscally realistic Republicans.
King says there are current candidates who describe themselves as being moderate Republicans. It is the intent of Golden California to identify these candidates and help them win in districts where there is a strong Republican base.
“We will support them in winning their campaigns if they will commit to working toward state budgets and policies that support workers,” King said.
“Golden California Committee” Hopes to Regain Worker Voice in Republican Party
June 9, 2011 – Saying it’s time for their Republican Party to once again represent the values of middle-class families, Republican members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) California today launched a new political action committee that will enable working families to regain a voice in the Republican party – a voice that has been drowned out by a minority of extremists.
The Golden California Committee will work to elect legislative Republicans who share the moderate values that once made the California GOP strong: rewarding hard work, investing in the quality schools, colleges and infrastructure that underpin a strong economy, and doing right by children and seniors.
“More and more it seems like the California Republican Party is representing ideological extremists, not middle-class families like mine who are looking for the responsible leadership and the practical solutions we need to move our state forward,” said John Orr, a parking officer at Cal State University Fullerton and a lifetime Republican. “We’re launching the Golden California Committee to give working families like mine a real voice in our party again.”
Richard Preuss, a retired Chula Vista Police Department Community Relations Specialist, joined SEIU members from across California, representing SEIU’s estimated 87,000 registered Republican members, in announcing the formation of the Golden California Committee in a teleconference with reporters today.
The new SEIU election strategy comes as voters are increasingly frustrated with legislative gridlock in Sacramento, and as the constitutional budget deadline nears without resolution. Pressure by extremists have blocked a balanced budget solution despite $13 billion in cuts to critical priorities including higher education and health care for seniors made earlier this year.
The announcement by Republican working families today also comes as a draft of new legislative district lines is scheduled for release by the Citizens Redistricting Commission this week. New district boundaries, coupled with “top-two” primary election reforms which will be tested statewide for the first time in 2012, are expected to present a new political landscape which offers increasing opportunities for working families to make their voices heard in districts with strong Republican voter registration.
“For decades, California’s Republican Party stood for practicality and responsibility. We were the party that helped create in-home care to help our seniors retain their independence and dignity, and the party whose governors like Reagan and Wilson showed real leadership in closing budget gaps with a combination of revenues and budget cuts,” said Donald Killmer, a Department of Education employee and Republican from Sacramento. “Working families are coming together to launch the Golden California committee because we want our party once again to present real solutions and to speak to the aspirations and hopes of California families.”