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Press Statement: Congratulations from SEIU Local 121RN President as Senator Atkins is sworn in as 1st female pro Tem

March 21, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 21, 2018 CONTACT: Terry Carter, (805) 312-0024

SEIU Local 121RN President Gayle Batiste, RN, CNOR, released the following statement to congratulate the new Senate pro Tem:

“It’s fitting that longtime champion for women and California’s first female—and first openly gay—Senate pro Tem will be sworn in during Women’s History Month. The RNs of SEIU Local 121RN proudly congratulate the pro Tem as she follows in the footsteps of other trailblazers we remember every March: Jeannette Rankin, Shirley Chisholm, Sandra Day O’Connor, Madeleine Albright, and many other brave women.

“With her early professional background in the delivery of women’s healthcare services, we look forward to working with pro Tem Atkins who understands that in our nation’s rapidly changing healthcare industry, we need state policies and regulations that keep up with our need for reliable, safe, quality care as California protects the strides we’ve made.

“California leads the nation in ensuring that nearly everyone in our state has access to quality, affordable healthcare. Since the introduction of Covered California, we had the largest drop in uninsured Americans of any state in the union. We are tantalizingly close to having universal coverage, with our insured rates already comparable to European countries. But the constant threats from so-called ‘leaders’ in Washington, D.C., to dismantle this progress means that it’s more important than ever to have leaders in Sacramento who will join us in not resting until we have 100% coverage.

“As a Union led predominantly by women representing an industry of mostly women, we will remember this day. Today makes us hopeful. Together we can—we will—fight alongside leaders like pro Tem Atkins to advance justice and healthcare for all. We are tireless. As Florence Nightingale said, ‘Rather, ten times, die in the surf, heralding the way to a new world, than stand idly on the shore.’ We will never stand idly. That’s just not what nurses do. We look forward to working with the new Senate pro Tem.”


Service Employees International Union, Local 121RN represents 8,800 registered nurses and other healthcare professionals at 26 hospitals and facilities in Los Angeles and surrounding counties. This member-led organization is committed to supporting optimum working conditions that allow nurses to provide quality patient care and safety.