On Thursday, March 14th, SEIU Local 105 celebrated our annual lobby day at the Colorado State Capitol. Over 50 members representing every sector of the membership from Healthcare and Property Services joined us to lobby for medicaid expansion, increased mental health funding and the expanision of the Family Medical Leave Act. The importance of Commonsense, Comprehensive Immigration Reform at the Federal level was also a topic of discussion.
“It’s good to have our voices heard and to learn that the State Senators and Representatives are real people,” stated Ramsey Hill, a Local 105 member who works at Kaiser. “It’s great to see the process in action.”
The Colorado ASSET bill which gives undocmented students who were raised here and graduated high school in Colorado an opportunity to attend college finally passed this year after over a decade of hard work by Local 105 and many community partners. SEIU members thanked legislators that supported the bill.
Alfonso Avila, a Janitor and SEIU Local 105 member for six years said, “We are here to support them if they support us.”
SEIU members sat on the State House floor as official guests of Representative Dianne Primavera (D-Broomfield) as our particiaption in lobby day was announced on the House floor.
“I think its important to show our support and our views, instead of corporate lobbyists having all the power,” said Mary Glenn, an Airport Janitor and Local 105 member.
State House Speaker and former SEIU member Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) joined us for lunch and spoke passionately about working family issues. Several state legislators that form part of the General Assembly’s Latino caucus also joined our members for lunch and expressed their views on Commonsense Immigration Reform and other pressing legislation including Senator Jessie Ulibarri (D- Federal Heights) and Representatives Leroy Garcia (D- Pueblo) and Joe Salazar (D- Thornton).
Pedro Carrillo, a two year member and first time attendee of Lobby day had this to say, ” Speaking with our legislators about reforming immigration was timely. We have to remember that these issues we are talking about (medicaid expanision, mental health and immigration) affect us all.”
Several members who participated in campaigning for state legislators this summer were happy to see their work pay off.
“I really enjoyed being part of this today. “It was great to see Mr. Buckner, my old high school principal now serving as a state representative,” said Whitney Whitaker, a Kaiser SEIU member.