As a reminder, today’s membership meeting is 5:30-7:00 p.m. in EEB 105. The agenda is below:
1. Approve agenda
2. Approve minutes
3. Working group reports
b. Racial Justice
c. Contract Enforcement
d. Housing Justice
e. Sexual Harassment & Assault
4. Resolution on Standing Rock (item added by member request)
5. Elections committee
Tonight’s reports will focus on on the past few weeks of activism by union members around campus, but in light of the presidential election results we also intend for our discussions to be directed toward organizing and taking action against hate.
In the coming weeks union members have the opportunity to channel our anxiety about what the next four years have in store — in particular for women, people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants, Muslims, undocumented people, indigenous people, people with disabilities, and many other marginalized communities — into action. As Lynne Dodson, Washington State Labor Council Secretary-Treasurer, correctly points out in her article today in The Stand:
It’s been convenient for the Republican Party to use race and class and gender to serve the interests of capital — it’s been a pretty effective tool, since the beginning of this country’s founding, to prey on the fears of poor and working class people, to pit poor whites against poor people of color, to pit powerless men against strong women, to pit the last generation’s immigrants against the newcomers. This strategy wasn’t invented this year.
And yet, by enforcing and expanding our hard-fought rights and exercising the power that comes with collective action and expression — particularly as we align with the broader labor and progressive movement — we know we can fight back and win. For those of us who are in positions of privilege, it is especially incumbent upon us to centralize and advocate for communities who are most impacted by institutionalized oppressions.
Many of us feel lost or scared right now, and we want you to know that you are not alone. We encourage everyone to take time to care for yourselves and your loved ones in the coming days, weeks, and months. We also urge everyone to be extra supportive of those in our community who are most vulnerable, and those who feel threatened, scared, or distressed. Our union is a diverse and inclusive community, and we are at our best when we strengthen one another. We are firmly dedicated to enforcing ASEs’ rights to freedom from discrimination and harassment, so please contact us if you are experiencing any problems in your workplace.
Our local has a proud history of robust community engagement that we will continue to foster as a critical avenue for meaningful, lasting, progressive change both in the Seattle area and more broadly. We look forward to working with our members to develop specific action plans for how our local can enhance these current partnerships, protect our past gains, and continue to forge new paths of advocacy for workers, women, people of color, LGBTQ people, immigrants, international students, and other marginalized groups.
Monica Cortes Viharo
Arshiya Hoseyni Chime