The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

January 23, 2009
From the notebook: Scenes from a rally


We spent an hour at today's chilly noon SEIU rally on the Capitol's south steps. It looked to us like well over a thousand state workers, some with their kids, showed up for the event despite the cold weather. Here's a little of what we jotted in our notebook:

Several people using walkers and wheelchairs. Shouldn't they be inside?

Fix the budget NOW!!
My landlord doesn't take IOU's!
I care about our seniors!
Cuts hurt our kids!
Have a heart -- new revenue is a start


"No more cuts!"
"Fired up, can't stand it no more!"
"Back to Hollywood!"

Yvonne Walker (president SEIU Local 1000) to the crowd: "The governor is into creating political theater, not political solutions!"

Eliseo Medina, executive vice president of SEIU International (when we asked what he would tell a discouraged state worker not at the rally): "Don't despair -- organize!"
rally speakers included:
  • a retiree
  • two union executives (Walker and Medina)
  • a home care worker
  • a hospital worker
  • a children's social worker
  • a case manager for the developmentally disabled
  • a child care provider
  • a college student
IMAGE: SEIU member Mariam Alvarez of Fresno holds a sign at the SEIU Rally against budget cuts for caregivers and student aid on Friday afternoon at Capitol.

Photo by Jose Luis Villegas, Sacramento Bee

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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