imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Queer Democrats Hear from Labor on Employee Free Choice Act

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2009 at 6:14 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

The predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club heard from Carlos Marquez, chair of the local chapter of Pride @ Work, at its regular meeting April 23. He presented a campaign called http://www.SharedAgenda.org, aimed at building grassroots support for two proposed pieces of federal legislation: the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which will make it easier for workers to form unions; and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which will ban discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Queer Democrats Hear...
marquez.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 996x1119

Queer Democrats Hear from “Shared Agenda” Campaign

Labor Activist, Youth Leader Speak on Issues, Organization-Building

by MARK GABRISH CONLAN

Copyright © 2009 by Mark Gabrish Conlan for Zenger’s Newsmagazine • All rights reserved

PHOTOS, top to bottom: Carlos Marquez, Allan Acevedo

The April 23 meeting of the predominantly Queer San Diego Democratic Club at the Joyce Beers Community Center in Hillcrest was billed as a presentation by the club’s youth group, the Stonewall Young Democrats, and its president, Allan Acevedo. But the proceedings were dominated by another young Latino activist and club member, Carlos Marquez, local chair of Pride at Work, a nationwide organization aimed at building closer ties between the Queer community and organized labor. Wearing three different hats — as local Pride at Work chair, organizer for the Service Employees’ International Union (SEIU) “Change That Works” campaign and spokesperson for a campaign called “SharedAgenda.org” — Marquez talked about the linkage between labor and Queer issues and called on club members to write their Senators and Congressmembers in support of two key pieces of legislation affecting both.

One, Marquez said, is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to ban discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The other is the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which would change federal labor law so that as soon as a majority of workers in a workplace signed cards asking to join a union, the union would automatically be authorized to represent them and their employer would be legally obligated to bargain with it. Right now, that’s usually just the first step; employers have the right to demand a secret-ballot election and must recognize the union only if a majority of employees vote for it — which gives employers an opportunity to hold mandatory meetings of workers and threaten them with job loss or other consequences if they vote for the union. That sort of intimidation is actually illegal, but the penalties are so small that many employers would rather pay the fines for violating the law than have to recognize a union and pay their workers more.

The April 23 meeting was the second in a row during which the club had heard a presentation about EFCA. At the previous month’s meeting on March 26, Lorena Gonzalez, secretary-treasurer of the San Diego-Imperial Counties Central Labor Council, had asked for — and received — a unanimous vote of the club’s members present to endorse EFCA. “We’re really trying to ensure that all of our allies support this bill,” Gonzalez said. “It’s been a priority for labor for the last 30 years. It’s been almost impossible for workers to form a union [without it], and where it’s been done it’s because employers have been politically pressured to accept majority sign-up.” Gonzalez explained that forming a union doesn’t automatically solve all the workers’ problems — “you still have to get the company to bargain” — but EFCA would help that, too, by strengthening the legal penalties against corporations who refuse to bargain with unions that have won the right to represent their workers.

Asked about the principal argument being made against EFCA — that union representatives intimidate or browbeat workers into signing union cards and only a secret-ballot election can protect the workers’ right to make the decision for or against a union privately — Gonzalez answered, “I would just give empirical data. Since records have been taken, there have been 42 complaints of harassment and intimidation of workers by unions in the entire history of U.S. labor law — and 29,000 complaints of harassment and intimidation by employers in 2007 alone. This bill allows the workers to form a union either by member sign-up or a secret ballot. It just takes that decision away from the employers and gives it to the employees.”

With a Democratic President and substantial Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress, EFCA was originally thought to be a slam-dunk — but it hasn’t worked out that way. Employers and business organizations have mounted a sweeping campaign against it that portrays EFCA as the virtual destruction of Western civilization as we know it, and they’ve made inroads not only among moderate Republicans but moderate Democrats as well. Senator Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania), who endorsed EFCA in 2007, abruptly turned against it this year after he was threatened with a primary challenge in his own party — a move the Los Angeles Times news analysis said would be enough to kill the bill. Worse from the point of view of EFCA’s supporters, California’s senior senator, moderate Democrat Dianne Feinstein, has refused to commit to the bill — and so, quite logically, both Gonzalez and Marquez said their primary purpose in bringing the issue before the San Diego Democratic Club was to generate cards, letters, phone calls and other grass-roots pressure on Feinstein to get on board for EFCA.

In his April 23 presentation, Marquez sometimes confused his audience as to which hat he was wearing when. He announced that the three top legislative priorities of SEIU’s “Change That Works” campaign were President Obama’s economic stimulus bill, EFCA and health-care reform. At the same time he presented the SharedAgenda.org leaflets, which included postcards members could sign and send to the campaign’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. for forwarding to legislators as needed. “We’re happy the entire LGBT [Queer] community is supporting an all-inclusive ENDA,” Marquez said — a far cry from 2007, when the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) went along with a “compromise” version proposed by Representative Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts) to protect based on sexual orientation but not gender identity — “but even if it passes without EFCA, there will still be something missing because it doesn’t promise domestic partner benefits, higher wages or union representation.”

Many club members were disappointed that SEIU didn’t put ENDA in its list of three top demands for the “Change That Works” campaign. “Change That Works has an economic orientation,” Marquez replied. “Health care reform is necessary so as not to increase the costs on taxpayers. EFCA is absolutely an economic interest, and the federal stimulus package was obviously economic. … SEIU is absolutely in favor of an all-inclusive ENDA, but their top priorities are economic and therefore ENDA is not a Change That Works priority.” Getting testier in response to the continued criticism, Marquez said, “SEIU is the most progressive union in the U.S.,” but they have to deal not only with more conservative unions who regard ENDA as “special-rights” legislation but other Queer organizations that don’t regard labor issues as among their priorities. He said HRC had formally endorsed EFCA but “has barely put that on their Web site.” Despite their misgivings about Change That Works and SEIU’s “economic” priorities, club members eagerly took the SharedAgenda.org postcards, which support both EFCA and ENDA, and signed them.

Acevedo began his presentation on Stonewall Young Democrats by introducing several other key members — his co-president, Jennifer Livingood, former president Jonathan Goetz and board members Olivia Cecil and Matt Karolis. He focused mostly on the club’s growth since its founding in 2005, when they were able to get local elected officials like Christine Kehoe and Toni Atkins and candidates like Francine Busby to their meetings. “We had a list of 300 and have built it up since,” Acevedo said. When Brandon Tate took over from Goetz as president in 2007, Acevedo recalled, “we strengthened our relationship with the San Diego Democratic Club, including the monthly ‘Bridge Building’ column in the club newsletter.” Acevedo became president in 2008, after Tate was elected a vice-president of the California Young Democrats.

“We expanded our board to 10 members and doubled our budget from ,000 to ,000,” Acevedo said of his presidency. “We had six of our members working on the staffs of Stephen Whitburn for City Council, Marty Block for Assembly or No on 8. We now have 16 members on our board, a majority of whom are minorities. This weekend, five members are going to the California Democratic Party convention as full voting delegates. We have 40 members and our budget has doubled again to ,000. We’ve established chapters at City College, Mesa College and San Diego High School. We’re working to start new chapters at South Bay and Southwestern High School, and we’re also strengthening ties to California State University-San Marcos.”

Most of Acevedo’s comments were on the nuts-and-bolts of organizing the club, rather than on specific issues. When one club member asked how the club was going to keep the interest of young people who got politically active for the first time because of their enthusiasm for Barack Obama, and also how the club was going to mobilize people to fight for reproductive choice, Acevedo referred that question to Olivia Cecil. She boasted that club members have already met with Congressmember Susan Davis to discuss how to respond if and when San Diego Reader publisher Jim Holman or some other anti-abortion zealot puts yet another parental-notification initiative on the California ballot even though it’s already lost three times.

Acevedo also explained the Stonewall Young Democrats’ quirky relationship with the San Diego Democratic Club. “When Jonathan Goetz founded Stonewall Young Democrats, it was under a partnership with the San Diego Democratic Club,” Acevedo said. “The idea was always that we would grow up and ultimately become our own separate entity. Thanks in part to our organizing treasurer, we were able to file our own paperwork to do our own quarterly reports” — a legal necessity for any organization raising and spending money on political campaigns. “We’re already doing our own finances and endorsements,” Acevedo continued. “But we still depend on, and need a lot of support from, the San Diego Democratic Club.”

Report this post as:

Allan Acevedo

by Mark Gabrish Conlan/Zenger's Newsmagazine Tuesday, Apr. 28, 2009 at 6:14 PM
mgconlan@earthlink.net (619) 688-1886 P. O. Box 50134, San Diego, CA 92165

Allan Acevedo...
acevedo.a.jpg, image/jpeg, 600x689

Report this post as:

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Doxa du lobby A25 2:03AM

Tech workers organize A24 6:24PM

Architect Stephen Francis Jones A24 3:01PM

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy