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actions & protests | government

United for Oregon March!

SEIU members and their cross-supporters rally and march across the Hawthorne bridge, on a historic journey to fight for their economic justice and healthcare rights.
This is Martha Perez, reporting to you from the east side esplanade of the Hawthorne bridge, where I'm standing alongside at least 2, 000 state SEIU employees, who have been bussed in from all over the state of Oregon. The workers are here today to insist that their political leaders, reach a fair solution to the budget crisis that is currently under debate at the state capitol in Salem. There are at least fifty organizations being represented today, along with numerous chapters of SEIU branches and their affiliates. There is a sign-in sheet, stickers, purple balloons and t-shirts representing SEIU, with a visible police presence, to the south of the gathering.

At approximately 2:00pm, the huge contingency of workers in purple hued SEIU t-shirts, began marching towards the Hawthorne bridge, holding signs and waving flags/banners, chanting "SEIU", "What do we want? Fairness! When do we want it? NOW!". The huge rally culminated in Terry Shrunk Plaza, across from the Federal building in downtown Portland and spilling over into an adjacent park, at one point across from the Justice Center.

The group then settled into the Plaza, to listen to a wide array of speakers, including one speaker from DHS, who told an emotional story about a family that had been earning about 70K per year and were experiencing an economic crisis for the first time, and whose father, the primary breadwinner, didn't want to tell his children, that they were going to end up depending on food stamps to purchase food. The DHS speaker went on to admit that she personally was coming close to qualifying for public assistance benefits. Other profound stories of economic tragedy and loss, continued to unfold, throughout the day. Major concerns were discussed, such as budget cuts impact on education, public safety, the plight of home care workers and the people they served, healthcare for children, disability issues, and other related items.

In addition, a number of elected officials or their staff, are in attendance, including various regional state, city and county officials, such as: Chip Shields, Michael Dembrow, Mary Nolan, Jules Bailey, Ted Wheeler, Sam Adams, Willie Smith (of Earl Blumenauer), Dave Hunt, and/both other invited guest speakers not mentioned. A musical presentation was given by Linda Hornbuckle and/both Janice Scroggins, who excited and galvanized the upbeat union crowd. No further information is available at this time and we expect to hear later on from Salem, with respect to the issues being discussed today.

Reporting to you from downtown Portland, this is Martha Perez, General Political Activist.

homepage: homepage: http://www.seiu503.org