SEIU 2024 Convention Elections

June 7, 2024
Posted in Uncategorized

SEIU International recently held its quadrennial Convention, and over a hundred 2015 member leaders, along with the officers, traveled to Philadelphia to serve as delegates. It was a remarkable multi-day event. So many exciting things happened at this Convention – things that will have a big, positive impact on our local and on the labor movement as a whole.

We elected a new SEIU International president. Mary Kay Henry stepped down after many years of amazing leadership, and April Verrett – our former President of SEIU 2015 was elected to replace her.

This was a huge and historic union election. April is only the second woman to lead SEIU — a labor organization of 2 MILLION WORKERS — and she is the first Black person to ever hold the title of SEIU president. This election made headlines across the country, and folks like Vice President Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Hillary Clinton have been sharing their congratulations and excitement about the future of SEIU.

April will continue Mary Kay Henry’s successes, build on her strong legacy, and lead our union boldly into the future. Beyond that, April is going to bring our 2015 energy and values to the entire SEIU community – our celebration of diversity, our determination to grow as an Anti-Racist Organization, our insistence that economic justice and racial justice are two strands of the same chord.

April’s career has centered on empowering, mobilizing, and uplifting workers. Her leadership is fueled by the belief that unions are not just a means to secure better wages, benefits, and working conditions, they are a powerful platform to win all forms of justice — economic, racial, environmental, gender, disability, generational, social, and housing justice. It’s a major, major win for working families.

We’ll always be grateful for April’s leadership here at SEIU 2015. She led us to achieve significant victories that have had a lasting impact on California’s long-term care system. She championed the restoration of major funding cuts to the IHSS program, ensuring broader access to essential care. And under her leadership, California saw a dramatic expansion in state-funded training opportunities, allowing home care workers to enhance their skills and career prospects. During the pandemic, April also successfully secured hazard pay, greater investments in personal protective equipment, and safety standards.

This is such a proud moment for SEIU 2015. In addition, our very own Executive Vice President Carmen Roberts, the first from-our-ranks SEIU 2015 member to become an officer of our local union, was elected to our International Union’s Executive Board – again the first rank-and-file SEIU 2015 member to be in that role.

Convention delegates also elected a new Secretary-Treasurer to step into the position that April held previously: Rocio Sáenz. Rocío, like April, is breaking barriers by becoming the first Latina to serve in the role of SEIU Secretary-Treasurer. When Rocio first arrived in the United States as a young Mexican immigrant, she knew building worker power was a key part of how she, and her fellow workers, immigrant and non-immigrant alike, could get ahead. She has fought for the last 30 years to build that power. Now, in her new role, she’ll help push for more.

Click here to read more about this historic SEIU election in the Los Angeles Sentinel.