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SEIU President Henry, EVPS Long and Sáenz are refusing to allow hatred to win as they speak out after recent mass shootings


More determined than ever to combat the fear and division that has led to an increase in violence their communities

000 Valarie Gun

After the third mass shooting in a single week, top leaders in the Service Employees International Union have made public pleas to denounce hate and demand legislative action to prevent gun violence.

President Mary Kay Henry released a statement on Monday on the tragedies in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton. “Our SEIU family has also been directly affected. In California, an SEIU Local 521 member was injured and her six-year-old son was killed. Her mother, a retired SEIU Local 521 member, was also injured,” said Henry. “The fear and division some of the most powerful people in our country are fueling murderous hate. It is inflicting brutal, irreversible agony on the families of ordinary working people who simply want to live in peace.”

On Tuesday outside the White House, SEIU Executive Vice President Valarie Long joined representatives from Voto Latino, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, MoveOn, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Labor Council For Latin American Advancement, and the American Federation of Teachers to stand in solidarity with the Latinx community and others under attack from white supremacist violence. The speakers also called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the Senate back from August recess to vote on the House-passed background checks bill.

And on Wednesday, SEIU Executive Vice President and iAmerica Action President Rocio Sáenz joined 38 Latinx leaders in a letter published in the Washington Post that denounces hate and the growing threat of white nationalism. “Hispanics in this country are under attack. Black and brown people in this country are under attack” they said. “Immigrants in this country are under attack. And President Trump is fanning the flames of hate, division and bigotry directed at us all — immigrants and U.S. citizens alike…. A toxic combination of guns and hate is the problem. Keeping guns out of the hands of those who would perpetrate violence is an important part of the answer, and the Senate must immediately act to pass the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, update our laws and insist on regulations that meet the challenges of 21st-century America. 

SEIU leaders and members are more determined than ever to combat the fear and division that has led to an increase in violence their communities, and will not stop working to build a society rooted in justice and equality: a country where we are all respected and we are all included, no matter what our color or where we were born.