Yvonne R. Walker: A shared vision for 2020

Make these New Year’s resolutions stick

Every single day, we have the opportunity to change people’s lives. In fact, we not only have the opportunity, but the responsibility, to make sure that in the fifth largest economy in the world, everyone can live the California Dream.

The California Dream — the idea that every person can achieve a better life, regardless of where they start out — is central to who we are as Californians. But even with the fifth largest economy in the world, too many Californians cannot afford to live here.

When people cannot afford basic necessities like housing, health care, education and child care, we know that our priorities are fundamentally wrong. Something must change. And through our leadership, we have the opportunity and the responsibility to change the priorities and choices of policy makers.

We have the responsibility to end structural racism in order to validate that black lives truly matter. We have the responsibility to end poverty in California by ensuring that everyone has a livable wage — because nothing stops homelessness like a middle class job. We have a responsibility in the fifth largest economy in the world to make sure that our reach always exceeds our grasp.

As we discuss the wide variety of components that make up the California Dream, it quickly becomes apparent that this issue extends well beyond Local 1000.

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

– Michael Jordan

Fortunately, because we collectively lead and collaborate with so many different partners in California and across the country, we have the opportunity to make our voices heard, from demanding a universal $15 minimum wage to ensuring that each and every worker has a union, regardless of what they do or where they work. We know that is what raises wages and we know that is what strengthens our communities.

Because we lead, we have the opportunity in 2020 to elect the people that will lift up our values and our vision to create a California for All.

We do all this despite the noise and the vitriol and the hate that is spewed across the news everyday. We do this to lead ourselves and each other through it.

Together, as leaders, we will rise. The journey will not be easy and the path will not be straight.

Not every day is going to be “your” day. We all know that things – life – gets in the way.

But by leading this change together, we will collectively face the risks, share the sacrifices, and celebrate the victories.

No one has to go it alone! Here, we are warriors together, when things are easy, but especially when things get tough.

So, let us begin today by celebrating all that we have to be thankful for, starting with a final reflection on 2019 and our resolutions for the new year ahead. And let’s get out there and make our vision come alive in 2020!

Happy New Year.

Portrait of Yvonne R. Walker
Yvonne R. Walker
SEIU Local 1000
About SEIU Local 1000 30 Articles
Representing 96,000 state workers, we want to give our members—and all Californians—the opportunity to have a good life, live in sustainable communities and enjoy the fruits of social, economic and environmental justice. www.seiu1000.org | 866.471.SEIU (7348)