Earlier this month Oakland housing and community groups sent a scathing letter to Alameda County Democrats urging them not to back the campaign of Oakland Councilmember Abel Guillen. Now, SEIU Local 1021 is doing the same ahead of the central committee’s Sept. 15 endorsement meeting.
“A vote for Abel Guillen is a vote against Labor and the citizens of District 2 who deserve better,” wrote Gabriel Haaland, political director for SEIU Local 1021.
The lengthy email details a litany of grievance against Guillen, including his handling of the union contract, opposition to the 12th Street remainder parcel and police commission, in addition, to a number of instance when the union believes Guillen sided with developers over the interests of renters.
“Abel has supported labor rights to some degree–but when it comes to anything that pits him against the Mayor, our experience is that he almost always chooses the side of the Mayor,” Haaland wrote.
“Further, he takes “easy” positions–for example, his crusade to ban Oakland from working w/ any business that funds or is involved w/ the construction of a border wall–that’s great–it aligns w/ values we all care about–but he’ll do this yet he’ll take half a year to support a mere $240,000 in funding for low wage workers or support budgets that undercut deeper funding for the thousands of homeless living on Oakland’s streets. He takes easy positions and is answerable to people and issues that he feels can advance his career and not his working-class constituents or the groups who helped to elect him.
Like Oakland Rising earlier this month, who asked the central committee to instead endorse long-time community activist Nikki Fortunato Bas, SEIU Local 1021 is making a similar request.