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Members of the SEIU Local 1021 protest in San Francisco. The union is now mounting a nation-wide "Get Out the Vote" bus tour.
Now through September, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) is traveling around the country to reach out to Latino voters, and Los Angeles was among the tour's first stops.
Dozens of blue-collar workers met inside an industrial building in Gardena on Friday, July 27. Dressed in their purple SEIU T-shirts, they hung banners all around that read “We are the 99%” and “Tax the 1%.”
This largely black, Latino and Asian-American crowd came ready to hear their union’s simple message: Go out and vote.
“We will determine who wins this election," SEIU’s International Secretary-Treasurer Eliseo Medina told the crowd.
“We also know that there are state issues in California like Proposition 30, the initiative to fund our state, and Proposition 32, the initiative to restrict workers’ rights to participate in the electoral process," he continued. "And we need to make sure that we pass Proposition 30 and defeat Proposition 32."
SEIU is heavily invested in Proposition 30, which would increase state sales taxes and the personal income taxes of those earning more than $250,000 a year.
This Latino voter drive tour will make stops throughout California, Arizona, Colorado and Florida — the four top states that have experienced the greatest percentage increase in Latino voter turnout since 2008, according to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials. In California until the end of the July, SEIU will trek through Nevada, Arizona and Florida during August, leaving Colorado and Texas for September.