Laphonza Butler, president of SEIU Long Term Care Workers welcomed nearly 100 participants from union, community and religious organizations to the most recent “Our Communities in Crisis,” forum in Long Beach.
Butler urged participants to get involved to change the political landscape by engaging family members and their neighbors in the process. She explained that Los Angeles County plays a crucial role in California politics due to the fact that 40 percent of the state legislators represent this region.
“In these tough economic times you cannot afford to get distracted by your economic struggles. You need to learn to advocate,” Butler said. “I urge you to pledge that you will reach out to at least five people around you to do the same, so that you have a say on what does the California that you want look like.”
Butler humorously joked: “If you can’t get at least five people involved, then I recommend you find new friends that will help you make things better for you and your family.”
CA Forward Executive Director Jim Mayer, AFL-CIO organizer Yvonne Wheeler, and Reverend Wood took part in a panel to discuss coming together as neighbors to understand the cause of the economic crisis and working together to find solutions.
Mayer explained that in general “Californians simply don’t trust their government.”
But recent polls show that despite government distrust, “Californians strongly believe that it can be fixed. If we believe that we the people are the government, and that we the government is the problem, then we can own the problem!”