These senseless deaths are far too many

Dearest Brothers and Sisters,

The last week has been heartbreaking for our nation. The recent horrific murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor has laid bare, yet again, the pervasive brutality of racism in our nation. These senseless deaths are far too many, in a history that is too long of racism and violence in the United States of America. These great injustices come at the heels of rising violence targeting Asian communities, and at a time when communities of color are already being exposed to and dying at a disproportionate rate from the coronavirus.

These tragic events must strengthen our resolve to become an anti-racist organization. As a union of public workers, social service workers and advocates, we must ensure that government is used to strengthen our communities and ensure justice and equity in our society, not to oppress the historically marginalized. We must build a world where all can prosper and live without fear. We must stand in solidarity with our black, brown and Asian Pacific Islander brothers and sisters whose voices have been silenced for too long.

Standing in Solidarity is not enough. Our collective struggle to free society from racism is work for us all. There is work to be done in our worksites, communities, and within our union to tear down the structures of racism and build, in their place, true unity, justice, and equality. I am feeling heartsick with all that I am witnessing yet I am inspired by the overwhelming mobilization of people across our state and country who are demanding real change. If you are too, please join me in this fight.

This weekend I plan to march with the protestors who are demanding justice. If you would like to join me, and other sisters and brothers from your union, contact me at Dean.Staffieri@MSEASEIU.ORG.

In Solidarity,
Dean Staffieri
MSEA-SEIU Local 1989

Updated: June 3, 2020 — 4:47 PM