Standing Up to Mass Violence, Reaffirming Our Values
Adopted by the SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania Executive Board
December 11th, 2015
WHEREAS, as healthcare workers and SEIU members, our hearts go out to the loved ones of the fourteen people, including ten SEIU Local 721 members, who were heinously massacred at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernadino, CA on December 2nd, 2015;
WHEREAS, San Bernadino is the latest community to experience an act of mass violence, following shootings in Fort Hood, TX; Sandy Hook, CT; Charleston, SC; Chattanooga, TN; Lafayette, LA; Colorado Springs, CO and other cities and towns across the country;
WHEREAS, gun violence in the United States has claimed over 12,000 lives in 2015, including over 300 shootings involving multiple victims;
WHEREAS, the San Bernadino killers were apparently inspired by the murderous extremists of the Islamic State, whose acts of unspeakable violence and brutality have claimed victims from the Middle East to Paris;
WHEREAS, in recent months, our country has experienced a marked rise in anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant fervor, with the leading candidate for President of a major political party referring to Mexican immigrants as “rapists,” calling for surveillance of mosques, and most recently proposing to bar all Muslims from entry into our country, a proposal which has been
widely condemned by leading figures across the political spectrum;
WHEREAS, people and nations of good will must stand together to resolutely oppose religious extremism and violence in all of its forms while redoubling our efforts to protect the safety and security of individuals and communities in the face of ongoing threats from ISIS and other terror groups;
WHEREAS, the overwhelming majority of Muslims, like Christians, Jews, Hindus, and people of all other faiths and spiritual traditions, are peace loving people who share the same aspirations as all people for a good life for themselves, a bright future for their children, and a just and prosperous world;
WHEREAS. our nation was founded on the principle of respect for religious freedom, and we have throughout our history welcomed immigrants and refugees from around the world, whose contributions have strengthened our communities and powered our economy; and
WHEREAS, SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, descended from the original 1199 and SEIU worker organizations founded by immigrant workers whose families came to this country for freedom and opportunity, is dedicated in our By-Laws “to maintain, preserve and extend the democratic processes and institutions of our country” and “to eliminate all forms of discrimination and
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania:
- Joins hands with the entire SEIU family in mourning our lost sisters and brothers in San Bernadino by recalling their lives of service and encouraging donations to the SEIU Local 721 Member and Family Support Fund.
- Applauds the Islamic Networks Group (ING), the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California, Muslims Establishing Communities in America – Southern California (MECASoCal) and more than 1,000 donors from across the country for coming together as Muslims United for San Bernadino and raising over $100,000 to aid the families of shooting victims.
- Strongly reaffirms our nation’s core values of fully respecting the civil rights of all Americans, including Muslim Americans, and of welcoming refugees fleeing oppression and violence abroad.
- Condemns the unprecedented proposal to impose a religious test for entry into our country, as well as anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant rhetoric and policy proposals regardless of the candidate, elected official, or political party from which they emanate.
- Commits to renewed advocacy for sensible gun safety legislation and regulation at every level of government, including comprehensive background checks, and re-establishing funding for Center for Disease Control (CDC) research on gun violence.
- Rededicates our union to educating, organizing, and mobilizing working people to stand up to all forms of racism, bigotry, and xenophobia, and to leading the way to a more just, peaceful, and humane society for all.