Archive for the ‘PSARA Actions’ Category

2014 Membership Drive

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

By Susan Levy, PSARA Outeach Vice President 

PSARA is excited to announce that we have 49 new members as of the end of Jan 2014. This is the largest increase in membership in one month in a long, long time. Currently, PSARA has over 1,200 members and with each additional member we become stronger advocates for all of our issues.

Welcome new members. Welcome to all of you who have renewed your membership this year. And thanks to all of you who asked a friend to join or gave a gift membership subscription to a friend or family member. Thanks also to the PSARA executive board members who each committed to bringing in five new members by the end of 2014. Some have alrewady achieved the goal.

So , what’s next? Your executive board members will continue to recruit new members. And we hope each of you will also try to recruit (or gift) at least one new member in March. Remember a gift membership ($15.00 a year) will give the recipient 12 issues of our wonderful newsletter. You know the value of this source of information – a newsletter of important, up to date information on issues that matter to all of us.

There is a membership form below that you can use.

And remember there is a small prize for one of our members who recruits (or gifts) at least five new members. Everyone who recruits five or more new members will be entered into a drawing for a $25.00 gift certificate. So please let us know the name and number of people you have recruited or gift memberships you have given.

PSARA Statement on the Cherry Point Coal Terminal

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

On Thursday, January 17, the PSARA Executive Board voted to oppose the proposed Cherry Point deep water coal terminal. We sent the following statement to the Army Corps of Engineers:

The Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action voted to indicate our opposition to the construction of a deep water coal terminal at the Bellingham Cherry Point location. As a multi generational organization with a large proportion of seniors, we believe that the issue of climate change is the transcendent issue of this time in history. As one of our members said, “we are cooking the planet with the use of fossil fuels.” We have a legacy and obligation to do all that we can to diminish the use of fossil fuels which is destroying air quality and negatively impacting the health and well being of all living things. In addition, the increase in train traffic will have a deleterious impact on the movement of people in the Puget Sound region.

We call on the Army Corp of Enginners to consider and include in your EIS the overall crisis our planet is facing and the negative impact the use of fossil fuels like coal are having on present and future life on the planet. If the Army Corp of Engineers is charged with making a recommendation through the EIS process, we urge you to recommend that the plans to build the deep water coal terminal not be approved.

Get Ready for Senior Lobby Day

Monday, January 14th, 2013

By Tom Lux & Chuck Richards, co-chairs, Government Relations Committee

Senior Lobby Day is one of our best opportunities to discuss PSARA’s issues with our legislators in Olympia. We had a great turnout last session and had great discussions with many legislators. We hope to have even more of our members participate in the 2013 Senior Lobby Day and we are asking again for volunteers to drive carpools so we can all enjoy the ride, the company and the conversation.

Senior Lobby Day will be Thursday, February 21st. Registration is at 8:00 AM and the program begins at 9:00 AM at United Churches, 110 11th Ave. SE, Olympia WA.

We are asking you to participate, and we are asking for volunteers to drive carpools, and also to lead delegations. If you are interested in helping to lead the conversation with your legislators, to drive or just to participate in Senior Lobby Day please contact: govrelations@psara.org or call the PSARA office, (206) 448-9646.

Walmart encounters worker activism

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

By Elena Perez, Coordinator, Making Change at Walmart, Puget Sound Coalition & a PSARA member

Walmart intended 2012 to be an epic celebration of its 50th anniversary. It ended up as a year of indictment, with scandals and strikes highlighting five decades of Walmart running roughshod over workers’ rights and community laws and standards.

Several hard-fought years of organizing, education and mobilization led to this year’s historic successes. However, the achievements of 2012 must be seen as part of a long-term movement to fundamentally change the way the world’s largest employer does business. Clearly not an easy task, but one of great importance to the future of the American economy.

Less than two years ago, in 2010, the Making Change at Walmart, Puget Sound coalition was founded, along with a local chapter of the new independent workers’ association called OUR Walmart–Organization United for Respect at Walmart. Our coalition has now grown to over two dozen local organizations, including PSARA, and we are determined to challenge Walmart’s expansion in Puget Sound and support local workers’ demands for respect and a voice in their workplace.

Some of this year’s achievements of the Puget Sound coalition:

  • We stopped Seattle from adopting lower environmental standards that would have eased Walmart’s entry into city neighborhoods.
  • We stopped a King County process aimed at creating a new I-90 retail zone that would have set a precedent for runaway suburban big box development and opened the door to Walmart.
  • We kept a Walmart out of the South King County neighborhood of Skyway.
  • We put a spotlight on Promenade 23’s developer, Weingarten Realty, for considering replacing a locally-owned union grocer with Walmart.
  • We mobilized hundreds of allies to support local Walmart workers as they took action throughout the year.

OUR Walmart – Puget Sound had a momentous year, including:

  • Well-established, active membership at 25% of local stores in over 5 counties…and growing!
  • Relentless activism that has overturned unfair discipline and scheduling, addressed serious safety hazards, and spread their message to other workers that they, too, can have a voice at work through OUR Walmart.
  • Participating in local and national events to challenge Walmart, including: U.N. Responsible Investment meeting in Brazil; Walmart shareholders meeting in Bentonville; TPP Protest in Blaine; WSLC annual conference; and more.
  • For the first time in its history, Walmart faced national Black Friday strikes. Local workers engaged in multiple strikes, with every worker returning to work without incident.

Walmart workers still fear retaliation, but this year has demonstrated they can work through fear, act, and emerge stronger. The coalition has grown in number and breadth of leadership. We are better prepared to challenge Walmart’s expansion attempts in our region– especially its new small-footprint tool for penetrating urban centers, the “Neighborhood Market.”

Another notable development is Making Change at Walmart going global. Ongoing investigations of alleged bribery and corruption by Walmart in five different countries, and its role in opposing attempts in Bangladesh to improve fire safety in garment factories highlight the need for us to work together with unions and workers around the world. In October, we launched the UNI Global Union Walmart Alliance, an international network of Walmart workers pledging solidarity to change Walmart.

PSARA Actions – Mayor & City Council

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

PSARA meets with Mayor McGinn

Members of PSARA meet with Seattle mayor Mike McGinn

Photo by PSARA member Garet Munger

Seattle City Council supports Caring Across Generations campaign

Seattle City Council supports Caring Across Generations campaign

Photo via Flickr user seiuhealthcare775nw

More than 100 supporters, including a number of PSARA members, gathered in the Seattle City hall after the Seattle City Council passed unanimously the resolution in support of the Caring Across Generations (CAG) campaign. The passage of the resolution means that the city of Seattle will lobby at the state and federal level for policies and legislation that will implement the five point program of the CAG campaign and will encourage other political jurisdictions to adopt the same position.

PSARA meets with Mayor McGinn

Friday, July 6th, 2012
Members of PSARA meet with Seattle mayor Mike McGinn

Photo by PSARA member Garet Munger

Seattle City Council supports Caring Across Generations campaign

Friday, July 6th, 2012
Seattle City Council supports Caring Across Generations campaign

Photo via Flickr user seiuhealthcare775nw

More than 100 supporters, including a number of PSARA members, gathered in the Seattle City hall after the Seattle City Council passed unanimously the resolution in support of the Caring Across Generations (CAG) campaign. The passage of the resolution means that the city of Seattle will lobby at the state and federal level for policies and legislation that will implement the five point program of the CAG campaign and will encourage other political jurisdictions to adopt the same position.

PSARA at Pride Parade 2012

Friday, July 6th, 2012
Pride Parade Seattle 2012 Puget Sound Advocate for Retirement Action

Photo by PSARA member Garet Munger

PSARA members stand up for working Moms and all workers at Macy’s

Monday, June 25th, 2012
PSARA members stand up for Macy's workers May 2012

Photo by PSARA member Garet Munger

PSARA members stand up for working Moms and all workers at Macy’s (Tuesday May 8, 2012). UFCW 21 is in negotiations with this very successful retailer and is working to achieve wages and working conditions that will support families as macy workers struggle to balance work with family responsibilities.

May Day march for Immigrant and Worker Rights

Monday, June 25th, 2012
PSARA members march through downtown Seattle for Immigrant and Worker rights.

Photo by PSARA member Garet Munger

Carrying the PSARA banner on the May Day march, we got to speak with many people as we walked from Judkins field in the central area of Seattle through the streets of downtown Seattle.

PSARA members waiting to begin the May Day march 2012.

Photo by PSARA member Garet Munger

PSARA members waiting in the rain for the march for Immigrant and Worker Rights to begin on May Day 2012.