Hundreds of members of the Service Employees International Union are taking off from their jobs to join the fight to pass President Obama’s $3.55 trillion budget, a union official said on Wednesday.
“SEIU intends to bring the full force of the union and its 2.1 million members to bear,” Khalid Pitts, director of political accountability at the SEIU said on a conference call. “Right now, we have hundreds of our workers, who have taken leave from their jobs in 18 crucial states to moving this budget.”
Pitts said that the members will be going door-to-door to convince their neighbors to support the budget as well as organizing house parties and other events. The hope is that the hundreds will turn into thousands as members of Congress arrive in their districts during Easter recess.
The comments came on a call to announce a coalition of progressive groups that are joining forces to battle for the passage of the budget. Their argument is that this is the kind of bold change Americans voted for last November when they elected President Obama.
Bertha Lewis, CEO and chief organizer of ACORN said the group was “excited” to play a role in the effort.
“ACORN is gearing up to get it on,” she said.
Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change, said that the coalition would spend roughly $5 million to $7 million on the effort, which will include 1,500-1,800 events nationwide as well as television and radio ads.
Among the other groups represented in the call were the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, USAction, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Women’s Law Center, and Environment America.