FRESNO, California (KGPE) – People hit the streets in downtown Fresno to rise up against racism and injustice in a car rally caravan protest called “Commit to Equity” to protest state budget cuts and demand state leaders tax the privileged.
“We’re hoping that this caravan, today, will spotlight the issue and that the community will put pressure on our state government to understand that and we know what happened last time when there was cuts, people lost homes, businesses closed and did not reopen,” said Riley Talford, the President of SEIU Local 521, Fresno County Chapter.
Members of SEIU, the Services Employees International Union, alongside frontline workers, teachers, and other community advocates came together to protest state budget cuts and change in communities of color and vulnerable people.
“…black lives, brown lives, they’re marginalized and they’re lost anytime there’s cuts,” said Talford.
Additionally, the protest calls to preserve and improve schools, healthcare, and other community services by taxing the privileged. Regional vice president of SEIU, Martha Valladarez, speaks out for local caregivers.
“Here in Fresno, we have 16,000 care providers and it seems like we always have to fight for them not to cut our wages.”
The Commit to Equity campaign is also rallying in Sacramento, San Francisco, San Diego and Los Angeles. The vice president of the job specialist chapter at SEIU, Brenda Delsid, says the organization is working hard to fight for job security.
“Not having job cuts is very important especially during this time throughout this pandemic, I felt like that is important that we let the governor know and the people in the important offices know that every job matters.”
Her daughter, 10-year-old Gabriela, who tagged along for the event agrees.
“I’m grateful for her and she’s really nice to me and she’s a nice worker.”
Vehicles drove through downtown fresno covered with colorful protest signs, making noise, calling for change.
“So, we’re gonna make sure that we’re around and we’re gonna stick around,” said Valladarez.
More than 50 cars came through the caravan today in support of the campaign.