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Local officials call for union support at Santa Rosa Labor Day breakfast


Sep 5, 2023

Political leaders spoke to a crowd of union workers and supporters about topics of concern ranging from benefits for striking workers to climate change and housing costs.

Close to 200 people, including several local elected officials, spent Labor Day morning enjoying a free pancake breakfast and showing solidarity for union workers at a fundraiser for the North Bay Labor Council in Santa Rosa.

An annual event, it was the first year it was a money raiser for the Santa Rosa-based labor council, which advocates for unions in Sonoma, Marin, Mendocino and Lake counties.

Political leaders including Reps. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, and Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, and state Sens. Mike McGuire, D-St. Helena, and Bill Dodd, D-Napa, spoke to the crowd of union workers and supporters about topics ranging from climate change to housing costs. They also updated attendees on the progress of proposals like Senate Bill 799, which would allow striking workers to get unemployment benefits.

Other officials on hand for the event included Rusty Hicks, party chair of the California Democratic Party, state Assemblymembers Jim Wood, D-Santa Rosa, Cecilia Aguiar-Curry, D-Winters, and Damon Connolly, D-San Rafael, Sonoma County Supervisors Susan Gorin and James Gore and several city council members from Santa Rosa, Rohnert Park, and elsewhere in the North Bay.

“It was about solidarity and how we can raise the level of working people,” North Bay Labor Council Political Director Maddy Hirshfield said of the event.

The organization raised more than it’s goal of $20,000 through sponsorships from businesses and organizations like the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, Clover Sonoma and Kaiser Permanente.

Money raised will go toward the council’s work to educate the public about and campaign for union-friendly political candidates and bills.

“It’s all about keeping people safe, treated with dignity and having enough money to keep a roof over their head and feed their families,” Hirshfield said of the council’s work.

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