“It’s good to know I’m not alone,” said one attendee at the conclusion of a listening session for conservative SEA/SEIU Local 1984 members. Most echoed the same sentiment at the first-ever listening session for conservative members where SEA staff facilitated group discussion and activities designed to generate conversation around political topics and personal experiences.
The premise of the listening session was centered on a “you talk, we listen” approach where about a dozen conservative members shared their thoughts on topics from raising the minimum wage (most were not in favor of such a proposal) to whether corporations and the wealthy pay enough in taxes. For example, the latter topic resulted in a range of opinions that included remarks favoring a flat tax with many voicing a desire to reduce their tax burden. As one participant summed it up, “When Warren Buffet comes out says he pays less in taxes than his secretary, you know something’s not right.”
The listening session series is part of a larger outreach initiative to conservative union members with more planned in the coming months and regular conservative member committee meetings held on the fourth Wednesday of every month. “Meaningful political discussion is an important way of exercising our freedom of expression,” said SEA conservative member coordinator Mason Petit. “The group is open to all who wish to engage in that process.”
The next committee meeting is July 24 at 5 p.m. at the SEA office.