Mayor Kenney to greet citizen lobbyists as corporate soda industry lobbying intensifies
PHILADELPHIA-Members of 32BJ SEIU, part of the growing Philadelphians for a Fair Future coalition, Thursday will lobby City Council to support the Mayor’s budget proposals, including a soda tax to fund pre-k, community schools and 10,000 green jobs. Mayor Kenney will greet the citizen lobbyists at 1:45pm in the Mayor’s office.
The lobby visit comes just days after a busload of 32BJ SEIU members visited Harrisburg to lobby for fair education funding. Philadelphia School District cleaners, bus drivers, bus aides, maintenance mechanics, building engineers and more, have long been part of the fight for Philadelphia public school funding.
“We have fought tooth-and-nail for school funding at the state level but Republicans in Harrisburg refuse to tax the wealthy to pay for schools,” said Teddy Daniels, a janitor at the Spruance School. “It is clear that if we want pre-k and community schools, we will have to find a way to pay for them.”
“We have given back to our schools by putting in extra time, extra effort and money straight out of our paychecks,” added Daniels. “If janitors can give back, so can the soda industry.”
The blue collar school district workers, who are currently in contract negotiations, have given back close to $100 million in concessions to help keep schools open over the last four years.
With 165,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including 22,000 in Pennsylvania, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.