New Virginia Majority campaign coordinator Sofia Saiyed speaks during the Sept. 27 launch of the Loudoun People’s Platform, a coalition made up of six Loudoun organizations.
The New Virginia Majority on Wednesday launched the Loudoun People’s Platform, a coalition made up of six organizations, on the grounds in front of the Leesburg Government Building.
The coalition includes Service Employees International Union Virginia 512, the NAACP Loudoun branch, Northern Virginia Labor Federation AFL-CIO and Amalgamated Transit Union 689.
The organizations have come together to “build the power of working people and communities of color by advocating for workers’ rights, affordable housing, public education, racial justice and voting rights,” according to a press release.
New Virginia Majority campaign coordinator Sofia Saiyed said during Wednesday’s event that “Loudoun’s working families have struggled for far too long to make ends meet and make our voices hear in the wealthiest county in the nation. For this reason, we created the Loudoun People’s Platform as a bold new agenda to protect build the power of working people and communities of color.”
Loudoun Education Association President Sandy Sullivan said she was proud to be part of the coalition and that the joining of forces made them all stronger.
She said including teachers’ voices in decision-making was important and that to do that they needed to gain collective bargaining rights.
“Without justice there can never be peace,” President of ATU Local 689 Raymond Jackson said. “Without justice for the working class, the poor, the hungry, the homeless, there can never be a perfect union.”
New Virginia Majority Leader Ivin Castro said having access to housing is a human right but that many residents in the county can only dream about it while living in overcrowded conditions. She said she wants to see a county-run housing voucher program for families earning less than 40 percent of the area median income and open to everyone regardless of their immigration status or prior incarceration.
“We have done so much with so little for so long that we are now qualified to do anything with nothing,” SEIU Virginia 512 Chair Julius Reynolds. “For far too long that’s been the cry of each of the organizations that you see up here, but now we’ve joined together to say enough is enough.”