(November 15, 2021, Philadelphia) — My name is Cyrell Green, and I am so proud I was able to speak on behalf of our Union, SEIU Healthcare PA, to endorse Attorney General Josh Shapiro for Governor!
I have worked as a laundry aide for 15 years at Saunders House nursing home in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.
As an essential worker I know firsthand how important it is to have a Governor who supports safe staffing standards and who will hold nursing home bosses accountable to support all caregivers and our residents who count on us.
Josh Shapiro shares our values and priorities. That’s why our Union is so excited to work hard to support his campaign and to mobilize working families all across Pennsylvania to carry us to victory.
It was such an honor to stand on the stage with Josh Shapiro in downtown Philadelphia, with City Hall as a powerful backdrop, along with our HCPA President Matt Yarnell and so many other SEIU member leaders to talk about why this election in November 2022 is so critically important.
I finished my internship this fall as an MPO (Member Political Organizer) to engage our fellow SEIU members to join COPE, our Union’s political fundraising arm. Our COPE fund is how we support pro-union candidates who will advance our working families agenda. Serving as a member organizer gave me the inspiration to get more involved in my Union and allowed me the opportunity to speak at today’s rally with Attorney General Shapiro, which was an amazing experience.
Was I a little nervous? You bet!
But based on all the cheers and applause during and after my speech – and a big high five from Attorney General Shapiro himself! – I could feel that I connected with my fellow caregivers and the values we all share.
Bottom line, Josh Shapiro is committed to expanding Union rights in Pennsylvania, solving our short-staffing crisis, and willing to stand up to powerful special interests like the nursing home industry and the multi-billion dollar University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) and their anti-union agenda.
I’m sharing my endorsement speech below, which I hope you read.
I truly appreciate all the love and positive feedback I have received from my speech. And I celebrate my Union today because we are ALL creating a better future together centered on economic justice, realizing a vision that empowers all working families, and shaping a bold pro-union agenda that allows everyone to thrive in our communities.
Cyrell Green Endorsement Speech for Josh Shapiro
Good afternoon Philadelphia!
Good afternoon my fellow SEIU sisters and brothers!
My name is Cyrell Green, and I’d like to tell you a “little bit” of what I do. I work as a laundry-aide at Saunders Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.
I’ve worked at my nursing home for 15 years and am a proud member of SEIU Healthcare PA!
I’m here today because we do know that who we choose as the next Governor of Pennsylvania will determine our future. (Right!)
That’s why I am proud to endorse Attorney General Josh Shapiro today for Governor!
Like so many of us essential caregivers, I’m constantly working short-staffed.
You know, I used to have an assistant who helped with my workload – but for the last 7 years I handle all of the personal laundry and making sure billing is done at my facility.
Our facility has transferred ownership multiple times with the goal of cutting costs and putting profits over quality care for our residents.
Right now, contractors oversee our E.V.S department with one major goal: save the company money.
How do they do that?
They use cheaper linens, lower quality materials, and force workers to work short-staffed.
Being a nursing home worker used to be one of the hardest job. But because of COVID it became one of the most dangerous jobs.
In the height of the pandemic, I witnessed an entire floor of our residents and caregivers get taken out from illness or losing their lives.
The trauma and losses were so awful for us during COVID that counselors were brought in to console us.
I was one of the first to talk to one.
In the worst moments of the crisis, we had to make our own masks and cobble together plastic bags to use for PPE — because we didn’t have any!
Even after all that our dedicated nursing home workers are still paid poverty wages and the industry still disrespects us.
These are the struggles we face every single day.
Attorney General Shapiro shares our SEIU core values and principles – which is why we must have his back in this election.
Josh Shapiro knows that we need to expand and strengthen Unions in Pennsylvania to give every worker a real voice at our jobs.
Josh Shapiro honors and respects all caregivers and the life-saving work we do.
That’s why he will fight to improve safe staffing at all hospitals and nursing homes and make sure more resources go directly to better bedside care.
He supports a $15 starting wage and believes essential workers deserve fair and living wages.
As Attorney General, Josh Shapiro is an advocate, a man of integrity, and a true public servant.
Josh Shapiro will hold powerful institutions, special interests, and healthcare monopolies – like UPMC and nursing home bosses that break the law – accountable!
We know the stakes of this election — and we know what we have to do.
We have to go out and register more voters and drive record turnout on election day.
And how will we do that?
We’re going to volunteer, knock on doors and burn up the phone lines!
We’re going to raise our voices to make sure we secure victory on Election Day in 2022!
Our SEIU members are ready and willing to mobilize our communities like never before to make Josh Shapiro Governor because we know he will be our champion for all working families!