A member of the Service Employees International Union’s largest California chapter, who is now the group’s president-elect, said Wednesday that when sworn in, he will not support California Gov. Gavin Newsom – and that he plans to cut dues by 50%, in part by ending all political expenditures.
Richard Louis Brown, who said he was not speaking on behalf of SEIU Local 1000, told “The Story” that allocating union members’ payments to Black Lives Matter, open-borders pro-illegal immigration groups and “Fight for $15” endeavors is not the role of a union.
Newsom won the election in 2018 with union support, then in Brown’s view turned on organized labor to help close the projected budget gap by demanding the equivalent of two days’ wages or furloughs each month during the pandemic when “people were hurting” and living paycheck to paycheck.
“That’s why I said we’re going to run his ass out of office,” Brown said earlier this week.
“After I am sworn in, and I assume office as the Local 1000 president, I can officially tell you that… we will not support Gavin Newsom in this recall effort. You can hold me accountable for that,” he said.
“Again, I’m not the president of Local 1000 at the moment. I’m speaking as an American, as a taxpayer, and as a public servant in the state of California and I am represented by Local 1000.”
Brown said he understands the derision that unions are sometimes viewed with by various political sects, noting that half of his union are “nonmembers” who are in his projection “Republicans, Libertarians or Greens.”
“They will not support the issues of the Democratic Party. It’s dividing our union,” he said.
If sworn in, Brown however will not be the statewide SEIU leader, just the head of the 1000 local, as MacCallum noted.
Newsom, 53, still enjoys strong support from other chapters of the SEIU and the powerful teachers’ unions.
Brown, a U.S. Air Force veteran, currently works in the California State Treasurer’s office in Sacramento, according to his website.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.