Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Gerry Hudson - Executive VP of the SEIU

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Gerald (Gerry) Hudson is an an executive vice president of Service Employees International Union (SEIU), since 2004. He heads the union’s Long Term Care Division, representing nearly 500,000 nursing home and home care workers nationwide. He came to SEIU in 1978 from the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, N.Y., where he was a member of SEIU Local 144. Hudson coordinated the merger of Local 144 into SEIU/1199 and was elected as executive vice president for the former-District 1199 in 1989.

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 Gerry Hudson was a New York delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983[1]

School for Social Change

Hudson founded the 1199 School for Social Change - a former alternative school in the Bronx and served as a trustee of the Local 1199 Training and Upgrading Fund, Home Care Workers Benefit Fund, and Michelson Education Fund.

Member of Democratic Socialists of America

Hudson is a member of Democratic Socialists of America and was formerly active in its predecessor Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee. On Jan. 22, 2009, he stated:[2]

I came to DSA (it was DSOC back then) in the 1970s as a young labor activist working in an 1199 nursing home. I joined DSA precisely because of Mike Harrington’s vision of a non-sectarian, majoritarian left, with the labor movement at its core. And I joined because, as Michael used to say, good is not the enemy of perfect. He believed–as I do–that incremental change is vital if we are ever going to achieve power for working people. As democratic socialists we don’t believe in the big bang of revolution, but rather in the gradual struggle that is sustained over generations and that has real impact on people’s daily lives.

Black Radical Congress

In March 1998 “Endorsers of the Call” to found a Black Radical Congress, the Communist-controlled organization, included Gerry Hudson, Executive Vice President, Local 1199 — National Health & Human Services Union, New York City[3].

Democratic Party activism

Gerry Hudson also has had an extensive career in Democratic Party politics.

Hudson led the presidential campaign of Jesse Jackson in New York and the successful New York City mayoral campaign of David Dinkins, he also served as deputy director of the Mario Cuomo for Governor campaign in 1994. While Cuomo himself was not re-elected governor, Hudson's leadership was instrumental in electing H. Carl McCall, the first African American controller in New York state.

In 1996, Hudson served as political director of the New York state Democratic Party[4].

Support for Barack Obama-opportunity to advance socialist agenda

Hudson sees the election of Barack Obama as a chance to advance the socialist vision of Democratic Socialists of America founder Michael Harrington. On Jan. 22, 2009, he stated:[2]

It’s tragic for so many reasons that Michael died too young; his voice and his wisdom are sorely needed. How he would marvel at the election of Barack Obama and the promise that this victory affords all of us on the democratic left! He is sorely missed. But were he alive, I would hope—and expect, that he and others who are informed by this vision of democratic socialism would join with us in SEIU as we seek to take advantage of a moment most of us have spent our lifetimes only dreaming of.

With our country poised for massive, progressive change, we finally have the chance to build a broad democratic left majority with labor at its core. But to do that, we have to be bold and creative, not stick to outmoded ideas, and we must challenge even some of our most fundamental ideas so that we can grow a labor movement that has shrunk precipitously in the last decades.

At SEIU, we have been deliberating in our union, in our locals, at our convention, among our elected bodies and with our allies, how to make certain that we don’t squander this moment...

We are, as Michael Harrington wrote so clairvoyantly more than forty years ago, a labor-oriented civil rights movement, not just a union. To that end, we look forward to others on the democratic left joining us in our struggle.

Apollo Alliance/environmental activism

Gerry Hudson serves on the board[5]of the Apollo Alliance.

As a long-time champion of environmental justice, Hudson has served on the board for Redefining Progress, the nation’s leading public policy think tank dedicated to developing innovative public policies that balance economic well-being, environmental preservation and social justice. He also participated in the first-ever U.S. labor delegation to the United Nations’ climate change meeting in Bali in 2007.

Center for the Study of Working Class Life

In 2009 Gerry Hudson, Executive Vice President of 1199/SEIU served on the Advisory board of the Center for the Study of Working Class Life[6].

Labor, the Left, and Progressives in the Obama Era

April 6, 2010 at the McShain Lounge in McCarthy Hall Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. a seminar "Labor, the Left, and Progressives in the Obama Era" was held.

After the success of health care reform, what’s next on labor’s agenda? How can the labor movement grow and engage with a progressive movement that speaks to the Obama era? What is the role of younger workers, workers of color, and women? Is there a new “New Deal” on the horizon?
During the panel, Hudson shared his thoughts on immigration, stating:
...On white workers, I think we got some real problems...I have heard some of the most anti-immigrant sentiments around...and this is where you get the black workers first, it's so f**king rabidly racist, til black people get scared...

Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed, Christopher Hayes, Washington editor of the Nation, Gerry Hudson, executive vice-president of the SEIU, Michael Kazin, co-editor of Dissent, Harold Meyerson, columnist for the Washington Post, and Liz Shuler, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO will speak.

Georgetown labor historian Joseph McCartin moderated.[7]

The event was sponsored by Dissent magazine.


1.↑ DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update

2.↑ 2.0 2.1 http://talkingunion.wordpress.com/2009/01/22/building-a-new-progressive-movement-with-labor-at-its-core/

3.↑ http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/45a/524.html

4.↑ http://www.gamaliel.org/AALC/2007/AALC07programFinal8.5x11.pdf

5.↑ http://apolloalliance.org/about/board/

6.↑ http://www.stonybrook.edu/workingclass/about/advisory.shtml

7.↑ http://talkingunion.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/labor-the-left-and-progressives-in-the-obama-era-april-6-in-dc/

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