Crab Feed draws sold-out crowd

The 4th Annual Sacramento Central Labor Council Crab Feed packed in hundreds of labor supporters in late February, celebrating local successes for working families and bringing together the many friends of organized labor in the Sacramento region.

“The proceeds from the Crab Feed help to ensure that the Labor Council can continue to fight for working people, that unions have a seat at every table, that every job is a good job and that we can continue to apply pressure to make sure we hold every elected official accountable to those priorities,” said Fabrizio Sasso, executive director of the CLC. “There is a lot happening for working families on the national front, but we have to also focus on what is happening here in Sacramento and make sure we remain united in fighting for our common goals including fair working conditions, health care and equal opportunities for our children to be educated so they can build better futures.”

More than 250 people turned out for the sold-out Saturday-night event held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 67 on Stockton Blvd. The dinner and raffle raised more than $20,000, money that will be used to support Labor Council programs in the coming year.

“I love this event because it really shows the strong community of Labor and its supporters in Sacramento,” said Greg Larkins, United Way’s Labor Liaison. “Coming together for a night of fun creates the camaraderie we need to remain united in our fights for working families.”

Teresa Villasenor, the Labor Council’s office manager, organized the event.

“This is such an important night for Sacramento Labor not only because it brings us all together in one room, but it allows us to raise the money we need to further our collective goals,” she said. Villasenor said some of the money would be used to fund the candidates’ academy, which trains union members to become community leaders or run for local office.

The title sponsor for this year’s Crab Feed was Stationary Engineers Local 39, which contributed $5,000 dollars. Other key contributors included the California Federation of Teachers, Los Rios AFT 2278, SEIU UHW, the California Nurses Association, SEIU Local 1021, Firefighters Local 522 and IUPAT 487.

“Dungeness” sponsors contributing $750 included ATU 256, AFSCME Local 146, IBEW Local 340, Sheet Metal Workers Local 104, SCTA and CWA District 9 Council.

The event also drew local elected officials including Assemblymember Ken Cooley and representatives from the offices of Senator Richard Pan and Assemblymember Jim Cooper.

Those who attended went through 900 pounds of crab from Mahoney’s Seafood, and platters of pasta from Español Italian Restaurant.

Volunteer servers led by the Labor Council’s Tamie Dramer wound through the packed room delivering platters.

Dramer said that while the night was a lot of work for the small staff of the Central Labor Council, it was vital to its success.

“We have an ambitious agenda this year,” she said. “The hard work we put in tonight to raise money is going to pay off in coming months when we push to protect working family values and get ready for the next cycle of elections.”

The volunteer waitstaff included members of the Placer County Democrats, Sheet Metal Workers 104, American Postal Workers Union, IBEW 1245, IATSE B66, Operating Engineers 3, CSEA 127 and members of the Villasenor family.

The top prize in the raffle, a 50-inch Vizio Smart TV, was donated by the Arns Law Firm, which represents Iron Workers Local 118. Khalid “Slim” Saleem, an executive board member of IBEW Local 340, won that prize.

Other prizes included hotel spa packages, fine art photography and Kings tickets.

“I’m so proud to see this room packed tonight in support of everything we do,” said Sasso. “It’s truly the family of Labor.”

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