By Sheri Williams
In an annual tradition that grows each year, union members and their supporters gathered in January for the annual Sacramento Central Labor Council Crab Feed.
The event raised $20,000 to fund labor programs throughout the coming year, and drew hundreds of guests.
“This is one of our most relaxed, fun events of the year,” said Sacramento Central Labor Council executive director Fabrizio Sasso. “It’s a great chance for us all to gather as friends and family, but it’s also a vital night to help us fund the work we do to protect our members and our communities for the rest of the year.”
More than 300 people turned out for the sold-out Friday-night event held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 67 on Stockton Blvd.
Money from the dinner and raffle will be used to support Labor Council programs and events in 2018.
Teresa Villasenor of the Labor Council 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.
“Snow Crab” sponsors contributing $1500 included the California Federation of Teachers, Los Rios AFT 2278, SEIU UHW, Sheet Metal Local 104, SEIU Local 1000, Firefighters Local 522 and IBEW Local 340, and CWA District Council 9.
“Dungeness” sponsors contributing $750 included the California Nurses Association, SEIU Local 1021, AFSCME Local 146, and AFGE District 12, IUPAT Local 767, and Cement Masons Local 400.
The event also drew local elected officials including Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Assemblymembers Ken Cooley and Jim Cooper, Sacramento County Supervisor Phil Serna and Sacramento City Councilman Eric Guerra.
Volunteer servers led by the Labor Council’s Tamie Dramer wound through the packed room delivering plates of crab and pasta.
Dramer talked about the importance of the Crab Feed fundraiser to the success of the CLC while also pointing out how it’s a fun way to bring everyone together as a busy national and gubernatorial election cycle begins.
“We have so many important issues on our agenda this year, especially in light of national politics,” she said. “We have elections and so many attacks on working families that the solidarity we experience at events like these carries us through to fight like hell for our members in the year ahead.”
The volunteer wait staff included the campaign staff for Regina Bateson for Congress, members of the Placer County Democrats, Sheet Metal Workers 104, American Postal Workers Union, IATSE B66, AFSCME UDW and members of the Villasenor family.
Long-time Labor friend Linda Lacroix also contributed many hours to the success of the event, while Ashen Co. donated the use of the sound system.
The top prize in the raffle, a 55-inch Smart TV, was donated by the Arns Law Firm, which represents Iron Workers Local 118.
Eve Dickson from SEIU 1000 won that 55-inch flat screen TV.
Other prizes included hotel spa packages, a variety of custom gift baskets and Kings tickets.