Conversations center on rising prices, lack of affordable home care and attacks on fundamental rights
WASHINGTON – Hundreds of SEIU members are mobilizing in key battlegrounds to talk to voters about what’s motivating them this election year, including greedy corporations raising prices across the board, the lack of access to affordable home care, and extremists’ attempts to roll back workers’ rights, women’s rights, immigrant rights and voting rights. The worker-led canvassing efforts are focused on reaching out to more than 4 million new or infrequent voters of color as well as targeting persuadable white voters in a dozen states: Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin. Last fall, SEIU members knocked on the doors of nearly 1 million voters.
The mobilization effort reflects a surge in worker power across the economy as Amazon warehouse workers, Starbucks baristas, airport contract workers and nurses fight for the right to form unions and build a better future. As we continue to reckon with the impact of the pandemic on working families across the country, corporations are making record profits, raising prices, and holding down wages, even as they find millions to spend on anti-union campaigns. Working people want Washington to hold corporations accountable and are turning their growing organizing power into political power. In 2020, Black and Latinx voters turned out in record numbers to call for an equitable economic recovery from the pandemic.
“It’s extremely important that we’re knocking on doors ahead of this November’s election to inform voters about issues that affect our entire country,” said Latonya Allen, a home care worker in Stockbridge, GA. “Home care affordability and making sure caregivers like me are respected, protected, and paid are the main reasons I’m turning out to vote and encouraging others to do the same. Here in Georgia, Black and brown women have shown up at the ballot box before, to deliver change. And we’re going to do it again. It’s time for elected leaders to show up and deliver for us.”
As the canvasses kicked off, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry spent the weekend in Washington, DC, at a Unions for All convening, where she joined more than 100 workers fighting to join together in unions across the service and care economy and spoke at a national Bans Off Our Bodies rally to support abortion rights.
“Working people’s demands to be respected, protected, and paid are about fundamentally rewriting the outdated, racist rules in this country that keep corporations and political extremists in power while our communities suffer,” Henry said. “Now we’re coming together across race, gender and zip code to mobilize voters and ensure that every worker can join a union and build a better future, every immigrant has a path to citizenship, every woman can make her own decisions about her healthcare and that every person’s vote counts. Along with the most pro-union president in history, we need a supermajority in both houses of Congress and in every state house to push back on Republican extremists who want to make sure workers are completely stripped of power on the job and at the ballot box.”