SEIU endorses Hillary Clinton for president

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Nov. 17, 2015

Contact: Izabela Miltko miltkoi@seiu1.org 708-655-9681

SEIU endorses Hillary Clinton for president

SEIU Illinois State Council members: Clinton supports our movement to build a better future for working families

 VIDEO: Watch SEIU members speak about why they support Hillary Clinton

CHICAGO, IL—After members conducted a rigorous endorsement process for the past several months, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) today endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, calling her a leader who will stand up for the working moms and dads building a movement to secure a better future for their families.

“When people are united, America is strong, and Hillary understands that,” said SEIU Local 1 janitor Sherri Jordan. “Hillary grew up in the middle class right here in Illinois, so she’ll fight hard for working people like me. I’m voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016 because I know she has my back.”

“The members of the SEIU Illinois State Council look forward to working with Secretary Hillary Clinton to champion the needs of working families by restoring balance, reviving neighborhoods and building an economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthy few,” SEIU Illinois State Council President Tom Balanoff said.  “Clinton is a leader on issues that SEIU members care about and together we will continue to build a strong movement that will benefit the hardest workers of our country.”

“As a mother of three, I was impressed with the way Mrs. Clinton related to other working mothers and the fact that she is committed to raising the issue of safe and affordable child care to a national platform,” said Lakesia Collins, a nursing home worker who attended a Chicago roundtable discussion on affordable childcare with Clinton in May. “I’m supporting Hillary for President because she shows genuine concern for the real life experiences and challenges that I have to navigate.”

“We applaud Secretary Clinton’s commitment to expanding childcare and home healthcare with organizing rights for workers, raising wages for low-wage workers and implementing common sense immigration reform,” SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana President Keith Kelleher said. “Our members will continue to build the movement and work with Secretary Clinton as she seeks to address these and other issues important to working families. We need a leader in Washington who makes these concerns a priority in our country.”

SEIU’s national months-long member engagement process included a 1,200-member conference in March, three national tele-town hall meetings in which more than 80,000 members participated, three national member polls from the fall of 2014 through the fall of 2015 and more than 200 local executive board debates and discussions with thousands of local union officers and elected member-leaders.

Hillary Clinton will fight to raise wages and has stood up for the rights of workers to join together in a union.  She has spoken out in support of the Fight for $15 movement: on the movement’s April 15 national day of action, during the New York wage board fight that resulted in $15 for all fast food workers in the state, for the $15 victories in Los Angeles city and county and again just last week, on Nov. 10, during the biggest day of action yet.

“As cleaners, we roll up our sleeves every day and get the job done without complaint. When Hillary Clinton is president, she will do the same. She will fight tirelessly for working families. I like that she is not running to prove a point, she is running to make our country better,” said Pam Johnston, a cleaner, member of 32BJ SEIU in Pittsburgh and executive board member.

Once elected, Hillary Clinton will have the opportunity to address the epidemic of low wages and poor training standards for our nation’s airport workers, who keep travelers safe and airports clean. “Airport jobs should be good jobs — and together, we can make sure they are,” she wrote to airport workers gathered at a national convention last month in Washington.

Clinton has recognized the value of care work in our nation, particularly the home care providers and child care teachers who help educate our future generations and allow our seniors and those with disabilities to live with dignity at home. In many places, these workers earn poverty wages with no sick or vacation time and few if any benefits. “One of the things I’m trying to do in this campaign is put raising wages at the center,” Clinton said at an August roundtable meeting in Los Angeles with SEIU home care providers. “I think your skills deserve a lot more pay and benefits than what’s currently being made available to you.”

“Hillary Clinton understands that child care teachers need living wages and that the care has to be affordable for people,” said Marites McLean, a child care provider and member of SEIU Local 509 in Massachusetts. “She gets it and she’s going to do something about it.”

Clinton is also a leader on the core issues SEIU members care about in this election, including fighting for commonsense immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship, standing up for voting rights and criminal justice reform that prioritizes ending mass incarceration and supporting and strengthening the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Clinton’s commitment to quality, affordable healthcare goes back decades to her courageous efforts in 1994 to ensure coverage for all. SEIU members know she will fight hard to strengthen the ACA so we never go backward.

“Hillary Clinton has proven she will fight, deliver and win for working families,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. “SEIU members and working families across America are part of a growing movement to build a better future for their families, and Hillary Clinton will support and stand with them. This movement for economic, racial, immigrant and social justice is poised to turn out to vote in November with their families and communities and keep pushing elected officials to deliver once in office.”

SEIU’s 2 million members will join hands with community partners in a broad movement for economic, social, immigrant and racial justice. Along with the64 million people who work at jobs paying poverty-level wages, they will be a powerful force during the 2016 elections. Hundreds of thousands of face-to-face and door-to-door contacts, millions of phone calls, robust digital engagement and other activities to get out the vote will counteract the efforts of billionaires and corporations to elect leaders who would answer only to the wealthy few.

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The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) unites 2 million diverse members in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. SEIU members working in the healthcare industry, in the public sector and in property services believe in the power of joining together on the job to win higher wages and benefits and to create better communities while fighting for a more just society and an economy that works for all of us, not just corporations and the wealthy.

www.seiu.org

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