Sara Lonardo,, 202-730-7332

Issued November 06, 2019

Service Employees International Union largest-ever VA legislative investment propels Democratic majority

SEIU members criss-crossed the state to elect pro-worker candidates who push for $15/hour minimum wage and Unions for All Virginians

WASHINGTON, DC - Service Employees International Union members made their largest-ever off-year investment in Virginia legislative and local elections, committing over $1 million to ensuring pro-worker candidates will help lead the new Democratic majority. Hundreds of SEIU members spread out over ethnically diverse areas, from Fairfax to Richmond to Hampton Roads, including Senate Districts 10 (Hashmi) and 13 (Bell), which were critical to flipping control to Democrats.  

SEIU locals VA512, 32BJ and 1199 concentrated their efforts in Northern Virginia, Hampton Roads and Richmond, and knocked on nearly 20,000 doors in order to have face-to-face conversations with voters. SEIU also led an extensive digital campaign, connecting with over 400,000 unique voters, particularly in House Districts 85 and 50. 

“We can make a difference when we come together,” said Thomasine Wilson, a home care worker and VA512 member. “I’ve been excited to join with my brothers and sisters from across the commonwealth to knock doors for candidates who will support a $15 an hour minimum wage. Now we’re going to keep making our voices heard to ensure the General Assembly supports all working people.”

“I couldn’t be more proud of our members who made this historic victory possible for working people in Virginia,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry, who canvassed neighborhoods in Loudoun County in the days leading up to the election.  “And I know they won’t rest until the new General Assembly and Governor Northam pass a $15 an hour minimum wage bill in the Commonwealth, as well as legislation to make it easier for all Virginians to fight back against corporate CEOs by forming a union.”

In addition to their army of canvassers and volunteers throughout the state, SEIU collaborated with partner organizations including New Virginia Majority, CASA in Action, ACE Collaborative and the NAACP.  

Across the country, hundreds more SEIU members got out the vote in states like Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania and Texas.

SEIU’s two million members will now shift their focus to the 2020 national elections, where they will pull out all the stops to defeat President Trump and win a Democratic majority in the US Senate in order to ensure Unions for All for all working people.  


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.