Aparna Kumar,

Issued November 09, 2022

SEIU’s Henry: Working people, communities of color made all the difference in defying expectations in this election

WASHINGTON, DC – Service Employees International Union (SEIU) President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement after early midterm elections results showed Democrats won key Congressional and state races:

“Working people and voters of color turned out and made the difference in defying expectations in this midterm election, overcoming historic odds to elect pro-worker leaders in key local, state and federal races. Even as the final balance in the House and Senate remains too close to call, workers’ votes represent a collective demand that can’t be ignored.

“SEIU members and our allies made significant contributions to these victories, reaching more than 5 million voters during this election cycle, especially Black, Latinx, Asian American Pacific Islander and Indigenous voters. We focused our biggest midterm field program in our union’s history on these voters, making a nine-figure investment. After being contacted by SEIU members and volunteers, infrequent voters of color cast their ballots in early voting at a rate more than 3.3 percent higher, and we continued to see their impact at the polls as the night wore on.”

“Newly registered voters and those who voted for the first time in 2018 and 2020 expressed their anger about corporations jacking up prices and holding down wages while making record profits, paying little-to-no taxes and union busting. Together, they sent a clear message to newly elected leaders and incumbents of both parties. If these leaders want to keep their jobs, it is time to stand with workers demanding a voice through a union with the biggest corporations like McDonald’s and Starbucks. And they must act to lower the cost of basic goods that families rely on, raise the minimum wage and protect our freedom to vote, live in communities safe from gun violence and make our own choices about whether to have children.”

“The results so far are a rejection of disgusting race-baiting ads that played on fears about public safety and immigration. Working people and infrequent voters of color turned out and made their voices heard despite efforts to use race to divide us, voter suppression, gerrymandering, and attacks on our democracy.

“SEIU members and our allies know that our work doesn’t stop on Election Day. Where election results are still outstanding, we must be patient for every vote to be counted. And whatever the outcome, we will continue to mobilize to hold elected leaders accountable for making our economy work for all of us, not just corporations and the very wealthy.”