Aparna Kumar,

Issued December 06, 2022

Working people, voters of color played a critical role in re-electing Sen. Warnock

SEIU and community partners helped produce record turnout to secure pro-worker U.S. Senate majority

ATLANTA, GA – Service Employees International Union (SEIU) members and not-yet-union workers across Georgia are celebrating tonight after helping secure a Democratic majority in the U.S. Senate for the second time in two years in an historic runoff election. In addition to congratulating Sen. Raphael Warnock on his victory, union members are reflecting on how their work running a robust field operation with community partners is changing the political landscape in the South.

“We all deserve an opportunity to earn a decent living and support our families. By re-electing Senator Warnock, Georgians have shown elected officials we will not be silent no matter how many anti-voter bills they pass,” said Debra Dawson, a forklift driver at a distribution warehouse and SEIU Workers United Southern Region member from Stone Mountain, GA. “I am so proud of my union and my community for fighting to make life better for all, paving the way for our children by getting out the vote in this important election. We’re going to continue to hold our elected leaders accountable and create a new Georgia that works for everyone no matter their race or zip code.”

Since the start of SEIU’s runoff program on November 15, over 100 members of Workers United Southern Region and SEIU Locals from across the country have knocked on 237,578 voters’ doors across the state of Georgia, with a focus on infrequent voters of color. They also made over 158,000 phone calls, and sent nearly 77,000 Election Day text messages. Along with a robust paid media program, SEIU reached over 400,000 unique voters both on and offline. These efforts were layered onto SEIU’s investments and partnerships with community organizations engaging in year-round civic and electoral participation in the Black, Latinx, and AAPI communities.

“Tonight, we did it one more time and re-elected Senator Warnock,'' said SEIU Workers United Southern Region Director Chris Baumann. “SEIU members and worker leaders in Georgia left it all on the field for the better candidate and the better man. Now we look forward to continuing to work with him to organize the South and build a better life for Georgia’s working families,”

“Thanks to continued organizing efforts throughout the state led primarily by women of color, we were able to send Reverend Warnock back to the U.S. Senate where his vote remains crucial to enacting a pro-worker agenda,” said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. I celebrate alongside the two million members of SEIU and the millions more working people across the South who are fighting back against corporations jacking up prices and holding down wages while making record profits, paying little-to-no taxes, and union busting.”

The historic Georgia runoff is one more victory in SEIU’s ongoing effort to build an economy and democracy that works for all people, including the right to join together in unions; a pathway to citizenship for immigrant workers and their families; and racial and social justice.