Voter contact by thousands of SEIU members in several states across the nation provided a preview in Tuesday night’s primary elections of the turnaround they are committed to driving in November. Working people made their voices heard to help a pro-union candidate win her gubernatorial primary in Michigan, overturn a horrible anti-union law in Missouri and defeat a state prosecutor who stood in the way of racial justice.
In Michigan, SEIU janitors, security officers, healthcare and public sector workers endorsed former state senator Gretchen Whitmer for governor and were out in full force to help her to a primary victory. Whitmer participated in a “Walk a Day in my Shoes” event last April where she followed SEIU Local 1 Janitor Gail Stiger at her job at the Detroit Metro Airport. Whitmer committed to fighting for a $15 an hour minimum wage following the event, and promised to push for laws that made it easier for working men and women to join unions.
SEIU members also won several major victories in Missouri’s elections - one that strengthened their ability to join together in unions and one that took a step forward for racial justice.
SEIU Local 1 and SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana members were part of a broad labor coalition that beat a ballot initiative that would have made Missouri a “right-to-work” state and silence the voices of its working men and women. “This is a true victory not only for my union, but for all working families in Missouri,” said Brenda Davis, a restorative aide at Christian Care Home and HCII member. “Now, I hope that the Missouri legislature will listen to the voice of the people, and focus on issues important to working families rather than trying to attack workers with laws like ‘right-to-work.’”
SEIU members in Missouri supported Wesley Bell in his successful bid to win the Democratic nomination for St. Louis County prosecutor. Bell defeated the incumbent Bob McCulloch, who failed to indict the police officer involved in the killing of Michael Brown.
SEIU members are going all in this November, and Tuesday’s results are indicative of the drive and passion they are taking into the midterms. In every election, from senate contests to local offices, SEIU members are fighting every step of the way for those who stand with working men and women and their quest for economic and racial justice.