SEIU: Coakley Victory Shows Massachusetts Voters Want Bipartisan Leader to Pass Real Reforms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Published 10:45 AM Eastern - Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mark McCullough, 202-730-7283

Boston, MA - Tonight, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) congratulated Martha Coakley on her win in the special Massachusetts Senate election. Coakley won SEIU's endorsement in October because of her record fighting to improve the lives of working families across the Commonwealth. The member-driven endorsement process included a candidate forum attended by hundreds of members from across the state.

"Tonight, Massachusetts voted for a fighter, a progressive and someone who will truly do justice to Ted Kennedy's legacy: Martha Coakley. Personally, I can't wait for Massachusetts to be represented in the Senate not just by a woman, but by a woman who will continue to crack down on abusive health insurers, fight unscrupulous employers for the back pay workers are entitled to and stand for free and fair union elections," said SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger.

SEIU members throughout the Bay State invested a substantial amount of time and effort knocking on doors and making phone calls from Springfield to Boston to Hyannis to help Coakley get to tonight's primary victory and will continue working on her behalf leading up to the January 19 special general election.

"I know Martha Coakley will fight for us in Washington, D.C. because when she walked a day in my shoes she looked me in the eye and had a genuine desire to learn more about the real lives of the people she is running to represent," said Monica Henry, a personal care attendant in Boston. "She has a reputation for not backing down and I know she will fight for people like me."

"When we endorsed Martha Coakley, we promised we would do everything we could to talk to our families, friends and neighbors about why she is the best choice. She has the experience and the track record as a statewide leader in giving a voice to the voiceless and helping working families protect what they have earned," said Michael Grunko, President of SEIU Massachusetts State Council.

"Senator Edward Kennedy worked his whole life in pursuit of an America where every family has access to affordable healthcare, every worker has a paycheck that supports their family and a secure retirement, every child has a right to a quality education, and every immigrant can achieve the American Dream," continued Grunko. "His vision of a more perfect nation never wavered and we owe it to him to continue his cause. Martha Coakley will continue the truest tradition of great Massachusetts Senators by bringing others together to get things done for Americans across the country."

On November 2, Coakley walked a day in the shoes of 1199SEIU Boston personal care attendant Monica Henry, helping her take care of her client. On December 3, SEIU launched an almost $215,000 independent expenditure radio ad titled "Responsibility," which aired throughout the Boston area through today. SEIU also contributed, in addition to members volunteering with the campaign knocking on doors and making phone calls, almost $280,000 to an independent phone call effort in support of Coakley.

The SEIU Massachusetts State Council represents more than 60,000 workers and their families from SEIU Locals 1199, 615, 509, 888 and the Committee of Interns and Residents.

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