Working people are ready to fight for a vision of America with a strong middle class and a better future for all working families.
WASHINGTON, D.C.-The 2.1 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU) voted last night to endorse President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012.
The endorsement is part of a broader "99 percent strategy" to create good jobs now; end devastating cuts to Medicare and Medicaid and other critical programs; require everyone to pay their fair share in taxes; and create a fair path to citizenship for immigrant workers. Today's announcement culminates a six-month conversation among SEIU members and leaders that evaluated the candidates, identified members' priorities, and ultimately led to a final endorsement.
"President Obama shares our vision of a nation that invests in good jobs here at home; where everyone pays their fair share; where access to quality, affordable health care is preserved; and where there is a pathway to citizenship for every immigrant worker," said SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry. "It's a vision that says: Our country does better when we all do better."
"This wasn't a hard choice for me at all. It came down to the only candidate I trust to put the interests of the 99 percent above the interests of large corporations and the rich that make up the 1 percent," said Samara Knight, a State Tested Nursing Assistant from Cleveland. "President Obama is that candidate - hands down. By him being a grassroots organizer, he knows what it takes to help our communities and put people back to work."
"I've watched the Republican presidential primary debates, and it's been downright scary," said Yvonne Richardson, an 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East retiree from Lake Worth, Florida. "Each and every one of those candidates appears to support policies that ship good American jobs overseas; give even more tax breaks to the wealthy; and keep rewarding the Wall Street banks that crashed the economy. It's like people like me don't exist to them."
With the endorsement, SEIU is committing to a robust campaign to engage SEIU members and their families and friends as well as the general public in the fight to re-elect President Obama. This campaign will include direct voter contact and field operations such as phone banks, door-to-door canvassing, and increased COPE, or Political Action Committee, fundraising.
"I won't rest over the next year," said Michelle Stewart, a certified nursing assistant from Philadelphia. "I'm going to do everything I can with my co-workers to fight with President Obama and deliver on the 99% agenda for working families. The stakes are too high for working people and our children to do anything else."
With 2.1 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers--not just corporations and CEOs--benefit from today's global economy. www.seiu.org