Countdown to Election Day–Spotlight: Illinois

A message from SEIU International President, Mary Kay Henry

As of this morning, more SEIU members have voted early this year than in 2014. In many states, there's still time to early vote. Let's keep this momentum up!

In Illinois, SEIU is going all out to take back the governor’s mansion from Bruce Rauner, one of the most notoriously anti-union politicians in the country. Members of Locals 1, 73, and HCIIMK are texting, phone banking, and door-knocking progressive infrequent voters across the state to turn out the vote for JB Pritzker, a champion for working people in Illinois who has pledged to raise the minimum wage to $15 and make it easier for tens of thousands of workers to form unions.

Since late September, Local 1 member Yolanda Piper has been talking to voters about electing a new governor and signing her fellow members up for COPE. Yolanda has nearly 2 decades of experience as a state contract security officer in Chicago. Currently, she helps keep Secretary of State Jesse White’s office in the Thompson Center secure. “Secretary White knows I do a good job,” she says.

But if Bruce Rauner appreciates the work she does, he has a funny way of showing it. Her contractual raises were stuck in limbo along with the rest of her coworkers when his Department of Labor failed to properly post their contract. "After not getting a pay raise for three years, I'm living paycheck to paycheck. I can barely pay rent. I'm not ashamed to say I'm struggling,” Yolanda says.

In addition to shortchanging Yolanda and her coworkers, Governor Rauner is responsible for bringing the Janus vs. AFSCME case to the Supreme Court, a calculated and devastating attack on working people nationwide. So, while Yolanda fights for her backpay, she’s also fighting to kick Rauner out of office once and for all.

And on Tuesday, she and her fellow members are going to do just that.

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