Countdown to Election Day–Spotlight: Pennsylvania

A message from SEIU International President, Mary Kay Henry

We're hours away from Election Day, with early voting having wrapped up in many states over the weekend. I want to lift up five locals in particular who have mobilized more than 40% of their registered members to vote early: Local 1107, Local 1991, Local 205T, SEANC, and COWINS. Amazing work!

In Pennsylvania, it’s pretty simple - if we lose this election, Pennsylvania could easily become the next “right to work” state. SEIU members are working to re-elect Governor Tom Wolf, a champion for working families who has demonstrated his commitment to the people of Pennsylvania by expanding healthcare coverage to more than 700,000 people and restoring funding to public schools. He’s up against a candidate – Scott Wagner – who sponsored “right to work” and paycheck deception legislation as a state legislator. Luckily, members like Denise Sharper are working hard to make sure Wagner never sees the inside of the governor’s mansion.

Longtime union activist and MPO Denise Sharper is a member of SEIU Local 668 and a Residential Coordinator at a treatment and recovery facility. In this role, she helps people struggling with addiction and mental health issues and those who have been incarcerated get back on their feet again.

Her work as an MPO is fueled by her belief that getting out the vote is one of the most important things we can do to make a difference. That’s why she’s been canvassing her fellow union members for the past three months. “My aim is to educate people,” she says. “I tell people that if these politicians aren’t fighting for affordable health care, higher pay, or our freedom to have a union, then they’re not fighting for us. It’s up to us to elect people who will.”

This is not Denise’s first rodeo. She also helped re-elect Barack Obama to his second term in 2012 and to elect Tom Wolf to his first term as governor in 2014.

“My message to union members is that getting out the vote is so important,” she says. “If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for your children and grandchildren.”

We’ve got one day left; let’s take Denise’s words to heart. And let’s win.

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