Issued May 24, 2023
WASHINGTON, DC – Service Employees International Union President Mary Kay Henry released the following statement today in response to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis announcing his intention to seek the Republican nomination for President of the United States in 2024:
"Considering Governor Ron DeSantis' performance as governor over the last six years, his decision to run for President in 2024 poses a serious threat to working families of all races, occupations, and political affiliations across the United States.
By recently signing the harmful, anti-worker legislation SB 256, Governor DeSantis took direct aim at a broad swath of public workers who serve Florida’s communities in essential roles – nurses, teachers, school bus drivers, sanitation workers, higher education workers and even those providing emergency services. The bill makes it incredibly difficult for public service workers to join together and maintain membership in their union. It’s a thinly veiled attempt to rob one group of workers of their freedom of speech and right to join together in unions – a group that he thinks might stand in the way of his political ambitions.
Working people and their families in Florida have been impacted by all of Governor DeSantis' many attacks on workers' rights, reproductive freedom, civil liberties, people of color, immigrants, students, and LGBTQIA individuals. SEIU members and workers all across Florida have been under assault from every direction during DeSantis’ time in office. We can’t afford to have the same attacks on working people all across the nation.
Governor DeSantis, like the other announced Republican presidential candidates, has shown himself to be a dangerous imitation of Donald Trump, trying to copy the risky policies and divisive tactics that marked the former president's tenure in the White House. Instead of learning from our country's past mistakes, DeSantis wants to push us back into a time of constant social and economic turmoil.
We deserve a president who prioritizes the interests of working people, not just big corporations and billionaires. That’s why SEIU has endorsed President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for reelection.
SEIU members are ready to get to work to re-elect President Biden and Vice President Harris and fight for Unions for All by engaging voters—especially infrequent voters of color in battleground states—in this pivotal election in which workers’ ability to join unions, immigrant justice, reproductive freedom, and fundamental civil rights for all people are on the line.