Today is a day for celebration. We won on Election Day — and we won big — thanks to the great work 32BJ members did during this election season.
In New York City, we have a new mayor, a new city comptroller, public advocate and a dozen new City Councilmembers who have pledged to fight for working families. We believe the election of Mayor Bill de Blasio, combined with victories of City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, will give community, labor and faith groups an opening to ramp up the fight against inequality in this city. Union members knocked on doors and hit the streets to support Bill De Blasio and now we’ll be working with Mayor De Blasio to make sure he can deliver on his agenda.
In Virginia, 32BJ SEIU and other SEIU members knocked on over 100,000 doors throughout Northern Virginia and the Tidewater region. That hard work paid off with the election of Terry McAuliffe as Governor of Virginia.
“Terry McAuliffe will be an important advocate for the men and women who work hard to keep Virginia running but struggle to get by,” said Jaime Contreras, 32BJ Vice President and Capital Area Director. “He understands that immigrant workers strengthen our communities and are critical to Virginia’s economic recovery.”
The landslide election of Bill Peduto for Mayor of Pittsburgh, PA, along with the victory of a slate of endorsed City Council candidates including Deb Gross, Dan Gilman, Natalia Rudiak, Theresa Kail-Smith and Daniel Lavelle represents a sea change in Pittsburgh’s city government. 32BJ SEIU members endorsed Peduto in February and have since carried out an aggressive voter outreach program.
Paul Griffin was one of hundreds of 32BJ SEIU members who rallied, knocked doors and made thousands of phone calls.
“I’m proud that Bill Peduto is the next Mayor of Pittsburgh and that he’ll have the support of capable council members like Deb Gross,” said Griffin, a downtown office cleaner for the last 27 years. “Bill Peduto stood by our side during the living wage fight. I witnessed first-hand his leadership, his pride in our city and his deep concern for working people. This is a great day for Pittsburgh.”
In New Jersey, a record number of 32BJ members worked tirelessly to get out the vote for the progressive candidates like State Senators Steve Sweeney and Bob Gordon, Plainfield Mayor-elect Adrian Mapp, and Morristown Mayor Tim Dougherty. New Jersey voters also approved a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage by $1, and minimum wage workers will get an automatic annual cost-of-living increase each year.
“With overwhelming support for a long overdue increase in the state minimum wage, New Jersey sent a message to the rest of the country: Working poor should be a contradiction in terms,” said Kevin Brown, 32BJ New Jersey State Director.
In Connecticut, we have new mayors in New Haven and Stamford who have pledged to fight for working families in our cities, as well as a strong School Board in Bridgeport and New Haven Board of Aldermen. We knocked on doors, made calls and hit the streets to support them and now we’ll be working to make sure they can deliver on their agenda. We are confident that as Mayor of New Haven and Stamford respectively, Toni Harp and David Martin will continue their efforts to keep our communities strong in their cities.
We’re also celebrating the re-election of Marlon Millner to the Norristown, PA City Council, and the re-election of Alan Butkovitz as Philadelphia’s Controller. Councilman Millner recently spearheaded the effort to pass a city council resolution for comprehensive immigration reform, and we’re counting on Butkovitz to hold the line against Governor Corbett’s relentless attacks on Philadelphia public schools.
It’s great to see the success of our political work in action. Thanks for all you do to make our union strong and make our voice voices heard in politics!