Union of Essential Workers Announces Endorsements for Boston City Council

Frank Soults, (860) 471-5692, fsoults@seiu32bj.org

Union of Essential Workers Announces Endorsements for Boston City Council

Union of Essential Workers Announces Endorsements for Boston City Council

BOSTON– Members of building service employees union 32BJ SEIU are proud to announce their endorsements today of the following candidates for Boston City Council:

At- Large Candidates

David Halbert
Ruthzee Louijeune
Julia Mejia
Carla B. Monteiro

District Candidates

District 1:             Lydia Edwards
District 2:             Ed Flynn
District 5:             Ricardo Arroyo
District 6:             Kendra Hicks
District 7:             Tania Anderson Fernandes
District 8:             Kenzie Bok
District 9:             Liz Breadon

“We had to do the interview process by Zoom this year, but we’re very happy with how it turned out,” said Amanda Diaz, a downtown Boston office cleaner and South Boston resident who has participated in the union’s political program over several election cycles. “The candidates spoke to a group of union members about their values, achievements and ideas to improve the city, and we came to agreement on those we felt would be best for all Boston residents, especially working people like us.”

The following comments may be attributed to Roxana Rivera, Vice-President of 32BJ SEIU and head of the union in Massachusetts:

“We’re very excited to announce our support for perhaps the most diverse range of candidates we’ve seen in a Boston election cycle. To start with councilor at-large endorsements, David Halbert has through 15 years of public service demonstrated his commitment to the concerns of working people struggling for better wages and fair working conditions. His wide range of experience demonstrates a commitment to progressive ideals whether applied to particular neighborhood issues or broad statewide policies.

“Ruthzee Louijeune would be the first Haitian American to sit on the city council. She would bring to the job her experience as a lawyer for Senator Elizabeth Warren, with an expertise and commitment to the issue of housing and home ownership that is critical in this time of high costs and limited options for our working families.

“Since her first run for the council, Julia Mejia has demonstrated to our members the deepest understanding of their needs as low-wage essential workers, and she has proven on the council her commitment to the needs of all those who struggle for equality.

“Likewise, Carla B Monteiro, a daughter of a 32BJ member and immigrant from Cape Verde, embodies for our members the success they or their children might one day achieve, while she has also demonstrated in her career as a social worker the ability to tackle systemic issues that still make that success such a rarity.

“In the districts, Lydia Edwards has championed long and tirelessly the cause of immigrant and worker rights, and we are proud to offer her our continued support. Among his other accomplishments, Ed Flynn was among the first elected officials to reach out directly to our members during the pandemic, proactively addressing the dangers they faced as office cleaners and security officers. Ricardo Arroyo has long worked toward achieving racial justice and was among the first to recognize racism itself as a public health threat. Kendra Hicks has been working at the forefront of urban social justice since age 19, and as the Director of Radical Philanthropy at Resist, she has specialized in finding solutions outside mainstream channels. A provider for her family at age 15, Cape Verdean immigrant Tania Anderson Fernandes has never stopped beating the odds with her remarkable vision and tenacity, which clearly won the respect of our membership. Councilor Kenzie Bok also brings tremendous experience in addressing housing issues to the council, not to mention she has always gone the extra mile in assisting individual 32BJ members, many of whom work in her downtown district. Councilor Liz Breadon is a health care professional whose personal experience as a lesbian and an immigrant certainly have informed the passion and sensitivity she has always demonstrated in her career.

“Just as this diverse slate of candidates have stood in unity with immigrants, union members, and all working people in Boston, so we are proud to stand beside them in return, committing ourselves to work for their victories in the upcoming September 14 primary and the general election on November 2.“

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With more than 175,000 members in 11 states, including 20,000 in Massachusetts, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

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