Union Workers Selected Candidates with Proven Record Of Advancing Working Families, Social Justice & Equity
BOSTON—32BJ SEIU members announced their endorsements for the fall 2019 Boston City Council races today. For the at-large City Council seats, the union is backing incumbents Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi-George, as well as newcomers Alejandra St. Guillen, formerly director of the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement (MOIA), and Julia Mejia, founder and director of the Collaborative Parent Leadership Network (CPLAN).
For the district races, the union is endorsing incumbent Kim Janey for district 7 (Roxbury, South End, Dorchester, and Fenway); Public defender Ricardo Arroyo for district 5 (Hyde Park, Rosindale and Matapan), and housing advocate Kenzie Bok for district 8 (Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Fenway/Kenmore, Mission Hill, and West End).
Members decided on the endorsements following a thorough vetting process, which included interviews with the candidates to see where they stood on issues of importance to workers, their communities, and Boston as a whole, including justice for black, brown and immigrant communities, good union jobs, affordable housing, transportation improvements, and clean and healthy communities with decent schools.
“By participating in the endorsement process, we made sure that the elected officials our union supports share our priorities,” said Katherine Hernandez, a 32BJ SEIU Security Officer who was part of the endorsement committee. “I was looking for people with proven experience and who understand our struggle as working people, as immigrants, as black and brown communities, as Bostonians. I was very impressed by how Julia Mejia spoke about housing, which is of concern to all union workers. I feel like she represents us. This is union members taking action and being part of the change we want to see. I was proud to be involved in choosing the future leaders of Boston!”
“It’s important that the candidates we support are trust-worthy, honest, and above all humble. They need demonstrate their concern for the welfare of all our communities, and explain what they’re planning to do, and have done, to improve the quality of education in our schools, fix the transportation system we depend on, and make sure we have decent healthcare,” said Amanda Diaz, a cleaner with 32BJ SEIU who was also on the committee. “As a grandmother, I want my grandchildren to have a strong education so they can have the best future.”
“The candidates our members chose have shown their dedication and success rate in pushing for good jobs, workers’ rights and immigrant justice,” said Roxana Rivera, Vice President of 32BJ SEIU. “From Michelle Wu’s tireless advocacy on City Council for English-language learners and disabled Bostonians to Ricardo Arroyo’s commitment to criminal justice reform, to name just a couple of examples, these candidates reflect the diversity and priorities of our great city’s communities. With working-class constituents and people of color under constant attack by Washington, it’s vital that the elected officials representing Boston are fighting for real change and listening to the concerns of regular working people. We’re proud to put the power of our 20,000 Massachusetts members behind them.”
With 175,000 members in eleven states and Washington, D.C., including 20,000 in Massachusetts, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country. In Mass. our members are mostly immigrants and include workers who work throughout the state as office cleaners, security officers, property service workers, and food service workers.