Baltimore, MD – On Friday morning, the nation’s largest healthcare worker and property services unions, the Service Employees International (SEIU) 1199 and 32BJ, endorsed candidates for Baltimore City Mayor (Brandon Scott), City Council President (Shannon Sneed), City Comptroller (Bill Henry), and City Council members (D1 Zeke Cohen, D2 Danielle McCray, D3 Ryan Dorsey, D6 Sharon Green Middleton, D8 Kristerfer Burnett, D9 John Bullock, D10 Phylicia Porter, D12 Phillip Westry, D13 Akil Patterson and D14 Odette Ramos).
“As frontline healthcare workers, we are proud to endorse candidates who will fight for a healthy and equitable Baltimore City,” said Lisa Brown, Executive Vice President of the Maryland/DC Division of 1199SEIU. “With candidates like Brandon Scott, Shannon Sneed, and Bill Henry, we can start to build a Baltimore where everyone can enjoy high-quality healthcare, great public schools, decent housing in safe communities, and good union jobs.”
“Brandon Scott will work to ensure that businesses do more to create the good, family-sustaining jobs that Baltimore needs, including at our transportation hubs and at new developments like Locust Point and Port Covington,” said Jaime Contreras, a Vice President at 32BJ SEIU. Scott testified at a Thursday Maryland Senate hearing urging passage of the Secure Maryland Wage Act, which would improve wages to help attract and retain experienced and trained workers at BWI Airport, the Port of Baltimore and Baltimore Penn Station.
Scott, Sneed, and Henry have been strong supporters of a $15 minimum wage for all workers, fought to expand and protect workers’ fundamental right to unionize and pledged to ensure that Baltimore’s wealthy institutions contribute their fair share to equitable community services. 32BJ represents a large number of immigrant workers who were also inspired by the candidates’ pledge to ensure that Baltimore Police officers do not ask for immigration status and will not enforce ICE’s administrative warrants of removal.
“I am deeply humbled to earn the support of SEIU 1199 and 32BJ in my campaign to build a new way forward for Baltimore,” said Brandon Scott. “Fighting for the rights of our workers has always been my priority as a public servant, and I look forward to working with and organizing alongside working people as Mayor.”
“I’m proud to have the endorsement of this vital workforce who contributes so much to our economy and our communities,” said Shannon Sneed. “SEIU 1199 and 32BJ are strong allies in the effort to help Baltimore create good union jobs that provide livable wages and benefits to lift families out of poverty.”
Sneed has been a powerful champion for 32BJ’s security officers who protect Baltimore’s office buildings. She’s spoken multiple rallies supporting security officers’ fight to improve their jobs. She also spoke at an October rally calling on cleaning contractors to reach a fair contract for 32BJ’s janitors, who maintain nearly all of Baltimore’s commercial office buildings.
“I’m proud to stand with SEIU 1199 and 32BJ and thrilled to have their support,” said Bill Henry. “I’m committed to building a fair economy, and that means building worker power, ensuring living wages for all workers, and expanding opportunity.”
Both unions will contribute significant support to endorsed candidates, including member-volunteers who will knock on doors, make phone calls, and organize within their communities and on social media.
With more than 175,000 members in 11 states, including over 20,000 in the D.C. area and Baltimore, MD, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.
With over 450,000 caregivers, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East is the largest and fastest-growing healthcare union in the nation. The 1199SEIU Maryland/DC Division represents over 10,000 members who work in major academic medical centers and hospitals and long-term care facilities in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and throughout Maryland.