Tag Archives: SEIU

Labor Pumps Money Into Anti-Blair Super PAC

By Adam Pagnucco.

Four labor unions and an immigrant advocacy organization have contributed a combined $90,000 to a Super PAC which opposes the election of David Blair as Montgomery County Executive.

The Progressive Maryland Liberation Alliance PAC is a Super PAC affiliated with Progressive Maryland.  The Super PAC’s Chair, Larry Stafford, is Progressive Maryland’s Executive Director.  The group has previously distributed anti-Blair flyers but now has the money to do a lot more than that.

The Super PAC’s campaign finance filings indicate that it was organized for the purpose of supporting gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous, State Senate candidates Jill Carter, Antonio Hayes and Mary Washington, State’s Attorney candidate Victor Ramirez and Delegate candidate Melissa Wells and opposing State Senator Bobby Zirkin, State’s Attorney candidate Ivan Bates and Blair.  But the labor contributions to the Super PAC were explicitly designated to opposing Blair.  Those contributions included $35,000 from MCGEO, $35,000 from the Laborers, $10,000 from UNITE HERE Local 25, $5,000 from SEIU Local 500 and $5,000 from immigrant advocacy group Casa in Action.  All of these organizations except for UNITE HERE Local 25 have endorsed Marc Elrich for Executive, as has Progressive Maryland.

Of these contributions, $10,000 has been spent on a video opposing Blair.  We imagine MoCo voters will be seeing that video soon.

With $80,000 remaining, the Super PAC has enough money to finance mailers and more.  What’s unclear is how much more money it can raise with labor spending almost a million dollars to elect Ben Jealous as Governor and more than $600,000 to elect Donna Edwards as Prince George’s County Executive.  Still, they are playing in MoCo and we expect them to play hard.

Share

SEIU Local 32BJ Endorses in Maryland Races

By Adam Pagnucco.

SEIU Local 32BJ, a gigantic building services union stretching from New England to Florida, has announced endorsements in Maryland races.  The local is not to be confused with SEIU Local 500, which organizes MCPS support staff, adjunct faculty and child care workers, but the two locals share many progressive views and are both powerhouses.  We reprint 32BJ’s press release below.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Thursday May 3, 2018

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Julie Karant: jkarant@seiu32bj.org

UNION REPRESENTING 18,000 WORKERS IN MARYLAND AND D.C. AREA ENDORSES MARYLAND STATE & COUNTY CANDIDATES

Silver Spring, MD – Commercial office cleaners and private security officers from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) 32BJ today announced their endorsements in races for Maryland State Senate and Delegate as well as Prince George’s and Montgomery County Council. “These candidates are dedicated to improving life for Maryland’s immigrant and minority communities,” said 32BJ SEIU Vice President Jaime Contreras. “They also understand that low-wage workers need and deserve a $15 minimum wage to support their families.”

MD Statewide

Ben Jealous

Governor

Brian Frosh

Attorney General

MD Senate

Craig Zucker

MD State Senate District 14

Jeff Waldstreicher

MD State Senate District 18

Will Smith

MD State Senate District 20

Jim Rosapepe

MD State Senate District 21

Paul Pinsky

MD State Senate District 22

Joanne Benson

MD State Senate District 24

Angela Angel

MD State Senate District 25

Jamila Woods

MD State Senate District 26

Antonio Hayes

MD State Senate District 40

Alethia McCaskill

MD State Senate District 44

Mary Washington

MD State Senate District 43

Cory McCray

MD State Senate District 45

Bill Ferguson

MD State Senate District 46

MD House

Anne Kaiser

MD State Delegate District 14

Eric Luedtke

MD State Delegate District 14

Pamela Queen

MD State Delegate District 14

Ariana Kelly

MD State Delegate District 16

Emily Shetty

MD State Delegate District 18

Jared Solomon

MD State Delegate District 18

Bonnie Cullison

MD State Delegate District 19

Marlin Jenkins

MD State Delegate District 19

Marice Morales

MD State Delegate District 19

David Moon

MD State Delegate District 20

Jheanelle Wilkins

MD State Delegate District 20

Darian Unger

MD State Delegate District 20

Jocelyn Pena Melnick

MD State Delegate District 21

Matt Dernoga

MD State Delegate District 21

Mary Lehman

MD State Delegate District 21

Alonzo Washington

MD State Delegate District 22

Erek Barron

MD State Delegate District 24

Jazz Lewis

MD State Delegate District 24

Dereck Davis

MD State Delegate District 25

Wala Blegay

MD State Delegate District 25

David Sloan

MD State Delegate District 26

Veronica Turner

MD State Delegate District 26

Gabriel Acevero

MD State Delegate District 39

Terrell Boston Smith

MD State Delegate District 40

Melissa Wells

MD State Delegate District 40

Nick Mosby

MD State Delegate District 40

Maggie Mcintosh

MD State Delegate District 43

Cheryl Glenn

MD State Delegate District 45

Luke Clippinger

MD State Delegate District 46

Brooke Lierman

MD State Delegate District 46

Robbyn Lewis

MD State Delegate District 46

Wanika Fisher

MD State Delegate District 47B

Jimmy Tarlau

MD State Delegate District 47A

Julian Ivey

MD State Delegate District 47A

Montgomery County

Marc Elrich

County Executive

Craig Rice

County Council District 2

Ben Shnider

County Council District 3

Nancy Navarro

County Council District 4

Tom Hucker

County Council District 5

Hans Riemer

County Council At-Large

Will Jawando

County Council At-Large

Brandy Brooks

County Council At-Large

Gabe Albornoz

County Council At-Large

PG County

Donna Edwards

County Executive

Victor Ramirez

States Attorney

Tom Dernoga

County Council District 1

Deni Taveras

County Council District 2

Jolene Ivey

County Council District 5

Krystal Oriadha

County Council District 7

Gerron Levi

County Council At-Large

Karen Toles

County Council At-Large

With more than 163,000 members in 11 states, including 18,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area and throughout Maryland, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

Share

SEIU Local 500 Prepares for War on Mike Miller

By Adam Pagnucco.

SEIU Local 500, one of the largest unions in Maryland, has scheduled an event on Lawyers Mall in Annapolis next week at which it intends to announce “plans to bring about the end of Mike Miller’s tenure as President of the Senate.”

SEIU Local 500 had over 8,000 members and a $5.8 million budget in the year ended 9/30/17.  Its biggest categories of membership are MCPS support staff, childcare workers and adjunct professors.  Its endorsement is highly valued by MoCo politicians and it has a respected political program.  As it has grown over the years, it has become more of a statewide organization in contrast to its roots as a MoCo public employees union.  It has had great success organizing adjunct professors and its top state legislative priority in recent years has been a bill allowing community college employees the right to organize.  (Currently, collective bargaining is prohibited at most Maryland community colleges.)  The bill has died several years in a row and most recently was withdrawn by its Senate sponsor, Guy Guzzone (D-13).

The union blames Mike Miller for not only killing this bill but also blocking other progressive legislation over the years.  Two other sore spots for progressives are the General Assembly sexual harassment bill, which passed the House on a 138-0 vote but has not moved in the Senate, and the $15 minimum wage bill, which has not moved in either chamber.  Also, progressives have not forgotten Miller’s support for the Roger Taney statue on the statehouse grounds.  To be fair, other liberal priorities in the past like marriage equality, the abolition of the death penalty, gun control, the DREAM Act and sick leave could not have passed without Miller’s support – or at least his acceptance.

This conflict has been brewing for years but now apparently SEIU Local 500 is ready to call the question.  The union has posted a Facebook event for next Monday titled, “On Sine Die, Miller Time is Up” on Lawyers Mall in Annapolis.  The union wrote, “Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. has served as President of the Maryland State Senate since 1987. His page on the General Assembly website boasts that he is the “Longest Serving Maryland Senate President and Longest Serving President of the Senate in the United States.” His name is on the Senate Office Building. Senate committee chairpersons serve at his pleasure. Because no bill reaches the Senate floor without his approval, Miller obstructs legislation that would benefit the hardest working and suffering Marylanders. Join SEIU Local 500 for the announcement of plans to bring about the end of Mike Miller’s tenure as President of the Senate.”

We don’t know exactly what the union is planning and will find out along with the rest of the world next week.  But in the meantime, it’s worth pondering this advice from famous philosopher Omar Little.  “You come at the king, you best not miss.”

Share

SEIU Local 500 Endorses Ana Sol Gutierrez

By Adam Pagnucco.

SEIU Local 500, which represents MCPS support staff, adjunct college professors, child care employees and other members, has endorsed Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez for the open Council District 1 seat.  Gutierrez has also been endorsed by Progressive Maryland, Casa in Action and MCEA.  Last week, she requested $10,290 in matching funds from the state under public financing, which – if she gets them – will give her over $30,000 in the bank.

We reprint Local 500’s press release below.

*****

For Immediate Release

March 15, 2018

Contact: Christopher Honey

honeyc@seiu500.org

SEIU Local 500 endorses Ana Sol Gutierrez for Montgomery County Council District 1

(Gaithersburg, MD) SEIU Local 500, the largest union local in Montgomery County, announced it was putting its full support behind Ana Sol Gutierrez for the Montgomery County Council District 1. The District 1 seat is open because incumbent Count Councilmember Roger Berliner is running for County Executive.

“Ana has a strong background in education and understands the unique challenges and opportunities families face in Montgomery County. She has always been an advocate for those left behind in Montgomery County. She has been a leader on issues like affordable housing and working to close the achievement in our schools,” said Merle Cuttitta, President of SEIU Local 500.

President Cuttitta added, “She’s also a member of SEIU Local 500 – she was a union adjunct at George Washington University!”

SEIU Local 500 represents over 20,000 workers across the region, including supporting services professionals in Montgomery County Public Schools, adjunct faculty at Montgomery College and Maryland family childcare providers.

Share

SEIU Local 500 To Endorse Five in MoCo Races

By Adam Pagnucco.

SEIU Local 500, one of the largest unions in Maryland, will be endorsing five candidates in MoCo races soon.  The local’s membership of more than 8,000 is concentrated among MCPS support staff, adjunct college faculty and child care workers.  It has one of the most aggressive political operations in the state and its endorsement is highly valued in MoCo.

At this time, the local will be endorsing:

Marc Elrich for County Executive

Gabe Albornoz, Ashwani Jain and Will Jawando for Council At-Large

Ben Shnider for Council District 3

The union has not decided on an endorsement yet in Council District 1 and may announce one later.  It has postponed endorsement decisions for incumbent Council Members outside District 3 pending further actions of the council.  Since MCPS accounts for a significant portion of the local’s membership, budget decisions on the schools may impact the union’s thinking.

Congratulations to the endorsees.  To be continued!

Share

SEIU Local 500 Warns Incumbents

By Adam Pagnucco.

SEIU Local 500, perhaps the fastest-growing large union in Maryland, has endorsed Senate candidate Dana Beyer and House candidates Emily Shetty and Mila Johns in District 18 and House candidate Gabe Acevero in District 39.  But the bigger news is their warning to state-level incumbents: we will not endorse any of you until after the legislative session.  It’s a ballsy move designed to maximize their leverage over significant bills.  Incumbents beware!

We reprint Local 500’s press release below.

*****

For Immediate Release

January 26, 2018

Contact: Christopher Honey

honeyc@seiu500.org

SEIU Local 500 endorses Dana Beyer for Maryland State Senate District 18

Union makes multiple endorsements in open seats, but is not yet making endorsements in legislative seats where incumbents are running for re-election

(Gaithersburg, MD) SEIU Local 500, the largest Union local in Montgomery County today announced it was throwing its weight behind Dana Beyer for the Maryland Senate in District 18.

“In this era of Donald Trump and Larry Hogan, our members know we need a fighter to go to Annapolis and join the resistance. Our members know Dana and know that she will do just that” said Merle Cuttitta, President of SEIU Local 500.  “This endorsement takes nothing from our stalwart ally, Delegate Jeff Waldstreicher. Elections in Montgomery County are often about tough choices between good friends.”

In addition, SEIU 500 made the following additional endorsements for seats that are left open by members not seeking reelection:

  • District 18: Mila Johns and Emily Shetty (House of Delegates)
  • District 39: Gabriel Acevero (House of Delegates)

SEIU Local 500 is not endorsing ANY incumbents running for re-election to their current offices until after the end of the legislative session.

“We are endorsing open seats early to give our political team and members more time to work with our endorsed newcomers to make sure they win” said President Cuttitta. “As in the District 18 Senate race, the caliber of candidates we interviewed was higher than ever. We had to leave some great candidates on the table – from Jared Solomon in the District 18 Delegate race, to Lesley Lopez in the District 39 Delegate race.”

Share

SEIU Janitorial Local Endorses Elrich

This may be the first in a wave of labor organizations to endorse Marc Elrich. While not shocking, it provides further evidence that Elrich continues to lock down labor support. Here is the Elrich campaign press release:

32BJ SEIU Endorses Marc Elrich for Montgomery County Executive

SILVER SPRING, Md._ On January 22, 32BJ of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) announced their endorsement of Marc Elrich for Montgomery County Executive. 32BJ represents 18,000 members in the D.C. Metropolitan Area, including office cleaners who work throughout Montgomery County, and is a major force in area politics. They are the first union to announce an endorsement in the County Executive race.

Elrich has stood with unions in their efforts to secure fairer workplaces for decades. During his tenure on the Montgomery County Council, he has fought for paid sick and family leave, various safeguards against worker exploitation, and two minimum wage increases. He orchestrated the unanimous vote in favor of the recently passed bill that will gradually raise the county’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

“I have been proud to champion issues of economic justice and would look forward to partnering with 32BJ and other unions as the next County Executive,” Elrich said. “I have enjoyed working with them already to strengthen worker rights and have great respect for the role they’ve played in advancing our shared vision of how to build a more just society. We face many challenges as a county, and it is only through collaboration with 32BJ members and other workers who see those challenges every day that we will figure out the best way to meet them.”

Marc Elrich has been an at-large Montgomery County Councilmember since 2006. He chairs the Public Safety Committee, serves on the Education Committee, and is the County Council’s representative to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments Transportation Planning Board. Prior to his election to the County Council, he served on the Takoma Park City Council for 19 years and taught at Rolling Terrace Elementary School for 17 years. For more information, see www.marcelrich.org.

Media Contact:
Ben Spielberg, Campaign Manager
Ben@marcelrich.org
609-828-3783

Share

SEIU Local 32BJ Endorses Ben Shnider

By Adam Pagnucco.

SEIU Local 32BJ, the mammoth building services union that is one of the biggest and most powerful locals in SEIU, has endorsed insurgent candidate Ben Shnider in his challenge to District 3 Council Member Sidney Katz.  Shnider has been working hard to topple Katz from the left but it’s an uphill challenge.  An endorsement of this kind grants legitimacy to Shnider and will help him draw more progressive support.  We will have a lot more to say about this race, but for now, we reprint the union’s press release below.

*****

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, January 17, 2018

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Julie Karant: jkarant@seiu32bj.org

32BJ SEIU ENDORSES BEN SHNIDER’S BID TO UNSEAT MONTGOMERY COUNTY COUNCIL INCUMBENT, SIDNEY KATZ

Shnider’s Unwavering Support for Working Families Sharply Contrasts Katz’s Record of Opposing the $15 Minimum Wage

Washington, D.C. – Janitors and security officers from 32BJ of the Service Employees International (SEIU), today announced their endorsement of Ben Shnider’s campaign to replace Montgomery County Council District 3 incumbent, Sidney Katz.

“Sidney Katz originally voted against the $15 minimum wage which delayed the effort to raise the wages for struggling workers,” said 32BJ SEIU Vice President Jaime Contreras. “Montgomery County deserves a reliable champion like Ben Shnider who will fight for working families not industry lobbyists.”

32BJ members will knock on doors and speak out within their communities towards the primary election scheduled for June 26th.

“I’m humbled and honored to have the backing of the incredible members of 32BJ. I’m running to ensure that every resident of Montgomery County can afford to live and thrive in this community that I love. I’m proud of the grassroots coalition we’re assembling to bring new leadership to District 3. I’ll work tirelessly on the County Council to provide the members of 32BJ — and all county residents — with the bold, progressive leadership they deserve,” said Shnider.

32BJ members are also inspired by Shnider’s leadership on immigrant rights and racial justice during his tenure with Bend the Arc.

With more than 163,000 members in 11 states, including 18,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.

###

Share

SEIU Targets Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam for Defeat

By Adam Pagnucco.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), one of Maryland’s most powerful labor unions, has targeted District 44 Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam for defeat by running one of their own against her.  Aletheia McCaskill, a rank-and-file leader in SEIU Local 500, is announcing her challenge to the incumbent on Saturday.  Nathan-Pulliam has antagonized SEIU and several other progressive organizations by dragging her heels on last session’s sick leave bill, which she ultimately voted for.

Several things make this race interesting.

1.  SEIU has a record of defeating Senate incumbents, including Nat Exum and David Harrington (Prince George’s County), Rona Kramer (Montgomery County) and George Della (Baltimore City). Their negative mail against Exum was particularly devastating.

One of at least seven anti-Exum mailers from SEIU.

2.  Nathan-Pulliam has not had a truly competitive election in her entire career. She walked into her current Senate seat after the incumbent retired and had five straight cakewalk House races before that.  She is also not a great fundraiser, raising $77,695 in the 2006 cycle, $72,363 in the 2010 cycle and $124,732 in the 2014 cycle.  She reported $33,533 in the bank in January.  Those are easy numbers for a big organization like SEIU to overcome.

3.  Many labor organizations have supported Nathan-Pulliam over the years, including AFT Maryland, MSEA, the Fire Fighters, the Police, UFCW Local 400, several building trades local unions, the AFL-CIO and SEIU. Those unions have given her more than $30,000 over the last four cycles.  How many of them will follow SEIU’s lead and dump the incumbent?

SEIU endorses Nathan-Pulliam in 2014.

4.  Nathan-Pulliam has not represented many of her current constituents all that long. True, she has been in office since 1994.  But her district has changed substantially since then.  District 44 now includes a portion of the western part of Baltimore City along with Lochearn, Woodlawn, Catonsville and the areas around US-40 and I-70 in Baltimore County.  Prior to that, Nathan-Pulliam represented District 10.  During the 2000s, District 10 did not include any part of the City and during the 1990s, the City portions it did include are not part of today’s District 44.  This somewhat erodes the advantage a decades-long incumbent would normally have.

5.  At age 78, Nathan-Pulliam could decide not to fight SEIU and simply retire.

We reprint McCaskill’s kickoff announcement below.

*****

Event: Working Families Democrat and SEIU Union Leader Aletheia McCaskill announces a Democratic primary challenge in Maryland’s 44th State Senatorial District

Date:  September 9, 2017, 2:00-4:00

Where: Karate Family Center 1101 N. Rolling Road, Catonsville, MD 21228

Aletheia McCaskill is a wife, mother, activist and advocate who has owned her own small business providing early learning child care services to the residents of West Baltimore and Western Baltimore County for over 20 years.  She got involved on issues of economic justice such as the fight for fair wages and earned sick leave legislation because of the reality she saw in the lives of the families whose children she provided care for.  She has been the Statewide Political Member Leader for the largest Maryland local in the Service Employees International Union and has been a leader in the fight in Baltimore and Annapolis to pass the Women’s Economic Security Agenda- a package of bills aimed at  providing some measure of economic stability for the working families of the 44th.  Aletheia believes that the 44th District deserved a choice, she wants to be our voice in Annapolis fighting for stronger schools and for finally giving our Seniors the services and facilities WITHIN the 44th, that they deserve.

https://www.mccaskill44.com/

For Press or scheduling, please contact:

Mark Jason McLaurin, Political Director

SEIU Local 500

901 Russell Avenue, Suite 300

Gaithersburg, MD 20879

(301) 740-7100 – Voice

Share