Tag Archives: SEIU

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.

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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.”

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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SEIU Fuming Over Smith Appointment

A reliable source reports that SEIU is not happy that MCDCC voted to appoint Del. Will Smith over Del. David Moon to the District 20 Senate vacancy caused by Jamie Raskin’s resignation, in order to take up his seat in the U.S. House.

Several members of the Central Committee who voted for Smith plan to seek elected office in 2018, and SEIU is already making noises about wreaking its revenge at that time. Whether this is just talk in the heat of the moment or serious, only time will tell.

The outcome is interesting if only because the current MCDCC was packed with union supporters in the wake of union unhappiness with the Committee’s support for the all-Democratic Council’s position on police bargaining.

However, while SEIU, MCGEO (county employees), UNITE and Mid-Atlantic Laborers supported Moon, the FOP (police) and IAFF (firefighters) supported Smith. Perhaps the outcome only speaks to SEIU and MCGEO’s relative influence compared to FOP and IAFF.

In any case, the group of unions that supported Moon has promised to stick together during the 2018 elections. MCGEO’s efforts to throw its weight around in 2016 were notably ineffective. We’ll see if this new coalition has any more impact.

The bitterness coming from SEIU notably contrasts with the positive tone expressed by Del. Moon and his other supporters today. On his Facebook page, Moon very graciously wrote:

Congratulations to my new Senator and homie William Colonel Smith Jr! Though I campaigned vigorously to represent the activist wing of the party, I know he’ll do a fine job. As I told the Washington Post, this is a proud moment for Montgomery County.

It’s not always easy to write notes like these. However, it was not only the right but also politically smart approach.

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UPDATE on Leventhal Post

Montgomery County Councilmember George Leventhal gave me a call because he wanted to set the record straight on two things regarding my earlier post today. They’re not about the video of the budget hearing at the top of the post but two other issues mentioned in the final paragraph.

SEIU Endorsement Interview

George says it’s categorically untrue that he was asked to leave his interview with SEIU. In his view, all of the endorsement conversations with the unions were tough but this just didn’t happen. Based on additional information, I have little reason to doubt George’s word. Even Lou Peck’s highly negative reportage does not say George was ejected.

CASA Criticism

Additionally, George also says he was being very careful not to criticize CASA during the budget hearings and that also didn’t happen. The hearing mentioned here occurred on April 10th in advance of CASA’s endorsement . Rather than debate or assess its contents, I thought I’d post it here so anyone reading can make their own judgement. It was a hearing for the Health and Human Services Committee on the FY15 Operating Budget held on April 10th.

Source: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/council/OnDemand/index.html and click on committee worksessions and then click on “video” for the one of HHS on April 10th starting around 1:08.

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