Budget Deal: The Right Move to Protect Middle Class Families

WASHINGTON, DC — After a deal was reached to avert the fiscal cliff, Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), issued the following statement:

“This deal is the right move to protect America’s middle class families, who were facing a New Year with higher taxes, and to prevent two million Americans from losing their unemployment benefits.

“Unfortunately, right wing extremists once again pushed the debate outside the mainstream by fighting to protect the wealthiest at the expense of the middle class. The leadership of the President, Majority Leader Reid and Leader Pelosi mitigated their extreme agenda and will require more of the richest Americans to pay their fair share to invest in our country.

“Working families have already made significant sacrifices in the name of deficit reduction. In 2013, working families need elected leaders to turn away from the politics of painful cuts and focus on creating good jobs and jumpstarting our economic recovery. The best way to get our economy moving again is to get people back to work”

With 2.1 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers–not just corporations and CEOs–benefit from today’s global economy.


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Romney speech ‘driven by a platform that is completely detached from the reality of working people’s lives

(Washington, D.C.) Following is a statement by Mary Kay Henry, president of SEIU, regarding Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech tonight.

“Mitt Romney’s acceptance speech capped off an RNC driven by a platform that is completely detached from the reality of working people’s lives and driven by divisiveness.

“If Americans take Mitt Romney’s advice and judge him by his actions, not words, they will see a candidate who vows to make lives better for working families, but whose
extreme policy proposals send a clear message that we are all on our own.

“As a businessman, he didn’t think twice before slashing jobs or shipping them overseas if it meant more profits and bonuses. As a candidate he touts job creation, yet his proposals focus on tax cuts for the rich and big corporations. Any talk about protecting Americans who may need a helping hand is dwarfed by dangerous, destructive proposals such as denying seniors and children access to affordable healthcare.

“Though Romney tries to divide us, Republicans, Democrats and independents share a desire to take care of their families, educate their kids, live healthy lives and leave a better future for the next generation. Romney’s actions sharply contrast with President Obama’s more inclusive vision that is backed by action demonstrating he understands working people’s daily reality.”


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Mary Kay Henry on Romney’s VP Running Mate Choice of Rep. Paul Ryan

SEIU’s President Mary Kay Henry: “Romney has shown  the American people that he believes Rep. Ryan’s extremist, irresponsible and anti-worker agenda is what’s right for our country.”

“If there were ever any doubt that Mitt Romney is not on the side of working people, today’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan as a running mate makes it crystal clear. With this choice, Romney has shown the American people that he believes Rep. Ryan’s extremist, irresponsible and anti-worker agenda is what’s right for our country.

“Rep. Ryan has made a name for himself by fighting in the halls of Congress for tax giveaways for the wealthy and big corporations while proposing to gut vital services like Medicare and education, and eliminating any sense of retirement security for working families.  His no-holds barred record of attacking seniors, children, and working men and women is frightening for the 99 percent of Americans who are not rich — but for Mitt Romney it was a calling card to choose him as a running mate.”


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Local 26 Members Help Elect Barack Obama

2007 MPAC Obama

Election 2008 will forever be remembered as an historic, transformational point in US history. The American people voted overwhelmingly for change as men and women of all different backgrounds across this nation sent a clear message: it is time to create a new American Dream.

And SEIU was a driving force in victories for working families all over the country. In Minnesota, more than 100 janitors, security officers, healthcare workers, and school employees who are members of SEIU took time off to bring home victory for Barack Obama and other candidates promising the change working families need.

2008-11 Franken rally

Through Monday, November 3rd, SEIU members and staff had knocked on 89,742 doors, made 200,061 phone calls, and talked to over 44,400 Minnesotans to ensure that voters across the state knew who stood with all those Americans who wake up and earn a paycheck every day.

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Saint Paul, MN – Longtime Director of Congressman Keith Ellison’s Minnesota Office, Brian Elliott, will be returning to his political advocacy roots as he joins the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Minnesota State Council as their new Executive Director next month.


SEIU State Council President, Julie Schnell, said of the announcement, “We’re thrilled to be bringing on someone with Brian’s knowledge of the political and legislative process, and more importantly, his deep experience in engaging individuals in advocating for their own broad interests, as well as the public interest.  Brian has for years been one of Minnesota’s preeminent progressive political strategists, whether in support of Representative Ellison or in his previous work helping to build and guide coalitions in support of progressive majorities at the State Legislature leading up to the 2006 elections.”


Elliott added that, “At this time when working people are under attack and corporations are increasing their influence in our civic and political realms, organizations like SEIU are more important than ever as a counter to unchecked corporate power, helping to level the playing field for working people.  It has been an honor to serve Congressman Ellison toward these same goals, and I am excited to join SEIU in helping working people and their families to lift up their voices in our civil and political discourse.”


Brian Elliott currently serves as District Director for Congressman Ellison in Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District, a role he has played since the days leading up to the Congressman’s first swearing-in, in January 2007.  As District Director, Brian has been responsible for the Congressman’s Minnesota operations, including building and maintaining a strong and stable staff, guiding the strategic decisions in support of the Congressman’s goals and priorities, and performing outreach to a number of constituencies, including organized labor.


Prior to working with Congressman Ellison, Elliott was the Minnesota Political Director and Associate National Political Director for Clean Water Action, where he spent eight years engaging that organization’s membership in lobbying at the State Capitol and in their multi-candidate election efforts.  Elliott also worked in coalition with a broad range of public interest organizations, including organized labor, and contributed to the merger of Progressive Minnesota and the Minnesota Alliance for Progressive Action into TakeAction Minnesota, on whose founding board he also served.


The SEIU Minnesota State Council works to improve the lives of working people and their families. The State Council coordinates the electoral, legislative and outreach work of the SEIU Locals in Minnesota to increase the effectiveness of our collective bargaining and new member organizing campaigns.  By building the political involvement of over 30,000 SEIU members throughout the state, the State Council is working to improve the lives of all Minnesotans.  The State Council’s board is comprised of elected leaders, members, and staff of the four SEIU Local Unions.

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