Minneapolis, Minn. – The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Minnesota State Council is excited to announce its endorsements for a number of Minneapolis City Council races. Following a member-driven screening process, SEIU has endorsed a number of candidates who have proven themselves as champions of working families, who will advocate tirelessly for justice and equality to move all of Minneapolis forward.
The following is the list of endorsements to date:
- Ward 1: Kevin Reich
- Ward 2: Cam Gordon
- Ward 3: Jacob Frey
- Ward 6: Robert Lilligren
- Ward 8: Elizabeth Glidden
- Ward 9: Ty Moore
- Ward 10: Lisa Bender
- Ward 11: John Quincy
- Ward 12: Andrew Johnson
- Ward 13: Linea Palmisano
SEIU members were actively involved in the screening process, particularly in wards with a competitive race. The SEIU Minnesota State Council has made no endorsements in Wards 4, 5 or 7 to date.
“Kevin Reich has been a very successful advocate in his first term representing constituents in Ward 1. With his leadership, Northeast Minneapolis continues to have a strong, safe community and a number of green initiatives, including three major bike boulevard projects currently underway. We look forward to his continued leadership and attention to the many details that make Northeast a great place to live,” said James Bialke, Chief of staff at SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and 35-year resident of Northeast Minneapolis.
“Cam Gordon is a powerful voice for organized labor. For years, he has contributed to his community in Ward 2 as an educator, community organizer and performer. His record of bringing people together is exactly the type of coalition builder we need on the City Council to encourage innovation and cooperation,” said Carol Nieters, Executive Director of SEIU Local 284.
“Ward 3 is lucky to have Jacob Frey as an exceptional candidate this year. Jacob is well known by his constituents as someone who isn’t afraid to dive in and get involved. He has been actively engaged in a number of progressive causes and showed his leadership skills when he organized the Big Gay Race in support of Minnesotans United for All Families. Our members know that Jacob is the candidate who will advocate for working families, while holding big corporations accountable. He is a true ally in the fight to restore the middle class,” said Javier Morillo, President of SEIU Local 26.
“Robert Lilligren has been delivering results for Ward 6 constituents for years. Robert has a long history of working closely with SEIU members to advocate for justice and equality by making room at the table for all communities. His history of being inclusive, open and fair makes him an ideal partner for working families. Robert knows our communities are stronger when they are more diverse. We are confident he will continue to reach out to everyone in Ward 6, while fighting each day to improve the lives of immigrant families who come here to make a new life,” said Sue Kreft, SEIU Local 284 member.
“Elizabeth Glidden’s passion for grassroots activism and working with people of all backgrounds makes her an ideal leader for Ward 8. She led the efforts to stop unjust foreclosures in the city of Minneapolis and was part of the historic efforts to reform the Minneapolis pension system, which protected workers’ pensions and saved the taxpayers millions. As a true progressive, she continues to fight for environmental and social justice. Simply put, Elizabeth has always been there for us as a hands-on partner with working families to drive change in Minneapolis,” said Jamie Gulley, President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and the SEIU Minnesota State Council.
“Ty Moore may have been the most impressive candidate we screened. Ty has long been a partner of SEIU, through his work with Occupy Homes and in collaboration with Minnesotans for a Fair Economy. He has marched with us in subzero temperatures and stood on the picket line in support of low-wage workers. He clearly doesn’t just talk the talk; instead, Ty takes action whenever he encounters injustice. Ty is for real – he’s about the people. We are confident he is doing what he needs to do to win and would prove to be an effective collaborator on the City Council for Ward 9,” said Harrison Bullard, security officer and SEIU Local 26 member.
“We are proud to be the first labor union to endorse Lisa Bender in Ward 10. Lisa is the clear progressive in the race, and our members are beyond impressed with her energy, enthusiasm and hard work knocking doors and talking with voters. It’s clear that Lisa wants to build an inclusive ward that represents all of its residents, particularly those new constituents from minority communities. Lisa’s fresh perspective on the City Council is one the new face of Ward 10 needs. With Lisa as our partner, we are confident she’ll bring the whole community to the table,” said Abdirahman Muse, SEIU Healthcare Minnesota member and Ward 10 resident.
“John Quincy has been a strong advocate for working families in Ward 11. He understands the need for affordable housing to help support strong families and safe communities. We look forward to his continued leadership on the City Council to make Minneapolis a city that works,” said Brian Elliott, Executive Director of the SEIU Minnesota State Council and Ward 11 resident.
“Andrew Johnson has innovative ideas with a comprehensive plan to win. He has stood with our members on the frontlines to fight unjust foreclosures, and we look forward to standing with him as he leads Ward 12 through collaborative leadership,” said Jamie Gulley, President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota and the SEIU Minnesota State Council.
“Linea Palmisano has been a leader for immigrant justice for years. She has been a strong partner of SEIU, working to break down barriers to education for hundreds of immigrant students. Linea’s experience as an active coalition builder will make her a strong voice on the City Council. She has long been involved in her community, and we look forward to her continued leadership,” said Javier Morillo, President of SEIU Local 26.
In May, the SEIU Minnesota State Council endorsed Betsy Hodges as its first choice for Minneapolis mayor.
Around 5,000 SEIU members live and work in Minneapolis, cleaning and protecting some of Minneapolis’s largest commercial and public buildings, and working in hospitals, clinics and public schools. With approximately 30,000 members statewide, SEIU is Minnesota’s fourth largest and fastest-growing labor union. Our members are employed in a variety of occupations at facilities throughout the state, including:
- Hospital, clinic, and nursing home workers and in-home support (SEIU Healthcare MN)
- Paraprofessionals in Public School and early childhood education systems (SEIU Local 284)
- Commercial and public building maintenance employees, security officers and other employees (SEIU Local 26)
- Minneapolis Public School maintenance employees (SEIU Local 63)
SEIU is the workers who provide care and support for your family in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and the Twin Cities’ largest public and private buildings. The SEIU Minnesota State Council coordinates the electoral, legislative and outreach work of the SEIU Locals in Minnesota to increase the effectiveness of their collective bargaining and new member organizing campaigns. By building the political involvement of approximately 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 in Minnesota.