SEIU Endorse Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges for Re-Election

In endorsing her campaign for second term, union members cite strong support for working families and defense of immigrant communities

Minneapolis — The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Minnesota State Council is proud to announce the endorsement of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges for re-election. The endorsement came after a Mayoral screening earlier this month that saw members vote overwhelmingly to endorse Hodges in her campaign for a second term. SEIU members highlighted her leadership in improving labor standards for working families in Minneapolis, starting with her 2015 State of the City, where she began the conversation to set Minneapolis and the Metro on the path to address the economic and racial inequalities that are plaguing our city.

BetsyHodges_Local_26SEIU Minnesota State Council President Jamie Gulley shared the reasoning from members after the endorsement.

“We are living in a time when inequality is rising and people are angry at corporations, CEOs and the politicians who seem to care more about stockholders than regular families. In the face of these challenges, Mayor Hodges led on passing the Earned Sick and Safe Time policy in Minneapolis last year, which was followed shortly after by St. Paul, producing the two best paid sick time policies in the country. Hodges has been a strong champion of One Fair Wage (meaning no tip penalty), defending our state’s proud tradition of not having a sub-minimum wage, even in the face of intense corporate lobbying. In addition, she has been a consistent voice pushing to get wage increases to as many workers as possible, with Minneapolis now close to raising wages to $15 and St. Paul and other cities in the region set to follow. By listening to the voices of workers, Mayor Hodges became the Midwest Mayor who brought labor standards to our city.”

It was also noted that Hodges has become a national leader in the fight against Islamaphobia and other attacks on immigrants that have demonized SEIU members and our families. At her 2017 State of the City Address, Hodges went as far as to say “When Donald Trump comes after any part of our community, he’ll find 419,000 Minneapolitans and me standing squarely in his way. That’s the kind of wall I can support.”

Maryan Nur is a Minneapolis resident and member of SEIU Local 26 who works as a janitor contracted to clean Target’s headquarters in downtown Minneapolis. She attended the SEIU member screening and shared why she joined other SEIU members in supporting Mayor Hodges for re-election.

“Mayor Betsy Hodges has proven over the last 3 years as our Mayor that she is a true partner and friend of working people, immigrants and those who previously didn’t have a voice at City Hall. After hearing from the candidates, she stood out as the best choice to lead our city. Having someone in the Mayor’s office who cares about regular people like my family is so important at a time when our families are facing increasing attacks from national politicians. In addition to supporting union members when we have fought for better lives for our families in an age of increased corporate greed, Mayor Hodges led on winning paid sick time, has fought for higher wages, and has forcefully led the fight back against Islamaphobia and other attacks on immigrants,” said Nur. “We have a long way to go, but I know Mayor Hodges will continue to listen and work with us. I am excited to continue that work over the next four years so we can make Minneapolis a place where, regardless of our race, religion, income or zip code, everyone has an equal chance to achieve their dreams.”

At the screening members also asked candidates about housing, police reform, and other issues that are important to Minneapolis families.

“We still have a lot of work to do to make Minneapolis a city that works for all residents, but even through disagreements, Mayor Hodges has listened and brought in community input about tough decisions. Our members did not hear a compelling argument to change the course as we fight to address the issues facing working families in Minneapolis. We will continue push to improve police relations, make the city affordable for working people, and fight back against corporate greed and any form of hatred against our family, friends and neighbors. SEIU members believe Mayor Hodges is the best choice to be Mayor as we take on these battles,” said Gulley.

SEIU represents over 8,000 members who live or work in Minneapolis. The endorsement for Mayor follows endorsements in 10 of the 13 City Council races, including support for a majority of the current council who committed to supporting a $15 minimum wage with no tip penalty.

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SEIU is the workers who provide care and support for your family in public schools, hospitals, higher education, nursing homes, schools, in your homes 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 the approximately 53,000 workers SEIU represents 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.

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