St. Paul — The SEIU Minnesota State Council, which brings together over 50,000 working people across the state, announced today the endorsement of Rep. Erin Murphy for Governor of Minnesota. SEIU members are on the front lines of the fight for good union jobs, quality affordable healthcare, fully-funded public schools and communities that are safe and welcoming for all families.
Showcasing her strong support across the state from working people, SEIU members from both the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota highlighted why they will be working this summer and fall to elect Erin Murphy as the next Governor of Minnesota, and the first woman to hold the office in the 160 years Minnesota has been a state.
Barbara Andrew of Rochester, a Morrison food service worker at the Mayo Clinic:
“I am very proud today to see my union vote to support Erin to be our next governor. Over the last couple years she has stood with us, as healthcare workers in southeastern Minnesota, every step of the way in seeking respect and justice. I have seen her actions, not just her words. She stood beside us — the food-service workers Mayo Clinic outsourced last year — in our struggle for union rights and a fair contract after we were outsourced. Then when our fellow SEIU members were locked out by the Mayo Clinic for a week in Albert Lea — the first lockout of healthcare workers in the history of Minnesota, and it happened over Christmas — Erin showed up on the picket line in Albert Lea every single day. She didn’t just come by one day for the TV cameras like other politicians. Everyone who walked that picket line, sometimes in the bitter cold and during a time we would normally all be spending with our loved ones for the holidays, knew that Erin was really with us. She cares about the workers of Minnesota, because she is one of us.”
Dawn Burnfin, a home care worker from Chisholm in Northern Minnesota and elected member of the SEIU Healthcare Minnesota executive board:
“There are several different reasons I’m proud my union has voted to support Erin Murphy for governor. To start, Erin is a healthcare worker. She understands the joys and difficulties that all healthcare workers face. Also, before she became a state legislator, Erin was a union leader with the Minnesota Nurses Association, so she truly understands what it takes to build a strong union, and how important it is that we defend union rights in our state. And while lots of politicians show up to support our members when we’re in a big fight, Erin shows up again and again — whether the TV cameras are going to be there or not — and she follows through on her word. People in communities all over this state know that, from towns like mine on the Range to Albert Lea to Montevideo, and all across the state: she has spent time with us, in our own homes and communities, and she is going to be a strong candidate able to win support this November in every corner of the state.”
Angela Negash, production worker in Minneapolis and member leader of CMRJB Workers United Local 150:
“Erin is a person who not only cares about her patients, but for all people. She is a leader who we know cares about Minnesota families. We connected over stories about caring for our parents and the power of having a strong union to support our families. She told me that the love for her mother helps drive her to make sure everyone has the care they need. I know she will be a great Governor and I’m excited for her to be the first female Governor.”
Maxine Maxon of St. Paul, a Nursing Assistant at Fairview-Riverside hospital in Minneapolis and elected Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota:
“I support Erin because she is a true fighter. For civil rights, for healthcare, and for people in every part of the state of Minnesota. Erin knows and is committed to tackling the racial disparities that plague our state, in our schools and our communities. This fall we need a candidate for governor who can excite and inspire people to get out and vote, and that candidate is Erin Murphy. Finally, I am proud and excited about my union voting today to support Erin because after 160 years as a state, I think we are more than ready to have our first woman governor!”
In addition to SEIU members, community allies who have fought alongside SEIU in our work to create a state that works for all families, not just those at the top, shared why they are excited to help elect Rep. Murphy as the first woman Governor this November.
Nikki Villavicencio, a recipient of home care services from Maplewood and active leader for many years with her home care workers’ union:
“I support Erin Murphy to be Minnesota’s next Governor because she is a leader with integrity. Working with her at the Capitol on disability policies over the years, she has proven to be consistent and honest. Home care workers in our state — the people I rely on for support every day, who are chronically underpaid — never would have had the legal right to form a union at all if it weren’t for the tireless work Erin did when she was the House Majority Leader, guiding her fellow legislators through all-night debates and votes that stretched over an entire week back in 2013. Along with dozens of home care workers and other people like me who receive home care services, I camped out in the House galleries that week, watching to make sure home care workers’ basic rights would be respected — that they would be Invisible No More. Erin made sure that they were.
“As a person who receives home care services, I know that Erin seeks out the experiences that people like me face every day and engages us as true partners when she’s making policy decisions,” continued Villavicencio. “I support Erin Murphy for Governor because she approaches issues like a mother, with care and compassion and also the experience and wisdom to lead this state forward!”
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 over 50,000 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 five SEIU Local Unions in Minnesota.
The SEIU Minnesota State Council coordinates the electoral, legislative and outreach work of the SEIU Locals in Minnesota to increase the effectiveness of their efforts to organize unorganized workers in critical sectors of our economy, improve wages, hours and working conditions, and build political and legislative power for all workers and their families. The State Council’s board is comprised of elected leaders, SEIU members and staff of the various SEIU Local Unions in Minnesota, and that board, with the active participation and input of our broader membership, determines our endorsements.