Members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Minnesota State Council, bringing together over 60,000 Minnesotans across race and place, celebrated a massive voter engagement effort and the election wins of pro-worker candidates up and down the ticket.
In Minnesota SEIU reached out to over 1.24 million voters and had over 105,000 contacts during the election season. Across the country, SEIU members and partners have made more than 33 million phone calls, sent 58 million texts and knocked on 1 million doors of infrequent voters across battleground states.
The heart and soul of SEIU’s infrequent voter engagement program are its Member Political Organizers (MPOs). These are everyday Americans who have put their lives on hold to do everything in their power to elect Joe Biden and champions up and down the ticket for healthcare, the right to join a union, and racial and economic justice.
One MPO was Laura Carpenter, who is a food service worker in the Minneapolis Public Schools and a member of SEIU Local 284, who celebrated the work done and pushed elected officials to count every vote.
“SEIU members are essential workers of every race and background across Minnesota. We keep America fed, clean, safe, and healthy, and this election season we showed that our votes are as essential as our jobs. Now that we’ve voted in record numbers, it’s time to make sure to count every vote,” said Carpenter. “I’m proud of the work so many of us did reaching out to Minnesotans, especially voters who may not always be part of the election process, to help elect candidates who will work with us to build a multi-racial democracy where every family can thrive.”
Another member who worked tirelessly during the election season was Shari Lackey, a home care worker and member of SEIU Healthcare Minnesota.
“Essential workers have experienced President Trump’s failure of leadership firsthand. Home care workers have seen the harm that this failed administration caused to healthcare workers and the people we care for every day. Our votes have been cast and now we need to count every vote,” said Lackey. “The health and safety of our families is just one of the reasons why we worked so hard to make sure we had leaders like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Tina Smith and Angie Craig in Washington D.C. I’m proud of the countless hours we worked to make sure we have people in office who will work with us to get our state and country back on track.”
Abdi Haybe is a security officer and member of Local 26, and did electoral organizing in Minnesota’s growing East African community, and shared the power of turning out votes this election season.
“In Minnesota, as was the case across the country, a handful of politicians hoped that by sowing chaos and stoking fear, they could bully and cheat their way through this election, but our solidarity and unity proved stronger than their attempts to divide us. Now it is time to count all of our votes. Because of the work done by regular Minnesotans, we turned out in record numbers, especially workers in communities of color who don’t always vote, “said Haybe. “Essential workers of different backgrounds voted for a $15 minimum wage and good union jobs to provide for our families. We voted for healthcare and long term care that everyone can afford. We voted to end police violence in Black communities and for investments in proven solutions to reimagine public safety.”