WASHINGTON, Nov. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Statement of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) International President Mary Kay Henry on tonight's election results:
"A lot of time and creativity will go into explaining what happened tonight, but the most important question to answer is what are our elected leaders - both outgoing and incoming - are prepared to do right now to help America get past this economic crisis.
"Tomorrow, one in four kids will wake up hungry. Nearly 27 million Americans will be looking for work. Hard-hit families will still be using credit cards to pay for basics like food and utility bills, and every minute, two more families will be foreclosed on.
"From the Pharmacy Tech outside Philadelphia fighting to stop the corporation he works for from eliminating 1,000 good jobs to the janitor in Chicago who took in her brother's family when the bank refused to help save their home to the child care provider in Los Angeles fighting to save her business and child care for tens of thousands of children, Americans are looking to their leaders to work together on solutions.
"The campaign is now over and our nation must turn its focus to immediate issues that impact struggling families. The American people are looking to the current Congress to come back to Washington and extend unemployment insurance so millions more families don't fall through the cracks.
"We are looking to Congress to pass a permanent middle class tax cut and eliminate Bush-era giveaways to the rich.
"And we are looking to the new leaders elected tonight to show up in January ready to work for the American people -- not for the agenda of the nameless, faceless corporations who poured hundreds of millions of dollars into our political process.
"The next Congress has an enormous task ahead and will have to work together to deliver what America's families desperately need – good jobs on which you can raise a family, send your kids to college and retire with dignity. The job of Congress is to work for the American people and nothing is more important than finding commonsense solutions that will bring fairness to our economy and keep us moving forward.
"And to newly elected Governors, we need you to stand with the workers who care for our children and elderly, keep our communities healthy, and protect our streets.
"We must all begin tonight, because as workers all over this country can tell you - when break time is over, it is time to get back to work.
Thousands of SEIU members from across the country took time off from their jobs and spent countless evenings and weekends pounding the pavement, making calls, and getting their co-workers and neighbors to the polls for pro-worker candidates.
Here are just a few of their stories:
"I'm most proud of the fact that I got three new people involved – caregivers who have never been involved in politics before. I am concerned with the well-being of my community. People are going through difficult times. I am doing anything I can do to make sure our elected officials understand what we're going through. We have to turn this situation around."
David Lindberg, home care worker and SEIU Local 775NW member
"Public employees are being blamed for what's wrong with California. This year I'm doing something about it."
Johnny Clark, Los Angeles City General Services worker and SEIU Local 721 member
Los Angeles, California
"I think that the way we hold ourselves accountable to what we believe in is by electing people who care about our issues, like healthcare reform and safe nurse-to-patient ratios. Even volunteering one hour can make a difference."
Stella Britcher, RN and SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania member
Kevita White-Leslie, a respiratory therapist and member of SEIU 1107 in Nevada, has been a registered Republican since she turned 18. But Kevita has spent the past four weeks knocking on doors for SEIU member-endorsed candidates. "Nevada needs jobs," said Kevita. "Harry Reid has a plan to get Nevadans back to work while Sharron Angle has said it's not her job to create jobs in Nevada."
"I'm a single mom with two teenage boys, and I work as an environmental analyst in the State Department of Environmental Protection's Wildlife Division. I signed-up because I want a governor who will fight for middle class and working families -- and to stop Connecticut's race to the bottom. I also wanted a governor who believes in public service -- and who won't treat state, municipal and school employees like political footballs to score cheap points."
Dawn McCay, Environmental Analyst in the State Department of Environmental Protection's Wildlife Division and CSEA SEIU Local 2001 member.
Mary Ann Pryor, a member of SEIU Local 105 and a mental healthcare provider in Denver, Colorado has been doing her part to ensure Colorado's working families have a voice in Denver and in Washington. Over the past few weeks, Mary Ann has been canvassing through neighborhoods and calling voters to get out the vote. Including efforts in State House District 27, where Sarah Gigliardi, a fellow SEIU member, is running for re-election. But Mary Ann is no stranger to political advocacy – she was one of ten SEIU member lobbyist to spend the spring of 2010 at SEIU headquarters lifting the voice of working families.
With 2.2 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.
SOURCE Service Employees International Union (SEIU)