Long-term care workers will focus their voter turnout efforts behind LA Mayoral candidate Karen Bass, Board of Supervisors District 3 Candidate Henry Stern, and other visionary candidates for local races
SEIU 2015, the nation’s largest long-term care union and California’s largest labor union representing more than 400,000 nursing home and home care workers, announced their candidate endorsements for several open elected positions in 2022 in Los Angeles County, including the Los Angeles mayoral race and the Board of Supervisors District 3 (BOS3). SEIU 2015 endorsed Congresswoman Karen Bass for Los Angeles mayor, State Senator Henry Stern for BOS3, as well as 5 other candidates listed fully below.
“SEIU Local 2015 members are determined to use the strength of our numbers to bring lasting transformational change to address the care crisis, as well as fighting for equity and justice for all Californians,” said April Verrett, President of SEIU Local 2015. “Karen Bass has represented the people of Los Angeles in Congress for more than ten years, fighting for economic equity, criminal justice reform, environmental advocacy, fair working conditions, and other political goals central to building a just society, proving time and again that she has the best interest of our community at heart. SEIU Local 2015 members proudly voted to endorse Karen Bass for Mayor of Los Angeles. We believe that Congresswoman Bass will continue to uphold these values on the home front, and fight for quality care for our communities’ most vulnerable.”
These endorsements come on the heels of a two-day outdoor town hall hosted by SEIU 2015, where candidates presented their platforms to union members tuning in via Zoom. At the end of each candidate panel, members voted online for their chosen candidates. The union is holding a virtual “Meet Our Candidates” event today over Facebook Live (HERE) and Youtube (HERE) to formally announce the endorsements and invited endorsed candidates such as Karen Bass to speak directly to members.
“Having the support of SEIU 2015, the largest united group of workers in the County—whose members are nursing home workers and home care providers and mostly Black women and women of color—means having the support of thousands of community advocates and essential workers who understand what’s at stake for our most vulnerable residents and are empowered to fight for them every day with their vote,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Holly J. Mitchell. “I am proud to be among the many elected leaders SEIU 2015 has supported and stood alongside in helping to create a more prosperous LA County.”
“This massive Zoom event was a new endorsement process for us,” said SEIU 2015 Executive Vice President Arnulfo De La Cruz. “Our member leaders plan to use this as a model going forward. During the pandemic, we learned with warp speed how to use technology to ensure our members stayed connected and engaged. We took everything we’ve learned to create this virtual Town Hall to make it possible to invite all 30,000 members of our Committee on Political Education in the county to participate in this endorsement.”
COVID exacerbated the dire crises that long-term care workers face, including a staffing shortage in California’s nursing homes due to workers being underpaid and underprotected. Nationally, the nursing home industry has lost more than 420,000 jobs since the start of the pandemic, effectively reducing its workforce to the size it was 15 years ago despite the fact that our elder population is growing. California’s care worker shortages have since forced some facilities to rely on COVID-positive staff for patient care. This is a racial justice and gender equity issue, as the home care industry is 86% women with more than half identifying as Black, Latina and Asian women. In this difficult time, the power and purpose of unions is more significant than ever. SEIU 2015 looks forward to working to elect candidates who will hopefully join their fight for economic justice for all.
The full list of endorsed candidates are as follows:
Mayor of Los Angeles: Karen Bass
Board of Supervisors District 3: Henry Stern
Los Angeles City Council District 3: Bob Blumenfield
Los Angeles City Council District 5: Katy Young Yaroslavsky
Los Angeles City Council District 15: Tim McOsker
Los Angeles City Attorney: Faisal Gill
Mayor of Long Beach: Rex Richardson