With Days Left in Race, Union Members Rally With Workers’ Chosen Candidates



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Sunday, November 4th, 2018


Josh Kamensky

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With Days Left in Race, Union Members Rally With Workers’ Chosen Candidates


Rusty Hicks, President, Los Angeles Federation of Labor

Democratic candidates Gavin Newsom (Governor) and Tony Thurmond (State Superintendent of Public Instruction) joined more than 100 members of over a dozen local unions including locals representing child care workers, nurses, grocery store workers, security officers, janitors, musicians and many more at a Get Out The Vote weekend rally.

“We have an opportunity, right now, to come together as parents, workers, leaders and educators throughout our state to build the kind of early care and education system that is worthy of our children,” said Tonia McMillan, a family child care provider at SEIU Local 99 and co-chair of the Raising California Together coalition. “This is the time to stand with our next elected leaders – like our next governor Gavin Newsom – and stand together for all children and families!”

“I have weeks where I drive 60 hours but go home with a paycheck of as low as $150, and still have to pay work expenses like gas out of my check,” said Juan Islas, a driver with XPO Logistics who has been fighting alongside the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to stop wage theft and improve conditions in the port trucking industry. “We have the chance to vote for a governor who understands the importance of unions for families like mine and who understands that even in this great state, families like mine are still struggling and need help.”

“Gavin Newsom is our candidate because he believes in our communities, and knows that communities across the state, regardless of socio-economic status, need quality public schools,” said Gloria Martinez, a teacher and member of United Teachers-Los Angeles. “And Tony Thurmond is the educator’s choice because he has taken strong opposition to the Trump and DeVos agenda to privatize our school system. He believes in investment in public schools and services that build communities, not tear them apart.”

“I thank the labor movement for weekends, for overtime, for the middle class-and for recognizing that we’re all in this together,” said Newsom. “We’ve got 48 hours until the polls close, and I know you won’t rest until you’ve contacted every last neighbor.”

“My opponent, funded by billionaires, believes that teachers are the problem,” said Thurmond. “I know that teachers are the solution.”

“Tony Thurmond has been there for workers and for families,” said Art Pulaski, President of the California Federation of Labor. “Who’s spending money against him? Billionaires who want to profit off our schools.”

“California’s got the power in this election,” said Rusty Hicks, President of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, “and we’re going to use it to win good jobs, to strengthen education, and to ensure the power of our collective voice.”

The LA Fed’s much-vaunted electoral muscle stands to play a big part in any Blue Wave. More than 700 Los Angeles County union members volunteering through the Fed have supported canvass offices spread through the most competitive races in the county, with a special focus locally on Katie Hill’s attempt to unseat anti-worker Republican Steve Knight in north L.A. County’s 25th Congressional District, and support for Mike Eng in his bid to win a progressive voice for the San Gabriel Valley’s 22nd California Senate District. For weeks, canvassers and callers at the Fed’s phone bank for weeks have been locking in voters on such critical ballot measures as No on 6 and Yes on W and identifying voters who will support Hill, Eng and other progressives, contacting more than 47,000 individual voters.